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The final project for this course is the creation of a portfolio. The project is divided in to four milestones, which will be submitted at various points throughout the course to scaffold learning and ensure quality final submissions. These milestones will be submitted in Modules Two, Four, Six, and Eight and the final paper and presentation will be submitted in Module Ten.

Assume that you are the hedge fund portfolio manager and are starting a new fund.  You have received $1 million to invest in a portfolio of derivatives.  You should invest at least 20% in each of options, futures, and derivatives.  No one position may comprise more than 10% of your portfolio.  For each derivative instrument included in the portfolio, assess the risk of that instrument.  In other words, identify and examine what could go right and wrong with this instrument.  Discuss scenarios where this instrument does very well in the investment environment and scenarios where this instrument will not perform well.  Discuss also the potential returns of each instrument: what is the potential return under optimal conditions and potential losses under worst case scenarios.  Finally, discuss how you plan to allocate your cash in your portfolio and whether you plan to use strategies based on leverage, shorting, or reverse repurchase agreements.

Main Elements

Main Elements:

  1. Index of potential derivatives instruments to include in portfolio
  2. Short discussion of each instrument and the potential returns
  3. Short discussion of each instruments and potential losses
  4. Performance of instruments

This final paper should be 8-10 pages long and have accompanying charts and tables.  Follow the APA requirements (i.e. no first person, keep it objective). Make sure you cite properly— do not risk plagiarism.  Assume that you are the hedge fund manager (one with the power to make the changes to the portfolio).  Include a 10-12 slide PowerPoint presentation that provides an overview of your portfolio and the eventual outcome. The final paper including the drafts will account for 140 points of the final grade, while the presentation will be valued at 60 points of the final grade.


NOTE: The purpose of submitting drafts for each milestone is to obtain comments and feedback (formative assessment) from the instructor. You will be provided a final, summative grade for the final paper and presentation at the end module 11, but no grade will be assigned for the milestones in the respective modules.

Milestone One: Draft One

In 2-4 Final Project: Milestone No. 1: Draft One, you will submit an index of potential derivatives instruments to include in portfolio.

Milestone Two: Draft Two

In 4-4 Final Project: Milestone No. 2: Draft Two, you will submit a short discussion of each instrument and the potential returns.

Milestone Three: Draft Three

In 6-4 Final Project: Milestone No. 3: Draft Three, you will submit a short discussion of each instruments and potential losses.

Milestone Four: Draft Four

In 8-4 Final Project: Milestone No. 4: Draft Four, you will submit a draft discussing the performance of instruments during Weeks 1-8.

Final Submission: Final Paper and Presentation

In 10-2 Final Paper: Submit and 10-3 Final Presentation: Submit, you will submit your final paper and presentation. It should be a complete, polished artifact containing all of the main elements of the final product.  It should reflect the incorporation of feedback gained throughout the course. The Final Paper will be graded using the Final Project Rubric, and the Final Presentation will be graded using the Presentation rubric.

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