Chevron Left
Back to Investments I: Fundamentals of Performance Evaluation

Learner Reviews & Feedback for Investments I: Fundamentals of Performance Evaluation by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

887 ratings

About the Course

In this course, we will discuss fundamental principles of trading off risk and return, portfolio optimization, and security pricing. We will study and use risk-return models such as the Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM) and multi-factor models to evaluate the performance of various securities and portfolios. Specifically, we will learn how to interpret and estimate regressions that provide us with both a benchmark to use for a security given its risk (determined by its beta), as well as a risk-adjusted measure of the security’s performance (measured by its alpha). Building upon this framework, market efficiency and its implications for patterns in stock returns and the asset-management industry will be discussed. Finally, the course will conclude by connecting investment finance with corporate finance by examining firm valuation techniques such as the use of market multiples and discounted cash flow analysis. The course emphasizes real-world examples and applications in Excel throughout. This course is the first of two on Investments that I am offering online (“Investments II: Lessons and Applications for Investors” is the second course). The over-arching goals of this course are to build an understanding of the fundamentals of investment finance and provide an ability to implement key asset-pricing models and firm-valuation techniques in real-world situations. Specifically, upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to: • Explain the tradeoffs between risk and return • Form a portfolio of securities and calculate the expected return and standard deviation of that portfolio • Understand the real-world implications of the Separation Theorem of investments • Use the Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM) and 3-Factor Model to evaluate the performance of an asset (like stocks) through regression analysis • Estimate and interpret the ALPHA (α) and BETA (β) of a security, two statistics commonly reported on financial websites • Describe what is meant by market efficiency and what it implies for patterns in stock returns and for the asset-management industry • Understand market multiples and income approaches to valuing a firm and its stock, as well as the sensitivity of each approach to assumptions made • Conduct specific examples of a market multiples valuation and a discounted cash flow valuation This course was previously entitled “Financial Evaluation and Strategy: Investments” and was part of a previous specialization entitled "Improving Business and Finances Operations", which is now closed to new learner enrollment. “Financial Evaluation and Strategy: Investments” received an average rating of 4.8 out of 5 based on 199 reviews over the period August 2015 through August 2016. You can view a detailed summary of the ratings and reviews for this course in the Course Overview section. 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


Nov 11, 2016

This was a fantastic course, with a realistically attainable amount of material, and a humble, knowledgable professor whose teaching style makes a normally difficult topic very easy to understand.


Dec 6, 2017

Professor Weisbenner is fabulous! He is able to make anyone understand complex investment topics through his delivery and curriculum design. You are missing out not taking Investments from him!

Filter by:

76 - 100 of 204 Reviews for Investments I: Fundamentals of Performance Evaluation

By Mark D

Dec 10, 2016

Entertaining and you learn a lot. I highly recommend taking this course.

By Christian G

Dec 6, 2017

Excellent course, the first couple weeks are tough but worth the effort.

By Jonas M G

Mar 30, 2022

Great coverage of topics related to the theory of investment practices.

By Fang S

May 23, 2018

Nice Course! Basic but deep enough to understand valuation of the firm.

By Aditya B

Mar 21, 2018

Well-rounded course content. A perfect blend of theory and practice.

By Vipul R H

Sep 7, 2019

Prof. Scott has a very unique approach which helped he really well.

By Aashish S

Feb 10, 2019

Amazing course. Gained a lot of insights regarding investments.

By Ponciano R

Jan 31, 2019

Fantastic course full of detailed and well explained examples!

By Fayaz K

Jun 7, 2017

Amazing instructor. Clear logic and reasons, huge experience.

By Huyen N

Jul 1, 2023

Really useful content and excellent presentation, thank you!

By Craig M

Nov 8, 2017

Intensive, but very well done! Great sense of humor as well!

By Nick N

Feb 23, 2021

Very good course.

Teacher knowledge's fantastic!

Thank you.

By Eric K

Dec 12, 2016

Very dedicated professor whose efforts are very apparent.

By Douglas S

Jun 9, 2020

Excellent course, a lot of material explained very well

By Rohan P

Sep 10, 2020

One of the best courses about investments on coursera

By Steven O

Nov 16, 2019

Great teacher with tons of information and examples.

By Gerardo H J B

Oct 5, 2017

Great course and material! Great teacher engagement!


Jan 13, 2018

I really do enjoyed the course I learn a lot about

By Jared M

Feb 18, 2022

Loved the class. Professor Weisbenner was great!

By Roman H

Aug 28, 2019

The best of all courses on Coursera I've ever had

By Noman M A

Dec 11, 2017

An excellent course and insights on Mutual Funds

By Hải T M

Sep 27, 2021

I really love the way Prof. Weisbenner lectures

By John d l T

Dec 8, 2016

A++ for your effort and delivery Scott, thanks

By Jacqualine O

Dec 8, 2017

Great professors from iMBA and Coursera side.

By Fotios S

Oct 23, 2020

Excellent course, in depth but to the point.