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Stocks and Bonds: Risks and Returns

Stanford Graduate School of Business and Stanford University via Stanford OpenEdx

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Overview

Stocks and bonds have always been a critical part of any investment portfolio, but what do investors actually get in exchange for their investment? Why do publicly traded stocks and bonds have value?

This course will present an overview of stocks and bonds, with a focus on the finance fundamentals behind these instruments. We’ll start out with an overview of the bond market, paying special attention to corporate and municipal bonds. Next, we’ll review interest rates and their impact on the valuation of treasury bonds. Then we’ll take a look at the fundamentals of the stock market, and finally we’ll dive into an analysis of how to make smart decisions as an investor.

Since the course is self-paced, you can take as much time as you need. Short lecture videos introduce the concepts in manageable chunks. Following each video are practice exercises to help cement your understanding of the key concepts. Finally, a recorded panel discussion featuring a Nobel Prize-winning economist will allow us to delve into the finer details of asset management.

Whether you’re an experienced shareholder, a novice investor, or simply interested in how our financial markets work, join us as we study the financial principles behind stocks and bonds.

PREREQUISITES

There are no formal prerequisites, but students will ideally have had some exposure to college-level courses in economics or finance, even if that exposure was not especially recent or extensive. An understanding of the following key concepts will be helpful:

  • diversified stock portfolio
  • interest rates
  • inflation
  • present value formula
  • statistical concepts like mean, median, standard deviation, and percentiles

Taught by

Joshua Rauh

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