Science of Finance

Finance 101 is over, and I liked it much more than I had imagined. I recommend everyone to take at least one basic finance course somehow – online, city college, self-study, etc.

My favorite analogy for finance is that it is like being introduced to physics in grade school. When you know how the different forces work, things just seem to make a lot more sense. Its a revelation. I got the same feeling with this finance course. We invest in stocks, we borrow for loans, etc….but the theory of why they work as they do, was very useful. In fact this was th first class where I would have preferred the class to continue for a few more weeks. But I guess that is what the electives are for.

Just like the sunk cost theory from Econ class has stuck in my mind, I think the diversifiability of unique risk and non-diversifiability of systemic risk would be the things which will help me a lot in decision making. The bummer is that I am beginning to believe that there is no easy way to make money in the stock market :(.

Coming back to the Haas class itself, it was taught by Johan Walden. He is one of the most organized professors I have met at Haas. Everything from the using the online assignment uploading, to the GSI sessions to the pace of the class was very well planned. He’s also very knowledgeable and passionate about the subject and answered most of our questions to satisfaction. The class was very fast paced in general, and we were warned about this before, but that did not take the pain away from the 10+ hours of work into this every week outside the class.

Well its over…..but its piqued my interest enough that you will soon see my articles about the electives in finance.

(ps: For completion sake, I waived out of operations management this quarter. It gave me more breathing room than all my other classmates. With full course load, it did not seem like an an easy quarter)

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