Derivatives are one of the best things to happen to finance and even large main street companies. They allow for cheaply and quickly hedging risks or underlying exposures in a highly liquid market. For all their beauty and complexity, derivatives are still not perfectly understood or utilized to their full potential. Nobel prizes have been awarded to economists for their efforts to price and understand derivatives.
I feel like derivatives are like fractals in a sense – you can keep going down the endless rabbit hole as you create ever more complex derivatives which have complicated relationships with underlying assets or market variables. Which is why I think dealing with derivatives is one of the most rewarding careers in finance. That can be derivative structuring, trading, research, or institutional sales. For all these careers, you need to know your product inside out. These are the best courses for derivatives that professionals dealing with them should take to get ahead.
This is the certainly one of the best derivatives courses out there. NYIF has been educating bankers, traders and other finance professionals for 90+ years and that expertise is evident as you progress through this course. The best part about this course is that it has been designed specifically as a derivatives certification. That means it covers only highly relevant topics without wasting your time and get you where you want to be with respect to derivatives.
All your favourite derivatives are covered – starting with forwards, futures, options, fixed income and equity derivatives to risk management with derivatives and asset backed securities. Delta, Gamma, Theta, Vega, Black Scholes, Hedging, CDOs, ABSs – it’s all in here and it’s all pretty good. These are some pretty complex topics and they do a great job of making the material easy to grasp from a practical standpoint. The focus is real world usage and not just academic theory.
For any of the careers that require a knowledge or understanding of derivatives, this should be your starting point. Traders, structurers, hedgers, institutional sales, financial advisors, risk managers, asset and portfolio managers, wealth managers etc. You get a certificate from NYIF upon completion that will add value to your CV. If you need the CV boost before recruitment season or even if you are a finance professional looking to make a switch, you need boosts like this.
|Around 30 hours
|Fully online, on-demand. Classroom option also available.
(Note: Use code BBD25 for 25% off at Financial Edge)
Financial Edge is another elite training provider that some of the worlds top investment banks hire to train their staff. As you can imagine, the stakes are pretty high for these banks to the training providers they hire have to be top notch as well. That is probably the single biggest indicator of the type of quality you can expect from this course. The best part about certifications like these is that they are instantly recognizable in the industry meaning you immediately stand out. In a competitive world, you need every advantage you can get just to stand out.
The praise extends beyond just the brand value of their certification too. I have personally completed most of these courses and they are well-structured, well delivered with excellent real world insights. That is another wonderful aspect of this course. It has been created specifically to get staff desk-ready at top investment banks. You don’t have to mull about a lot academic theory, but you dive right into the practical stuff. That doesn’t mean theory isn’t explained. It just means it is explained as you would expect to learn on the job.
The focus of the course is equity and equity derivatives, fixed income derivatives and even FX and commodities. Its a holistic course with attention paid to all aspects of the market that a trader needs to be aware of. There’s no point in just re-pasting the entire table of contents here so I suggest you click on the link below to look at all the topics that are covered. I personally enjoyed it thoroughly although I admit this has always been one of my favourite topics in finance.
There are hours of videos from industry experts, pdf files for you to download and read, over 60 practical exercises fro you to practice with and online quizzes that you have to complete to earn the certificate. You can display this certificate proudly on your LinkedIn profile and use it to build your personal brand and showcase your skills to potential employers.
|Around 15 hours
|Fully online, on-demand
This is a quick and beginner friendly look at the word of derivatives and trading them in practical scenarios. You will learn about options, market mechanics, basic strategies and everything else you need to start trading from Day 1.
I would recommend this course to would-be day traders who want a solid understanding of the basic principles of how derivatives work first before just jumping into the market. The second half of the course that focuses on option strategies is meant to give you direct insight into using derivatives as part of your trading strategy.
You also get access to a free demo Trader Workstation Paper Trading account that you can use to trade in a simulated environment while you are still learning the ropes. This is a nice way to build up some confidence before locking horns with real traders.
- Time to Complete: Around 17 hours.
- Available fully online and on demand. Complete at your own pace.
Another great addition to this list, this derivatives course from MIT Sloan is certain to add value to your CV.
Topic coverage includes forward, options, futures, fixed income and commodity options, exotics, real options, mortgage and credit derivatives and so on. It’s a nice chunky course with immense learning value.
There is solid focus on hedging and the course is suitable for all professionals that have to deal with derivatives. The course is actually part of a bigger finance specialisation. However, you are free to take only this course as per your requirement.
- Time to Complete: Around 12 weeks
- Available fully online on edX – an eLearning platform from MIT and Harvard.
5. Options, Futures and Other Financial Derivatives from LSE
LSE is a great brand to have on your CV. This course has been created by their Department of Finance and is taught by their faculty. It’s a great opportunity to learn from some of the best academicians in finance.
The course focuses on understanding the required tools, pricing, methodology and application of derivatives. The course also goes into greater detail around more advanced topics like exotics, volatility modelling, interest rate derivatives, variance swaps, volatility derivatives etc.
I highly recommend this for traders and institutional sales staff. The price is a bit steep so it would help if you can get corporate sponsorship from your employer.
- Time to Complete: Around 3 weeks.
- Course offered on campus in London.