Finance for Non-Finance Professionals

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  • Course Overview and Basic Principles of Financial Valuation Discounting
    • Welcome to Finance for Non-Finance Professionals! In this section you will find general information about the course and instructions on how to navigate the course. For the first week of lectures, we will be covering the basics of financial valuation. We will start with the basics of compounding and discounting rates of return over time. Using these tools we will then move on to valuation using the discounted cash flow method. Along the way, we will demonstrate our valuation tools with a variety of practical examples and compare our analysis with other valuation techniques.
  • How to Spend Money (Capital Budgeting tools)
    • Welcome to the second week of Finance for Non-Finance Professionals! In this week of the course, we will build on the basic valuation tools from week one to start making capital budgeting decisions. Our capital budgeting review covers the basic tools like Net Present Value, Internal Rate of Return, Payback period, and return on capital. Our discussion of the relative advantages of each different tool leads us into sensitivity analysis and the advantages of spreadsheet modeling.
  • Measuring Cash Creation and Flow
    • Welcome back to Finance for Non-Finance Professionals! In our third week together, we will go on a treasure hunt through the financial statements. Using discounted cash flows as our motivation, we search through the income statement and balance sheet for all the uses and sources of cash. Our search leads us to our primary measure of value creation: Free Cash Flow. Free cash flow will form the basis of most financial analysis and this module gives us a roadmap for estimating and forecasting cash creation within any organization.
  • How Much Does Money Cost? Evaluating the Cost of Capital
    • Welcome back everyone! In our final week together in this course, we switch gears and take an external view of the firm from a Wall Street, or capital markets, perspective. We think about the basic tradeoff between risk and return, how to measure risk, and how to put a risk premium on different kinds of investments. We then take our analysis of risk and return and use it to estimate a firm's cost of capital. Finally, we circle back to free cash flows, capital budgeting and valuation to tie together all four weeks and get ready for our capstone case analysis.
  • Capstone Case: Putting it All Back Together from Main Street to Wall Street
    • In this final part of the course we bring all of our analysis to bear on a realistic case study. We will evaluate the investment prospects of Sunrise Bakery. As their CFO considers a large capital expenditure, she needs to think about the tradeoff between spending money today and generating more free cash flow in the future. Our job in this case is to forecast the amount of cash generation the new equipment will produce, discount the cash flows, and use all of our capital budgeting tools to make a sound financial recommendation.