This course may be used as an elective for the RPA designation and the CEBS curriculum.

This course is under review. If you have already purchased study materials, you will need to complete your exam in 2017.

The investment of plan assets is a major function of employee benefit plan management. Every person working with employee benefit plans should have an understanding of investment policies, security markets, asset selection, portfolio theory and evaluation of financial performance. These topics have an impact not just on pension benefits but on the overall management of employee benefit assets (e.g., self-funded medical plans, VEBA accounts, etc.); consequently, these relationships should be understood by professionals in the field.

The course introduces asset management in the context of setting investment objectives for pension plan assets. The course then provides the necessary background on financial markets, how they are organized and how they operate. The concepts of risk versus return and efficient markets and the impact of modern portfolio theory are presented, followed by a detailed discussion on bonds, stocks and derivatives. The discussion is interwoven with the various approaches, some controversial used by investors in analyzing and evaluating these instruments and the overall performance of specific financial markets.

Study Materials:

  • Learning Guide with Practice Exam on CD (PC only), $195.00.
  • Investments: Analysis and Management, 11th edition, Charles P. Jones, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2010, $204.00, ISBN 978-0-470-47712-0.

May meet CE Credit Requirements

Enrichment Reading - click here

Click here for ACE Credit Recommendation.

Assignment Topics:

  1. Setting Investment Objectives
  2. Securities Markets
  3. Risk and Return Concepts
  4. Portfolio Theory and Selection
  5. The Basics of Bonds
  6. Bond Analysis and Strategy
  7. Common Stock: Valuation, Analysis and Strategy
  8. Common Stock: Active Strategies and Market Efficiency
  9. Economy and Industry Analysis
  10. Company and Technical Analysis
  11. Investment Companies
  12. Lifecycle Funds: Focus on Target-Date Funds