subject
Intro

Coursera: Introduction to Finance

 with  Gautam Kaul
IMPORTANT UPDATE:  This course is being discontinued after the current session June 1 - mid September is over. The content has been translated into the first two courses of a new specialization we are launching titled "Introduction to Finance: Valuation and Investing" offered by Professors Gautam Kaul and Qin Lei. The specialization has been motivated by two specific kinds of feedback consistently provided by learners over the past three years who have enrolled in this MOOC: to make the content more modular, while also providing advanced frameworks and applications. There are two introductory courses based on this MOOC, and we have added two more advanced and applied courses. All learners interested in the Introduction to Finance MOOC should enroll in the specialization instead;  the first course launches on September 15, 2015.  For more information please visit the Specialization site. If you are enrolled in the next session of this MOOC, Coursera will batch-enroll all leaners in the first course of the specialization. Anyone can choose to unenroll at any time of course.

About the original MOOC:
This course is primarily devoted to the fundamental principles of valuation. We will learn and apply the concepts of time value of money and risk to understand the major determinants of value creation. We will use both theory and real world examples to demonstrate how to value any asset.

Subtitles for all video lectures available in: Chinese (provided by Yeeyan), English, Portuguese (Lemann Foundation), and Ukrainian (Pinchuk Foundation)

Syllabus

See the detailed Syllabus. Please note that based on feedback we have received following our first offering of the course, we have decided to extend the duration to fifteen weeks for this, and all subsequent offerings.
44 Student
reviews
Cost Free Online Course (Audit)
Pace Finished
Subject Finance
Provider Coursera
Language English
Hours 6-8 hours a week
Calendar 15 weeks long
Sign up for free? Learn how
+ Add to My Courses
Gautam Kaul
Class Central presents
An interview with
Gautam Kaul
First love, then Finance - University of Michigan's Gautam Kaul on educating 400K people around the world in Finance. Read
Learn Data Analysis udacity.com

Learn to become a Data Analyst. Job offer guaranteed or get a full refund.

Advertisement
Become a Data Scientist datacamp.com

Learn Python & R at your own pace. Start now for free!

Advertisement
FAQ View All
What are MOOCs?
MOOCs stand for Massive Open Online Courses. These are free online courses from universities around the world (eg. Stanford Harvard MIT) offered to anyone with an internet connection.
How do I register?
To register for a course, click on "Go to Class" button on the course page. This will take you to the providers website where you can register for the course.
How do these MOOCs or free online courses work?
MOOCs are designed for an online audience, teaching primarily through short (5-20 min.) pre recorded video lectures, that you watch on weekly schedule when convenient for you.  They also have student discussion forums, homework/assignments, and online quizzes or exams.

44 reviews for Coursera's Introduction to Finance

Write a review
20 out of 24 people found the following review useful
5 years ago
profile picture
Anonymous completed this course.
This was a frustrating class. The first few weeks were awesome, but then things started to deteriorate. There were four main problems: 1) Principles were explained in a very simple way, but never presented in their complicated real-life settings during class. Instead, a lot of the practical applications were presented Read More
This was a frustrating class. The first few weeks were awesome, but then things started to deteriorate. There were four main problems: 1) Principles were explained in a very simple way, but never presented in their complicated real-life settings during class. Instead, a lot of the practical applications were presented in increasingly difficult and complicated quiz questions. This leads to 2) The correct answers were never provided for the quizzes, which you could only take twice. So if you got a question wrong you couldn't tell if you misplaced a period, misunderstood the question, or completely got the principle wrong. If you didn't get it right the first or second time on your own, tough luck, no learning for you. I'm a smart guy and I usually do very well on exams, so I was okay there except for the thing which bothered me the most: 3) The quizzes, and the course itself, lacked rigor. When we learned a concept the professor shared his thoughts (and feelings) on it, but these were generally not tried and true refined principles. Rather they were short phrases in incomplete sentences that didn't make sense until they were explained, and they weren't explained very logically at times. In the quizzes, the questions didn't always clearly explain all of the details, or explained them in a misleading way. English is a very demanding language, a misplaced or poorly chosen word completely changes the meaning of a sentence. A missing word leads to more confusion. I know the word is missing, I know it appears to him to be so obvious he doesn't think he needs to say it, but I can think of two different meanings for this statement by inserting a different missing adjective or noun in a different place. I found myself trying to put myself in his head and guess what he was trying to say. More than a few times I got questions right by thinking "the question says this, but I know he means that". It seemed to me from the forums that the Indian students could understand him better than the American students, and you can also see that from the reviews here. 4) Finally, there was material that had to be learned for the class that was not taught in the class.

What ended up happening was people got frustrated. Unwilling to waste their chance of passing the class by messing up the quizzes, many people turned to cheating using methods I will not discuss for the integrity of future courses. In summary, there was very simplistic teaching that left a lot to be desired, poorly designed quiz questions, and zero helpful feedback to help anyone who was struggling. Every professor has their quirks, but the fact that the quizzes were used so heavily as teaching tools but the correct answers were not only not provided, but were clearly banned from discussion between students in order to protect the integrity of future classes, all while cheating was so rampant and obvious just killed this course for me. I don't care what the intentions were, what actually happened was that people with no morals received a better experience, and a certificate, while honest people learned less and flunked the course. When we attempt to do good things we need to use our brains to do it right. The answers to the quizzes should be provided so people could learn from their mistakes, and some values can be changed for the quiz questions for the next class so that the answers aren't the same. If professor Gautam put as much passion into educating us as he did in convincing us he is a super nice guy the course would have been awesome.
Was this review helpful to you? YES | NO
11 out of 13 people found the following review useful
3 years ago
profile picture
Wan Kong Yew completed this course and found the course difficulty to be hard.
One of the distinguishing characteristics of this class is that Professor’s Kaul’s lectures consist of a high proportion of what I would call conversational fluff. That is, the professor spends a lot of time talking about himself, his love of finance and anecdotes to amuse the student. He also repeatedly exhorts studen Read More
One of the distinguishing characteristics of this class is that Professor’s Kaul’s lectures consist of a high proportion of what I would call conversational fluff. That is, the professor spends a lot of time talking about himself, his love of finance and anecdotes to amuse the student. He also repeatedly exhorts students to take time to absorb the material and to take breaks between videos.

This is not to say that Kaul is a bad professor. On the contrary, his love of finance is infectious and it is evident that his priority is to train students to adopt a financial way of thinking rather than to teach any specific set of formulas which will necessarily be overly rigid. Students are encouraged to think for themselves about why something makes financial sense rather than apply formulas by rote and he expects students to go beyond his lectures to look up information for themselves.

Was this review helpful to you? YES | NO
3 out of 4 people found the following review useful
2 years ago
Yury Bakalov completed this course and found the course difficulty to be hard.
I decided to wright the review because of a negative experience some had with it. First of all, I have to say that this is definitely one of the best courses I ever took or even more the best one. It is not perfect, but still my favorite. If you ever wanted to have a deep understanding of what is DCF, IRR, CAPM and o Read More
I decided to wright the review because of a negative experience some had with it.

First of all, I have to say that this is definitely one of the best courses I ever took or even more the best one. It is not perfect, but still my favorite. If you ever wanted to have a deep understanding of what is DCF, IRR, CAPM and other staff this is the best course to start with.

When you first time watch the video it seems that professor Gautam over-explains some thing and even talk about completely not related to finance matter. This makes videos some-what longer. Try not to be irritated by his teaching style and very soon you will be rewarded, because you will know the underneath knowledge of the most important concepts in finance. In fact when things become much more complicated professors teaching style will greatly help you to master the complicated concepts.

This course in not easy to complete for a non-finance professional, but if you commit and work hard you will be again rewarded. Most of the learning process is done during the completing practice problems for quizzes. Some times questions are very tricky and in fact practice problems in videos are much easier. But, this approach will allow you to really master some important concepts and be prepared for real-life.

To conclude, this is a fantastic course. The moment I finished last video I was incredibly happy that I took it. I would like to say a billion thanks to prof. Gautam. During the video you feel like as if he talks directly to you and wants to give you all his knowledge and wisdom. I know, it sounds weird, but there is really something special about prof. Gautam and his teaching style.

Was this review helpful to you? YES | NO
2 out of 2 people found the following review useful
2 years ago
Met Bay completed this course, spending 6 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.
Warning: I don't recommend this course to anyone. Do not lose your money, do not lose your time. Why? - No practice questions before exams. - They don't give the correct answers of the exams. So you don't have the possibility to understand your mistakes. - No course notes. - The professor writes (10 pages syllabus Read More
Warning: I don't recommend this course to anyone. Do not lose your money, do not lose your time.

Why?

- No practice questions before exams.

- They don't give the correct answers of the exams. So you don't have the possibility to understand your mistakes.

- No course notes.

- The professor writes (10 pages syllabus anyone?) and talks too much. The average length of course videos is longer than average MOOC length, because professor talks of unnecessary things. I'm not a native English speaker and I've watched all videos with x1.5 speed because they were boring and slow.

- He solves some questions during lectures but they are very basic.

- You don't have course notes, you don't have practice questions before exams. And during exam you wrestle with new types of questions that you've never seen before.

- If you follow the forum, you'll see that many exam questions are unclear. The staff uses same exam questions over and over the iterations of the course (that's why they don't provide the answers). And some questions with "bugs" stay the same. Many people are lost even when "explaining" the questions in the forums...

- I'm a finisher so I finished the course to get a certificate. But I hated every moment of it after 3-4th week. I'll never again take another course from the same staff...

- It's a shame because the ideas are very easy to understand if there were more exercices.

- For statistics part he gives you some general formulas without any examples. And he recommends you to work with the assignment. It's like a joke: you know that they don't give you assignments' answers...

PS: Good insights about risk-return balance.

PS: You must have access to a spreadsheet like Excel.

Was this review helpful to you? YES | NO
3 out of 3 people found the following review useful
2 years ago
profile picture
Anonymous partially completed this course.
There are a few things I can tell you about this course that may be of value. The professor obviously knows his subject well as he is able to conceptualize large subjects into their very essence. I do have to challenge one thing he relayed in a video; the idea that textbooks are all created equally. I was unable to i Read More
There are a few things I can tell you about this course that may be of value.

The professor obviously knows his subject well as he is able to conceptualize large subjects into their very essence. I do have to challenge one thing he relayed in a video; the idea that textbooks are all created equally. I was unable to integrate opportunity costs into npv equations. The textbook I used did not cover this subject in anyway. I did not use one of the textbooks he recommended, but the textbook I did use is mandatory in at least two accredited colleges.

The assignments are actually online quizzes, with new concepts being introduced as the quiz progresses. There aren't any practice problems to work on, so it's difficult to prepare for assignments, and tests. Some of the questions are hard to understand (jumbled and inconclusive) as if they need to be edited by an English major.

I am going to purchase the textbook recommended in the syllabus. If I find the information I need to be successful in answering quiz, and test questions I will re-take this course, and continue on to the next module.

I prefer clarity to continuous tangent points. From between the lines I perceive this course delivery as secretive. The college must be afraid that the course content will be compromised if they give the student anything conclusive. I suppose I can understand their point of view, but it makes it difficult for students. The course doesn't offer any feedback. It would be nice if the course would provide practice problem sets out of a particular book, and the student could be better prepared for the assessments.
Was this review helpful to you? YES | NO
10 out of 13 people found the following review useful
4 years ago
profile picture
Anonymous completed this course.
This is the course I have taken so far with the longest videos (around 20 minutes each, lots of them), least useful information in each video, and assigments nowhere near the content of the videos. Find another course for introduction to finance.
Was this review helpful to you? YES | NO
7 out of 11 people found the following review useful
4 years ago
profile picture
Anonymous completed this course.
In contrast with most courses I have taken in Coursera, this Introduction to Finance course is not self-contained and requires that you learn the subject on your own using external resources not included with this course. The provided videos are not aligned to Assignments/Quizzes complexity level and will not help addr Read More
In contrast with most courses I have taken in Coursera, this Introduction to Finance course is not self-contained and requires that you learn the subject on your own using external resources not included with this course. The provided videos are not aligned to Assignments/Quizzes complexity level and will not help address these. At the same time, after past deadlines, Assignments/Quizzes feedback/answers are not available so that you learn and improve what you did wrong.

I liked that Assignments/Quizzes were challenging, specially since some of them are from real world scenarios. The videos could have been easily design to spend more time going over examples that talking about taking a break to grab a cup of coffee or watch a youtube video or do yoga. In summary, videos need an update so that they are aligned to the Assignments/Quizzes complexity levels. There are plenty of other Coursera courses that could serve as guideline on how to properly design a self-contained MOOC.

Finally, it is a free course... I guess I got what I paid for. Maybe the course was designed with that intention?
Was this review helpful to you? YES | NO
5 out of 8 people found the following review useful
3 years ago
Anonymous Coward completed this course, spending 3 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.
I'm not sure why the reviews seem to be so polar in that some people love the class, and others hated it. This course is by far the worst of any that I have bothered to stick to the very end. The class structure could best be described as one part finance and three parts Jedi philosophy. The professor routinely gets of Read More
I'm not sure why the reviews seem to be so polar in that some people love the class, and others hated it. This course is by far the worst of any that I have bothered to stick to the very end. The class structure could best be described as one part finance and three parts Jedi philosophy. The professor routinely gets off on tangents and then makes unhelpful remarks like, "I'm teaching you the fundamentals," without bothering to give any motivation or derivation for where any of the formulas come from. There is a dearth of examples on how to apply the principles learned in class, which then makes the assignments all the more difficult. Homework does not mirror what is happening in the lectures, which consequently forces students to surf the web looking for other resources. The professor talks so incredibly slow that I had to watch the videos on triple speed just to keep interested. I recommend looking elsewhere for another finance course.
Was this review helpful to you? YES | NO
4 out of 4 people found the following review useful
3 years ago
profile picture
Martin Gehrke completed this course, spending 5 hours a week on it.
The way the course is structured allows me to accomplish the necessary work within my schedule. There is usually about 1-2 hours of video lectures divided into roughly 20 minutes chunks, followed by a assignment that takes another 2 hours. This allows me to fit it into my schedule. The weekly assignments contain que Read More
The way the course is structured allows me to accomplish the necessary work within my schedule. There is usually about 1-2 hours of video lectures divided into roughly 20 minutes chunks, followed by a assignment that takes another 2 hours. This allows me to fit it into my schedule.

The weekly assignments contain questions that are considerably more difficult than the examples done in class. I would expect some increased degree of difficulty. Unfortunately because of the online nature, the course doesn’t give you an answer sheet after the assignment is due. If you get a question wrong, you aren’t given the right answer or even an explanation of what you did incorrectly. The Professor has made it clear that a considerable amount of work goes into creating the questions for each week. They can’t use questions from textbooks because of copyright.
Was this review helpful to you? YES | NO
5 out of 5 people found the following review useful
4 years ago
profile picture
Anonymous completed this course.
A challenging class presented by a likeable lecturer. Access to Microsoft Excel or a financial calculator is a must. I give it five stars for the tremendous amount of material that I learned, but it's not quite perfect. Some of the assignment questions are poorly written and their meaning was open to interpretation. Re Read More
A challenging class presented by a likeable lecturer. Access to Microsoft Excel or a financial calculator is a must. I give it five stars for the tremendous amount of material that I learned, but it's not quite perfect. Some of the assignment questions are poorly written and their meaning was open to interpretation. Reading the discussion boards for clarification was very helpful here. Also I would have preferred more real-world worked problems in the lectures. I took the second iteration of the class in which two modules were released at three-week intervals (15 weeks total). I think I would have preferred the schedule of the original offering (1 module per week, 10 weeks total). By the time each unit was released I had forgotten much of what I learned 3 weeks earlier.
Was this review helpful to you? YES | NO
3 out of 3 people found the following review useful
3 years ago
Srdjan dropped this course.
I find professor Gautam genuine and very interesting person. I enjoyed his lectures, but what I didn't like, and what made me drop this course after 3rd week, is that tests are just to hard comparing to what is thought in lectures. I have scored ~90% at first 2 tests, but couldn't make it at 3rd, and they don't give yo Read More
I find professor Gautam genuine and very interesting person. I enjoyed his lectures, but what I didn't like, and what made me drop this course after 3rd week, is that tests are just to hard comparing to what is thought in lectures. I have scored ~90% at first 2 tests, but couldn't make it at 3rd, and they don't give you the answers so you don't have a chance to learn on your mistakes. Of course, If i spent much more time on forums maybe I would do better, but with job and other subjects to learn on my university I just couldn't afford it. If you have lot of time and strong willpower I strongly recommend this course, you'll learn a lot. But, I find Wharton courses in accounting and operations management much better aligned in terms of lectures/test difficulty, and I am looking forward to their corporate finance course.
Was this review helpful to you? YES | NO
2 out of 3 people found the following review useful
3 years ago
profile picture
Abhineet Kumar partially completed this course.
The quality of the course is really good, and perhaps it is the most important factor which brings me here. I am doing the same course at Amity University, and found that quite a few things were lacking. One was the lack of doing practical, real-world problems, and the other was use of MS Excel to showcase the problems Read More
The quality of the course is really good, and perhaps it is the most important factor which brings me here. I am doing the same course at Amity University, and found that quite a few things were lacking. One was the lack of doing practical, real-world problems, and the other was use of MS Excel to showcase the problems. In the online class, I am able to attend all the lectures, understand all the concepts and implement them to practical problems at hand.

I especially liked Mr. Kaul’s style of teaching. I think he tries his best to engage you in a discussion around finance, even though I’m in an online lecture, i feel the urge to find out more about the topics he teaches. This guy surely knows how to inspire you to know more about finance. As he says, he is crazy about finance, and it really shows!
Was this review helpful to you? YES | NO
4 out of 6 people found the following review useful
3 years ago
profile picture
Matt completed this course.
The Intro to Finance course offered by Gautam Kaul is a solid choice if you have an interest in finance. The quality of the course itself was superb and I thought the problem sets were well-done. The problems were a mix of basic to advanced with many problems presenting some subtle nuances that were easily missed and t Read More
The Intro to Finance course offered by Gautam Kaul is a solid choice if you have an interest in finance. The quality of the course itself was superb and I thought the problem sets were well-done. The problems were a mix of basic to advanced with many problems presenting some subtle nuances that were easily missed and turned out to be very important. This course will require some work but

This is a great beginning course in finance with a great professor that will offer some challenge without being overwhelming. I would recommend it as a great first technical course to take if you have any interest in finance.
Was this review helpful to you? YES | NO
9 out of 14 people found the following review useful
3 years ago
profile picture
Anonymous dropped this course.
Lack of meaningful feedback from quizzes (e.g."think about it"),endless peripheral chatter, and poor delivery of material consumes time and frustrates the learning process, if not actively working against it. I suggest giving this one a miss.
Was this review helpful to you? YES | NO
2 out of 3 people found the following review useful
2 years ago
profile picture
Anonymous partially completed this course.
I guess you'll find a lot of courses talking about the technical details of finance but what makes this course so special is the fact that Prof. Gautam Kaul will relentlessly try to make you imbibe the essence of finance in each of his lectures (which is actually the reason why videos tend to be long). I believe books Read More
I guess you'll find a lot of courses talking about the technical details of finance but what makes this course so special is the fact that Prof. Gautam Kaul will relentlessly try to make you imbibe the essence of finance in each of his lectures (which is actually the reason why videos tend to be long). I believe books can efficiently deliver the technicalities of any subject but an online lecture has to deliver what books can not which is precisely what this course intends to do.
Was this review helpful to you? YES | NO
3 out of 5 people found the following review useful
3 years ago
profile picture
Anonymous completed this course.
Remarkably challenging course. Entails discipline and curiosity to learn the difficult principles on your own. Best online class ever. Professor Gautam was interviewed by 'The Business Week" and stated this course is equivalent to taking an MBA in the TOP universities.

Highly recommended!
Was this review helpful to you? YES | NO
1 out of 2 people found the following review useful
5 years ago
profile picture
Anonymous completed this course.
Excellent class, very informative and fun to watch. Professor Kaul is outstanding instructor. Thanks a lot for your passion and wisdom that made learning not very fun subject such as finance a truly enjoyable. Highly recommended.
Was this review helpful to you? YES | NO
2 out of 4 people found the following review useful
5 years ago
profile picture
Anonymous completed this course.
Prof. Kaul is a real personage.

I liked a lot his course and the way he teach it.

This was very intersting and profound.

Thanks.
Was this review helpful to you? YES | NO
1 out of 1 people found the following review useful
2 years ago
profile picture
Anonymous completed this course.
It was a great learning experience. Of course, we were expected to do our own research outside of the given material. I'm not sure why that would be a problem.

Was this review helpful to you? YES | NO
1 out of 2 people found the following review useful
3 years ago
profile picture
Anonymous completed this course.
The class was well structured, with good video lectures and assignment problems. Can't get better in my book ! :)
Was this review helpful to you? YES | NO
1 out of 1 people found the following review useful
3 years ago
profile picture
Anonymous completed this course.
Great experience! Very challenging and practice driven class. Prof Kaul is so charismatic and gifted educator, that learning becomes so interesting!
Was this review helpful to you? YES | NO
1 out of 2 people found the following review useful
5 years ago
profile picture
Anonymous completed this course.
This is a good introduction to Finances. Prof. Kaul is a very good teacher who makes easy complex subjects.
Was this review helpful to you? YES | NO
1 out of 2 people found the following review useful
5 years ago
profile picture
Anonymous completed this course.
Highly recommended course! You´ll love professor Gautam Kaul and you´ll love Finance.
Was this review helpful to you? YES | NO
1 out of 2 people found the following review useful
5 years ago
profile picture
Anonymous completed this course.
Excellent course. The professor is indeed very amiable. Highly recommend.
Was this review helpful to you? YES | NO
1 out of 1 people found the following review useful
4 years ago
profile picture
Anonymous completed this course.
Challenging course that really gets you to think hard and learn.
Was this review helpful to you? YES | NO
1 out of 2 people found the following review useful
3 years ago
profile picture
Rajesh Pathak is taking this course right now.
Was this review helpful to you? YES | NO
1 out of 1 people found the following review useful
2 years ago
Panca Bimajaya dropped this course.
Was this review helpful to you? YES | NO
1 out of 1 people found the following review useful
2 years ago
profile picture
Rafael Pennese partially completed this course.
Was this review helpful to you? YES | NO
1 out of 1 people found the following review useful
3 years ago
profile picture
Agnieszka completed this course and found the course difficulty to be hard.
Was this review helpful to you? YES | NO
1 out of 1 people found the following review useful
3 years ago
profile picture
Anonymous dropped this course.
Was this review helpful to you? YES | NO
1 out of 1 people found the following review useful
2 years ago
profile picture
Hans Ajay Bhargava dropped this course.
Was this review helpful to you? YES | NO
1 out of 1 people found the following review useful
Was this review helpful to you? YES | NO
0 out of 1 people found the following review useful
2 years ago
Aniket Shah completed this course.
Was this review helpful to you? YES | NO
0 out of 1 people found the following review useful
2 years ago
profile picture
Hamed Wageh is taking this course right now.
Was this review helpful to you? YES | NO
0 out of 1 people found the following review useful
2 years ago
Hank Bastian completed this course.
Was this review helpful to you? YES | NO
Was this review helpful to you? YES | NO
2 years ago
Manal Rifki is taking this course right now.
Was this review helpful to you? YES | NO
a year ago
profile picture
Stephanie Ochoa completed this course.
Was this review helpful to you? YES | NO
2 years ago
Maribel Sindia is taking this course right now.
Was this review helpful to you? YES | NO
2 years ago
Natiq Aliyev is taking this course right now.
Was this review helpful to you? YES | NO
2 years ago
profile picture
Anonymous partially completed this course.
Was this review helpful to you? YES | NO
2 years ago
Mayara Silveira Prado is taking this course right now.
Was this review helpful to you? YES | NO
2 years ago
Samar Hammad dropped this course.
Was this review helpful to you? YES | NO
11 months ago
Zhe Li completed this course.
Was this review helpful to you? YES | NO