Canadian Securities Course (CSC®)

“Even with my MBA, I found it difficult to find a position within the finance industry. Getting the CSC® gave me a competitive advantage and made it much easier.” – Andrew Manis, MBA, CSC® | Senior Manager, Strategy and Analytics at Royal Bank of Canada

“This is financial literacy, financial knowledge that the everyday individual can use to empower themselves.” – Katie Backus | Business Development Associate at Omers Investment Management Inc.

“When I put the CSC® on my resume, it opened so many doors for me. I even had the privileged of choosing the job I wanted most.” – Ela Karahasanoglu | Principal and Manager Researcher at Mercer

“The CSC® was a fraction of the cost of my university degree, and I think I got more of a return out of it.” – Umair Alam, CSC® | Inside Sales Representative at Dynamic Funds

“The CSC® was the first step in understanding the financial landscape in Canada.” – Maria Diaz, CSC® | Executive Assistant at Assante Wealth Management

“Today’s investors are looking for sophistication. The PFP helps advisors provide a higher level of financial advice to clients” – Shannon Wood, PFP®, FMA, FCSI® | Senior Manager Strategic Execution, RBC

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“Even with my MBA, I found it difficult to find a position within the finance industry. Getting the CSC® gave me a competitive advantage and made it much easier.” – Andrew Manis, MBA, CSC® | Senior Manager, Strategy and Analytics at Royal Bank of Canada

“This is financial literacy, financial knowledge that the everyday individual can use to empower themselves.” – Katie Backus | Business Development Associate at Omers Investment Management Inc.

“When I put the CSC® on my resume, it opened so many doors for me. I even had the privileged of choosing the job I wanted most.” – Ela Karahasanoglu | Principal and Manager Researcher at Mercer

“The CSC® was a fraction of the cost of my university degree, and I think I got more of a return out of it.” – Umair Alam, CSC® | Inside Sales Representative at Dynamic Funds

“The CSC® was the first step in understanding the financial landscape in Canada.” – Maria Diaz, CSC® | Executive Assistant at Assante Wealth Management

“Today’s investors are looking for sophistication. The PFP helps advisors provide a higher level of financial advice to clients” – Shannon Wood, PFP®, FMA, FCSI® | Senior Manager Strategic Execution, RBC

What will you learn about?

  • The Canadian securities industry and the regulatory environment
  • Market and economic events impacting investment performance
  • Understanding and analyzing corporate financial statements
  • Financial instruments including fixed income, equities, derivatives, mutual funds and exchange traded funds
  • Alternative products including hedge funds and alternative mutual funds (also known as liquid alts)
  • Company, industry and market performance/analysis
  • The portfolio management process and asset allocation
  • Setting financial goals and the financial planning process
  • Fee-based accounts and taxation
  • Client Focused Reforms 
  • Ethics and industry standards of conduct
  • The institutional marketplace

What is the course syllabus?

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Section 1 - The Canadian Investment Marketplace

Chapter 1 - The Canadian Securities 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 channelling funds between lenders and borrowers.

Topics covered in this chapter are:

  • Overview of the Canadian Securities Industry
  • The Investment Dealer’s Role as a Financial Intermediary
  • Financial Intermediaries Other than Investment Dealers
  • Financial Market Trends

Chapter 2 - The Capital Market

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.

Topics covered in this chapter are:

  • Investment Capital
  • The Financial Instruments
  • The Financial Markets

Chapter 3 - The Canadian Regulatory Environment

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 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.

Topics covered in this chapter are:

  • The Regulators
  • Regulation and Supervision
  • Remediation
  • Ethical Standards in the Financial Services Industry

Section 2 - The Economy

Chapter 4 - Overview of Economics

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.

Topics covered in this chapter are:

  • Defining Economics
  • Measuring Economic Growth
  • Business Cycle
  • The Labour Market
  • The Role of Interest Rates
  • The Impact of Inflation
  • International Finance and Trade

Chapter 5 - Economic Policy

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.

Topics covered in this chapter are:

  • Fiscal Policy
  • The Bank of Canada
  • Monetary Policy
  • The Challenges of Government Policy

Section 3 - Investment Products

Chapter 6 - Fixed-Income Securities: Features and Types

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.

Topics covered in this chapter are:

  • The Fixed-Income Marketplace
  • The Basic Features and Terminology of Fixed-Income Securities
  • Government of Canada Securities
  • Provincial and Municipal Government Securities
  • Types of Corporate Bonds
  • Other Fixed-Income Securities
  • How to Read Bond Quotes and Ratings

Chapter 7 - Fixed-Income Securities: Pricing and Trading

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.

Topics covered in this chapter are:

  • Calculating Price and Yield of a Bond
  • Term Structure of Interest Rates
  • Fundamental Bond Pricing Properties
  • Bond Market Trading
  • Bond Indexes

Chapter 8 - Equity Securities: Common and Preferred Shares

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.

Topics covered in this chapter are:

  • Common Shares
  • Preferred Shares
  • Stock Indexes and Averages

Chapter 9 - Equity Securities: Equity Transactions

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.

Topics covered in this chapter are:

  • Cash Accounts and Margin Accounts
  • Margin Account Transactions
  • Trading and Settlement Procedures
  • How Securities Are Bought and Sold

Chapter 10 - Derivatives

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.

Topics covered in this chapter are:

  • The Role of Derivatives
  • Types of Underlying Assets
  • The Users of Derivatives
  • Options
  • Forwards and Futures
  • Rights and Warrants

Section 4 - The Corporation

Chapter 11 - Corporations and their Financial Statements

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.

Topics covered in this chapter are:

  • Corporations and Their Structure
  • Financial Statements of a Corporation
  • The Annual Report
  • Public Company Disclosures and Investor Rights
  • Forwards and Futures
  • Takeover Bids and Insider Trading

Chapter 12 - Financing and Listing Securities

In this chapter, you will learn about the process by which governments and corporations raise debt or equity capital and bring their securities to 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.

Topics covered in this chapter are:

  • Government and Corporate Finance
  • The Corporate Financing Process
  • Bringing Securities to the Market
  • Other Methods of Distributing Securities to the Public
  • The Listing Process

Section 5 - Investment Analysis

Chapter 13 - Fundamental and Technical Analysis

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.

Topics covered in this chapter are:

  • Methods of Equity Analysis
  • Fundamental Macroeconomic Analysis
  • Fundamental Industry Analysis
  • Technical Analysis

Chapter 14 - Company 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.

Topics covered in this chapter are:

  • Performing Company Analysis
  • Interpreting Financial Statements
  • Analyzing Financial Ratios
  • Assessing Preferred Share Investment Quality

Section 6 - Portfolio Analysis

Chapter 15 - Introduction to the Portfolio Approach

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 return and identify strategies for maximizing return while reducing risk. Finally, we will discuss the different management styles used in equity and fixed-income portfolios.

Topics covered in this chapter are:

  • Risk and Return
  • Relationship Between Risk and Return in a Portfolio
  • The Portfolio Manager Styles

Chapter 16 - The Portfolio Management Process

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.

Topics covered in this chapter are:

  • The Portfolio Management Process
  • Step 1: Determine Investment Objectives and Constraints
  • Step 2: Design an Investment Policy Statement
  • Step 3: Develop the Asset Mix
  • Step 4: Select the Securities
  • Step 5: Monitor the Client, the Market, and the Economy
  • Step 6: Evaluate Portfolio Performance
  • Step 7: Rebalance the Portfolio

Section 7 - Analysis of Managed and Structured Products

Chapter 17 - Mutual Funds: Structure and Regulation

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.

Topics covered in this chapter are:

  • Overview of Managed Products
  • Overview of Mutual Funds
  • Pricing Mutual Fund Units
  • Mutual Fund Regulation
  • Other Forms and Requirements
  • The Know Your Client Rule
  • Requirements For Opening and Updating an Account

Chapter 18 - Mutual Funds: Types and Features

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.

Topics covered in this chapter are:

  • Types of Mutual Funds
  • Fund Management Styles
  • Redemption of Mutual Fund Units or Shares
  • Measuring Mutual Fund Performance

Chapter 19 - Exchange-Traded Funds

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.

Topics covered in this chapter are:

  • The Regulation and Structure of Exchange-Traded Funds
  • Key Features of Exchange-Traded Funds
  • The Various Types of Exchange-Traded Funds
  • The Risks of Investing in Exchange-Traded funds
  • Comparing Exchange-Traded Funds and Mutual Funds
  • Taxation of Investors in Exchange-Traded Funds
  • Investment Strategies Using Exchange-Traded Funds
  • Other Related Products

Chapter 20 - Alternative Investments: Benefits, Risks, and Structure

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.

Topics covered in this chapter are:

  • Introduction to Alternative Investments
  • Investing in Alternatives — Benefits and Risks
  • Alternative Investment Structures
  • Comparing Alternative Mutual Funds with Conventional Mutual Funds and Hedge Funds

Chapter 21 - Alternative Investments: Strategies and Performance

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.

Topics covered in this chapter are:

  • Alternative Investment Strategies
  • Alternative Strategy Fund Performance Measurement
  • Due Diligence and Suitability of Alternative Strategies

Chapter 22 - Other Managed Products

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.

Topics covered in this chapter are:

  • Segregated Funds
  • Labour-Sponsored Venture Capital Corporations
  • Closed-End Funds
  • Income Trusts
  • Listed Private Equity

Chapter 23 - Structured Products

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.

Topics covered in this chapter are:

  • Overview of Structured Products
  • Principal-Protected Notes
  • Market-Linked Guaranteed Investment Certificates
  • Split Shares
  • Asset-Backed Securities

Section 8 - Working with the Client

Chapter 24 - Canadian Taxation

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.

Topics covered in this chapter are:

  • The Canadian Taxation System
  • Capital Gains and Losses
  • Tax Deferral and tax-free Plans
  • Tax Planning Strategies

Chapter 25 - Fee-Based Accounts

In this chapter, you will learn about the various types of fee-based accounts, both managed and unmanaged.

Topics covered in this chapter are:

  • Overview of Fee-Based Accounts
  • Managed Fee-based Accounts
  • Non-Managed Fee-based Accounts

Chapter 26 - Working with the Retail Client

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 learn about some fundamental aspects of estate planning. You will also learn about the ethical practices and standards of conduct that should form the basis of all your dealings with retail clients.

Topics covered in this chapter are:

  • The Financial Planning Approach
  • The Life Cycle Hypothesis
  • Estate Planning
  • Ethics and the Advisor’s Standards of Conduct

Chapter 27 - Working with the Institutional Client

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.

Topics covered in this chapter are:

  • The Sell Side and the Buy Side of the Market
  • The Responsibilities of a Buy-Side Portfolio Manager and Trader
  • The Organizational Structure of a Sell-Side Trading Firm
  • The Revenue Sources for Sell-Side Trading Firms
  • Institutional Clearing and Settlement
  • Roles and Responsibilities in the Institutional Market
  • Investment Styles, Guidelines, and Restrictions
  • Algorithmic Trading

How will you learn?

CSI’s online learning system helps you meet your study goals. You’ll benefit from:

  • Live webinar sessions with industry experts to review the CSC® course content
  • Textbook readings available in PDF, eBook and printed format
  • Key Terms and Definitions flip cards for each chapter to test your knowledge of basic course terms
  • Review questions for each chapter and section quizzes so that you can assess your progress
  • Robust online searchable FAQs for each chapter
  • An online study planner that shows you how to complete your studies in a 3-, 6-, 9-, and 12-month window
  • Learning objectives that keep you focused
  • Interactive tools to help you evaluate and apply course material
  • Reflective questions to help guide your studies through each chapter
  • Annual course updates to ensure you’re learning the most current and up-to-date practical material in your studies
  • Online interactive discussion forums and assistance from CSI’s academic support specialists

Course Completion, Wall Certificate and Digital Badge

Upon successfully completing this course, you will be able to download a Notice of Course Completion available through your student profile. This will remain on your profile as formal confirmation of course completion.

You can also accept a digital badge through your student profile after successful course completion. Digital badges are portable image files that allow you to share your credentials across the web. You can post them to your email signature, personal website, social media channels—even to electronic copies of your resume.

CSI will mail you a wall certificate within 4 – 6 weeks of course completion. Frames to display your certificate are available. Please ensure that your First and Last Name on your profile matches your First and Last Name on your Government Issued Photo identification – this will ensure you receive an accurate certificate.

CSI will be pleased to issue an Honours Certificate to all students who obtain a final course mark of 85% or higher.

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