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FIN8205 Contemporary Issues in Wealth Management

Semester 2, 2019 Online
Short Description: Contemporary Issues Wlth Mgt
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts
School or Department : School of Commerce
Student contribution band : Band 3
ASCED code : 081101 - Banking and Finance
Grading basis : Graded


Examiner: Syed Shams


Pre-requisite: FIN8201


The financial services industry applies sophisticated technical expertise that finds its foundation in the orthodox and behavioural finance theory developed from 1950 onwards. The contemporary wealth management process requires professionals that can draw on theoretical frameworks to guide their decisions. These frameworks provide the perspectives from which problems can be viewed and suggest alternative courses action. The investment decision-making process can be enhanced by a thorough appreciation of the core concepts of modern finance theory. Furthermore, the shortcomings of investment decision-making can be mitigated through an awareness of the main findings of behavioural finance.


Students are introduced to core concepts in finance theory in an engaging and easy-to-understand way. The overarching theme of the course is the random walk hypothesis and its implications for investment strategy. The random walk hypothesis, forming a cornerstone of the efficient markets theory, has been a primary impetus for finance research since the 1970s. The main themes of this research are explored in this course alongside other issues that are relevant to contemporary wealth management. These include investment classes and the concept of life cycle investing.


On successful completion of this course students should be able to:

  1. effectively use efficient markets theory when considering alternative investment strategies
  2. present a synthesis of the primary implications of financial history for wealth management practice, especially episodes of financial crisis
  3. develop solutions to investment allocation problems that reflect the key findings of efficient markets theory, especially those pertaining to the efficacy of fundamental and technical analysis of investments
  4. use judgement informed by orthodox and behavioural finance theory when selecting from among alternative investment strategies and investment classes
  5. communicate information about investment strategies and classes to educated (non-specialist) clientele


Description Weighting(%)
1. Introduction to Random Walks and Efficient Markets 10.00
2. Financial History: An Overview 20.00
3. Technical and Fundamental Analysis 20.00
4. Risk, Reward and Behavioural Finance 20.00
5. Investments 20.00
6. The Life Cycle Approach to Investing 10.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

Malkiel, B.G 2016, A Random Walk Down Wall Street: The Time-Tested Strategy for Successful Investing, 11th edn, W.W. Norton, New York, New York.
(The 12th edition released in early 2019 is different. Students must be careful to obtain the 11th edition or, if they like, both editions.)

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
There are no reference materials for this course.

Student workload expectations

Activity Hours
Assessments 20.00
Directed Study 48.00
Private Study 97.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
SHORT ESSAY 100 10 12 Aug 2019
INVESTMENT PROJECT 100 30 08 Oct 2019

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    There are no attendance requirements for this course. However, it is the students’ responsibility to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks for that item.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must obtain at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course (i.e. the Primary Hurdle), and have satisfied the Secondary Hurdle (Supervised), i.e. the end of semester examination by achieving at least 40% of the marks available for that assessment item.
    Supplementary assessment may be offered where a student has undertaken all of the required summative assessment items and has passed the Primary Hurdle but failed to satisfy the Secondary Hurdle (Supervised), or has satisfied the Secondary Hurdle (Supervised) but failed to achieve a passing Final Grade by 5% or less of the total weighted Marks.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks obtained for each of the summative items for the course.

  6. Examination information:
    RESTRICTED: Candidates are allowed access only to specific materials during a Restricted Examination. The only
    materials that candidates may use in the restricted examination for this course are:
    • writing materials (non-electronic and free from material which could give the student an unfair advantage in the examination);
    • calculators which cannot hold textual information
    • Students whose first language is not English, may, take an appropriate unmarked non electronic translation dictionary (but not technical dictionary) into the examination.
    • Dictionaries with any handwritten notes will not be permitted. Translation dictionaries will be subject to perusal and may be removed from the candidate’s possession until appropriate disciplinary action is completed if found to contain material that could give the candidate an unfair advantage.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Any Deferred or Supplementary examinations for this course will be held during the next examination period.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. Referencing in assignments must comply with the Harvard (AGPS) referencing system. This system should be used by students to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The Harvard (APGS) style to be used is defined by the USQ library’s referencing guide. This guide can be found at

Evaluation and benchmarking

  1. conforms to the USQ Policy on Evaluation of Teaching, Courses and Programs to ensure ongoing monitoring and systematic improvement.
  1. is benchmarked against the internal USQ accreditation/reaccreditation processes which include (i) stringent standards in the independent accreditation of its academic programs, (ii) close integration between business and academic planning, and (iii) regular and rigorous review.