I am getting ready for the first day of my Fall 2010 Valuation class and am just as excited as I was the day that I taught my first class. I taught my first valuation class in 1986 and have taught it every year since (twice a year, in most years). I am often asked whether I get bored, teaching the same class over and over. Not for a second, and here is why:
1. The issues that we face in valuation change constantly. When I first started teaching the class, the big issue was recapitalization, as many large US companies were shifting to using more debt in their capital structure. In the 1990s, interest shifted to valuing technology companies, in general, and young technology companies, in particular. The last decade saw the rise of emerging market companies in the first part and the banking crisis, towards the end. My lectures and notes reflect these shifts.
2. First principles endure: While the issues and challenges that we face in valuation change constantly, I have adhered to the same first principles over time. In fact, it is these first principles of valuation that I return to, at times of uncertainty and crisis, to look for answers. I truly believe that if you "get" these first principles, you are capable of answering any question in valuation, and I view that as one of the primary objectives for this class.
3. The audience changes: As any teacher knows, the material may stay the same but the experience of a class can change, depending on audience interaction and background.
4. It is theater: I love having an audience (even if it is a captive one), especially since I get to review their performance, rather than the other way around. What actor would not kill for this set up?
I invite you to join in and follow the class. The lectures will be webcast, though not in real time. You can download them and watch them on your computer or iPod, or watch it as a streaming video. You can get the lecture notes, follow my emails and even take the quizzes/exam (you have to grade them yourself, but I will put my grading template online). Everything you need should be at this link:
Just a note of caution. You will not get credit for the class but I hope that the material is worth the effort. Let me know if there is something I can add (at low cost in terms of time) to the website to make your experience better.