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Learn How To

Recognize key ideas in finance and how they shape our daily lives
Define and explain complex ideas like insurance, risk, options, diversification, and M&A
Translate financial jargon into easy-to-comprehend language
Use debt and commitment to create leverage and opportunity

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Course Syllabus

01

INTRODUCTION TO THE COURSE

Video: Welcome to the Course by Mihir Desai

Video: Why Is It Important to Understand Finance?

Exercise: Introduce Yourself

Resource: Workbook for the Course

02

RANDOMNESS, INSURANCE, AND FINANCE

Video: Randomness and Risk: Understanding Insurance

Video: Insurance: A Financial Tool for Chaos

Video: Two Branches of Finance: Asset Pricing & Corporate Finance

Quiz: Distinguish Between the Branches of Finance

Exercise: Analyze Randomness and Insurance in stories

03

ASSET PRICING

Video: Assessing Options: Pride and Prejudice

Video: Increasing Opportunity with Stock Options

Quiz: The Purpose of Optionality

Video: Asset Pricing and Diversification to Reduce Risk

Video: Types of Financial Assets and Personal Relationships

Quiz: Types of Betas

Video: The Mandate to Create Value: Parable of Talents

Video: What is Asset Valuation?

Quiz: Calculating Present Value

Exercise: Analyze and illustrate the different elements of Asset Pricing

04

CORPORATE FINANCE

Video: What is the Principal-Agent Problem?

Video: How does the Principal-Agent Problem Affect Your Daily Life?

Quiz: Identifying Principals and Agents

Video: Why Should Companies Merge?

Video: How are Mergers Like Marriages and Why do They Fail?

Quiz: Ideal Conditions for a Merger

Video: Why is Leverage Important to Finance and Life?

Video: What Are the Risks of Debt and Leverage?

Exercise: Identify elements of Corporate Finance in stories

05

THE FUTURE OF FINANCE

Video: Rediscovering the Humanity in Finance

Video: Why Should Social Entrepreneurs Understand Finance?

Exercise: Identify the core human needs that Finance serves

Video: About +Acumen

Survey: Complete the Post-Course Satisfaction Survey

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Apply breakthrough insights from today’s leading thinkers to your social enterprise.

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Revisit courses, refresh your knowledge, and brush up on your skills at any time.

This course makes finance very accessible and central to any entrepreneur’s endeavors. Beyond the basics, [Mihir] also provides insight into finance as a tool for social impact and [outlines] areas for innovation.”

Bernd

Course Description

On the surface, finance is intimidating - full of complex charts, confounding equations, and big words - but its underlying concepts have been ingrained in our stories for centuries, and continue to shape our daily lives. Renowned Harvard professor Mihir Desai is on a mission to make finance human again. In this course he’ll take you on a vivid, story-based tour of the key ideas in finance.

NOTE: This is not a personal finance course.

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About
the Instructor

Mihir Desai

Mizuho Financial Group Professor of Finance at Harvard Business School, Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, Author of "The Wisdom of Finance & How Finance Works", and Co-Host of HBS After Hours.

About
the Instructor

Mihir Desai

Mizuho Financial Group Professor of Finance at Harvard Business School, Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, Author of "The Wisdom of Finance & How Finance Works", and Co-Host of HBS After Hours.

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Our community comes from a range of countries and socioeconomic backgrounds; differences in pricing standards and privilege shouldn't prevent access. Therefore, this course is 'pay what you can.' In order to continue to provide access to as many people as possible, we appreciate whatever you are able to contribute to help keep our courses running. Please note that a payment is NOT required to take this course.
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