Insegnamento a.a. 2011-2012



Department of Finance

Course taught in English

Go to class group/s: 31
CLEAM (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/11) - CLEF (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/11) - CLEACC (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/11) - BESS-CLES (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/11) - BIEMF (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/11)
Course Director:

Classes: 31 (II sem.)

Course Objectives

The course aims to provide an in-depth understanding of the alternative investment techniques available to private and institutional investors in a globalized market. In particular the course aims to add a new dimension to the construction and management of traditional investment portfolios by focusing on alternative asset classes and by presenting them in detail within an academic and practical framework.

The emphasis is on four major classes of alternative investments: Hedge Funds, Real Estate, Insured Linked Securities, and Art. Asset classes are examined in terms of the following aspects: key characteristics, investment strategies, and portfolio consideration (risk/return profile and contribution to portfolio diversification). The aforementioned objectives are addressed in a series of formal lectures that are supplemented by live deals in the form of case studies and guest speakers from the industry.

Course Content Summary

  • Alternative investments: definition and taxonomy
  • Insurance Linked Securities: definition, main features
  • Art investment: art vs. traditional asset classes; art performance and contribution to portfolio diversification; art funds (best and worst practices)
  • Real estate: investment strategies (MBS, REITs, REIFs, ETFs); performance and contribution to portfolio diversification
  • Hedge funds: hedge funds vs. mutual funds; investment strategies and contribution to portfolio diversification
  • The alternative investment industry: a synoptic view

Detailed Description of Assessment Methods

Students can choose among three different options: 

  • a final general exam;
  • two partial exams;
  • a combination of two individual partial exams and group assignments (for attending students only).

General and partial exams are both written. Group assignments: students are required to prepare and deliver a written document as well as to give an oral presentation.


There are no required textbooks. Required readings and teachers’ notes (power point slides) will be available at the Course Web Page.

Exam textbooks & Online Articles (check availability at the Library)


Students attending this course should be familiar with the very basics concepts of probability, statistics, and finance.
Last change 28/04/2011 17:16