Free Finance Course From Stanford University

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Here’s a course that EVERYONE should sign up for. A financial course from Stanford University offered online for FREE.

There are topics like “saving for retirement” and “making smart decisions as a stock market investor.” You will be watching remotely which means that you won’t be party to the discussion that will emerge from the Socratic method Professor Rauh uses in his traditional classroom on the Stanford campus. Will you be the only one? Hardly! There are over 13,000 students, so it’s a great opportunity to learn from someone like Professor Rauh, but don’t expect any personal attention.

Here’s a video describing the course:

Here a link to sign up for the course:

Here’s an overview of the course:

In this eight-week course, you will learn the financial concepts behind sound retirement plan investment and pension fund management. Course participants will become more informed decision makers about their own portfolios, and be equipped to evaluate economic policy discussions that surround public pensions. The course begins with the principles of financial economics, such as the distribution of outcomes when investing in stocks, bonds, or annuities. These serve as the building blocks for an understanding of different retirement strategies that can help you improve your asset allocation. Finally, the course applies these principles to government programs and policies.

The Finance of Retirement and Pensions will culminate in an interactive symposium about the challenges of U.S. pension systems. Held in January 2014 at Stanford Graduate School of Business, the event will feature representatives of the MOOC teams with the five most promising ideas for pension reform, who will present their proposals to a distinguished panel of faculty and experts in finance and public policy. Expenses will be covered by Stanford Graduate School of Business and the Hoover Institution.

Recommended Background:

  • Ideally, you will have had some exposure to economics or finance in the form of college-level courses, even if that exposure is not especially recent or extensive

  • You’ll want to understand the value of a diversified stock portfolio, interest rates, and inflation

  • You’ll be able to follow along best if you understand the present value formula, as well as statistical concepts like means, medians, standard deviations, and percentiles

  • We will provide review sheets about formulas for the present value of a perpetuity, a growing perpetuity, and an annuity, and suggest that you review a few concepts about probability

  • We will be doing calculations in Microsoft Excel as part of the coursework

Workload: Expect to spend between 4 – 6 hours a week on the course.

Technical Requirements: You need a computer that allows you to watch the video lectures, edit spreadsheets, and the ability to upload your assignments, which will include text reports and images or video.

Statement of Accomplishment: Subject to satisfactory performance and course completion, you will receive a statement of accomplishment signed by the instructor. This statement will not stand in the place of a course taken at Stanford or an accredited institution.

This course contains general information about financial matters for educational purposes only. You should always consult with a competent financial services/legal professional licensed in your state with respect to your particular situation before making any decision.

The information in the lecture videos is not advice, and should not be treated as such. Stanford University makes no representations or warranties in relation to the legal, financial, or any information in this course.

Here a link to sign up for the course:

Here’s Professor Rauh’s bio:

Joshua Rauh is a Professor of Finance at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, a Senior Fellow (by courtesy) at the Hoover Institution, and a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER). He studies corporate investment and financial structure, private equity and venture capital, and the financial structure of pension funds and their sponsors. Rauh’s research on state and local pension systems in the United States has received national media coverage in outlets such as the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, the Financial Times, and The Economist. Before joining the Stanford faculty in 2012, he taught at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business and the Kellogg School of Management.

Here a link to sign up for the course:

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