AFTP User

Tuesday, February 28 2017, 11:42AM

Sign Up for FREE Enrollment in Business and Engineering Courses with Professors at the World's Top Schools!

DecydEd is a unique massively open online course (MOOC) initiative that delivers state-of-the-art business and engineering education to students, researchers, and practitioners around the globe, regardless of their income level or geographic location.

DecydEd's business platform, called The Academic Financial Trading Platform (AFTP), launched in Fall 2012 and offers business courses taught by professors at the world's top universities. It also empowers individuals to make intelligent investment decisions by providing them access to cutting-edge trading models developed by professors at these top Universities. Finally, it provides users the ability to network with one another and the world's foremost financial experts, all in an intuitive, non-intimidating online environment. AFTP is the first MOOC platform dedicated to business education and financial decision-making.

DecydEd's engineering platform is scheduled to launch in Summer 2014 and is dedicated to the delivery of a full undergraduate and graduate curriculum in the major engineering disciplines.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is decydEd?

decydEd is a unique massively open online course (MOOC) consortium, with faculty from several of the world's top universities - including Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Chicago, the London School of Economics, and the University of Toronto - with a two-prong objective:

  • Offer massively open online education in engineering and business to a broader community of students, researchers, and practitioners around the world.

  • Deliver fully automated real-time decision-making tools which build upon the course material taught and enhance workforce readiness and job placement in engineering and management streams

In Fall 2012, decydEd launched it business platform -- The Academic Financial Trading Platform (AFTP) -- at www.academictrader.org. AFTP is the first massively open online platform dedicated to the delivery of a full undergraduate and graduate curriculum of economics and business courses from faculty at the world's top universities - to anyone, anywhere in the world. News of AFTP's launch has reached hundreds of thousands of students worldwide through coverage in widely circulated periodicals including the Times of India, the Hindu Business Line, and the Hindustan Times. decydEd's engineering platform, scheduled to launch in Summer 2014, is dedicated to the delivery of a full undergraduate and graduate curriculum in the major engineering disciplines.

Our mission is to develop a model for 21st century education where citizens are capable of making informed decisions on their own without reliance on large institutions. We do this by offering any student in the world a curriculum consisting of a new breed of courses - taught by top university faculty - that are tailored toward real world decision making. Together, this consortium of professors certifies students according to a new standard that combines first-class university level education with state-of-the-art decision making methods that have hitherto been accessible by only a handful of experts. We are the first massively open online platform dedicated to the dissemination of the power of university level research directly into the hands of the people.

What is AFTP?

AFTP is the first massively open online course (MOOC) platform dedicated to the FREE ONLINE delivery of a full curriculum of undergraduate and graduate courses in economics and finance by professors at the world's top business schools to students, researchers, and practitioners around the world, regardless of their income level or geographic location. AFTP offers CERTIFICATION OF COMPLETION upon successful completion of a course and passing of examinations.

AFTP is also the only internet-based consortium to combine education and financial decision-making. In this regard, its goal is to empower individual investors around the world to invest efficiently in financial markets on their own without relying on money managers. The recent financial crisis has cast serious doubt on the effectiveness of existing financial institutions and resulted in a massive surge in demand for greater transparency in the financial sector. AFTP coursework prepares students to take control of their own investments through the application of the latest quantitative financial models along with step-by-step instructions on how to invest according to the prescriptions of these models on major online brokerages. These financial models have been developed by leading professors at top universities in the US over several decades and have comparable, or even superior, forecasting performance for various classes of financial assets relative to top mutual funds and other investment houses in the US. The models offered on AFTP are diverse, catering to individuals with different risk appetite, investment objectives, and preference for specific asset classes. An individual can filter through the available models, backtest or examine their performance on several decades of historical stock market data, and identify the model(s) appropriate for him. AFTP then provides him with step-by-step guidelines on how to invest based on the prescriptions of the model, how to implement these trades on major online brokerages, and how often to rebalance the portfolio, etc. Finally, AFTP provides these services for free, its sole goal being to spread the available academic knowledge among the global population as a first step towards their financial freedom.

Who are the target users of AFTP?

You and the rest of the global population are the target users of AFTP. AFTP's world-class business courses are available to interested learners anywhere in the world, and can improve the financial independence of any individual, empowering them to invest effectively in financial markets without relying on money managers. Whether you are an experienced investor with extensive knowledge of financial markets or have never invested on your own, you will find AFTP useful and a one-of-a-kind service in your journey to financial freedom.

How is AFTP different from existing investment advisory services?

AFTP is the only massively open online course (MOOC) platform exclusively focused on business education and the only financial advisory service dedicated to helping students understand the fundamental economic principles underlying asset management. AFTP makes available to the average internet user the latest quantitative financial models developed by prominent professors at top universities in the US in a simple, transparent fashion. Unlike the black-box investment approach pursued by all existing investment houses, AFTP makes the models and associated trading strategies freely available to users. Users can also use our web-based platform to backtest or examine the performance of these models on decades of historical stock market data and compare the performance to top investment houses in the US. We at AFTP believe that this is the only way to bring full transparency to the asset management industry.

What was the AFTP Beta Test?

The AFTP Beta Test - held over the period October 15, 2012 to March 15, 2013, -was the exclusive first semester of FREE ONLINE courses and guest lectures delivered by faculty at the world's top business schools. It offered CERTIFICATION OF COMPLETION upon successful completion of a course and passing of examinations. In addition, the Beta version of AFTP offered the following decision-making features. First, it made available to the average internet user some of the latest stock market prediction models developed in academia, along with an in-depth explanation of each and the ability to backtest these models on decades of historical data. Second, a user could obtain trading strategies for the future based on his choice of model, and track the performance of his portfolio on a daily basis. Third, he could invite friends to join his financial social network and mirror their trading strategies. Fourth, he could obtain step-by-step instructions on how to implement a trading strategy on major online brokerages.

What Are The Courses Currently Being Offered On AFTP?

The following courses will be offered on AFTP over the next few months:

  1. Investment Analysis

    Instructor:Prof. Anisha Ghosh, Carnegie Mellon University.
    Start Date: Coming Soon
    Duration: 7 weeks

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    About The Course: Investment analysis develops the concepts and tools needed to analyze publicly traded securities (e.g., stocks, bonds, options, futures), and apply these tools to real world situations. The course deals with the nature of the securities that trade in the market place, the determination of securities prices, the relationships between these prices, and the optimal choice of a portfolio or trading strategy involving these securities.

    Course Objectives: By the end of the course, you will be able to:

    • Determine the prices and payoffs of a variety of securities (e.g., stocks, bonds, options, futures and forward contracts) and trading strategies using no-arbitrage restrictions
    • Analyze the risk and reward characteristics of various risky securities
    • Use portfolio optimization techniques to design and implement efficiently diversified portfolios
    • Use equilibrium models, like the Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM) and Arbitrage Pricing Theory (APT), to evaluate various portfolios and portfolio managers

    Textbook: Modern Portfolio Theory and Investment Analysis, by Elton, Gruber, Brown, and Goetzmann, 7th edition (EGBG).

  2. Macroeconomics

    Instructor:Prof. Christian Julliard, London School of Economics.
    Start Date: Coming Soon
    Duration: 8 weeks

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    About The Course: This course provides an introduction to modern intertemporal macroeconomics. Topics covered include consumption, investment, asset pricing, real business cycles, the macroeconomic effects of fiscal and monetary policy and the problems encountered in the actual implementation of economic policy.

    Course Objectives: By the end of the course, you will be able to understand:

    • Key stylized facts about economic growth and the business cycle
    • Theories of consumption and investment
    • Asset pricing: The equity premium puzzle and its possible explanations and relevance for macroeconomics
    • Macroeconomic effects of fiscal and monetary policy

    Textbook: The main textbooks that will be followed during this course are (1) Advanced Macroeconomics, 2001, by David Romer, and (2) Foundations of International Macroeconomics, by Maurice Obstfeld and Kenneth S. Rogoff.

  4. Options, Futures, and Other Derivatives

    Instructor:Prof. John Hull, University of Toronto.
    Start Date: Coming Soon
    Duration: 7 weeks

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    About The Course: This course provides students with an understanding of how derivative products work, how they are traded, how they are used, and how they are valued. It covers forwards, futures, swaps and options. It explains both exchange-traded and over-the-counter markets. It covers both the binomial tree and Black-Scholes-Merton valuation models and discusses how financial institutions use "Greek letters" such as delta and gamma. Students will use the widely acclaimed DerivaGem software developed by the instructor and his colleagues.

    Course Objectives: By the end of the course, you will be able to understand:

    • How derivative products work, how they are traded, how they are used, and how they are valued
    • Forwards, futures, swaps and options
    • Exchange-traded and over-the-counter markets
    • The binomial tree and Black-Scholes-Merton valuation models

    Textbook: The textbook for the course is Options, Futures, and Other Derivatives, 8th edition written by the instructor, John Hull. Students may also find the Solutions Manual accompanying the book useful.

  6. Stock Market Predictability (Guest Lecture):

    Instructor:Prof. George Constantinides, University of Chicago.
    Start Date: Coming Soon
    Duration: 2 week.

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    • A new approach to predicting the future returns on different classes of financial assets that also sheds light on the linkages between the macroeconomy and financial markets
    • Read about this stock market prediction model in greater detail
    • Examine the performance of this model on different classes of financial securities over the last several decades and compare the performance to those of top mutual funds and ETFs in the U.S
  8. Monetary Policy (Guest Lecture):

    Instructor:Prof. Christian Julliard, London School of Economics.
    Start Date: Coming Soon
    Duration: 1 week.

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    • This lecture covers the macroeconomic effects of monetary policy and the problems encountered in the actual implementation of such policy.

How can I register for the AFTP courses?

Registering is easy! Please click here and enter your name and email address. You will immediately receive access to several AFTP services and will be contacted with further information regarding course offerings and the upcoming launch.

Is there any fee for taking AFTP courses? Is there any certification received for completion of a course?

No fees are charged for taking the AFTP courses. Upon successful completion of a course, you will receive a formal certificate, signed by the course instructor, which we can forward to prospective employers as validation of your achieved skill. There will be a 50 US Dollar charge for processing the certificate.

How has the development of AFTP been funded?

The development of the Academic Financial Trading Platform has been funded by PMC Group, Inc., a global manufacturing conglomerate, as part of its social mission of democratizing higher education. PMC Advanced Technology, LLC, the technology investment arm of PMC Group, specializes in the deployment of advanced computational algorithms based on the latest academic research to problems of national interest. AFTP was developed by PMC Advanced Technology in close collaboration with academic researchers in the areas of systems engineering and financial economics.