Minor Alternative Investments: Beyond Stocks and Bonds

Broadening minor
10 weken


This interactive course is set up to be academically rigorous while practical insights from investment professionals ensure the critical link with the investment world. The course begins with an overview of basic knowledge related to investments in financial markets, e.g. the return and risk characteristics of investment strategies, the Efficient Market Hypothesis, and asset pricing models (e.g. the CAPM model). Second, we will discuss several alternative investments e.g. hedge funds, commodities, and currencies.

Learning objectives

At the end of this course, students should be able to:

  • Understand and explain the theories underlying traditional investments (in stocks and bonds) and a range of alternative investments (e.g. hedge funds, commodities, and currencies).
  • Understand and determine the return and risk characteristics and their trade-off of traditional investments and a range of alternative investments.
  • Create portfolios consisting of traditional and/or alternative investments and to determine their performance.
  • Determine whether and which (traditional and/or alternative) investments adds value to an existing portfolio. 
  • Use Excel to construct, calculate and evaluate the performance of portfolios consisting of traditional and/or alternative investments.
  • Understand and summarize academic articles published in top finance journals.

Special aspects

There are no pre-requisites for this course. In particular, no prior experience with Excel is assumed but might be helpful. Compulsory and non-compulsory lectures dealing with the basics of traditional investments (stocks and bonds) and the basics of Excel, statistics, and regression analysis will be offered. It might be hard(er) to pass the minor or to pass the minor with a good grade when engaging in other activities (e.g. other courses, jobs, internships, being a 2nd year student, etc.) during the minor.

All RSM minors have mandatory attendance.

Teaching methods

The course consists of interactive lectures (incl. guest lectures). Attendance to all lectures is mandatory except for the additional, non-compulsory lectures. Attendance will be checked. Being late will count as having missed 0.5 lecture. For this minor students are allowed to miss two compulsory lectures (with or without reason). Missing more than two lectures will result in failing the course. Missing compulsory lectures can be partly compensated by attending non-compulsory lectures.

Teaching materials 

Compulsory: reading list containing various academic articles.
Recommended: textbook by Burton Malkiel (A Random Walk Down Wall Street)
Further details will be announced at the start of the course.


Method of examination 
Written closed book test (with open questions and multiple choice questions) and assignments.

Composition of final grade
The final grade for the course is a weighted average of the written closed book test with open questions and multiple choice questions (60%) and assignments (40%). Note that all partial grades are only valid for the current academic year. In order to pass the course a score of 5.5 is required for the final grade. In order to obtain a grade you need to score at least 4.5 on the written test. There is a resit opportunity for the written test but not for the assignments.

Feedback method
Feedback will be provided online and during class.

Contact person

Dr. Ben Tims
+3110 408 2300
room: T08-49 (Mandeville)

Faculty website

Broadening minor
10 weken
Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University
Studiepunten (ECTS)
Campus Woudestein, Rotterdam


Please read the application procedure for more information.