Financial engineering is a discipline that uses knowledge from multiple fields, including computer science, economics, applied mathematics and statistics, and applies them to innovative solutions to financial problems as well as the creation of new finance products. Also known as computational engineering, finance engineering is used in a variety of organization, including investment banks and insurance agencies. One example of the application of financial engineering to a current problem is financial reinsurance products, which allow an insurance provider to write big policies without shouldering too much risk by sharing it with another company in exchange for a portion of the premiums. Another example is bundling several products together into one package that is offered to consumers at a special low price.
Some of the fields in which financial engineering is applied include:
Corporate finance. This is a blanket term that refers to the way the finances of a corporation are managed. Financial engineering can be used to solve problems such as how to allocate limited company resources among a series of investment opportunities in order to maximize returns. Or he can look at the financial records of the company and decide how to cut costs in order to make a company more profitable.
Portfolio management. As a portfolio manager, it is your duty to manage an investment portfolio to ensure the best returns for the investor. Financial engineering is one of the tools that you can use to help achieve this goal. For example, you can choose to hold on to certain investments long-term in the expectation that they would deliver consistent returns over time. Or, if the investor has a higher risk tolerance, you can adopt an active management style in which you will look for opportunities to make a quick profit by aggressively trading securities.
Risk management. This field involves recognizing and minimizing risks in order to increase the probability that a desired outcome will be achieved or an unfortunate event will be avoided. For example, the financial engineer can decide if it is worth it to enter into a particular investment opportunity and to look at methods for minimizing risks. For example, he can limit the amount of money that will be put into the investment. Or he can split the risk by diversifying the portfolio and allocating resources to other investments in an attempt to minimize the possible losses in case the investment does not pay off. You can read download free pdf books on risk management strategies if you want to learn about them and how to apply them to your investment portfolio.