Lecture 2.1: Basic Financial Principles and Concepts

Lecture 2.1: Basic Financial Principles and Concepts


Welcome to the second module of the Global Elite Proprietary Trading Course (GEPTC). This lecture will cover the foundational principles and concepts of finance that are essential for understanding proprietary trading. These basic financial principles form the backbone of effective trading and investment strategies.

Main Content

Time Value of Money (TVM)

Present Value (PV) and Future Value (FV):

  • Present Value (PV): The current value of a future amount of money or a series of cash flows given a specified rate of return. PV helps traders and investors determine how much a future sum of money is worth today.
  • Future Value (FV): The value of a current asset at a future date based on an assumed rate of growth. FV calculations are used to predict how much an investment made today will grow over time.

Discounting and Compounding Concepts:

  • Discounting: The process of determining the present value of a future amount by applying a discount rate. Discounting helps traders assess the worth of future cash flows in today’s terms.
  • Compounding: The process of earning interest on both the initial principal and the accumulated interest from previous periods. Compounding is crucial for understanding how investments grow over time.

Risk and Return

Understanding the Relationship Between Risk and Return:

  • Risk and Return Trade-off: The principle that potential return rises with an increase in risk. Low levels of uncertainty or risk are associated with low potential returns, whereas high levels of risk are associated with high potential returns.

Types of Risks:

  • Market Risk: The risk of losses due to changes in market prices.
  • Credit Risk: The risk of loss due to a borrower’s failure to make payments as agreed.
  • Operational Risk: The risk of loss from inadequate or failed internal processes, people, and systems.
  • Liquidity Risk: The risk of being unable to buy or sell assets quickly without affecting the asset’s price.

Financial Instruments

Overview of Stocks, Bonds, Derivatives, and Other Financial Instruments:

  • Stocks: Equities representing ownership in a company, with potential for dividends and capital appreciation.
  • Bonds: Debt securities issued by entities to raise capital, with periodic interest payments and principal repayment at maturity.
  • Derivatives: Financial contracts whose value is derived from an underlying asset, such as options, futures, and swaps. Derivatives are used for hedging and speculative purposes.

Market Efficiency

Efficient Market Hypothesis (EMH):

  • EMH: The theory that all available information is fully reflected in asset prices, making it impossible to consistently achieve higher returns than the overall market through expert stock selection or market timing.
  • Implications for Traders and Investors: In an efficient market, it’s challenging to outperform the market consistently. Therefore, traders may focus on passive investment strategies or seek inefficiencies where they believe the market has mispriced assets.

Capital Markets

Primary vs. Secondary Markets:

  • Primary Markets: Where new securities are issued and sold for the first time, typically through initial public offerings (IPOs).
  • Secondary Markets: Where existing securities are traded among investors. Examples include stock exchanges and over-the-counter (OTC) markets.

Role of Capital Markets in the Economy:

  • Capital Formation: Capital markets facilitate the raising of capital for businesses and governments, promoting economic growth and development.
  • Liquidity: They provide liquidity to investors, allowing them to buy and sell securities easily.
  • Price Discovery: Capital markets enable the discovery of fair prices through the interaction of supply and demand.


Calculation Example: Determining the Future Value of an Investment Using Compounding Interest:

  • Scenario: An investor places $10,000 in an investment with an annual interest rate of 5%, compounded annually.
  • Calculation: FV = PV * (1 + r)^n
  • Result: FV = $10,000 * (1 + 0.05)^5 = $12,762.82


Basic financial principles such as the time value of money, risk and return, and market efficiency are fundamental to understanding and engaging in proprietary trading. These concepts provide the foundation for effective trading strategies and sound financial decision-making.

Lecture 2.2: Introduction to Investment Theories


In this lecture, we will explore key investment theories that guide trading and investment decisions. Understanding these theories is crucial for developing strategies that maximize returns while managing risk.

Main Content

Modern Portfolio Theory (MPT)

Concepts of Diversification and Efficient Frontier:

  • Diversification: The practice of spreading investments across various assets to reduce risk. Diversification aims to minimize the impact of any single asset’s poor performance on the overall portfolio.
  • Efficient Frontier: A set of optimal portfolios offering the highest expected return for a defined level of risk. Portfolios on the efficient frontier are considered efficient because they provide maximum return for a given level of risk.

Risk-Return Optimization:

  • Risk-Return Trade-off: Balancing potential returns against the risk of loss. Investors use MPT to construct portfolios that achieve the desired balance.

Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM)

Understanding the CAPM Formula:

  • CAPM Formula: E(Ri) = Rf + βi(E(Rm) – Rf)
    • E(Ri): Expected return of the investment.
    • Rf: Risk-free rate.
    • βi: Beta coefficient of the investment.
    • E(Rm): Expected return of the market.
    • (E(Rm) – Rf): Market risk premium.

Beta Coefficient and Its Significance:

  • Beta: Measures the volatility or systematic risk of a security compared to the market as a whole. A beta greater than 1 indicates higher volatility than the market, while a beta less than 1 indicates lower volatility.

Arbitrage Pricing Theory (APT)

Multi-Factor Model for Asset Pricing:

  • APT: An alternative to CAPM, APT uses multiple factors to explain asset returns. Factors could include macroeconomic variables, industry-specific risks, and other market influences.

Comparison with CAPM:

  • CAPM vs. APT: While CAPM relies on a single factor (market risk), APT considers multiple factors, providing a more comprehensive view of asset pricing.

Behavioral Finance

Psychological Factors Influencing Investor Behavior:

  • Behavioral Finance: Examines how psychological biases and emotions influence investor decisions. It challenges the traditional assumption of rationality in financial markets.

Common Biases and Their Impact on Trading Decisions:

  • Biases: Overconfidence, loss aversion, herding behavior, and confirmation bias. These biases can lead to irrational trading decisions and market anomalies.

Efficient Market Hypothesis (EMH)

Strong, Semi-Strong, and Weak Forms of Market Efficiency:

  • Strong Form: All information, public and private, is reflected in stock prices.
  • Semi-Strong Form: All publicly available information is reflected in stock prices.
  • Weak Form: All past trading information is reflected in stock prices.

Implications for Trading Strategies:

  • Strategy Adaptation: Depending on the market efficiency level, traders may need to adjust their strategies. In highly efficient markets, passive strategies may be more effective, while in less efficient markets, active trading strategies may yield better results.


Illustration of Constructing a Diversified Portfolio Using Modern Portfolio Theory:

  • Scenario: An investor aims to create a portfolio with a mix of stocks and bonds to achieve an optimal risk-return balance.
  • Action: By selecting assets with low correlations, the investor can reduce overall portfolio risk and move closer to the efficient frontier.


Key investment theories such as MPT, CAPM, APT, and behavioral finance provide a framework for making informed trading and investment decisions. These theories help traders understand the trade-offs between risk and return, the pricing of assets, and the impact of psychological factors on market behavior.

About the Author

Dr. Glen Brown is a seasoned finance and accounting professional with an impressive track record spanning over 25 years in the industry. As the President & CEO of both Global Accountancy Institute, Inc. and Global Financial Engineering, Inc., he steers organizations with a clear focus on bridging the gap between the fields of accountancy, finance, investments, trading, and technology. His leadership has positioned these entities as globally recognized multi-asset class professional proprietary trading firms.

Dr. Brown is an alumnus of distinguished educational institutions, holding a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Investments and Finance. His broad spectrum of expertise encompasses financial accounting, management accounting, finance, investments, strategic management, and risk management.

Besides his executive responsibilities, Dr. Brown wears several other hats — Chief Financial Engineer, Head of Trading & Investments, Chief Data Scientist, and Senior Lecturer in a range of financial disciplines. These diverse roles highlight his dual commitment to the practical application of financial knowledge and the advancement of academic learning in his field.

Dr. Brown’s guiding philosophy is a testament to his leadership style and personal commitment: “We must consume ourselves in order to transform ourselves for our rebirth. We are blessed with subtlety, creative imaginations, and outstanding potential to attain spiritual enlightenment, transformation, and regeneration.” This belief is the driving force behind his dedication to innovation, personal growth, and the pursuit of excellence in finance and investments.

Call to Action (CTA)

Ready to take your trading skills to the next level? Enroll in the Global Elite Proprietary Trading Course (GEPTC) today and learn from industry experts like Dr. Glen Brown. Gain access to cutting-edge trading strategies, market insights, and practical knowledge that will empower you to excel in the financial markets.

Register now at: Global Elite Proprietary Trading Course (GEPTC)

General Disclaimer

This course is intended for educational and informational purposes only. The views and strategies described may not be suitable for all readers or investors. The information contained herein does not constitute and should not be construed as investment advice, an endorsement, or an offer or solicitation to buy, sell, or hold any securities, other investments, or to adopt any investment strategy. The strategies, concepts, and techniques discussed are complex and may not be understood completely without a thorough understanding of finance, investments, and risk management.

The data and information presented are believed to be accurate but are not guaranteed. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Investments in financial markets are subject to risk, including the potential loss of principal. The author, Dr. Glen Brown, and any associated entities will not be held responsible or liable for any decisions made based on the information provided in this course.

Readers and investors are urged to consult with their own financial advisors before making any investment decisions. It is the responsibility of the reader or investor to carefully consider their particular investment objectives, risk tolerance, and financial circumstances before investing

Leave a Reply