Foundations of Finance, Graduate, COR1-GB.2311.013, Fall 2022 Section 13 Preliminary

Prof. Joel Hasbrouck


This page last updated: Tuesday November 1, 2022 12:49 PM.

This section is open to non-Stern NYU graduate students only.

Tentative schedule of topics

Class notes, announcements, and supplementary material will be posted to the NYU Brightspace site (under development)


This course is an introduction to the world's financial system: securities and institutions that create, trade, hold, manage and regulate them. In this course we mostly take the viewpoint of a long-term investor, someone who is going into the financial markets to maximize gain and minimize risk. In the follow-on course (corporate finance), we take the perspective of financial manager, someone who is making firm-specific business decisions to maximize the value of the firm. By the end of this course, you should be able to comprehend most of the Markets section of the Wall Street Journal.


Finance is a quantitative discipline, even at the introductory level. So we'll be borrowing concepts and calculations from accounting, statistics and economics. There are no formal prerequisites, however. We'll develop what we need as we go along.

Grading policy

The departmental policy states: "For the introductory courses, Foundations of Finance and Corporate Finance, for sections with enrollments of 20 students or more, we expect that a maximum of 35% of students will receive an "A" or "A-" grade. This policy is consistent with the Stern School guidelines for grading in core courses ...
The remaining grades should be awarded mostly in the "B range," with an expectation that approximately 60% of the students will receive some type of B. Grades should be distributed fairly equally between the B+, B, and B- subgroups, with the straight B grades ordinarily being the most numerous. For students who perform significantly below most of the class, grades of C+, C, C-, D, and F are appropriate.
We would expect approximately 5% of the grades in larger sections to fall into this range and encourage instructors to take account of noticeable separations in performance when differentiating the grades awarded to individual students."


The "books" that we'll be using are

NOTE: We'll be accessing the texts using the McGraw-Hill Education Connect platform; we'll access the RWJ chapters as an eBook through another McGraw app. Connect is an electronic access platform. It is purchased through Follet via the NYU books store. It will appear on your bursars bill; the charge will be refunded if you drop the course within the indicated time window.

Details for last year's class (2021 Fall) are given here. This information is preliminary and indicative. Do not make purchases until I have confirmed the details.

MHE Connect is a bit more expensive than renting the print texts from a third-party reseller. The system is also rather rigid. Despite these drawbacks I'm using it for several reasons:

Financial calculator

You'll need a financial calculator to work problems and exams. The best calculator for this course is the HP 10bII+. (Most of the examples and problems in the notes will be worked using HP 10bII+ keystrokes.) The TI BA II Plus is a good alternative, but the keystrokes are slightly different. Older versions of these calculators should also be okay: anything in HP 10B or TI BA series should suffice. I don't recommend top-of-the line financial calculators such as the HP 17 or similar: the extra power comes with extra complexity. Smartphone calculator apps are not permitted in exams.

Deliverables (planned, but subject to change)

Class notes and recordings

I generally make class notes available online prior to class. I usually make class videos available after class. (This is on a "best efforts" basis. Technical problems sometimes arise. I can't guarantee availability.) Class notes will be posted to Brightspace in the lessons tabs, under "Topics and Classes"; Video recordings will be posted in the Mediasite tab.