When an investor is faced with a portfolio choice problem, the number of possible assets and the various combinations and proportions in which each can be held can seem overwhelming. In this course, you’ll learn the basic principles underlying optimal portfolio construction, diversification, and risk management. You’ll start by acquiring the tools to characterize an investor’s risk and return trade-off. You will next analyze how a portfolio choice problem can be structured and learn how to solve for and implement the optimal portfolio solution. Finally, you will learn about the main pricing models for equilibrium asset prices.
Learners will:
• Develop risk and return measures for portfolio of assets
• Understand the main insights from modern portfolio theory based on diversification
• Describe and identify efficient portfolios that manage risk effectively
• Solve for portfolio with the best risk-return trade-offs
• Understand how risk preference drive optimal asset allocation decisions
• Describe and use equilibrium asset pricing models.

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Module 5: Equilibrium asset pricing models

In this module, we build on the insights obtained from modern portfolio theory to understand how risk and return are related in equilibrium. We first look at the main workhorse model in finance, the Capital Asset Pricing Model and discuss the expected return-beta relationship. We then turn our attention to multi-factor models, such as the Fama-French three-factor model.