Finance for Non-Finance Professionals

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Description

When you enroll for courses through Coursera you get to choose for a paid plan or for a free plan

  • Free plan: No certicification and/or audit only. You will have access to all course materials except graded items.
  • Paid plan: Commit to earning a Certificate—it's a trusted, shareable way to showcase your new skills.

About this course: This short course surveys all the major topics covered in a full semester MBA level finance course, but with a more intuitive approach on a very high conceptual level. The goal here is give you a roadmap and framework for how financial professional make decisions. We will cover the basics of financial valuation, the time value of money, compounding returns, and discounting the future. You will understand discounted cash flow (DCF) valuation and how it compares to other methods. We also step inside the mind of a corporate financial manager and develop the basic tools of capital budgeting. We will survey the how, when, and where to spend money, make tradeoffs about inve…

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Didn't find what you were looking for? See also: Financial Markets, Corporate Finance, Full time MBA, Global MBA, and Executive MBA.

When you enroll for courses through Coursera you get to choose for a paid plan or for a free plan

  • Free plan: No certicification and/or audit only. You will have access to all course materials except graded items.
  • Paid plan: Commit to earning a Certificate—it's a trusted, shareable way to showcase your new skills.

About this course: This short course surveys all the major topics covered in a full semester MBA level finance course, but with a more intuitive approach on a very high conceptual level. The goal here is give you a roadmap and framework for how financial professional make decisions. We will cover the basics of financial valuation, the time value of money, compounding returns, and discounting the future. You will understand discounted cash flow (DCF) valuation and how it compares to other methods. We also step inside the mind of a corporate financial manager and develop the basic tools of capital budgeting. We will survey the how, when, and where to spend money, make tradeoffs about investment, growth, dividends, and how to ensure sound fiscal discipline. Our journey then turns to a Wall Street or capital markets perspective of investments as we discuss the fundamental tradeoff between risk and return. We then synthesize our discussion of risk with our valuation framework and incorporate it into series of direct applications to practice. This course requires no prior familiarity with finance. Rather, it is intended to be a first step for anyone who is curious about understanding stock markets, valuation, or corporate finance. We will walk through all of the tools and quantitative analysis together and develop a guide for understanding the seemingly complex decisions that finance professionals make. By the end of the course, you will develop an understanding of the major conceptual levers that push and pull on financial decision making and how they relate to other areas of business. The course should also serve as a roadmap for where to further your finance education and it would be an excellent introduction of any students contemplating an MBA or Finance concentration, but who has little background in the area.

Created by:  Rice University
  • Taught by:  James Weston, Houston Endowment Professor of Finance

    Jones Graduate School of Business
Level Beginner Language English How To Pass Pass all graded assignments to complete the course. User Ratings 4.8 stars Average User Rating 4.8See what learners said Coursework

Each course is like an interactive textbook, featuring pre-recorded videos, quizzes and projects.

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Rice University Rice University is consistently ranked among the top 20 universities in the U.S. and the top 100 in the world. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy.

Syllabus


WEEK 1


Course Overview and Basic Principles of Financial Valuation Discounting



Welcome to Finance for Non-Finance Professionals! In this section you will find general information about the course and instructions on how to navigate the course. For the first week of lectures, we will be covering the basics of financial valuation. We will start with the basics of compounding and discounting rates of return over time. Using these tools we will then move on to valuation using the discounted cash flow method. Along the way, we will demonstrate our valuation tools with a variety of practical examples and compare our analysis with other valuation techniques.


14 videos, 3 readings, 1 practice quiz expand


  1. Video: Course Trailer
  2. Video: Course Overview & Demonstration
  3. Reading: General Course Information
  4. Reading: Discussion Forum Guidelines
  5. Reading: Pre-Course Survey
  6. Video: Week 1 Overview
  7. Video: Human Nature and the Time Value of Money
  8. Video: Compounding and Earning Returns Over Time
  9. Video: Discounting Future Cash Back to the Present
  10. Video: Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) as the Basis for All Valuation
  11. Video: DCF Practical Example
  12. Video: Valuation by Comparables
  13. Video: Examples and Applications: Bonds
  14. Video: Examples and Applications: Mortgages
  15. Video: Examples and Applications: Annuities
  16. Video: Examples and Applications: Capstone Example
  17. Video: Conversations with a Practitioner
  18. Discussion Prompt: Real World Application: Introduce Yourself!
  19. Practice Quiz: Homework Assignment

Graded: Week 1 Quiz

WEEK 2


How to Spend Money (Capital Budgeting tools)



Welcome to the second week of Finance for Non-Finance Professionals! In this week of the course, we will build on the basic valuation tools from week one to start making capital budgeting decisions. Our capital budgeting review covers the basic tools like Net Present Value, Internal Rate of Return, Payback period, and return on capital. Our discussion of the relative advantages of each different tool leads us into sensitivity analysis and the advantages of spreadsheet modeling.


11 videos, 1 reading, 1 practice quiz expand


  1. Video: Week 2 Overview
  2. Video: Overview of the Capital Budgeting Process
  3. Video: Net Present Value (NPV)
  4. Video: Payback Period
  5. Video: Accounting Ratios
  6. Video: Internal Rate of Return (IRR)
  7. Video: Wrinkles with IRR
  8. Video: Using All the Metrics Together
  9. Video: Sensitivity Analysis
  10. Video: Spreadsheet Modeling
  11. Video: Conversations with a Practitioner
  12. Reading: Real World Application: A Refresher on Net Present Value
  13. Practice Quiz: Homework Assignment

Graded: Week 2 Quiz

WEEK 3


Measuring Cash Creation and Flow



Welcome back to Finance for Non-Finance Professionals! In our third week together, we will go on a treasure hunt through the financial statements. Using discounted cash flows as our motivation, we search through the income statement and balance sheet for all the uses and sources of cash. Our search leads us to our primary measure of value creation: Free Cash Flow. Free cash flow will form the basis of most financial analysis and this module gives us a roadmap for estimating and forecasting cash creation within any organization.


10 videos, 1 reading, 1 practice quiz expand


  1. Video: Week 3 Overview
  2. Video: Brief Overview of the Financial Statements
  3. Video: Hunting for Cash Creation
  4. Video: Working Capital Adjustments
  5. Video: Depreciation and Capital Expenditures
  6. Video: Salvage and Terminal Values
  7. Video: Taxes
  8. Video: Calculating Free Cash Flow
  9. Video: Using Capital Budgeting Tools
  10. Video: Conversations with a Practitioner
  11. Reading: Real World Application: Obama Administration Releases Report Outlining Benefits of Expensing Proposal in Encouraging Business Expansion, Hiring Now
  12. Practice Quiz: Homework Assignment

Graded: Week 3 Quiz

WEEK 4


How Much Does Money Cost? Evaluating the Cost of Capital



Welcome back everyone! In our final week together in this course, we switch gears and take an external view of the firm from a Wall Street, or capital markets, perspective. We think about the basic tradeoff between risk and return, how to measure risk, and how to put a risk premium on different kinds of investments. We then take our analysis of risk and return and use it to estimate a firm's cost of capital. Finally, we circle back to free cash flows, capital budgeting and valuation to tie together all four weeks and get ready for our capstone case analysis.


10 videos, 2 readings, 1 practice quiz expand


  1. Video: Week 4 Overview
  2. Video: Debt vs. Equity Financing
  3. Video: Risk Free Rate
  4. Video: Historical Risk and Return
  5. Video: The Equity Risk Premium
  6. Video: Beta and the Cost of Equity
  7. Video: Credit Ratings and Quality Spreads
  8. Video: Estimating the Cost of Debt
  9. Video: Putting it All Together as the WACC (Weighted Average Cost of Capital)
  10. Video: Conversations with a Practitioner
  11. Reading: Real World Application: U.S. oil companies closer to balancing capital investment with operating cash flow
  12. Reading: Real World Application: Why aren't companies spending?
  13. Practice Quiz: Homework Assignment (Optional)

Graded: Week 4 Quiz

WEEK 5


Capstone Case: Putting it All Back Together from Main Street to Wall Street



In this final part of the course we bring all of our analysis to bear on a realistic case study. We will evaluate the investment prospects of Sunrise Bakery. As their CFO considers a large capital expenditure, she needs to think about the tradeoff between spending money today and generating more free cash flow in the future. Our job in this case is to forecast the amount of cash generation the new equipment will produce, discount the cash flows, and use all of our capital budgeting tools to make a sound financial recommendation.


1 video, 3 readings expand


  1. Video: Overview of Capstone Case
  2. Reading: Background: Sunrise Bakery Expansion
  3. Reading: Instructions: Sunrise Bakery Expansion
  4. Reading: End-of-Course Survey

Graded: Capstone Case Questions
Graded: Final Exam
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