4.5. Efficient portfolios. The market portfolio’s efficiency

In Week 4 we study risk and return. We present a stochastic mathematical model of risk and apply it to find the returns and standard deviations of portfolios of assets. We discuss diversification and the role of special portfolios – the riskless portfolio and the market portfolio – in approaching asset risk. We demonstrate how any asset contributes to the market risk and introduce the β coefficient. Then we derive the capital asset pricing model (CAPM) and study how it is used on examples. We discuss the application of the company cost of capital (CCC) rule to choosing investment projects. Then we use CAPM to determine the cost of capital – first, for an equity-financed company and then in the general case with debt and equity. We present the weighted average cost of capital (WACC) formula and discuss it. Finally, on an example we study the steps in applying CAPM.

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