13: Benchmarking and Portfolio Construction

Course Description

Consider the benefits of comparing the risk and return of fixed income portfolios to market-based benchmarks. Identify the primary factors impacting the selection of an appropriate benchmark. Evaluate common risk measures including standard deviation, tracking error, Sharpe measure, and information ratio. Compare several active and passive portfolio construction techniques. Analyze the return of sample portfolios versus a designated benchmark.


1: Importance of Selecting an Appropriate Market Benchmark

2: Absolute and Relative Risk Measures

3: Portfolio Structures

4: Evaluating Portfolio Risk and Return


$995 for students, governments and non-profits

$1650 for corporate and for-profit entities

Group pricing for teams of 5 or more

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Course Requirements


Course 6 Recommended or Pass on Pre-Test

Program Level


Field of Study


Credit Hours


Course Instructor

Marcia Clark, CFA

Senior Research Analyst for Warren Street Wealth Advisors & Full-time Faculty at California State University, Fullerton.,


Marcia leverages decades of investment experience and an advanced academic background in her role as senior research analyst and investment committee member for Warren Street Wealth Advisors. Marcia is also a full-time faculty at California State University, Fullerton where she manages the Titan Capital Management student investment program. Marcia began her investment career in 1984 with PIMCO, an institutional asset management firm based in Newport Beach, where she filled many roles from performance analyst to senior vice president and account manager. In 2008, Marcia transitioned to Director of the Allianz GI Academy, the professional development arm of PIMCO’s parent company Allianz Global Investors. She managed the AllianzGI Academy until 2011, when she retired to become a full-time faculty at California State University, Fullerton. From 2016 to 2018, Marcia also served as Chief Learning Officer and Course Designer for the Fixed Income Academy (FIA), an online professional development platform for public fund and institutional investors. Her work with FIA provided a unique opportunity to share best practices from academia and industry while ensuring her investment knowledge remained current with the ever-changing financial marketplace. Marcia earned the Chartered Financial Analyst designation in 1999, and in 2001 was awarded a masters degree in business administration from the Anderson School of Management at UCLA.