In this course students will be introduced to the modern study and analysis of investments by considering how the investors, namely private and institutional, make their decisions and how their choices can be evaluated. In recent years both markets and securities have evolved to meet the changing and complex needs of different participants in the financial system. In this regard, the course focuses on the knowledge of the major types of markets in which securities trade, on the trading process and on the major players in these arenas. A special attention is devoted to the analysis of the procedures available for trading securities in international markets and to financial regulation and competition. Following a review of the investments industry – financial assets, financial intermediaries and financial markets - we will study the portfolio theory and other relevant models. In particular, the course aims at developing students’ skills on how the international financial markets and investment industry work. At the end of the course students should be able to: analyse financial markets, financial intermediaries and the most known theoretical models; understand how investment decisions can be made and their effects on savings. The use of some problem sets will also enable students to apply the concepts learned.