About this Course
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Beginner Level


Subtitles: English, Turkish, Arabic

Skills you will gain

Financial AccountingCapital BudgetingCorporate FinanceFinance

100% online

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.

Flexible deadlines

Reset deadlines in accordance to your schedule.

Beginner Level


Subtitles: English, Turkish, Arabic

Syllabus - What you will learn from this course

3 hours to complete

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.

15 videos (Total 101 min), 3 readings, 2 quizzes
15 videos
Human Nature and the Time Value of Money7m
Compounding and Earning Returns Over Time11m
Basic Principals of Valuation and Discounting4m
Discounting Future Cash Back to the Present12m
Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) as the Basis for All Valuation6m
DCF Practical Example11m
Valuation by Comparables8m
Examples and Applications: Bonds8m
Examples and Applications: Mortgages5m
Examples and Applications: Annuities8m
Examples and Applications: Capstone Example5m
Conversations with a Practitioner4m
3 readings
General Course Information10m
Discussion Forum Guidelines10m
Pre-Course Survey10m
2 practice exercises
Homework Assignment30m
Week 1 Quiz30m
2 hours to complete

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 (Total 72 min), 1 reading, 2 quizzes
11 videos
Payback Period7m
Accounting Ratios7m
Internal Rate of Return (IRR)8m
Wrinkles with IRR8m
Using All the Metrics Together4m
Sensitivity Analysis7m
Spreadsheet Modeling9m
Conversations with a Practitioner5m
1 reading
Real World Application: A Refresher on Net Present Value10m
2 practice exercises
Homework Assignment30m
Week 2 Quiz30m
2 hours to complete

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 (Total 60 min), 1 reading, 2 quizzes
10 videos
Working Capital Adjustments8m
Depreciation and Capital Expenditures5m
Salvage and Terminal Values7m
Calculating Free Cash Flow7m
Using Capital Budgeting Tools8m
Conversations with a Practitioner4m
1 reading
Real World Application: Obama Administration Releases Report Outlining Benefits of Expensing Proposal in Encouraging Business Expansion, Hiring Now10m
2 practice exercises
Homework Assignment35m
Week 3 Quiz35m
3 hours to complete

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 (Total 72 min), 2 readings, 2 quizzes
10 videos
Historical Risk and Return7m
The Equity Risk Premium5m
Beta and the Cost of Equity10m
Credit Ratings and Quality Spreads5m
Estimating the Cost of Debt6m
Putting it All Together as the WACC (Weighted Average Cost of Capital)12m
Conversations with a Practitioner6m
2 readings
Real World Application: U.S. oil companies closer to balancing capital investment with operating cash flow10m
Real World Application: Why aren't companies spending?10m
2 practice exercises
Homework Assignment (Optional)30m
Week 4 Quiz30m
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Top reviews from Finance for Non-Finance Professionals

By SCMar 26th 2018

Very good learning experience.\n\nThe course is ideal for people having an interest in Finance! No prior knowledge needed!\n\nThe Prof. makes sure you are involved throughout the lecture!

By MHOct 7th 2018

This course as the title suggests is actually required for non finance professionals to get an understanding of concepts in Finance. A very good and well structured course.



James Weston

Houston Endowment Professor of Finance
Jones Graduate School of Business

About 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....

Frequently Asked Questions

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  • When you purchase a Certificate you get access to all course materials, including graded assignments. Upon completing the course, your electronic Certificate will be added to your Accomplishments page - from there, you can print your Certificate or add it to your LinkedIn profile. If you only want to read and view the course content, you can audit the course for free.

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