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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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151 - 175 of 204 Reviews for Investments I: Fundamentals of Performance Evaluation

By Chris B

Jun 7, 2017

Great Course

By amit d

Jan 22, 2021

good course

By Sachin

Jun 6, 2020

Best course

By Huy V C

Dec 21, 2021

good cour

By Mr. A L (

Jan 4, 2021

Super Hard

By Noah M

Nov 20, 2018

Well done!

By Ehui E S A

Jul 6, 2018


By Manuel

Sep 2, 2023


By José E G B

Feb 26, 2018


By Marcelo K

Jul 27, 2017


By Gustavo Q

Feb 22, 2017


By Onyirimba G

May 16, 2023

The best

By Gundega T

Oct 17, 2019


By soumya s

Jun 25, 2018


By Amy K

Dec 17, 2019

Huge amount of content for a coursera course. For the early modules, a stats class pre-req would be very helpful. Several discussions on certain topics before the foundational definitions and explanations were provided. The order of the explanations made the content confusing to me. Once I learned information in later videos, I could understand the earlier videos. But that's just me. The Professor is amazing nonetheless.


May 18, 2021

I am very thankful to the Professor & the course overall for this exposure & clearing my concept for my US CPA License Exams which am finally able to afford & clear in the first try, I don't want to go in for any retakes as I can't afford it nor do I have a lot of time for retakes; as I have scheduled my MsT Degree & 2 years later my combined Tax JD LLM Program to give the bar exams as well.

By Nipun S D

Nov 2, 2020

Professor touches lot of points but only if I can apply those in the real world I would give the fifth start :)I wish there was Investments III and IV where it focuses only simulating different investment situations. Before I joined UIC I had been to Haworth school of business and they seemed to have an entire stock enchange for simulation inside he building which was cool !

By David H

Dec 10, 2019

I enjoyed the class, but the lecture content was a bit long-winded compared to most classes. This might be more of a necessity because of the type of content that is covered. Just be prepared to watch a lot of videos. On the bright side, the professor does a good job on the production of the videos and adding comedic relief.

By Jorge V

May 25, 2021

The course is good. My only relevant critic is about the design of the videos. Each video starts with an oppening showing the University logo, etc. I think it is a little too long and after a few videos it becomes a little boring to watch.

By Frank V

Jul 28, 2017

Normal course work was very good. The Honors content was a bit disappointing in that I finished it before the weeks deadline but never received a grade.

By Joseph A

Dec 11, 2016

This is a great course, highly recommend it, but make sure you have the bandwidth to climb a steep learning curve if you aren't in the investment world.

By Claudia S

Feb 5, 2019

I would have preferred to be slightly shorter and to the point. For me was a little difficult to comprehend all the words at the beginning.

By Khilkovets V Y

Sep 24, 2020

Useful course, many necessary information, but last week is too boring and specified

By Dawnae S

Jul 12, 2019

I enjoyed the teaching and breaking down of answers to understand some investments

By Muhammad S K

Nov 6, 2017

Too long to grasp understanding of material presented. Prof is top notch though