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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!

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101 - 125 of 204 Reviews for Investments I: Fundamentals of Performance Evaluation

By Keith K D

Dec 14, 2018

Great course, I learned a lot of new things

By Stella A

Jan 2, 2019

Very useful course! Many thanks to Scott.

By Pedro T G

Jul 23, 2020

Great work by Professor Scott! Loved it!

By Ensar K

Sep 7, 2019

the best course i ve viewed in coursera

By Shishir D

Sep 9, 2020

i have learned the skill of investment

By Abdul K O

May 31, 2018

Happy that I passed this tough course.

By Martin M

Jun 29, 2020

Good course with practical knowledge.

By Partha G

Nov 4, 2018

Great learning experience. Thanks !!!

By Антон К

Jan 19, 2021

great tutor and very useful material

By Mostafa(MBA) M

Nov 11, 2019

excellent course, but a little long.

By David H

Mar 12, 2018

Top notch instruction and lectures!

By Tushar T

Oct 31, 2020

The course was very useful for me.

By Kianti S

Jul 31, 2020

I learned so much bout investment.

By Michael M

Dec 8, 2016

Fantastic class. Very informative!

By Manuel I

Nov 12, 2020

Great material but a lot of it.

By Joseph M

Nov 12, 2020

best illinois mba course so far

By Bill D

Dec 8, 2016

Fantastic course. Leaned a lot!


Nov 21, 2016

Merci pour ce merveilleux cours

By Edgar P

Apr 27, 2021

Very motivating and practical.

By Kartikeyan S

Nov 10, 2020

Awesome Course on Investments

By Ann M

Jul 2, 2018

great course and instructor.

By Ahmed Q

Apr 6, 2020

Great content and knowledge

By Daniel D

Apr 5, 2018

Love the class and content!

By Henrique A d C

Nov 3, 2016

The best regarding finance!


Mar 22, 2021

Really interesting course!