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AFA® Curriculum

The objective of the Accredited Financial Analyst® Program is to equip candidates with both basic and advanced skills required by a Financial Analyst in performing his tasks and duties as a Financial Analyst, Research Analyst and Investment Banker.

The AFA® Programme is continuously updated by practitioners to ensure that what you learn remains relevant in today's finance industry.

The AFA Education Program focuses on sharpening three components:

(a) Knowledge

(b) Skills

(c) Application.

(a)      Knowledge: The students get the latest updates and learn about the opportunities in Financial Analysis Globally. They appreciate the market dynamics influencing Financial Analysis and gain an overview on the latest innovations in techniques of Analysis and Research they also gain an insight into global best practices in this field.

(b)      Skills: Students develop skills in analysing financial products and investments and creating research reports for clients, ability to present research reports and investment strategies confidently through customer friendly language .Create and/or increase their capability to think strategically by using a structured process.

(c) Application: The program through its rigors and practical orientation prepares the students to apply the concepts and skills developed in the program in actual work environment. The outcome of this applied education is a complete” FINANCIAL ANALYST” who is ready for the rigors of the Financial Services Industry.

      The program equips the candidates with skills and knowledge required to analyse complex financial products, investments and situations to guide sophisticated clients through their financial investments and decisions.

 

The Program helps in:

a.   Acquiring core understandings in and across the disciplines that contribute to the domain of Financial Analysis and Research including Financial Statement Analysis, Corporate Finance, Financial Modelling and Financial Report Writing.

b.   Relating these conceptual frameworks to dimensions of practical areas on the ground.

c.   Providing candidates with opportunities to encounter and critically engage with instances of both challenging problems and attempted interventions by a Financial Analyst.

d.   Engage with the complex financial markets, financial instruments, financial models, human attitudes and investment lifecycles.

e.   Explore the ethical and personal dimensions of Financial Analysis and understand the ethical responsibilities of a Financial Analyst.

The Curriculum of AFA® Consist of two levels:

Level 1: Foundation Level Consisting of 5 Units.

Level 2: Advanced Level Consisting of 5 Units.

The candidate goes through the above 10 Units through either through Class Room Mode or Distance Learning Mode and clear the requisite exams to complete the academic requirements of the Board of Standards. The completion of the academic criterion ensures that the candidate has the requisite knowledge and skills to work as a Financial Analyst.

Level 1

Unit No.

Name  of the Unit

UNIT 1

Introduction to Financial Markets

UNIT 2

Quantitative Techniques and Methods

UNIT 3

Financial Statement Analysis

UNIT 4

Corporate Finance

UNIT 5

Fixed Income Security Analysis

Level 2

Unit No.

Name  of the Unit

UNIT 6

Equity Valuation

UNIT 7

Derivatives and Alternate Investments

UNIT 8

Portfolio Management Strategies

UNIT 9

Behavioural Finance

UNIT 10

Advanced Financial Analysis

 

LEVEL I — Foundation Level

Unit I – Introduction to Financial Markets

For a professional like a Financial Analyst an understanding of financial markets and systems is of prime importance. This unit would enable the Financial Analyst professional get a basic understanding of the Global Financial System. This unit would also cover the fundamental aspects of financial markets operating across the globe. The unit would enable the investment professional in acquainting with the history and origination of the International Financial Markets, Global Financial Institutions, regulatory institutions, Monetary and Economic System. The objective of the unit is to enable a financial analyst to understand the changes in economic environment on the financial markets and instruments.

Unit II – Quantitative Techniques and Methods

The unit would focus on making a financial analyst understand the concepts of financial mathematics of return measurement. The unit would look into the different statistical concepts like CV, probability, hypothesis testing, etc. which would act as a stepping stone towards the high end financial analysis The overall aim of the unit is to provide a hands on experience on the calculation of some of the basic but important measures of analysis.

Unit III – Financial Statement Analysis

Superior analysts are those who have a strong hold to understand the numbers and figures provided in an entity’s accounts. This unit would serve this objective to the fullest. The unit aims at analysing and assessing the financial quantum of data provided by the corporates in a manner which would lead him to a right investment decision making process. The unit would cover income statements, B/S, Cash Flows and other important accounts which gives an insight to the financial strength of the company.

Unit IV – Corporate Finance

This unit would be the first part of the conceptual knowledge with regard to the area of corporate finance. This unit endeavours to make an analyst understand the importance of long term financing decision like capital budgeting on the financial profitability of an entity. This unit would also strive to cover the corporate governance issues of listed entities in India which are of utmost importance for an analyst to understand in the current context.

Unit V – Fixed Income Security Analysis

The objective of this course is to provide an overview of the fixed income securities and their analyses. Because of the complex nature of the fixed income securities, this course places an extra emphasis on the understanding of the economic forces driving the fixed income securities markets and the techniques for analyzing the securities. The types of fixed income securities covered in the course include treasury securities and municipal bonds, corporate and international bonds, and structured securities. The risk-return characteristics of these fixed income securities will be explained in terms of price-yield relationship, various yield and return measures, and various price volatility measures. Various techniques for the valuation of these fixed income securities will be illustrated in detail. The topics on fixed-income portfolio management include: yield curve and yield spread strategies, indexing and cash flow matching strategies, immunization strategies, and techniques for bond performance measurement and evaluation.

LEVEL II — ADVANCED LEVEL

Unit VI – Equity Analysis

Equity as an asset class always features as the first choice in almost every portfolio due to various reasons. Considering the importance Equity possesses in investment management space this unit would focus at enabling the Financial Analyst understand the various aspects of Equity. The unit would help them in analyzing the equity and its related products in a much comprehensive way. The unit would enhance the knowledge of the financial analyst regarding this premier asset class so that it would help him to extensively analyse equity as an asset class.

Unit VII – Derivative and Alternate Investment

This course aims at explaining and discussing the importance of alternative assets in a client’s portfolio. As the market for Alternatives is still naïve in India we would try to focus on how inclusion of alternate assets has affected the risk and return composition of global clients. The unit would also focus on studying the various alternate channels of investment and their applicability in India.

Unit VIII – Portfolio Management Strategies

The unit would serve as a foundation for understanding of Portfolio Management process of an individual. This unit would cover the fundamental concepts of risk and return and their application in the context of overall portfolio of a client which would help the wealth manager in making efficient asset allocation with respect to client’s risk and return objectives. This endeavour of the unit would be to guide the investment professional in drafting the Investment Policy Statement which is one of the most important tool of investment advisory arena. The latter part of the book would feature the various portfolio managing strategies both for Equity as well as Debt.

Unit IX – Behavioural Finance

This unit is focused on behavioural and psychological factors which influences the investment decision making of a client. This unit would further exemplify how the client behaviour changes to different situations prevailing in the financial markets which would help a wealth manager in evaluating how to handle and manage the client’s responses. The unit would also include case studies covering the behavioural biases shown by the clients and how an analyst can approach and mitigate the same.

Unit X – Advanced Financial Analysis

This Unit will advance your understanding of how to use financial information to value and analyse firms. We will apply your economics/accounting/finance skills to problems from today's business news to help us understand what is contained in financial reports, why firms report certain information, and how to be a sophisticated user of this information.

The unit would act as the crux of the concepts and tenets covered in the entire AFA. This unit would be a practical application of financial research with the help of one or the other model on MS Excel. This would cover some of the most important tools and formulas with regard to different areas of financial research like risk and return analysis, financial statement analysis, etc. The unit will also cover the Report Writing and analysis techniques used by a Financial Analyst.

 

 

 

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