Introduction to Financial Mathematics

Kevin J. Hastings

October 23, 2015 by Chapman and Hall/CRC
Textbook - 407 Pages - 83 B/W Illustrations
ISBN 9781498723909 - CAT# K25703
Series: Advances in Applied Mathematics


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  • Covers the syllabus topics of the Financial Mathematics Actuarial examination
  • Motivates students through coverage of personal finance
  • Introduces portfolio optimization
  • Discusses probability modeling for finance


Introduction to Financial Mathematics is ideal for an introductory undergraduate course. Unlike most textbooks aimed at more advanced courses, the text motivates students through a discussion of personal finances and portfolio management. The author then goes on to cover valuation of financial derivatives in discrete time, using all of closed form, recursive, and simulation methods.

The text covers nearly all of the syllabus topics of the Financial Mathematics Actuarial examination, providing students with the foundation they require for future studies and throughout their careers. It begins by covering standard material on the mathematics of interest, including compound interest, present value, annuities, loans, several versions of the rate of return on an investment, and interest in continuous time.

The text explains how to value bonds at their issue dates, at coupon times, between coupon times, and in cases where the bonds are terminated early. Next, it supplies a rapid-fire overview of the main ideas and techniques of discrete probability, including sample spaces and probability measures, random variables and distributions, expectation, conditional probability, and independence.

The author introduces the basic terminology of stocks and stock trading. He also explains how to derive the rate of return on a portfolio and how to use the idea of risk aversion to model the investor tradeoff between risk and return. The text also discusses the estimation of parameters of asset models from real data.

The text closes with a detailed discussion of how to value financial derivatives using anti-arbitrage assumptions. The one-step and multi-step cases are covered, and exotic options such as barrier options are also introduced, to which simulation methods are applied.

Many of the examples in the book involve numerical solution of complicated non-linear equations; others ask students to produce algorithms which beg to be implemented as programs. For maximum flexibility, the author has produced the text without adhering to any particular computational platform.

A digital version of this text is also available in the form of Mathematica notebooks that contain additional content.


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