The study of Corporate Finance seems to be a very generic part of business education. Still, it either falls in the trap of intimidating formulas or is superficially journalistic. Both extremes preclude the understanding of the core finance ideas, concepts, and models.
This Course is an attempt to avoid the above extremes. We discuss the core basis and mechanisms of modern corporate finance in a learner-friendly way. We will analyze the market’s most fundamental problems, realize the intrinsic interests and preferences of investors, reveal the true meaning of specific financial terms, and uncover important issues that are so often ignored in choosing and valuing investment projects.
The learners will gain insight into the essence of corporate finance. They will be able to use the obtained knowledge and skills to successfully advance in their career at a financial institution, as well as in the area of financial management at non-financial businesses.

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Options – Idea, Role, and Valuation

Week 5 of the Course is devoted to options – one of the most interesting and advanced areas in finance. We start with definition, charts, payoffs – the basics of options. Then we move on to option valuation. We discuss replication and risk-neutral approaches and show on clear examples how they allow finding the option’s value under simplifying assumptions. We go further and discuss the generalizations of the simple approaches that lead to the Black–Scholes and binomial option valuation methods.
Then we discuss the application of the option theory to valuing real investment projects that contain some options – the timing of investment, the abandonment, the follow up options. We show how decision trees and the option identification contribute to the better choice of investment projects.
Finally, we briefly describe one of the most advanced topics in finance – the valuation of fixed-income instruments with embedded options and fixed-income derivatives including mortgage-backed securities and CMO’s.