Chinook Learning Services - Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Stocks, Bonds & Your Portfolio

Course Description

Invest with confidence. Learn about financial markets and how to research and evaluate stocks, bonds, and other products. Become aware of the types of investment questions to ask. Examine asset allocation and building a portfolio suited to investor risk tolerance and investment objectives. This course touches on world events, geo-politics and politics as they affect investing in a global economy.

Participant Outcomes

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

  • Understand the functions and operations of financial markets
  • Understand how to evaluate and select stocks and how a stock trade takes place
  • Recognize the different types of brokers/planners and their fees
  • Understand the different types of fixed income instruments, mutual funds and derivatives
  • Understand financial planning, asset allocation and how to manage and build a personal investment portfolio

Course Content

Class 1. Introduction to Capital Markets and Financial Instruments

  • Investment capital, key users and suppliers
  • Classes of financial instruments
  • How capital markets facilitate the transfer of financial instruments
  • Key financial intermediaries and how they facilitate the execution of transactions within capital markets
  • How brokerage firms are organized to serve their clients
  • Regulations designed to protect investors

The Economy

  • The business cycle; fiscal and monetary policy

  • Interest rates, inflation and other factors affecting the market

  • Economic indicators

Class 2. Corporate Financial Statements

  • The income statement
  • The cash flow statement
  • The balance sheet
  • How to utilize statements when picking stocks and bonds
  • Key ratios derived from statements
  • Fixed Income Instruments
  • Plain vanilla bonds
  • How to rate the quality of a bond
  • Types of bonds
  • Bond pricing principles and the yield curve
  • Mechanics of buying/selling bonds

Class 3. Fixed Income Instruments & Hybrid Instruments

  • Preferred Shares
  • Split Shares
  • Convertible Debentures
  • Linked Notes
  • Income Trust Units
  • Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs)

Class 4. Picking Stocks

  • Fundamental and technical analysis
  • Top-down and bottom-up methods
  • How to interpret valuation ratios
  • Using brokerage-provided and internet research
  • How to execute various types of buy/sell orders and which orders to use
  • Using margin and short selling
  • Understanding IPOs – greensheets and prospectuses

Class 5. Mutual Funds

  • Presentation by representative from BMO Investments re different types of funds available and how to determine which are right for you
  • Derivatives - Options, Futures and Forwards
  • Options: writing and buying calls and puts
  • Using options for leverage or for reducing risk
  • Futures and forward contracts

Class 6. Financial Planning

  • Establishing your financial objectives and tolerance for risk
  • Retirement savings strategies & education saving strategies
  • Tax implications of different investments
  • Portfolio management
  • How to build a portfolio to achieve your goals
  • Asset allocation: aggressive and conservative asset mixes
  • How to select and manage the securities in your portfolio
  • The balanced portfolio method
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