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Alternative Investments


Mueller P.

Course director


Basic finance, basic math are prerequisites.

This course provides both a theoretical and practical look into the world of managing alternative investments such as hedge funds, commodities, private equity, venture capital, LBOs. With regards to hedge funds, we will focus on their strategies, including market neutral investing, statistical arbitrage and derivatives arbitrage. Topics include hedge fund compensation, performance evaluation, risk management, including operational risk, and the role of arbitrageurs in the capital market. In terms of commodities, we discuss various instruments to invest in commodities and discuss the emergence of commodities as an asset class. Furthermore, we discuss the basics of venture capital investments and the different stages of the investment process. We look at valuations of VC and PE investments and discuss simple examples and case studies illustrating how returns are generated by VC and PE funds. Finally, we also discuss real estate as an asset class and consider how real estate investments are a worthwhile addition to a diversified investment portfolio.

Readings will also include lecture slides


Understand different categories of alternative investments, such as hedge funds, commodities, credit derivatives, private equity, venture capital and real estate.

Teaching mode

In presence

Learning methods

In-class teaching and exercises. 

Examination information

Final exam (closed book) and group presentations. Presentations count for up to 20% of the final mark. Calculators are allowed for the exam.