Friday, February 1, 2013

It's time: A new semester begins.. and you are welcome to join in...

As those of you who have been reading my blog for a while know, I have been posting my valuation and corporate finance classes online. A year ago, at the start of my Spring 2012 class, I provided my rationale for doing so, which is that the modern university business model is broken and inefficient and that change is needed. At the start of the Fall 2012 valuation class, I pointed to the lessons that I had learned from the earlier semester and the tweaks I had made as a consequence. The learning continued through the semester and I hope to incorporate what I have learned this semester, since I will be offering my corporate finance and valuation classes online, as in prior semesters and I hope that you will be able to join in (at least for portions). The classes start on Monday (February 4). You can follow my corporate finance class or my valuation class, or if you are a glutton for punishment, both.

Corporate Finance
I am undoubtedly biased, but I believe that no matter what you do in business, you should understand corporate finance. By understanding corporate finance, I don’t mean that you have to agree with what I have to say on the topic, but that you have to develop your own narrative that is internally consistent about what it is that business should aspire to accomplish and how they should allocate resources to get to that objective.  This semester-long class should be accessible to anyone who can read a financial statement and can do basic statistics and you can take the class in one of four forums:

a. My website: I track the class on my website, with links to the webcasts of the lectures posted a few hours after each lecture, all of the lectures notes, quizzes and exams and even emails that I send to the class. You can find the links to the website for the class and to the webcast page below:
Link for just webcasts:
The webcasts can be seen in one of three formats: a direct stream from the NYU server, a downloadable video file that you can watch on your computer at your own leisure and a downloadable audio file, if you want a smaller file with just lecture audio. In the interests of not straining the NYU servers (and creating some backlash for me), please try to use the downloadable versions of the sessions, if you decide to use this forum. The classes are scheduled from 10.30-12, Monday and Wednesday and should be accessible a few hours afterwards.

b. Lore: I have used Lore (which used to be called Coursekit) before and it provides an interesting mix of social media (a Facebook-like discussion page where you can interact with others in the class) and a place for content (where I will post lecture notes, exams and other material to go with the class). To audit the class on Lore, go to the website
When prompted, enter this code: NHHXJU. You should be added to the class and you will get emails when anything is posted to the class site. If you find that bothersome and would prefer to check at your own convenience, you can go into your settings on Lore and turn off the email prompting (though you may not be able to turn off my postings… the privileges of being the instructor). 

c. iTunes U: If you have an Apple device (iPad, iPhone or iPod), you should first download the iTunes U app (which is free). Once you have it downloaded, you can directly join the class using the link below:
Alternatively, you can enter this enrollment code (KA3-L7J-E46) into your iTunes U app and the class should be added to your library. Again, you will be prompted, whenever I post anything to the site but you cannot post directly on the site.

d. Symmynd: This is a new entrant into the mix and I used it in the Fall. They have the Fall 2012 class archived and you can get to it by going to:
They will also be carrying my Spring 2013 class and the link should show up on the site shortly.

The valuation class is a second-year MBA elective course and many of the students in this class have already taken my corporate finance class. However, the class is a stand-alone class that does not require corporate finance. If your interests lie primarily in valuation, you can just take this class, which is about valuing businesses: public or private, small or large, developed or emerging market. It is not a theoretical class. In fact, I firmly believe that there is little theory in valuation and that almost every big question is a pragmatic, estimation question. By the end of the class, my objective is that you will have both the tools and the big picture feel to value just any type of business. As with the corporate finance class, you will have four ways of taking the class.

a. My website:  You can find the links to the website for the class and to the webcast page below:
Link for just webcasts:
All of the caveats and notes that I posted about the corporate finance class apply. The classes are scheduled from 1.30-3, Monday and Wednesday and should be accessible a few hours afterwards.

b. Lore:  To audit the class on Lore, go to the website
When prompted, enter this code: WHKP39

c. iTunes U: You can directly join the class using the link below:
Alternatively, you can enter this enrollment code (KKY-C8B-D56) into your iTunes U app and the class should be added to your library. Again, you will be prompted, whenever I post anything to the site but you cannot post directly on the site.

d. Symmynd: The Spring 2012 corporate finance class is archived and you can get to it by clicking below:
The Spring 2013 class will be added soon on the site and you can follow online in real time.

Bottom Line
I know that you lead busy lives and that it is asking for too much of your time to take an entire class in real time. To alleviate some of the time pressure, I plan to do the following:
a. Leave the content on for at least a year on the sites: You can take a break, if life gets busy, and come back and finish the class...
b. Make individual sessions detachable: Many of you already know corporate finance and valuation. If you prefer to dip in and just take a session or two, it should work.
c. Create shorter versions of the lectures: I know that 80 minutes online is way too long. I am creating 15-20 minute versions of each of the lectures and hope to have those online sometime during the semester. Hopefully, that will relieve the time crunch.

I also know that it is easy to lose your moorings during an online class, without the feedback that you get in a real class. To counter this issue, here are some of the things I will be trying:
a. The Lore social media site: I plan to post questions and topics on this site for general discussion. Please feel free to post your questions and responses there.
b. Class pop quizzes: I will post the pre-class test that I start every valuation class with (with the solution) and a post-class quiz that you can take to see if you get the concepts in the class.
c. Regular quizzes & exams: While I cannot grade all of the quizzes/exams, I will provide you with a grading template that you can use to grade yourself.
d. Projects/ Valuations: Both classes revolve around real time, real world projects where you analyze a company or value it. I will try to guide you along, on these projects, but here again, I will not be grading them. I will still provide a template you can use to assess yourself.
e. Emai

If you decide to join either class, I hope to see you Monday. 


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Varadha said...


I am a self-taught investor of value investing from India and I chanced up on this blog a few months back. Suffice to say, it has sharpened me tremedously - I really hope you come to India for a guest lecture sometime soon.'


Anonymous said...

Many Thanks
i read and heared last courses and were so useful....i will be as will on your new courses with many thanks


Indian said...

You are doing a really fantastic job. There plenty of Indian MBA students who get lots of value from your classes. Your online course work during my MBA time has immensely helped me in my Finance class and in my cracking the campus job placement. Immensely thankful all life

Anonymous said...

You are really amazing! So much information.. and all for those who want to learn...and learn.

Could you please value an Indian company this time?

That would give us some insight on various aspects related to India.

If you have aready valued one recently please give the link.


seo arizona said...

Another year again. Good luck!

Wilson said...

Thank you for doing this. I listened to the classes last semester and learned a lot.

Anonymous said...

Very inspirational. I sincerely applaude what you are doing to give back to the society. Such selfless behaviour is pretty much unseen in nowadays. You give faith to humanity.


Unknown said...


"if something is too good to be true, it probably isn't"

you prove this wrong.

Simply brilliant!!!



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Unknown said...

Dear professor and friends,

I am sorry, i can’t express my feelings - how happy I am at this moment! Professor Damodaran, thank you from the bottom of my hearth! (sorry about emotions)

I was thinking if anyone is up to work in a group with me? Online of course, since i am online listener? Anyone?

Lucius said...

Hello Professor Damodaran,

Thank you for allowing all of us to have access to your awesome class. I heard the lectures a few years ago and I learned more from your class than any other. I wished I had you as a professor in my undergrad. I would have probably majored in finance. I truly agree that everything revolves around finance.


I like your idea of creating a group (online) and try to follow. I'm not sure if we will be graded or how we can tell if we are doing the assignment right, but I would love to join you. Please let me know how we can connect. Great idea.


Anonymous said...

Can you please tell me whether it is possible to transfer video files from itunes U to PC?


Unknown said...

Lucius my friend,
Send me an e-mail on gmail. My acc name is cibra.iv

Anonymous said...

I would really appreciate if anyone could tell me whether it is possible to transfer video files from itunesU to PC.


Unknown said...

Right click the video screen/save video as:

Anonymous said...


It is not possible to right click in iTunesU.

Is there any other way? I want to save lecture video file on my PC as my iPhone is using up the space.

Anonymous said...

Guys - any ideas on how to transfer files from iTunes U on iPhone to PC?

My iPhone space is running out.

Prof. - if you know please let me know.

Google search is not helping me.


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Anonymous said...

Professor, will your courses be available on coursera any time soon?

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You’ve got it, whatever that means in blogging. Anyway, You’re definitely someone that has something to say that people should hear. Keep up the wonderful job. Keep on inspiring the people!
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