Course Descriptions

Course catalog descriptions for courses offered in all currently published terms.


FIN 743 Special Topics in Finance
  1.5 hours Elective Terms Offered: F13(B)
  Advisory Prerequisites: FIN 553 
  This course, and its predecessor FIN 742, provides hands-on exposure to being a practitioner of "fundamental" equity security analysis at an "institutional" level of analysis. The focus is on learning to apply the other coursework from the Ross School of Business to the vagaries of overall stock market, sector, and individual security analysis. Two of the major goals will be to learn where to look for IMPORTANT qualitative and quantitative data, and then to learn how to turn that into quantitative model variables that will create, ultimately, differential estimates from "Consensus", yielding a potential stock price range to think about. This course will build on FIN 743 as we examine how each of the major S&P Sectors might best be analyzed by focusing on particular and unique pieces of financial data and theory. Ultimately, we want to understand and predict WHEN certain industries tend to go up and down in price, and when certain industries tend to outperform and underperform the S&P 500 or other RELEVANT benchmarks. Everything we look at can be applied to companies of any size. In addition to the other important coursework taught here at the Ross School, this course should help prepare the student to "hit the ground running" in an interview and an "on the job" opportunity in the Investment business, as well as helping students MORE interested in Corporate Finance (such as running a Treasury program) or other C-Level Executive job. Even just an interest in your 401(k) is sufficient!

This class will emphasize conceptual learning and knowledge, versus coming up with the "right answer". Investing is very competitive and difficult because "turning the crank" through a formula doesn't work very well when managing a diverse portfolio of stocks (as you will see as you go through this class). Looking at the world differently than others, and maintaining flexibility and adaptability, is crucial to success!

Data very strongly supports the notion that in the long-run, stocks follow earnings. Of course, it is also important to remember two famous quotes, both I believe attributed to Keynes – "The market can remain irrational longer than you can remain solvent", and "In the long-run, we’re all dead", which are also important things to keep in mind in your study of stocks! It is as much ART as SCIENCE, which befuddles many smart people.

Regurgitation of Street Research in the completion of your Projects will be highly frowned upon at grading time. Discussion of Street Research during daily lecture is a wonderful way to create dialog of general interest. Philosophically this is because if I, as a prospective employer, can pay for Street Research to get the analysis I am looking for, then I don't need to pay to hire and train you! As a person who has hired many analysts from the top Business Schools over the years (your competition!), I can tell you that if you can learn how to do original analysis, you will be on your way to a lifetime of success analyzing securities. My goal as an Instructor is to help you understand how!

Instructor: Doug Chase, a former alum who has been a highly successful portfolio and hedge fund manager, and indeed a highly successful instructor at Ross.