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Computational Investing, Part I

Georgia Institute of Technology via Coursera

students interested
  • Provider Coursera
  • Subject Finance
  • $ Cost Free Online Course (Audit)
  • Session Upcoming
  • Language English
  • Certificate Paid Certificate Available
  • Effort 8-12 hours a week
  • Start Date
  • Duration 8 weeks long

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Overview

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Why do the prices of some companies’ stocks seem to move up and down together while others move separately? What does portfolio “diversification” really mean and how important is it? What should the price of a stock be? How can we discover and exploit the relationships between equity prices automatically? We’ll examine these questions, and others, from a computational point of view. You will learn many of the principles and algorithms that hedge funds and investment professionals use to maximize return and reduce risk in equity portfolios.

Syllabus

Portfolio Management and Market Mechanics
In this module, you will understand the course content from a portfolio manager's viewpoint, the incentives for portfolio managers, types of hedge fund, and how to assess fund performance; Also, you will gain insight into market orders, the basic infrastructure of an exchange, and computational components of a hedge fund.

Company Worth, Capital Assets Pricing Model and QSTK Software Overview
In this module, you will learn how to value a company, and an overview of the theory Capital Assets Pricing Model (CAPM), its assumptions, implications and how you can apply it in fund management. Finally, you will learn to install QSTK Software.

Manipulating Data in Python and QSTK
In this module, you will learn how to work with financial data, create a portfolio and optimize a portfolio using Python with Numpy library as well as QSTK and the Pandas library.

Efficient Markets Hypothesis and Event Studies, Portfolio Optimization and the Efficient Frontier
In this module, you will learn about information may affect equity prices and company value, understand efficient market hypothesis and how event studies work; Also, you will learn about the inputs and outputs of a portfolio optimizer, correlation and covariance, Mean Variance Optimization, and the Efficient Frontier.

Digging into Data
We will go into more detail in this module about how to read an event study. We will also talk about the differences between actual and adjusted historical price data, and how to detect and fix wrong data.

The Fundamental Law, CAPM for Portfolios
In this module, you will learn the fundamental law of active portfolio management. We will recap CAPM, and extend it for portfolios. Finally, we're going to look at ways that we can leverage the capital assets pricing model to manage, maybe even reduce market risk.

Information Feeds and Technical Analysis
In this module, we will dive deeper into a few examples of information feeds, and learn about technical analysis, and look at a few example technical indicators. Finally, we are going to learn about Bollinger Bands.

Jensen's Alpha, Back Testing and Machine Learning
In this module, we're going to learn about another measure of a fund performance called Jensen's Alpha, and dig deeper into back testing. We will also take a sneak peek at machine learning.

Taught by

Tucker Balch

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Reviews for Coursera's Computational Investing, Part I
2.7 Based on 33 reviews

  • 5 stars 30%
  • 4 stars 9%
  • 3 star 3%
  • 2 stars 18%
  • 1 stars 39%

Did you take this course? Share your experience with other students.

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  • 1
Anonymous
5.0 6 years ago
Anonymous completed this course.
I'm the instructor.

Most of these reviews relate to the first offering of the course. We spend a lot of effort revising the course in response to student feedback. I think if you take a look at our recent survey results you'll see that our efforts were successful: http://wp.me/p11WgN-hW

Best,

Tucker
14 people found
this review helpful
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Anonymous
4.0 6 years ago
Anonymous completed this course.
As other posters have said, the first iteration of the course was definitely premature. Professor Balch was pretty much just winging it the whole time and you had to wait a bit for course materials to come out. If you're not a patient, laid-back person you probably should hold off on taking it. If you're going to make forum posts like "I need the assignment NOW or I won't have time to do it!!!!" chill out and go do something else. It was a very flexible class, so late materials were taken into account in the deadlines (although communication could be improved, because new stuff would…
3 people found
this review helpful
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Anonymous
2.0 5 years ago
Anonymous completed this course.
I took the class in the Fall of 2013 and while I did learn a few things, overall, I would have to call the class a disappointment. The lectures were poorly organized. Dr. Balch should have started off with all the basics one should know about reading stock quotes (e.g., adjusted close and reverse-splits become relevant to assignments before he talks about them in lecture). Dr. Balch would frequently dwell on relatively simple concepts (e.g., the CAP Model, a simple line equation) while glossing over the very complex ones (e.g., integrating PANDA, NUMPY, Python and QSTK to build a market simula…
5 people found
this review helpful
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Anonymous
5.0 6 years ago
Anonymous completed this course.
Hello,

I'm the instructor of this course. Some of the reviews here are not consistent with the responses we've received from students who enrolled. I invite students who are interested to take a look at those survey responses here:

http://wp.me/p11WgN-hW

Best regards,

Tucker
2 people found
this review helpful
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Anonymous
2.0 6 years ago
Gabriel completed this course.
Prior experience: Python and statistics.

The course started out really good (even if I played the videos with 2x speed, since the instructor speaks really slow and explains well enough to be able to understand everything at the first time), and the instructor participated A LOT in the forums and really used student's feedback. Another plus is the fact it uses open-source software(did not have any troubles on setup on Windows),

Now, the bad:

-Even if you have programming experience, you will waste a lot of time getting used to QSTK (unless you already know…
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Anonymous
2.0 6 years ago
Anonymous completed this course.
I think Tucker's heart is in the right place, but the course at this point is a mess. Too much time was spent dealing with Linux and getting QSTK loaded. I am starting Introduction to Computational Finance and Financial Econometrics by Eric Zivot which starts 12-17-12 on Coursera. It is being taught in a Windows environment which I hope will be easier to deal with. There was a guy named Harris Butler who put videos on YouTube to help with homework. If it wasn't for him, I wouldn't have made any progress on the assignments. Tucker has a TA working for him who I truly like to listen to. He is tr…
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Anonymous
5.0 6 years ago
Anonymous completed this course.
I took this course in Fall 2012. It was a pragmatic and engaging course, and it did not shy away from introducing complex financial concepts. At first I felt that we went at a slow pace but when reflecting back I am proud of what I have learned.

The introduction to finance principles was clear and interesting. I enjoyed it a lot. I felt that the projects were well organized and they flowed well from one to another.

By the end of the course we had created a market simulator that we could use to test different strategies.

While, I agree with other reviewers that it would have been better if there were more frequent projects, I still find it compelling that the projects were so engaging and practical. AN interesting project is hard to come by in an educational course. EVEN 1 compelling project can worthwhile - and that is true for this course!

Great course, I will look for other courses that are taught by Prof. Balch.
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Anonymous
1.0 6 years ago
Anonymous completed this course.
What can I say....I agree with every statement in the preceding reviews. I think Tucker is a great guy (to have a beer with) and has his heart in the right place. His teaching style is lacking and the course was not ready for deployment. Hard to get a sentence out without at least four "um"s. I would anticipate the next round of this course will be better. However, there are probably better options. The course from University of Washington (mentioned previously) is off to a good start. Also, when taking Tucker's course, Windows users should beware. The tools are not friendly to Windows. He even states that we need to accept Unix as the operating system. I was never able to get the recommended tools to work on my ancient Windows XP computer or a Windows Vista laptop.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Anonymous
1.0 6 years ago
Anonymous completed this course.
I was simply shocked by how bad this course is. The guy clearly does not know the subject and tries to re-interpret what little he understood from introductory books on investments. It is evident from any five-minute segment from any of his lectures, and also from the choice of required books (both unsuitable for an online course). His narcissistic videos are filled to the brim with the 70s rock music, so 20-30 seconds of rock! rock! rock - then five-seven minutes of unintelligible mumbling, and then half a minute more of rock, rock, rock around the clock (tonight). The guy is a former pilot a…
1 person found
this review helpful
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Anonymous
5.0 6 years ago
Anonymous completed this course.
Great course for people starting to study about electronic exchange markets. Professor Balch has an excellent performance in front of the camera telling us the essential matter, so the video lessons are really short which is very good for people engaged in other projects. Practical homework is welcome, as we developed several cool phyton programs. Some tweaks should be made concerning forum issues clarification. Thanks Tucker!
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Anonymous
1.0 6 years ago
Anonymous completed this course.
Unfortunately, this course is just not ready at the present time (Dec 2012). Lectures are late, and are very short. They have very little information in them. The programming interface is very difficult to install, an image with the software preinstalled would work better. Instructor seems like a nice person, but the current iteration needs a lot of improvement in order to recommend.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Anonymous
1.0 6 years ago
Anonymous completed this course.
I also agree with most of the previous reviews of this class. I was able to get the software running on Windows, thanks only to a very helpful forum post from another student who provided step-by-step instructions. The concept is excellent, but unfortunately the execution has been exceedingly poor, especially compared with the other excellent Coursera courses that I've taken.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Anonymous
1.0 6 years ago
Anonymous completed this course.
As stated above, great concept which was poorly executed. The foundation for an excellent course is in place, but there needs to be greater emphases on lecture content and follow through in putting together a series of examples and homework problems which highlight a lecture point. Failing that students can use the QuantSoftware Toolkit website to do independent study.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Anonymous
1.0 6 years ago
Anonymous completed this course.
Hopefully things will improve in next iteration but at present its not worth the time to take this class. Whats sad is that lectures are too short with very less content (although it is interesting if you are new to finance/trading) [BTW I am comparing this course against 3 other MOOC I have taken.]
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Anonymous
4.0 6 years ago
Anonymous completed this course.
Great course if you have a technical background. If you don't know python programming it'll be a bit hard. But if you know python its a good introduction to computational investing. The one thing I'll remove from the course is the videos answering questions from the people taking the course.
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Anonymous
2.0 6 years ago
Anonymous completed this course.
I took this class last year and agree with negative reviews here. It was a very frustrating experience. Instructor totally lacked commitment to the course.

I was waiting for the 2nd offering on Feb 22, it did not start! Looks like the same mess is being repeated again. unbelievable!
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Anonymous
1.0 6 years ago
Anonymous completed this course.
I likewise was very disappointed in this course. I'm sure Tucker knows his stuff, but it seems like other priorities in his life (i.e., teaching live, running a business) have left little time for him to focus on this class.
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Anonymous
5.0 5 years ago
Anonymous completed this course.
Great insight into how the stock market works, and you build a market simulator with buy and sell orders based on real data. Anyone who is computer literate and investing in stock markets would benefit from the class.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Anonymous
2.0 6 years ago
Anonymous completed this course.
Course is not very well organised at the moment (deadlines are changed, lectures get publish behind schedule, etc.). If you are familiar with Python, the exercises will be easy; if not - good luck!
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Anonymous
5.0 6 years ago
Anonymous completed this course.
I enjoyed this course a lot. It is targeted at folks with a computing background. Covers the key points of Modern Portfolio Theory, and shows how to implement them in python.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
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