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FNPL 201 Investment Analysis and Portfolio

David Barnes

Course Description

Students will combine theory and practice to understand types of financial instruments (stocks, bonds, mutual funds, ETFs, options, etc); the mechanics of buying and selling investments; traditional fundamental security analysis; the operation of the securities market; risk and return; current issues that affect the market; and basic portfolio management. This course is for students interested in starting an investment program or managing an existing portfolio as well as fundamental course for those considering a career in investments or finance.



Course Objectives

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • Define an investment, analyze the suitability of an investment and understand basic investor behavior.
  • Understand the basic types of securities and securities transactions.
  • Explain the differences between equities, fixed income securities and derivatives.
  • Describe the characteristics, analyze and compare bonds, mutual funds, common stocks, ETFs, REITS, options, futures and other investment vehicles
  • Understand the relationship between risk and return.
  • Use fundamental analysis to determine if an investment meets your financial goals.
  • Use a computer, the Internet and other resources to assist in evaluating common stocks, mutual funds and other investments.
  •  Understand the investment component of basic retirement plans.
  • Understand how income taxes affect your investment returns.

Required Texts and Materials

Textbook information:  To visit our bookstore's online sales site, please visit and follow the instructions for selecting textbooks. If an electronic version of the book is available, you may choose either the print edition or electronic version. You may also use an earlier version of the text

A simple calculator is required.

Although not required, students should keep in touch with what is happening in the stock market by reading the business section of a daily newspaper, watching CNN, or checking websites such as or at least once during the week. Students serious about investing must keep up with current events.

Other materials

Other reading material, worksheets, etc, will be provided online.

Course Format

  • This class is not self-paced.
  • This class does not have required on-campus meetings or tests.  One of more review sessions may be held, depending upon the students’ interest and the instructor’s availability.
  • The course material is sequential.
  • Weekly participation – written assignments and online discussions -- is required in this class.
  • There is a specific timeline for the completion of each assignment in this class. New material will be released on Sunday at 12:01 am. Each assignment will have a due date.
  • All assignments are to be submitted online, as email attachments (in Word format). All items submitted or presented in assigned discussions will be evaluated and graded for content, appearance, and scope, based on the following criteria: identification of the issues, how well the requirements for the assignment are fulfilled; breadth and depth of logical analysis; coherence; neatness; flow; structure and ease of reading; and proper use of spelling , grammar and punctuation.

Late assignments are worth zero points.

The grading procedures and grading rubrics will be presented in a separate document, which will be available on the home page for this class.

Some of the types of learning activities or assignments that the student will be required to complete may include, but is not limited to:

  • Read chapters in the textbook.
  • Read reference material.
  • View a video.
  • Participate weekly in online discussions.
  • Write up to two papers on a topic chosen by the instructor. Details about length and topics will be provided.
  • Prepare a PowerPoint presentation and present it to the class.
  • Prepare a portfolio and update it each week.
  • Instructions and directions for each assignment will be posted online.

The class schedule and calendar will list due dates for papers, group projects, quizzes and exams. There will be a quiz after each week’s module and two exams and a final exam. Self-tests will be graded but grades will not be recorded. Quizzes cannot be made up. The instructor will provide additional information about quizzes.


Exams and quizzes will be open book and will be taken on-line using the honor system. Exams and quizzes will be timed. You must study as if the exam were written because you will not have adequate time to research in an attempt to answer questions. Exams and quizzes can include various types of questions, such as true/false, multiple/choice, and short essays. All class activities, including discussion boards, as well as syllabus assignments, and any guest speakers are considered testable.

Required Viewers, Plug-ins, or Players

Visit the eLearning homepage and use the link provided in the “Support for Registered Students” area link to download plug-ins.

The following plug-ins may be required for this class:

  • Acrobat Viewer
  • Flash
  • Internet Explorer
  • Java installed and enabled
  • PowerPoint Viewer ( if you don’t have the full version of Microsoft PowerPoint)
  •  QuickTime
  •  Real Player
  •  Windows Media Player

If you do not have the necessary plug-ins for a particular assignment, your computer will alert you to install it. The Tech Desk (443-518-4444) will be able to help you.

If you have any questions or comments about this class, please send a message to

Student Profile - Maribel