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Demonstrate knowledge of the defining characteristics of alternative investments.

Recognize that the lines between traditional and alternative investments are not distinct and universal

Understand which categories of investments are generally qualified as traditional, generally qualified as alternative, and which can be placed under both

Demonstrate knowledge of the history of alternative investments in the United States.

Understand how assets typically held by institutional investors have transformed over time

Demonstrate knowledge of how alternative and traditional investments are distinguished by return characteristics.

Recognize the role of absolute return products as diversifiers

Define illiquidity, and describe the advantages and risks of illiquid investments

Define efficiency and inefficiency, and describe their relationship to competition and transaction costs

Recognize normal and non-normal distributions and the structures that cause non-normality of returns

Demonstrate knowledge of how alternative and traditional investments are distinguished by methods of analysis.

Recognize return computation methods

Recognize statistical methods

Recognize valuation methods

Recognize portfolio management methods

Demonstrate knowledge of other characteristics that distinguish alternative investments from traditional investments.

Describe regulatory factors and their role in alternative investments

Define how cash flow claims can be partitioned

Describe trading strategies and how they determine the investments’ characteristics

Describe compensation structures within alternative investments and their implications

Recognize institutional factors and their implications in trading

Define information asymmetries and their issues within financial analysis and portfolio management

Explain incomplete markets and their challenges

Explain the influences of innovation on alternative investments

Demonstrate knowledge of the goals of alternative investing.

Define active management, and contrast active management to passive investing

Recognize the role of benchmarks in managing investments

Define active risk and active return

Describe the absolute and relative standards for evaluating returns

Describe the concept of arbitrage, and contrast pure arbitrage with arbitrage as an active absolute return strategy

Understand the distinction between the goal of return enhancement and return diversification in an investment program

Demonstrate knowledge of the two pillars of alternative investment management

Understand how empirical analysis is used to determine which new types of assets to include in a portfolio

Understand how economic reasoning is used to determine which new types of assets to include in a portfolio

Describe how alternative investment categories can be placed within a 2X2 framework

Reading 2.2 -

The Environment of Alternative Investments

Demonstrate knowledge of the participants in the alternative investing environment.

Identify buy-side participants (e.g., plan sponsors and foundations), and describe their roles in the alternative investing environment

Identify sell-side participants (e.g., large dealer banks and brokers) and describe their roles in the alternative investing environment

Identify outside service providers (e.g., prime brokers and accountants), and describe their roles in the alternative investing environment

Demonstrate knowledge of the legal structures in alternative investing.

Describe the role of limited liability in passive investments

Explain the role of entities (i.e., limited liability companies, corporations), and their purposes in alternative investing

Describe limited partnership structures

Identify bankruptcy remote entities (e.g., special purposes vehicles, special purpose entities), and explain their differences

Recognize the structures of various entities (e.g., master-feeder funds, master trusts) that facilitate investor taxation differences

Demonstrate knowledge of the key features of fund structures.

Recognize the four key documents (i.e., private-placement memoranda, partnership agreement, subscription agreement, management company operating agreement) used in establishing and maintaining a hedge fund, private equity fund, or other private partnerships

Explain the importance and components of a limited partners agreement

Identify and explain moral hazard and adverse selection

Describe corporate governance in private funds

Recognize components of investments objectives, fund size, and fund terms within an LPA

Explain the role of management fees and expenses in how investments are managed

Identify and explain global regulations (e.g., MiFID, MiFID II, AIFMD)

Recognize global fund structures (e.g., FIFs, SICAV, SICAF, ICAV)

Demonstrate knowledge of the financial markets involved in alternative investments.

Define primary capital markets, and describe their roles in alternative investments

Define secondary capital markets, and describe their roles in alternative investments

Define third, fourth, and private markets, and describe their roles in alternative investments

Demonstrate knowledge of the regulatory environment of alternative investments.

Identify the five primary forms of hedge fund regulation

Demonstrate knowledge of liquid alternative investments.

Define liquid alternative investments

Recognize the spectrum of liquid alternative products and the five distinct types of alternative investments

Describe the factors driving the growth of liquid alternative investments

Recognize the regulatory constraints that affect liquid alternative investments

Recognize the main factors that contribute to the differences between the returns of private placement vehicles and those of alternative investments

Demonstrate knowledge of taxation of investments.

Recognize income tax conventions (e.g., taxes on capital gains, dividends, interest)

Recognize how variations in income tax conventions around the world affect investments and investment decisions

Demonstrate knowledge of short-selling processes and mechanics.

Identify and explain the mechanics of institutional short-selling

Identify and explain the mechanics of short-selling to the short-seller

Identify special situations involving short-selling

Reading 2.3 -

Quantitative Foundations

Demonstrate knowledge of return and rate mathematics.

Distinguish simple from compound interest and discrete from continuous compounding

Define and calculate logarithmic returns

Understand the concept of return computation interval

Aggregate returns over different time intervals

Define and apply both arithmetic mean log returns and geometric mean returns

Demonstrate knowledge of returns based on notional principal.

Understand the challenge of calculating returns on positions with zero value

Define and apply the concepts of notional principal and full collateralization for forward contracts

Calculate the log return on a fully collateralized derivatives position

Calculate the log return on a partially collateralized derivatives position

Demonstrate knowledge of the internal rate of return (IRR) approach to alternative investment analysis

Define and calculate the IRR

Contrast the different IRR measurement intervals

Define and calculate three types of IRRs based on the time periods for which cash flows are available (i.e., lifetime, interim, and since inception)

Demonstrate knowledge of the problems associated with the internal rate of return (IRR).

Recognize complex cash flow patterns and discuss their effect on the computation and interpretation of IRRs

Explain challenges of comparing investments based on IRRs

Discuss the difficulties of aggregating IRRs

Recognize the relationship between IRR and the reinvestment rate assumption

Define and apply the modified internal rate of return approach

Identify advantages and disadvantages of modified internal rate of return

Compare and calculate time-weighted and dollar-weighted returns

Demonstrate knowledge of other performance measures associated with illiquid investments.

Recognize and define three ratios that can be used as performance measures

Explain the Public Market Equivalent (PME) method

Define liquid alternative investments

Recognize the spectrum of liquid alternative products and the five distinct types of alternative investments

Describe the factors driving the growth of liquid alternative investments

Recognize the regulatory constraints that affect liquid alternative investments

Recognize the main factors that contribute to the differences between the returns of private placement vehicles and those of alternative investments

Demonstrate knowledge of illiquidity, accounting conservatism, IRR, and the J-Curve as they relate to the valuation of alternative investments.

Identify how accounting conservatism relates to early fund losses

Identify the implication of accounting conservatism on deferred recognition of gains

Recognize and interpret the J-Curve

Demonstrate knowledge of the distribution of cash waterfall.

Explain the distribution of cash waterfall provision of a limited partnership agreement

Recognize terminology associated with the cash waterfall provision (e.g., carried interest, hurdle rate, catch-up provision, vesting, clawback clause)

Discuss factors (e.g., management fees, incentive-based fees) to consider in a fund’s compensation structure and the potential effects of decisions regarding compensation structure

Discuss and calculate fund-as-a-whole carried interest and deal-by-deal carried interest

Define and apply clawback provisions

Compare and apply hard and soft hurdle rates and their sequences of distribution

Discuss the potential effects of incentive fees on decision-making, and their optionlike nature

Reading 2.4 -

Statistical Foundations

Demonstrate knowledge of the characteristics of return distributions.

Recognize ex ante and ex post return distributions

Understand the importance of the normal distribution in statistical analysis

Describe the characteristics of lognormal distributions

Demonstrate knowledge of moments of return distributions (i.e., mean, variance, skewness, and kurtosis).

Explain the first four raw moments of return distributions

Explain the central moments of return distributions

Explain skewness of return distributions

Explain kurtosis and excess kurtosis of return distributions

Describe the characteristics of platykurtic, mesokurtic, and leptokurtic distributions

Demonstrate knowledge of various measures of correlation of returns.

Recognize the importance of correlation in alternative investment portfolio management

Define and calculate covariance

Define and calculate correlation coefficient

Define and calculate the Spearman rank correlation coefficient

Discuss the role of correlation in portfolio diversification

Define and calculate beta in the context of the CAPM

Define and calculate autocorrelation

Define and calculate higher-order autocorrelation and partial autocorrelation

Define and apply the Durbin-Watson test

Demonstrate knowledge of standard deviation (volatility) and variance.

Define and explain standard deviation (volatility)

Describe the properties of variance and standard deviation

Calculate variance and standard deviation

Demonstrate knowledge of methods used to test for normality of distributions.

Recognize the three main reasons for non-normality observed in alternative investment returns (i.e., autocorrelation, illiquidity, and nonlinearity), and discuss the effect of each on returns

Discuss tests for normality that use sample moments

Recognize and apply the Jarque-Bera test

Demonstrate knowledge of time-series return volatility models.

Define the concepts of heteroskedasticity and homoskedasticity

Recognize the key components of the generalized autoregressive conditional heteroskedasticity (GARCH) method

Describe how the GARCH method is used to model risk evolution through time

Contrast the GARCH method with the autoregressive conditional heteroskedasticity (ARCH) method

Reading 2.5 -

Foundations of Financial Economics

Demonstrate knowledge of the concept of informational market efficiency.

Define informational market efficiency

Recognize various forms of informational market efficiency, including efficient inefficiency

Discuss the factors influencing informational efficiency in alternative asset markets

Demonstrate knowledge of the time value of money, prices, and rates.

Understand zero-coupon bonds and its present value function

Define and calculate interest rates from zero coupon bond prices

Determine and calculate short-term interest rates using the Fisher equation

Estimate the term structure of interest rates with zero-coupon bonds

Understand how the bond pricing formula is used to calculate bond yields

Estimate (i.e. bootstrap) the term structure of interest rates with coupon bonds

Demonstrate knowledge of the three primary theories of the term structure of interest rates.

Define the unbiased expectations theory

Define the liquidity preference theory

Define the market segmentation theory

Understand the managerial implications of the three term structure theories

Demonstrate knowledge of forward interest rates.

Define and apply implied forward rates using incremental cash flows

Calculate implied forward rates with annual and continuous compounding

Explain the term structure of implied forward rates

Demonstrate knowledge of arbitrage-free financial models.

Describe arbitrage-free models

Discuss applications of arbitrage-free models

Describe arbitrage-free pricing in spot markets

Describe hedged and unhedged carry trades

Demonstrate knowledge of binominal tree models.

Understand and explain the mechanics of binomial trees

Explain the differences between a binomial tree and a recombining binomial tree

Show how a simplified binomial tree can use stock prices to model the value of a call option

Explain risk-neutral models and when they are appropriate to employ

Identify the advantages of binomial tree models

Demonstrate knowledge of single factor default-free bond models.

Define traditional duration

Interpret duration in the case of a fixed coupon bond

Interpret and apply the duration for a bond portfolio

Describe how the duration of a long-only bond portfolio can be used to manage interest rate risk

Identify challenges and solutions for using duration when cash flows are stochastic

Explain duration as it relates to the longevity of a zero-coupon bond

Discuss and apply hedging or immunizing a long-short portfolio with duration through time

Explain extensions to traditional duration

Demonstrate knowledge of single factor equity pricing models.

Define an asset pricing model

Interpret and apply a single-factor asset pricing model (e.g. the capital asset pricing model (CAPM))

Describe ex ante forms of the CAPM and their implications

Describe ex post forms of the CAPM and their applications

Reading 2.6 -

Derivatives and Risk-Neutral Valuation

Demonstrate knowledge of foundations of forward contracts.

Describe the settlement and delivery processes of forward contracts

Understand the no-arbitrage approach to determining forward prices

Determine the forward contract price of a zero-coupon default-free bond

Analyze forward prices and expected spot prices under risk neutrality

Understand forward prices and expected bond rates under different term structure theories

Demonstrate knowledge of the impacts of forward contracts on rates.

Describe the forward rate agreement (FRA) process

Understand and apply the relationship between FRAs and implied forward interest rates

Explain forward rates and their extensions

Demonstrate knowledge of the impacts of forward contracts on equities.

Understand the concept of a forward contract price of a stock that pays no dividends

Calculate the no-arbitrage forward price of a stock

Discuss riskless interest rates and their relationship with risk neutrality in forward prices

Discuss the forward prices of financial assets given the riskless interest rate

Determine the forward contract price of a stock with dividends

Understand how forward curves for stocks can be derived under four distinct cases (no dividends and no financing costs, dividend rates equal to financing costs, dividend rates less than financing costs, and dividend rates exceeding financing costs)

Demonstrate knowledge of the impact of forward contracts on assets with benefits and costs of carry.

Discuss the benefits and costs of carrying (i.e. holding) a cash position and the incorporation of convenience yields and storage costs in cost of carry models

Calculate the forward price of a commodity

Identify and discuss four factors that differentiate forward pricing on financial assets with those of physical assets

Understand challenges involving measuring storage costs and convenience yields

Discuss the difficulties of short-selling physical assets and the resulting implication to the formula for forward prices

Calculate forward contracts with non-zero market value

Demonstrate knowledge of forward and futures contracts.

Describe the trading differences between forward and futures contracts

Describe and apply the marking-to-market process for futures positions

Discuss the effect of marking-to-market on counterparty risk

Recognize the effect of marking-to-market and the time value of money on risk and on prices

Define and calculate initial margin for futures positions

Define and calculate maintenance margin for futures positions

Demonstrate knowledge of managing long-term futures exposures.

Discuss futures contracts with different settlement dates

Understand how rollover decisions alter long-run returns

Demonstrate knowledge of option exposures.

Understand option risk exposure diagrams

Recognize the key characteristics of long and short positions in an underlying asset

Recognize the key characteristics of call and put exposures

Recognize the key characteristics of protective put exposures

Discuss characteristics of option spreads (e.g., bull spreads, bear spreads, and ratio spreads)

Recognize the key characteristics of option combinations (e.g., straddles, strangles, and the concept of risk reversals)

Define and apply the concepts of option collars and of put-call parity

Demonstrate knowledge of option pricing models.

Understand the concept of an option on a portfolio

Recognize and apply the Black-Scholes call-option formula

Recognize and apply the Black forward option pricing model

Recognize and apply the currency option pricing model

Demonstrate knowledge of option sensitivities.

Recognize and describe the five most popular option sensitivities (i.e., delta, vega, theta, rho, and gamma)

Describe option sensitivities such as omicron, lambda, and omega

Discuss the uses of option sensitivities in risk management

Reading 2.7 -

Measures of Risk and Performance

Demonstrate knowledge of measures of risk.

Define and calculate semivariance and semistandard deviation

Define and calculate semivolatility

Describe shortfall risk, target semivariance, and target semistandard deviation

Define and calculate tracking error

Describe and calculate drawdown

Define and interpret value at risk (VaR) and conditional value-at-risk (CVaR)

Discuss the strengths and weaknesses of VaR

Demonstrate knowledge of methods for estimating value at risk (VaR).

Apply a parametric approach to estimate VaR with normally distributed returns or with normally distributed underlying factors

Describe methods for estimating volatility as an input for VaR calculations

Describe methods for estimating VaR for leptokurtic positions

Describe methods for estimating VaR directly from historical data

Describe how the Monte Carlo analysis can be used to estimate VaR

Discuss and apply the aggregation of portfolio-component VaRs to determine the VaR for a portfolio under various assumptions (i.e., perfect correlation, zero correlation, and perfect negative correlation)

Demonstrate knowledge of benchmarking and performance attribution.

Define benchmarking

Identify types of benchmarks

Discuss performance attribution

Demonstrate knowledge of ratio-based performance measures used in alternative investment analysis.

Describe the two major types of performance measures

Define and calculate the Sharpe ratio for different units of time (e.g. annual, semiannual, and quarterly)

Understand four important properties of the Sharpe ratio

Define and calculate the Treynor ratio

Understand four important properties of the Treynor ratio

Recognize and calculate the Sortino ratio, the information ratio, and return on VaR

Demonstrate knowledge of risk-adjusted performance measures used in alternative investment analysis.

Define and calculate Jensen’s Alpha

Define and calculate the M2 (M-Squared) approach

Understand average tracking error

Reading 2.8 -

Alpha, Beta, and Hypothesis Testing

Demonstrate knowledge of beta and alpha.

Recognize the role of beta in the analysis of traditional and alternative investments

Recognize the role of alpha in the analysis of traditional and alternative investments

Demonstrate knowledge of the concepts of ex ante and ex post alpha.

Define and apply the concept of ex ante alpha, and identify its key characteristics

Define and apply the concept of ex post alpha, and identify its key characteristics

Distinguish between ex ante and ex post alpha

Demonstrate knowledge of single-factor regression models.

Explain the simple linear regression and single-factor market model

Explain the use of ordinary least squares to estimate regression parameters

Describe the problem outliers pose to regression analysis

Describe the problem autocorrelation poses to regression analysis

Describe the problem heteroskedasticity poses to regression analysis

Interpret a regression’s goodness of fit

Understand and apply the statistical significance of regression parameter estimates

Demonstrate knowledge of empirical approaches to inferring ex ante alpha from ex post alpha.

Identify the steps involved in estimating ex ante alpha from historical performance

Discuss how an experiment of a fair casino game can illustrate the challenges to empirical analysis of manager skill

Demonstrate knowledge of return attribution.

Calculate beta, ex ante alpha, and ex post alpha

Recognize the three primary types of model misspecification (i.e., omitted systematic return factors, misestimated betas, and nonlinear risk-return relationships) and their effects on return attribution

Describe various types of beta nonstationarity (i.e., beta creep, beta expansion, and market timing) and their effects on return attribution

Discuss how alpha and beta can become commingled

Demonstrate knowledge of ex ante alpha estimation and return persistence.

Define abnormal return persistence

Discuss attribution of idiosyncratic returns to luck or skill

Interpret estimated return persistence

Demonstrate knowledge of return drivers.

Discuss the classification of assets into beta drivers and alpha drivers

Discuss the characteristics of beta drivers and their behavior over time

Discuss passive beta drivers as pure plays on beta

Discuss the characteristics of alpha drivers

Discuss product innovators and process drivers

Demonstrate knowledge of statistical methods for locating alpha.

Identify the four steps of hypothesis testing (i.e., state the hypothesis, formulate an analysis plan, analyze sample data, and interpret results)

Discuss the error of accepting a hypothesis

Recognize the four common problems with using inferential statistics (i.e., misinterpretation of high p-values, failure to distinguish between statistical significance and economic significance, violation of distributional assumptions, and misinterpretation of level of confidence)

Define and discuss type I and type II errors in hypothesis testing

Understand erroneous conclusions with Statistical Testing

Demonstrate knowledge of sampling and testing problems.

Recognize the characteristics of unrepresentative data sets (e.g., selection bias, self-selection bias, survivorship bias) and their effects on test results

Discuss data mining and data dredging, and recognize their effects on test results

Discuss backtesting and backfilling, and recognize their effects on test results

Discuss cherry-picking and chumming, and recognize their effects on test results

Demonstrate knowledge of statistical issues in analyzing alpha and beta.

Recognize the effect of non-normality on the cross-sectional search for alpha

Identify the potential effects of outliers on reported results

Recognize issues involving biased testing in the search for alpha

Discuss the challenges of spurious correlation and causality in beta estimation

Recognize three major fallacies of alpha estimation and two major fallacies of beta estimation and the lessons that arise from them

Demonstrate knowledge of natural resources other than land.

Discuss natural resources as an exchange option

Discuss the concept of moneyness as it pertains to the development of natural resources

Discuss why some in-the-money development options should not be immediately exercised

Describe the relationship between the moneyness of natural resource options and short-term financial risks

Demonstrate knowledge of land as an alternative asset.

Define land banking

Describe the three types of land lots (i.e., paper lots, blue top lots, and finished lots)

Discuss investment in undeveloped land as a call option

Apply the binomial option pricing technique for valuing land as a call option

Describe the risks and returns of investing in land

Calculate the expected return of land investments

Demonstrate knowledge of timber and timberland as alternative assets.

Discuss the characteristics of timber and timberland

Discuss the role of timberland investment management organizations (TIMOs)

Describe the risks and returns of timberland investments

Identify methods of gaining exposure to timberland

Explain benefits and disadvantages of timber investment

Demonstrate knowledge of farmland as an alternative asset.

Discuss the characteristics of farmland investments

Calculate the value of farmland based on annual operating income and the cap rate

Understand the structure of farmland ownership and management

Discuss supply and demand factors of agricultural products

Identify three key benefits and three key disadvantages of farmland investment

Identify methods of obtaining exposure to farmland

Discuss the value and importance of assets with multiple purposes

Demonstrate knowledge of valuation and volatility of real assets.

Discuss the smoothing of prices and returns

Determine the effect of smoothing on observed volatility

Identify the primary ways that returns can be managed

Discuss how appraisals contribute to smoothing of real asset prices

Compare smoothed returns with market returns

Demonstrate knowledge of pricing and historic data analysis.

Interpret models of stale prices

Describe and calculate the effect of stale pricing on historic mean returns

Describe and calculate the effect of stale pricing on volatility

Demonstrate knowledge of contagion, price indices, and biases in real estate values.

Discuss the reliability of market prices versus appraisal-based data

Define contagion

Demonstrate knowledge of observations regarding historical returns of timberland.

Summarize the key observations on historical timber returns that are consistent with economic reasoning

Demonstrate knowledge of observations regarding historical returns of farmland.

Summarize the key observations on farmland returns that are consistent with economic reasoning

Reading 3.2 -

Commodities

Demonstrate knowledge of investing in commodities without futures.

Discuss disadvantages of direct investment in physical commodities

Define and interpret Hotelling’s theory

Explain Julian Simon’s argument related to direct commodity returns

Understand the idiosyncratic risks and two-betas of commodity-related equity returns

Recognize investments in commodities through exchange-traded funds (ETFs)

Discuss advantages and disadvantages of commodity-linked notes (CLNs)

Apply option valuation methods to price commodity-linked notes

Demonstrate knowledge of the term structure of forward prices on commodities.

Understand and calculate the costs of carry for commodities

Define supply elasticity and how it relates to harvests and shifts in demand

Define backwardation and contango with respect to the term structure of forward prices

Explain backwardation and contango in relation to cost of carry in a perfect market

Explain backwardation and contango in relation to cost of carry in an imperfect market

Discuss the basis of forward and futures contracts

Interpret calendar spreads on forward contracts

Calculate the return on calendar spreads

Discuss the risks of a calendar spread

Demonstrate knowledge of rolling of forward and futures contracts.

Discuss why returns on a futures contract can differ from the spot return

Understand the components of future returns and how they are calculated

Understand differing interpretations of rolling contracts

Explain roll yield and how it relate to the slope of a forward curve

Explain roll yield, carrying costs, and the basis in the context of alpha

Discuss how the strategy of rolling contracts affects return expectations

Interpret the impact of rolling contracts on alpha

Discuss three propositions regarding roll return

Demonstrate knowledge of normal backwardation and normal contango.

Explain normal backwardation

Explain normal contango

Interpret normal backwardation and normal contango with respect to the risks and returns of commodities and forward contracts on commodities

Discuss John Maynard Keynes’ argument of normal backwardation

Discuss commodity forward curves and how they relate to storage costs and inventory variation

Define the market segmentation hypothesis and how it applies to commodity forward prices

Interpret option-based models of the forward curve for commodities

Demonstrate knowledge of commodity exposure and diversification.

Discuss four reasons why commodity returns may have low correlation with stock and bond prices

Discuss commodities as diversifiers in a perfect market equilibrium

Discuss commodities as diversifiers in the presence of market imperfections

Discuss commodities as diversifiers against unexpected inflation

Demonstrate knowledge of expected returns on commodities.

Interpret empirical evidence on long-run commodity price changes

Interpret theoretical evidence on expected commodity returns

Discuss irrelevancy of commodity price expectations to returns on futures contracts

Demonstrate knowledge of commodity indices.

Discuss the process of construction of commodity futures indices

Discuss the characteristics of commodity indices given by S&P GSCI, BCOM, and CRB

Discuss production-weighted long only commodity indexes

Discuss market liquidity-weighted long only commodity indexes

Discuss tier-weighted long only commodity indices

Demonstrate knowledge of commodity risk attributes.

Identify four favorable characteristics of commodities with respect to event risks

Describe commodities as a defensive investment

Discuss institutional investing demand and its effect on commodity prices

Demonstrate knowledge of observations regarding historical returns of commodities.

Summarize the key observations on historical commodity returns that are consistent with economic reasoning

Reading 3.3 -

Other Real Assets

Demonstrate knowledge of commodity producers.

Describe how commodity prices drive the performance of an operating company

Describe the empirical evidence between commodity prices and operating firms

Discuss the empirical evidence on the correlation between commodity prices and equity prices of commodity-producing firms

Demonstrate knowledge of liquid alternative real assets.

Describe the structure of master limited partnerships (MLPs) within the MLP sector

Identify tax characteristics of MLPs

Discuss valuations and distribution rates of MLPs

Demonstrate knowledge of infrastructure in the alternative investment space.

Describe seven elements that help identify investable infrastructure

Contrast economic infrastructure and social infrastructure

Recognize the role of public-private partnerships in infrastructure investing

Discuss the risks and government regulation of infrastructure investing

Identify the stages of infrastructure investing

Explain infrastructure investment vehicles

Identify twelve determinants of infrastructure

Discuss opportunities and allocations infrastructure investments

Demonstrate knowledge of intellectual property.

Identify and discuss characteristics of intellectual property

Identify six characteristics of real assets and how those relate to intellectual properties

Understand and apply a simplified model of intellectual property

Demonstrate knowledge of cash flows of intellectual property.

Discuss film production and its distribution revenues as an alternative investment

Discuss film production and its distribution expenses as an alternative investment

Discuss film financing in the context of investment

Explain the profitability of film investment

Demonstrate knowledge of historical performance data on visual works of art.

Discuss the historical performance data of visual works of art

Demonstrate knowledge of research and development and patents as unbundled intellectual property.

Explain the process of accessing research and development via patents

Discuss the process of patent acquisition and licensing strategies of patents

Discuss the enforcement of patent law and various litigation strategies

Identify patent sale license-back strategies

Identify patent lending strategies

Analyze patent sales and pooling

Discuss risks relevant to investing in patent

Reading 3.4 -

Real Estate Assets and Debt

Demonstrate knowledge of categories of real estate.

Discuss equity versus debt

Understand the challenges of international real estate investments

Contrast residential and commercial real estate

Contrast private and public real estate

Discuss real estate categorization based on market size

Demonstrate knowledge of advantages, disadvantages, and styles of real estate investments.

Discuss five potential advantages of investing in real estate

Discuss three potential disadvantages of investing in real estate

Describe styles of real estate investing

Understand the core real estate style of investment

Understand the value-added real estate style of investment

Understand the opportunistic real estate style of investment

Describe the attributes of differentiating real estate styles

Discuss the purposes of real estate style analysis

Demonstrate knowledge of real estate style boxes.

Identify the categorizations of real estate style boxes

Demonstrate knowledge of residential mortgages.

Discuss and calculate payments of fixed-rate mortgages

Discuss and calculate payments of interest-only mortgages

Discuss and calculate payments of variable-rate mortgages

Identify and discuss other variations of mortgages, and apply balloon payments to mortgage valuation

Explain default risk in residential mortgages

Demonstrate knowledge of commercial mortgages in the context of alternative investments.

Describe characteristics of commercial mortgages

Describe the analysis of default risk of commercial mortgages

Identify and describe financial ratios employed in the analysis of commercial mortgage default

Demonstrate knowledge of mortgage-backed securities.

Describe types of mortgage-backed securities

Discuss prepayment options within residential mortgages

Discuss and apply methods of measuring unscheduled prepayment rates such as conditional prepayment rates (CPRs) and the resulting Public Securities Association (PSA) benchmark

Describe prepayment factors not associated with changing interest rates

Describe commercial mortgage-backed securities as compared with residential mortgage-backed securities

Demonstrate knowledge of liquid alternatives: real estate investment trusts (REITs).

Define types of real estate investment trusts (REITs)

List advantages and disadvantages of REITs as an investment

Demonstrate knowledge of observations regarding historical returns of mortgage REITs

Summarize the key observations on historical mortgage REIT returns that are consistent with economic reasoning

Reading 3.5 -

Real Estate Equity

Demonstrate knowledge of real estate development in the context of alternative investments.

Understand the development phase of real estate

Describe real estate development as a string of real options

Understand how an abandonment option can be factored into a real estate development project

Describe how real assets can be modeled using decision trees

Apply a decision tree and backward induction to value a real estate development project

Demonstrate knowledge of commercial real estate valuation.

Discuss the importance of commercial real estate equity exposures

Understand the comparable sale prices approach to valuation

Identify and discuss the profit and cost approaches to real estate valuation

Calculate cap rates and apply the perpetuity valuation approach to a real estate project

Discuss the income approach as a major real estate valuation approach

Discuss transaction-based methods to real estate valuation

Identify two advantages of appraisal-based models over transaction-based models

Identify four disadvantages of appraisal-based models over transaction-based models

Describe the NCREIF property index as an appraisal-based index

Demonstrate knowledge of valuation and risks of real estate equity.

Apply the discounted cash flow approach (i.e., income approach) to the calculation of net operating income

Calculate a real estate project’s discount rate using the risk premium approach, and use that rate to value the project

Understand the role of taxes in estimating both the discount rate and the cash flows of a real estate project

Demonstrate knowledge of the income method of real estate valuation.

Calculate the appraised value of an office building using the income approach

Demonstrate knowledge of alternative real estate investment vehicles.

Identify and describe private equity real estate funds

Identify and describe commingled real estate funds

Identify and describe syndications

Identify and describe joint ventures

Describe limited partnerships, and apply the concepts of gearing and loan-to-value (LTV) ratios

Identify and describe open-end real estate mutual funds

Discuss options and futures on real estate indices

Identify and describe exchange-traded funds based on real estate indices

Identify and describe closed-end real estate mutual funds

Discuss equity real estate investment trusts

Demonstrate knowledge of equity REIT returns.

Contrast private and public REITs

Discuss possible illiquidity premiums in public REITs

Define the FTSE NAREIT US Real Estate Index Series

Demonstrate knowledge of historical risks and returns of equity real estate investment trusts (REITs).

Summarize the key observations on historical equity REIT returns that are consistent with economic reasoning

Demonstrate knowledge of the terms and background of private equity.

Describe and compare direct listings, special purpose acquisition corporations (SPACs), and initial public offerings (IPOs) including their advantages and disadvantages

Discuss private equity as an asset class and private equity securities

Describe early-stage venture capital opportunities

Describe growth equity opportunities as later-stage financing

Describe buyouts

Contrast venture capital, growth equity, and buyouts

Define venture capital opportunities and venture capitalists

Identify securities and goals used in venture capital

Discuss the option-like payout of venture capital

Discuss the history of venture capital

Explain angel investing and other early stages of venture capital

Explain first stage, start-up, and other early stage venture capital

Explain second and later stages of venture capital

Interpret the j-curve for private equity projects

Discuss and apply the valuation of VC companies based on operating income

Discuss venture capital business plans

Discuss the role of venture capital as a compound option

Define growth equity investments and describe growth equity investments

Discuss protective provisions as a key deal characteristic in growth equity investment

Discuss redemption rights as a key deal characteristic in growth equity investment

Explain and calculate the valuation of growth equity based on revenue

Define buyout and identify their different types

Discuss leveraged buyouts

Identify types of private equity buyouts and resulting new management team

Identify rescue capital and replacement capital as private equity strategies

Understand buyout objectives

Discuss capital structure optimization in buyouts

Discuss operational efficiency in buyouts

Discuss the history of leveraged buyouts

Discuss three key economic and agency issues of buyouts

Identify five general categories of LBOs that can create value

Discuss the benefits and appeal of a leveraged buyout to targets

Calculate projected valuations of an LBO

Identify benefits of strong corporate governance principles to the public market

Discuss merchant banking practices

Identify implications of winter-take-all markets

Identify implications of longer time horizons to exits

Identify three potential reasons for the declining number of public firms in the US

Discuss competition between private and public ownership structures

Understand mezzanine debt

Understand distressed debt

Understand leveraged loans

Describe and compare strategic mergers to financial mergers and secondary buyouts

Demonstrate knowledge of pre-IPO private equity investing.

Demonstrate knowledge of venture capital.

Explain how and when shares of a SPAC can be described as a default-free convertible bond

Demonstrate knowledge of venture capital as a compound option.

Demonstrate knowledge of growth equity.

Demonstrate knowledge of buyouts and leveraged buyouts.

Demonstrate knowledge of buyouts of private companies.

Demonstrate knowledge of leveraged buyouts (LBOs).

Demonstrate knowledge of merchant banking.

Demonstrate knowledge of the dynamics of private equity opportunities.

Demonstrate knowledge of the exit strategies for private equity investments.

Reading 4.2 -

Private Equity Funds

Demonstrate knowledge of private equity (PE) funds.

Define PE funds

Discuss the organization structure of PE funds

Define PE firms

Discuss PE portfolio companies

Understand PE investment by institutional investors

Discuss PE fund intermediation and risk

Discuss PE fund intermediation around efficient inefficiencies

Identify the five primary functions of PE funds

Describe forms of PE fund intermediation

Discuss the life cycle and stages of development of a VC fund

Interpret the fund J-curve

Understand undrawn capital commitments

Identify the four substantial risks of PE

Understand the relationship between LPs and GPs in PE

Discuss the three phases in LP and GP relationships

Discuss and calculate PE management fees and carried interest

Understand clawback provisions in PE

Calculate carried interest and hurdle rates as part of a PE deal

Explain perverse incentives that can originate from PE hurdle rates

Explain the GP’s contribution to initial PE fund investment

Explain the key-person provision as part of the LP partnership clause

Explain termination and divorce of VC funds

Identify other convenants in VC funds

Discuss access to VC funds as a key to enhanced returns

Understand diversification as a key to PE risk reduction

Discuss risk premiums as providing compensation for three main VC risks

Explain roles and distinctions of VC and buyout managers

Recognize LBO fund structures

Interpret total number, size, and implications of buyout fund fees

Discuss agency relationships and their role in LBO firms

Understand LBO auction markets

Understand benefits and concerns of club deals in LBOs

Discuss three factors driving buyout risks relative to VC risks

Describe business development companies (BDCs)

Calculate the premium (or discount) of closed-end fund prices

Recognize the effect of illiquidity on closed-end fund pricing

Discuss the diversification and return-enhancement potential of liquid private equity pools

Discuss other liquid investments in private equity

Understand fees charged by PE funds of funds

Discuss the value of information and control in PE funds of funds

Understand diversification and intermediation of PE funds of funds

Explain access, selection skills, and expertise for PE funds of funds

Identify characteristics and types of securities issues through PIPEs

Understand motivations of buyers and sellers in PIPEs

Contrast traditional and structured PIPEs

Explain toxic PIPEs

Discuss the secondary market for PE limited partnership interests

Discuss fee differences between PE and hedge funds

Understand governance issues within publicly-traded PE firms

Contrast PE governance structures

Demonstrate knowledge of PE funds as intermediaries.

Demonstrate knowledge of the limited partner (LP) and general partner (GP) relationship life cycle in private equity.

Demonstrate knowledge of subscription lines in private equity.

Demonstrate knowledge of PE fund fees and terms.

Demonstrate knowledge of key determinations of VC fund risks and returns.

Demonstrate knowledge of three key distinctions of VC and buyout managers.

Demonstrate knowledge of leveraged buyout (LBO) funds.

Demonstrate knowledge of liquid alternatives in the private equity sector.

Demonstrate knowledge of private investments in public equity (PIPEs).

Demonstrate knowledge of secondary markets and structures within the private equity sector.

Demonstrate knowledge of long-hold buyout funds.

Reading 4.3 -

Private Equity Funds of Funds

Demonstrate knowledge of funds-of-funds in the private equity sector.

Demonstrate knowledge of the private equity funds of funds investment process.

Demonstrate knowledge of the private equity funds of funds investment.

Demonstrate knowledge of the private equity funds of funds historical returns.

Reading 4.4 -

Evolution of Investing in Private Equity

Demonstrate knowledge of the trend of LP preference for direct investment.

Demonstrate knowledge of co-investments.

Demonstrate knowledge of the challenges in co-Investing.

Demonstrate knowledge of the historical returns of co-investment.

Reading 4.5 -

Private Credit and Distressed Debt

Demonstrate knowledge of types of fund private credit vehicles.

Define private credit and distressed debt

Define interval funds

Define drawdown funds

Discuss funds with a loan-to-own objective

Discuss fulcrum securities and reorganization

Describe the three key differences between bonds and loans

Discuss implications of floating rates vs. fixed rates on interest rate risk

Discuss and calculate implications of floating vs. fixed rate duration

Discuss and calculate implications of compounding conventions on modified duration

Understand credit ratings, yields, and financial ratios

Interpret credit spreads and credit risk

Discuss credit risk and its relationship to risk of default

Discuss covenants on debt

Explain the five ways that covenants can control risk

Describe capital structure and the priority of payment

Discuss recovery rates

Explain distressed debt and how it relates to the bankruptcy process

Understand the basics of leveraged loans

Discuss growth in leveraged loans

Explain liquidity and how it relates to the demand for leveraged loans

Discuss the process and implications of direct lending

Identify structures of mezzanine debt

Understand how mezzanine debt can lower the weighted average cost of capital

Compare mezzanine debt financing to other forms of financing

Understand basic examples of mezzanine financing

Discuss major types of investors in mezzanine debt

Identify characteristics of mezzanine debt

Understand the basics of distressed debt

Identify the supply of distressed debt capital

Identify the demand for distressed debt capital

Calculate expected default losses and credit spreads on distressed debt

Discuss three broad strategic categories of distressed debt investment

Identify risks of investing in distressed debt

Discuss vulture investing

Discuss diversification and its relationship to private credit performance

Demonstrate knowledge of fixed income analysis.

Demonstrate knowledge of credit risk analysis and the bankruptcy process.

Demonstrate knowledge of leveraged loans.

Demonstrate knowledge of direct lending.

Demonstrate knowledge of mezzanine debt.

Demonstrate knowledge of distressed debt.

Demonstrate knowledge of venture debt.

Demonstrate knowledge of private credit performance and diversification.

Demonstrate knowledge of the overview of financial structuring.

Describe the most common structuring of assets within the corporate form

Demonstrate knowledge of the major types of structuring.

Understand the key elements of a structured product

Describe hedging with credit derivatives.

Describe structuring with tranches

Understand how structured products are created

Demonstrate knowledge of the primary economic role of structuring.

Understand the economic role of a structured product.

Describe market completion as an economic role

Understand the concept of a state of the world within structured products

Describe how structured products can complete the market

Demonstrate knowledge of collateralized mortgage obligations.

Describe a simplified collateralized mortgage obligation structure

Describe sequential pay structuring

Contrast extension risk with contraction risk as it pertains to structuring

Apply a sequential pay tranch to a collateralized mortgage obligation

Describe other types of collateralized mortgage obligations through the structuring of their cash flows

Understand the motivations behind structuring mortgage products

Understand how prepayment speeds can change the valuation of collateralized mortgage obligations

Understand how systematic risk can change the valuation of collateralized mortgage obligations

Describe default risk within commercial collateralized mortgage obligations

Demonstrate knowledge of the structural model approach to credit rik.

Describe Merton’s structural model using the option-like nature (both call options and put options) of traditional corporate securities

Describe the inherent conflict of interest that exists between shareholders and bondholders

Understand the mechanics of Merton’s structural model and apply the model to value the firm’s debt as well as put options on the firm’s assets

Calculate the value of risky debt with Black-Scholes option pricing model

Understand how binomial trees can be used to value structured products

Demonstrate knowledge of interest rate options.

Describe an interest rate cap, and calculate cap payments

Describe interest rate floors, and calculate floors payments

Discuss interest rate options and counter-party risk

Demonstrate knowledge of collateralized debt obligations.

Define a collateralized debt obligation

Describe the simplified collateralized debt obligation structure and calculate the waterfall of cash flows

Understand default risk within a collateralized debt obligation and calculate the waterfall of cash flows in the presence of default

Describe how option collars are similar to the mezzanine tranche of a pool

Describe mezzanine tranches and option spreads

Reading 6.2 -

Credit Risk and Credit Derivatives

Demonstrate knowledge of credit risk.

Explain the underpinnings of credit risk

Demonstrate knowledge of reduced form modeling of credit risk.

Identify the difference between structural models and reduced-form models

Define the three factors that determine the expected credit loss of a credit exposure

Calculate expected credit loss

Describe two key characteristics of the risk-neutral modeling approach

Define risk-neutral probability

Describe and apply the risk-neutral approach to pricing risky debt

Apply the risk-neutral approach to estimating credit spreads

Apply the reduced-form model to determine relative prices of securities

Explain what it means to calibrate a model

List the advantages and disadvantages of the reduced-form model

Compare structural and reduced-form credit risk models

Demonstrate knowledge of credit derivatives markets.

List and discuss the three economic roles of credit derivatives

Recognize the three major methods for grouping credit derivatives

Describe the four stages of the evolution of credit derivative activity

Demonstrate knowledge of interest rate swaps.

Understand simple interest rate swaps

Identify payers and receivers of interest rate swaps

Explain how pensions use interest rate swaps

Understand the mechanics of interest rate swaps

Describe the initial valuation of an interest rate swap and calculate the expected payments of the swap

Understand how an existing swap is valued

Discuss risks in interest rate swaps

Discuss the global financial crisis of 2007-2009 in the context of swap risk

Demonstrate knowledge of credit default swaps.

Compare and contrast credit default swaps and total return swaps

Discuss the standard ISDA agreement as a template for negotiated credit agreements

Explain and apply the mechanics of credit default swaps

Explain the mark-to-market adjustment when valuing credit default swap contracts

Explain three methods for unwinding credit default swap transactions

Recognize typical credit default swap market participants and their swap transactions

Identify and explain five typical motivations for using credit default swaps

Demonstrate knowledge of credit options and credit-linked notes.

Contrast credit default swaps and credit options

Recognize the terms of credit call and credit put options

Explain the credit put option on a bond

Explain call options on credit default swaps

Describe credit-linked notes

Demonstrate knowledge of credit default swap indices.

Describe credit default swap index products

Demonstrate knowledge of the five key risks of credit derivatives.

Discuss the risks of excessive credit exposure using off-balance-sheet derivatives, pricing risk of over-the-counter derivatives, and liquidity risk of over-the-counter derivatives

Discuss the counterparty risk of over-the-counter credit default swaps and the basis risk of credit default swaps

Reading 6.3 -

CDO Structuring of Credit Risk

Demonstrate knowledge of collateralized debt obligations (CDOs).

Describe credit-related motivations for CDOs

Describe investor motivations for CDOs

Describe the general structure and life cycle of a CDO

Explain the terminology and details of CDOs

Demonstrate knowledge of balance sheet CDOs and arbitrage CDOs.

Describe three goals for issuing balance sheet CDOs and the balance sheet CDO structure

Discuss the purposes and attributes of arbitrage CDOs

Demonstrate knowledge of the mechanics of and motivations for arbitrage CDOs.

Describe and apply a typical arbitrage CDO structure

Analyze the cash flows in a typical arbitrage CDO structure

Understand the waterfall of an arbitrage CDO

Identify the three direct financial motivations for a manager of an arbitrage CDO

Demonstrate knowledge of cash-funded CDOs and synthetic CDOs.

Compare and contrast cash-funded CDOs and synthetic CDOs

Explain how a cash-funded CDO can be used to reduce required regulatory capital

Calculate the amount of freed-up regulatory capital by using a CDO trust to securitize and sell a portfolio of commercial loans

Describe the characteristics of synthetic CDOs

Demonstrate knowledge of cash flow and market value CDOs.

Describe the characteristics of cash flow CDOs

Describe the characteristics of market value CDOs

Demonstrate knowledge of credit risk and enhancement of CDOs.

Define and discuss subordination as an internal credit enhancement

Discuss and apply overcollateralization

Describe excess spread as an internal credit enhancement

Discuss reserve accounts as a credit enhancement

Describe external credit enhancements to CDOs

Demonstrate knowledge of new developments in CDOs.

Describe distressed debt CDOs

Describe hedge fund CDOs

Describe single-tranche CDOs

Demonstrate knowledge of the risks of CDOs.

Recognize the risk of the underlying collateral

Recognize the financial engineering risk

Discuss the implications of high correlations among the underlying assets

Define risk shifting, and discuss its implications for CDOs

Describe other risks inherent in CDOs

Describe how CDO credit risk can be modeled

Reading 6.4 -

Equity-Linked Structured Products

Demonstrate knowledge of structured products and types of wrappers.

Describe equity-linked structured products

Define a wrapper

Describe the six types of wrappers

Demonstrate knowledge of potential tax effects of wrappers.

Describe the tax effects of wrappers

Calculate the pre-tax and after-tax return of fully taxed investments

Calculate the after-tax return of tax-deferred wrappers

Calculate the after-tax return on a wrapper that offers both tax deduction and tax deferral

Demonstrate knowledge of structured products with exotic option features.

Compare and contrast simple options and exotic options

Understand how simple call and put options can be combined to provide principal protection

Define the participation rate

Illustrate how a cash-and-call strategy is related to put-call parity

Identify path-dependent options and binary options

Describe and apply barrier, knock-in, and active options

Describe the characteristics of in versus out and up versus down barrier options

Define spread options and look-back options

Define a quanto option

Demonstrate knowledge of popular structured products types.

Discuss absolute return and principal protected absolute return barrier notes

Demonstrate knowledge of the EUSIPA classification.

Define EUSIPSA and explain its role in the structured products market

Describe capital protected structured products

Describe yield enhancement structured products

Describe participation structured products

Describe leverage structured products

Demonstrate knowledge of global structured product cases.

Understand the components within a US-based structured products with multiple kinks

Understand the components within a German-based structured product with leverage

Understand the components within a Japan-based structured product based on multiple currencies

Demonstrate knowledge of structured product valuation.

Understand how a structured product can be valued using dynamic hedging

Discuss the advantages of the simulation approach over the PDE approach

Contrast the PDE approach and the building blocks approach

Explain the two principles of payoff diagram shapes and levels

Discuss the evidence on structured product prices

Demonstrate knowledge of motivations of structured products.

Identify investor motivations for including structured products in a portfolio

Discuss tax-related motivations for investors

Discuss the motivations of issuers of structured products

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