The key to investment success is to understand how investing works. When you complete the Canadian Securities Course (CSC®) for Investors, you’ll be able to draw from the same pool of foundational knowledge as financial professionals to make informed and confident investment decisions.
With the CSC for Investors, you’ll learn how to navigate many aspects of the industry:
In this chapter, we describe the interrelationships between the various participants in the Canadian securities industry. In particular, we discuss the important role that investment dealers and other financial intermediaries play in channeling funds between lenders and borrowers.
In this chapter, you will learn about investment capital, including what it is, why we need it, where it comes from, and who uses it. You will also learn about the different types of financial instruments that are traded in the financial markets. In discussing the financial markets themselves, we explain the difference between primary and secondary markets and between auction and dealer markets. Finally, you will learn about the electronic trading systems that are used in both equity and fixed-income markets.
In this chapter, you will learn about the Canadian regulatory environment, including the various regulatory bodies and the principles of regulation conducive to fair and open capital markets. In this context, you will learn about the various regulators and self-regulatory organizations, the purpose of the regulation, and the meaning of principles-based regulation. You will also learn about the remediation options available to clients who feel they have not been well served. Finally, you will learn about the ethical standards you will be expected to uphold as a participant in the financial services industry.
This chapter provides an introduction to economics, wherein you will learn about the effect of microeconomic and macroeconomic environments on the financial markets. You will learn how economic growth is measured, and how certain factors determine the health of the economy and help predict the direction the markets might take. You will also learn to understand the indicators that influence investment decision-making, including the phases of the business cycle, the condition of the labour market, and the current state of interest rates. Finally, you will learn to analyze the effect of international economics on the domestic investing environment.
In this chapter, you will learn about economic policy, both fiscal and monetary, and the impact of government policy decisions on the investment landscape. In this context, you will learn about the roles and functions of the Bank of Canada and the challenges that governments face in setting their economic policies.
In this chapter, you will learn about the fixed-income marketplace and the rationale for using fixed-income securities. You will become familiar with the terminology used to discuss bonds, debentures, and other types of fixed-income securities, and you will learn to distinguish among the different types used by governments and corporations. Finally, you will learn how to read bond quotes and ratings.
In this chapter, you will learn how to calculate the price and yield of fixed-income securities. You will also learn about interest rates on bonds, including the difference between the nominal and the real rate of return, how interest rates are depicted on a yield curve, and how they are determined according to three theoretical principles. You will then learn how and why bond prices go up or down according to certain fixed-income pricing properties. Next, you will learn about bond trading and the rules and regulations around the delivery of bonds and the settlement of transactions. Finally, you will learn how bond indexes are used by portfolio managers as performance measurement tools and to construct bond index funds.
In this chapter, you will learn the basic features of equity securities, a category that includes common and preferred shares. We explain the investment considerations of the two broad categories, and we compare the advantages and disadvantages of investing in either type. Finally, we describe the important role played by Canadian, U.S., and global stock market indexes.
In this chapter, you will learn about the characteristics of equity transactions. First, we will discuss the difference between a cash account and a margin account, and between long and short positions. We will then discuss in detail margin account transactions and short-selling rules, techniques, and risks. You will also learn how trades are conducted and settled, and finally how securities are bought and sold through different types of orders.
In this chapter, you will learn all about derivatives—what they are, what their underlying assets consist of, and who uses them. You will also learn about the different categories of derivatives, including options, forwards, and futures contracts. Finally, you will learn about the rights and warrants by which investors benefit from the underlying stock on which derivatives are based.
In this chapter, you will learn about the three types of business structures, with a particular focus on the corporate structure. You will then learn about the various types of financial statements that corporations use to track their financial position and performance. In the context of public corporations, you will learn the rules of disclosure and the statutory rights of investors. Finally, you will learn the regulations around takeover bids and insider trading.
In this chapter, you will learn about the process by which governments and corporations raise debt or equity capital and bring their securities to the market. You will learn about prospectus requirements and the process of after-market stabilization. You will also learn the means by which securities are distributed through the exchanges, as well as the methods of distributing securities other than on an exchange. Finally, you will learn about the listing process, including the advantages and disadvantages of listing and the circumstances under which trading privileges can be withdrawn.
In this chapter, you will learn how analysts use statistical, market, and industry information to value securities and make recommendations on their purchase or sale. You will learn about two methods of analysis: fundamental analysis and technical analysis.
In the previous chapter, we examined fundamental analysis from a macroeconomic and an industrial perspective. In this chapter, we discuss company analysis, which fundamental analysts use to measure the actual or expected profitability of the securities issuer. You will learn to examine financial statements and use various financial ratios to determine whether a company is a good prospect for investment.
In this chapter, we introduce you to the different techniques used to analyze and measure risk and return in a portfolio. You will also learn the formulas used to calculate and interpret expected returns and identify strategies for maximizing returns while reducing risk. Finally, we will discuss the different management styles used in equity and fixed-income portfolios.
In the previous chapter, you learned about the basic skills of investment management using a portfolio approach. In this chapter, you will learn to apply those skills within a seven-step portfolio management process.
In this chapter, we provide a brief introduction to managed products. We then focus specifically on one of the most widely recognized managed products-mutual funds. We discuss various mutual fund structures and explain the rules and regulations of the industry. We then discuss the importance of Know Your Client and suitability requirements in the context of mutual funds. Finally, you will learn about the requirements around documentation and disclosure.
This chapter will discuss the features and risk characteristics of the various types of mutual funds. You will learn about the different fund management styles and strategies, and the theories behind them. You will also learn how to make appropriate recommendations, including price calculation, the various types of withdrawal plans, and the tax consequences of redemption. Finally, you will learn how mutual fund performance is measured and how to assess the performance of one fund against that of another.
In this chapter, you will learn about the regulation, structure, and taxation of exchange-traded funds. We will also discuss features, risks, and various types of exchanged-traded funds, as well as common strategies.
In this chapter, you will learn about alternative investments, including hedge funds and alternative mutual funds. You will learn about the benefits and risks of investing in these types of products, and you will learn the structure of alternative investments and how they differ from conventional mutual funds.
In this chapter, you will learn about a variety of alternative investment strategies and performance measurement tools. You will also learn about a comprehensive due diligence process and finish with a brief discussion about the suitability of alternative strategies.
In this chapter, you will learn about additional types of managed products, including their structure and characteristics, their regulatory issues and tax considerations, and their comparative advantages and disadvantages.
In this chapter, you will learn about the features of structured products in general, including their benefits and risks. You will also learn how different products are structured, and what risks and tax implications are associated with the different types.
In this chapter, you will learn the basics of taxation, including the tax features of pension income, tax deferral plans, and tax-free savings plans in Canada. We explain how the different types of income are taxed and identify the expenses related to investment income that might be tax-deductible. We also explain the two main types of pension plans and the different types of tax deferral and Tax-Free registered plans. Finally, you will learn some basic tax planning strategies.
In this chapter, you will learn about the various types of fee-based accounts, both managed and unmanaged.
In this chapter, you will learn to take a structured approach to financial planning with retail clients. You will learn the steps in a financial planning process that is based on the client’s stage in the life cycle. You will also learn about the ethical practices and standards of conduct that should form the basis of all your dealings with retail clients.
In this chapter, you will learn about the process of working with institutional clients, starting with an overview of the institutional marketplace and followed by an examination of the buy-side and sell-side of the market. You will learn about the structure, functions, and operations of buy-side and sell-side firms. We will also discuss various aspects of institutional trading, including revenue sources, clearing and settlement, and suitability requirements. You will also learn about the roles and responsibilities of the various participants in the institutional marketplace, along with the investment styles, guidelines, and restrictions they follow. Finally, you will learn about algorithmic trading, high-frequency trading, and dark pools.
CSI offers a variety of options to help you learn at your own pace. Learn online, by textbook or using a combination of both.
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