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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!

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126 - 150 of 204 Reviews for Investments I: Fundamentals of Performance Evaluation

By Himanshu G

Nov 5, 2020

Great course, lot of work!

By mo-hammed a b

Oct 23, 2020

Extremely powerful course

By Ilias K S

Jul 26, 2019

Top investments course

By Rohiet R S

Oct 2, 2018

scott you are too good

By Austin S C

Oct 10, 2017

Excellent instructor!

By Natalia M G A

Nov 17, 2018

Really good course

By Jose L M

Nov 7, 2020

Excellent course!

By dipanjan s

Jul 7, 2020

Best course ever!


Nov 16, 2019

Excellent Course!

By Antonio L

Jul 4, 2019

Excellent course!

By Roberto G

Oct 25, 2020

Excellent course

By Shivi D

Aug 21, 2020

Amazing teacher!

By Caio C

Nov 7, 2020

Good, but long.

By Diego A

Oct 19, 2020

Amazing course.

By Dan

Aug 9, 2020

amazing course!

By Ricardo C

Aug 4, 2020

Great teacher.

By Miguel V

Apr 22, 2019

Great course!

By sirsendu s

Jul 16, 2017

great teacher

By Ankit M

Nov 6, 2016

Great course!

By Ricardo A G O

Apr 12, 2021

Great Course

By Darshan M D

Nov 17, 2020

Great Class!

By Yijie R

Jul 19, 2020

Vert Useful!

By Minh N N

Apr 19, 2020

Good course!

By Ray S

Nov 6, 2018

Great Course

By Anuar

Sep 30, 2018