Course 2015-2016 a.y.



Department of Finance

Course taught in English

Go to class group/s: 31
CLEAM (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/11) - CLEF (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/11) - CLEACC (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/11) - BESS-CLES (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/11) - BIEMF (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/11)
Course Director:

Classes: 31 (I sem.)

Course Objectives

The course aims to provide an in-depth understanding of the alternative investment techniques available to private and institutional investors in a globalized market. In particular, the course aims to add a new dimension to the construction and management of traditional investment portfolios by focusing on alternative asset classes and by presenting them in detail within an academic and practical framework. The emphasis is on three major classes of alternative investments: Hedge Funds, Real Estate, and Art. Asset classes are examined in terms of the following aspects: key characteristics, investment strategies, and portfolio consideration (risk/return profile and their contribution to portfolio diversification). The aforementioned objectives are addressed in a series of formal lectures that are supplemented by live deals in the form of case studies and guest speakers from the industry.

Course Content Summary

  • Alternative investments: definition and taxonomy.
  • Art: art as an investment (art vs. traditional financial asset classes).
  • Art: main investment strategies (financing of indirect art investment: art funds) and portfolio considerations (contribution of artworks to portfolio diversification).
  • Real estate: indirect investment strategies (REITs, REIFs, ETFs and MBS) and portfolio considerations (contribution of real estate to portfolio diversification).
  • Hedge Funds: main investment strategies and portfolio considerations (contribution of hedge funds to portfolio diversification).

Detailed Description of Assessment Methods

Students can choose among three different options:
  • a final general exam.
  • Two partial exams.
  • A combination of two individual partial exams and group assignments.
General and partial exams are both written. They both involve a set of multiple choice questions. Group assignments: students are required to prepare and deliver a written document as well as to give an oral presentation.


A selection of papers, slides and required readings are available on e-learning platform.
Exam textbooks & Online Articles (check availability at the Library)


Students attending this course should be familiar with the concepts learnt in the following courses: Financial markets and institutions, Financial mathematics, Statistics.
Last change 27/03/2015 12:44