PGT Coursework 2022-2023


Objective: This assignment asks you to prepare a professional investment management report using data from either Thomson Reuters Eikon or Yahoo! Finance. Your report should demonstrate that you have a solid understanding of the investment management theories, practices and tools covered in the module and that you can communicate this clearly.

Question: Assume that you are employed as a financial analyst for a leading financial advisory company. Your manager has asked you to prepare an investment management report by the end of the day for a client who has recently won the lottery.

This client wishes to invest in the stock market for the first time and is interested in investing in a medium-term portfolio composed by at least 5 stocks. To pick the five stocks you should focus on a specific country or on a specific industry sector as discussed during the lectures.

In order to prepare your report, you need to create an Excel workbook where you should download the monthly dividend-adjusted closing price for the 5 stocks for the period 01/01/2017 to 31/12/2022. You should also download the appropriate reference market (e.g. if you are focusing on the US market the S&P500, if you are focusing on the tech US industry the Nasdaq Index…). Lastly, download the risk-free rates, represented by the 3-months Treasury Bill rate (monthly frequency) that we have employed throughout the module for the same reference period.

Using this data, you should then compute the corresponding returns (in %) for the stocks and the reference market and transform in % the risk-free rate.

Throughout all the analysis, you should assume that your client has a risk aversion level of 10 (A=10).

Market trends and descriptive statistics

Using the returns data, report the Expected Annualized Return, the annualized volatility, the annualized risk premium and the Sharpe Ratio for each of the asset (your stocks and the reference market that you have chosen.

Explain each of the above statistics from a statistical point of view and discuss how these are used in investment management. Given these statistics about your firms and the US stock market, which stock should your client choose if he

(i) only cares about return, (ii) only cares about risk, and (iii) cares about the Sharpe ratio?

(10 marks)

Compute the correlation matrix for all the assets. Explain these statistics in the same fashion as above. Discuss the kind of relationship each pair of assets has. What are the implications for the level of diversification of a potential portfolio?

(5 marks)

Economic landscape and investment advice

The client wishes to know whether investing in stocks is a smart choice given the current investment environment. Discuss what information is reflected in the current price of each of the companies and the stock market that you have chosen. Your discussion should be based on several items of information (e.g. recent news stories, macroeconomic announcements) which are of interest to investors. Include at least two items for each firm and at least three items for the economy of the country or the industry chosen. Discuss the effect each item has on the asset’s price, the type of information it contains (past, public, or private), and whether it has any influence on the corresponding statistics estimated in the previous section. (Aim to allocate a minimum of 500 and a maximum of 1000 words to this answer)

(15 marks)

Portfolio selection (2 stocks)

Present and plot the efficient frontier for the two of five of the stocks that you have picked. Highlight on the graph the Global Minimum Variance Portfolio between the two assets. Describe the portfolio from a statistical and investment point of view.

(10 marks)

Portfolio selection (all the stocks)

With the stocks that you have picked compute an equally weighted portfolio (EWP). Provide the following summary statistics for the EWP:

  • The Annualized Expected Return
  • The Annualized Volatility
  • The Sharpe Ratio
  • The Beta
  • The CAPM predicted return
  • The alpha
  • The Information Ratio
  • The Treynor Ratio
  • The Unique Risk
  • The Diversified Risk

With the stocks that you have picked compute the optimal risky portfolio (ORP). Provide the following summary statistics for the ORP:

  • The Annualized Expected Return
  • The Annualized Volatility
  • The Sharpe Ratio
  • The Beta
  • The CAPM predicted return
  • The alpha
  • The Information Ratio
  • The Treynor Ratio
  • The Unique Risk
  • The Diversified Risk

Report the statistics into a unique table in two columns to allow a comparison between the two portfolios.

Explain each of the above statistics (except the Annualized Expected Return, the Annualized Volatility and the Sharpe Ratio, previously explained) from a statistical point of view and discuss how these are used in investment management.

Compare the summary statistics between the EWP and the ORP. Aside from the Sharpe Ratio how do they differ? What advice would you give to a client that is only concerned about risk?

(20 marks)

Compute the optimal capital allocation between the risk-free asset and the optimal risky portfolio for your client. How should the client allocate his capital among the risk-free asset and the ORP? Draw the capital allocation line (CAL) and show the optimal capital allocation on the graph. In the CAL you have to include the risk-free rate, the complete portfolio (the optimal capital allocation) and the ORP.

(10 marks)

Present the allocations of the complete portfolio, by detailing not only the risky and risk – free component, but also the weights of the single stocks. Present the Annualized Expected Return, the Annualized Volatility and the Sharpe Ratio. Compare the Sharpe Ratio of the ORP and the Complete portfolio. What does this mean from a statistics and economic perspective?

(10 marks)

Hedging Strategy

Price an at the money (ATM) put option (following the binomial tree methodology) on one of the stocks that you have picked. You should choose the stock based on the aim of this strategy.

You need to present the graph of the complete protective put strategy, including the option profit and loss function, the option total profit, the stock total profit and the strategy total profit.

Explain the strategy from an investment and risk management point of view. What are the risks involved in this strategy for your client? What is the maximum loss that your client can encounter?

(15 marks)

Final Commentary

Comment your portfolio from an active management point of view. What are the main benefits for the client in investing in your portfolio? Could your portfolio be replicated by an analogous passive strategy? If that is the case, why should the client invest in you as active manager instead?

(5 marks)

Important details

  • The question is strongly related to the material covered in Lectures, the Excel Workshops of the module, and the associated chapters from the textbooks.
  • The submission is done via Blackboard through the ‘Summative Assessment’ folder. Here, you will be able to access {001}{NBS-7077B- 20-SEM2-B} and upload your files. Your submission should include:
  • the PDF file with the report. Please name the file using only your student number.

o   the Excel workbook with the analysis. This will be used to cross-check the information and analysis included in your report. Please note in the Excel workbook does not contribute to your mark (the mark will be based on the report only). However, 30% of the mark will be subtracted in case you do not submit your Excel workbook. Please name the Excel file using only your student number.

E.g. if your student number is 100123456, then the submission files should appear as “100123456.pdf” and “100123456.xlsx”.

  • You should prepare your report in Microsoft Word or in another word processing software. Before making the submission, please convert your report to PDF.
  • An executive summary (of maximum 250 words) should be included at the beginning of your report where the main points should be summarised.
  • In each section of the report, you should focus on the interpretation of the results. You should also include details about the data you used and the formulas you applied for your computations. However, try to be brief and clear in your answers.
  • The question should be answered using Microsoft Excel in a single workbook with multiple worksheets. In the first worksheet, you should include all the prices of the stocks that you have picked.
  • You should present your formulas and models in the report in a helpful and clear way. You should also use an appropriate format for the values presented. All graphs should be included in your report (Word file).
  • Include at least 6 references to textbooks or articles in credible professional magazines or academic journals. These should be included at the end in a list of references. Do not include articles that you do not cite within your report or that you have not at least partly read.
  • Any questions related to the coursework should be submitted to the “Coursework” Discussion Board on the Blackboard. To ask a question, click on Create a New thread and post your question. You should also click on “Subscribe” to receive an email when a new question is posted. You should visit the forum regularly.

Submission deadline: 22/05/2023 at 15:00 (3 PM).

Word limit: 4,000 words. This limit excludes the reference list and any appendices, but includes the references in the main text of the report.

Good luck!

PGT Coursework Assessment Criteria

In preparing your coursework, you should be aware that you will be assessed by reference to the extent to which your answers meet the following criteria:

Senate Scale CriteriaProportion of Marks %
Learning outcomes & scholarship40%
Argument & understanding, and Criticality & analysis35%
Use of sources and evidence, Written communication.10%
  • Please preserve anonymity by using your university number, not your name.
  • This coursework counts for 100% of the assessment in this module.
  • You should be aware of the standards required for the award of marks for coursework.


Your coursework should clearly distinguish between your original words and ideas, and those of others. When referring to the work of others, from books, journals or any other source (including the internet), it is essential that you make this clear by acknowledging your source and referencing correctly. Failure to reference correctly will lose you marks and may constitute plagiarism or collusion. Unless specified otherwise by the module organiser, Norwich Business School uses the Harvard system of referencing.

University Policy on Plagiarism and Collusion

It is important that all students familiarise themselves with the rules and regulations regarding plagiarism and collusion. Understanding these rules will help you to avoid plagiarism, and to maintain the quality of your academic work.

You should ensure that you are familiar and up to date with the Universities rule on Plagiarism and Collusion,

You should also make sure that you are familiar with the Business School’s policy on Harvard referencing which is available in your student handbooks.

Individual study skills support and advice on referencing is also provided by the Learning Enhancement Service at the Dean of Students Office.

Where work has been submitted in word-processed format, you may be requested to provide a digital copy of your coursework (after an initial examination of the hard copy by the coursework assessors) for use with plagiarism detection software. Instances where plagiarism is suspected will be investigated by the NBS Plagiarism Officer. Students who are found to have plagiarised will be penalised.

In proven cases offenders will be punished and the punishment may extend to degree failure, temporary suspension or expulsion from further study if the case comes before a Discipline Committee of the University. Work for assessment should be submitted to the relevant Learning and Teaching Service Hub. Please ensure that you know the specific location of the submission box in advance of your first deadline.

e comes before a Discipline Committee of the University. Work for assessment should be submitted to the relevant Learning and Teaching Service Hub. Please ensure that you know the specific location of the submission box in advance of your first deadline.

General Advice

Before you submit any coursework you should make sure that you are clear and up to date in your knowledge of university policy and practice.

The University’s policy on Submission of Work for Assessment (Taught Programmes): Submission of Anonymised Work for Assessment, Word Limits and Penalties, Extensions and Penalties for Unauthorised Late Submission, Provisional Marks and Feedback, and Retention of Coursework is published in the Calendar,

A penalty will be imposed for exceeding the word limit, which will be clearly stated in the assignment. Students must include their word count on the coursework coversheet when they submit their work. The word count for coursework, written assignments, projects, reports and dissertations shall include: Footnotes and endnotes (irrespective of whether they have been used for the purpose of referencing or not, references (in the main text), tables and illustrations and if applicable the abstract, title page and contents page. Any appendicised material and the bibliography or reference list shall be excluded from the word count.

Word Count Penalties

Up to 10% over word limitNo Penalty
10% or more over the word limitDeduction of 10 marks off original mark
Failure to provide an electronic copy when requestedMark capped to the pass mark
Intentional misrepresentation of the word count on the coversheetMark capped to the pass mark

Penalties for late submission

The deadline for submission of coursework is 15:00 (3pm) on the submission/due day. This is for both electronic submission and paper copy submissions.

If you submit coursework after the published deadline, without an approved extension, the following penalties will apply:

Work submittedMarks deducted
After 15:00 on the due date and before 15:00 on the day following the due date10 marks
After 15:00 on the second day after the due date and before 15:00 on the third day after the due date20 marks
After 15:00 on the third day after the due date and before 15:00 on the 20th day after the due date.All the marks the work merits if submitted on time (i.e. no marks awarded)
After 20 working daysWork will not be marked and a mark of zero will be entered

Saturdays and Sundays will not be taken into account for the  purposes of calculation of marks deducted.

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