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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Investments II: Lessons and Applications for Investors by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

842 ratings

About the Course

In this course, you will start by reviewing the fundamentals of investments, including the trading off of return and risk when forming a portfolio, asset pricing models such as the Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM) and the 3-Factor Model, and the efficient market hypothesis. You will be introduced to the two components of stock returns – dividends and capital gains – and will learn how each are taxed and the incentives provided to investors from a realization-based capital gains tax. You will examine the investment decisions (and behavioral biases) of participants in defined-contribution (DC) pension plans like 401(k) plans in the U.S. and will learn about the evidence regarding the performance of individual investors in their stock portfolios. The course concludes by discussing the evidence regarding the performance of actively-managed mutual funds. You will learn about the fees charged to investors by mutual funds and the evidence regarding the relation between fees charged and fund performance. Segments of the portfolios of mutual funds that may be more likely to outperform and examples of strategies designed to “earn alpha” will also be introduced. Learners are welcome to take this course even if they have not completed "Investments I: Fundamentals of Performance Evaluation," as the first module contain a review of investment fundamentals and regression analysis to get everyone up to speed. Also, the course contains several innovative features, including creative out-of-the-studio introductions followed by quick-hitting "Module in 60" countdowns that highlight what will be covered in each module, four "Faculty Focus" interview episodes with leading professors in finance, and a summary of each module done with the help of animations! The over-arching goals of this course are to provide a review of the fundamentals of investments and then assess the historical performance of several groups of investors, with an emphasis on research findings with clear real-world applications. Specifically, upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to: • Interpret and use the CAPM and the 3-Factor Model to evaluate the performance of investments • Compare returns in the form of dividends and capital gains and their tax consequences • Describe evidence regarding the performance of individuals’ stock investments • Understand key behavioral biases of investors and their effects on financial decisions • Describe evidence regarding the performance of actively-managed mutual funds • Evaluate strategies designed to “earn alpha” This course is part of the iMBA offered by the University of Illinois, a flexible, fully-accredited online MBA at an incredibly competitive price. For more information, please see the Resource page in this course and

Top reviews


Dec 12, 2016

Excellent class! Very useful information for investing. Great faculty focus sessions with UIUC researchers!. Also love the passion that Dr. Weisbenner displays in teaching. Would highly recommend!


Dec 11, 2020

Very good introduction of some comedy compared to Investments I. The early review of fundamentals and in-depth discussion and teachings about investment topics were much appreciated.

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1 - 25 of 167 Reviews for Investments II: Lessons and Applications for Investors

By Andras I

Jan 14, 2020

The first couse about investment was great, very well balanced for both people taking it as an individual course or part of a specialisation or iMBA. It didn't really have previous requirement (other than maybe statistics and a bit of Excel) and it went far with it.

This second course is different though: I find it too verbose, too layman if it's not your only course in investment and other than some behavioural biases, there isn't that much value over the first one.

Week1 - short summery of course 1. Wasted time for those coming from Investments I, you should be able to pass this quizz 100% without watching any of the videos.

Week2 and Week3 could have been very easily combined into one and be less tiresome.

Week4 is not bad.

But..I was hoping to continue on the trajectory of the first course:

some more complex portfolio construction approaches (in practice)

stock screening/comparing businesses using the comparative and DCF models

more about risk management: hedging with options...etc.

So on one hand it didn't do what an MBA course should be doing but on the other hand it's well built - just for a different audience.

By M L

Aug 31, 2019

Investments 1 was already one of the best classes i took so far, so expectations were high for the second part!

And Mr Weisbenner delivers above expectations. Videos are great, interesting turns with the interviews and as always the class is orientated toward practical use!

Chapeau! Mr Weisbenner, not a Single JarJar Bings Moment!

By Ben N

Apr 13, 2018

This course was delightful but contains much less content than the first course. You can check out the research papers behind each segment which are very interesting. The methods for actually doing that kind of work are not covered. I get the impression that the iMBA coursera classes are intended more as slick early undergrad marketing for the paid program than to really make the education accessible.

By Fate C

Apr 10, 2017

This course, as a standalone or combined with Investments I, is well worth the time, effort, and cost. It provides a well thought out and usable level of knowledge for any investor. I very much appreciate how it supports the theoretical concepts directly to current/applicable research that supports the concepts.

I very much appreciate how it then takes the theoretical information provided and shows the student how to apply it to real investment decision making for an investor or a manager. It reinforces the concepts that are discussed with how the market/returns have rewarded or punished investments which stray to far from the principles discussed during the course(s).

Scott Weisbenner is an excellent instructor and provides a depth of knowledge to the student which goes beyond the level of the type of course which I expected. I really liked his depth of interpretation of results which he then helped me to understand and attain. He was entertaining in a manner that actually reinforced the information and made it easier to retain.

By Amy K

Dec 17, 2019

Several things happened as a result of this course.

1.I'm pretty certain I am much smarter now.

2.I've gained new knowledge to sound dangerously intelligent in company investment decision discussions.

3.I've found myself preaching investments to my coworkers.

4. I'm now actively involved in the design of my company's 403(b) (401(k)) plan.

By Shahid N

Dec 17, 2019

Professor Scott Weisbenner worked really hard on this course. He was simply amazing. Loved the efforts as it made my life so much easier to understand the concepts he taught in this course.

Great job. Please update Course I as well.

By Sachin P X

Nov 22, 2018

Absolutely brilliant course. Concise, practical, and filled with awesome research papers from the professor and some other notable authors. The professor is very engaging filled with a lot of funny quirks in between the videos which keeps the attention bang in. The professor has done a fabulous job in recapping all important concept at the end of each module and at the end of the course. Le penseur, faculty focus interviews, intro videos, animation scott, and module in 60 were a great value add. Will surely miss the class of Prof. Scott Weisbenner a lot. He definitely beat his benchmark by a mile. Thank You.

By Kristin P

Jan 7, 2019

This was a tough class for me (taken in combination with the UIUC coursework), but I was surprised at how much I learned. I studied English and Film Studies in college, so this was far outside of my expertise, and I feel confident in my understanding of basic investments now. Great teacher who really cares about his job and making it entertaining for his students!

By Alexandre S

Jun 10, 2021

I loved participating in the Course. I found it very interesting the way Professor Scott Weisbenner passes information and urges us to change paradigms, "detach". Professor Scott's sympathy goes a long way in convincing us to change the way we should invest our financial resources. I am really happy to know that change is always possible!

By 남호준

Aug 3, 2017

Through this lecture, I learned how to analyze strong financial statements. I learned a lot about accounting basic concepts such as how to calculate corporate value, internal rate of return, expected profit, and so on. I also learned basic knowledge of investment and how to construct a portfolio, and learned management and finance easily.

By Veronica A

Dec 14, 2018

Investments and finance have always been quite nebulous for me but Professor Scott explains these concepts with genuine enthusiasm and in an easy to understand manner for a novice like myself. This course has strengthened my confidence in understanding my personal finances, investments, and retirement. I highly recommend his course!

By Luis F R M

Jul 17, 2020

It was an amazing learning experience, I liked the combination of the interviews with the practical knowledge in investments and all the useful data I have learned. It has bean awesome, Scott is a great teacher and i am exited to continue expanding mu knowledge in this are. Thank you.

By Sam W

Dec 9, 2020

I decided to give this course the maximum rating because the effort and the quality of the content was so well done. I learned a great deal. I would suggest trying to trim some of the video times down. It is difficult to maintain focus for the entire duration during lengthy videos.

By Dustin C K

Dec 12, 2017

Professor Weisbenner is amazing. Provides detailed analysis into finance concepts and touches on firm valuations. In addition, he uses a sense of humor to make the class enjoyable with terrific animations to lighten the environment. Thank you for a terrific learning experience.

By Dhinesh A D

Dec 5, 2020

Great course on investments. Various investment portfolios were explained appropriately with the risks involved. The case studies offered and the assignments were helpful enhancing the learning experience. One of the best courses available on this platform.

By Elif C

Dec 16, 2018

It was fun to learn in this class. Prof. Scott had a lot of great examples to support the lecture. I would definitely encourage Investment 1 and 2 for anyone who is interested in learning about investment. There is so much you get exposure in his lectures!

By Sergio C

Dec 25, 2020

Great course. Scott is doing a terrific job as a teacher breaking down concepts that are somehow complicated in an easy to understand pieces, also, on the funny side his notes, caricatures, and related-no related comments making the course enjoyable also.

By Kalyan V

Dec 8, 2020

It was a FUN journey to learn the often overwhelming (for most) topic - investments. The professor is so skilled to bring the content to everyone's lesson and touch on important investments topics that everyone should be aware of for financial education.

By Francis D

Nov 24, 2018

Got lot of practical information from this class. Prof. Scott is great, he has an interesting way of engaging you in the class and delivery the good stuff which you need both in class and the world of investment out there. Thank you for the knowledge

By Jerry D

Dec 13, 2019

One of the best classes I have ever taken online. Professor Weisbenner is incredibly knowledgeable, and his lectures are both fun and interesting. I highly recommend this course to anyone seeking to enhance their knowledge of investment management.

By John P C

Oct 26, 2019

It really helps to understand the fundamentals.

Each observation is backed by a statistical study.

The Professor is bubbly and interesting.

He can transform a boring subject into an interesting challenge.

A bit lengthy towards module 4.

By Mohamed M

Dec 11, 2016

Excellent course content from an amazing professor who took the time and effort to record more than 30 hours of video to make the students make the most out of this course. He has really interesting and exciting teaching style.

By Georgios A L

Apr 14, 2021

Great course !! It is amazing how passionate Professor Scott is about teaching and generally Investments. I am very glad that I have taken this course and surely it is only the beginning in the Investments world. Thank you

By Anirudh K

Nov 25, 2018

Excellent course. Professor Scott is very knowledgeable and his expertise is reflected in the way he is able to distill down complex concepts into an intuitive level of understanding. Highly recommend the specialization!

By Adrian S

Feb 20, 2020

This course was a great balancing fun part with real and serious knowledge. Congratulation to Scott (prof. Weisbenner) for the great preparation of this course. I wish all course will match excellence of this course.