About this Course
270 ratings
58 reviews
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100% online

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.
Flexible deadlines

Flexible deadlines

Reset deadlines in accordance to your schedule.
Hours to complete

Approx. 13 hours to complete

Suggested: 6 hours/week...
Available languages


Subtitles: English

Skills you will gain

StockFinancial MarketsInvestment StrategyInvestment
100% online

100% online

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.
Flexible deadlines

Flexible deadlines

Reset deadlines in accordance to your schedule.
Hours to complete

Approx. 13 hours to complete

Suggested: 6 hours/week...
Available languages


Subtitles: English

Syllabus - What you will learn from this course

Hours to complete
2 hours to complete

Course Orientation

You will become familiar with the course, your classmates, and our learning environment....
3 videos (Total 22 min), 7 readings, 1 quiz
Video3 videos
Get to know Scott (introductory video used for his iMBA course)6m
See the “Movie Trailer” for Scott’s Course!1m
Reading7 readings
A Preview of Coming Attractions: Introduction Videos for Modules 1-410m
What You Will Learn: Course Summary with Animations10m
Learning from the Experts: Full Collection of Faculty Focus Episodes10m
About the Discussion Forums10m
Updating Your Profile10m
Social Media10m
Quiz1 practice exercise
Orientation Quiz10m
Hours to complete
3 hours to complete

Module 1: Fundamentals and Composition of Returns

In Module 1, we will briefly review the fundamentals of investments, including the trading off of return and risk when forming a portfolio, asset pricing models such as the Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM) and the 3-Factor Model, and the efficient market hypothesis. We will also discuss the two components of stock returns – dividends (cash received) and capital gains (changes in price since purchase)....
11 videos (Total 145 min), 3 readings, 1 quiz
Video11 videos
1-1.1. Basics of Return and Risk18m
1-1.2. Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM)20m
1-1.3. 3-Factor Model and Market Efficiency15m
1-1.4. Interpretation of Regression Model Results13m
1-1.5. Regression Analysis of Returns to Small-Value Stocks13m
1-2.1. Dividends, Capital Gains, and Firm Payout Policy14m
1-2.2. Realization-Based Capital Gains Tax15m
1-2.3. Seasonality in Stock Returns20m
Summary of Module 1 with Animations8m
Like this course? Learn more with the iMBA! (Optional)1m
Reading3 readings
Module 1 Overview10m
Module 1 Lecture Slides10m
Module 1 Spreadsheet10m
Quiz1 practice exercise
Module 1 Quiz34m
Hours to complete
3 hours to complete

Module 2: Investment Decisions in DC Pension Plans

In Module 2, we discuss the investment decisions of participants in defined-contribution (DC) pension plans like 401(k) plans in the U.S. Not falling prey to common behavioral biases is key to sound financial decision-making in these retirement plans, so we will discuss common behavioral biases of DC pension plan participants. ...
12 videos (Total 128 min), 3 readings, 1 quiz
Video12 videos
2-1.1. Overview of Key Biases in Decisions9m
2-1.2. Representativeness4m
2-1.3. Familiarity Bias and Background Risk22m
2-1.4. Endorsement Effects7m
2-1.5. Naïve Diversification18m
2-1.6. Inertia4m
2-1.7. Option Confusion5m
2-1.8. Power of Defaults16m
2-1.9. Bottom Line on Biases in Investment Decisions7m
2-2.1. Faculty Focus with Dean Jeffrey Brown (interview)23m
Summary of Module 2 with Animations3m
Reading3 readings
Module 2 Overview10m
Module 2 Lecture Slides10m
Module 2 Recommended Reading10m
Quiz1 practice exercise
Module 2 Quiz16m
Hours to complete
4 hours to complete

Module 3: Performance of Individual Investors

In Module 3, we will learn about the evidence regarding the performance of individual investors in their stock portfolios. A few key behavioral biases that affect many individuals will be highlighted, and the potential information embedded in some parts of individual investors’ stock portfolios will be discussed....
14 videos (Total 223 min), 2 readings, 1 quiz
Video14 videos
3-1.1. Overview of the Performance of Individual Investors25m
3-2.1. Overconfidence17m
3-2.2. Loss Aversion16m
3-2.3. Effects of Loss Aversion (Part 1): Loss Aversion & Tax Incentives for Stock Trades18m
3-2.4. Effects of Loss Aversion (Part 2): Personal Connection to Asset12m
3-2.5. Effects of Loss Aversion (Part 3): Corporate Finance Decisions9m
3-2.6. Faculty Focus with Professor Yuhai Xuan (interview)28m
3-2.7. Effects of Loss Aversion (Part 4): Explanation for Momentum?5m
3-2.8. Effects of Loss Aversion (Part 5): Importance of Endowment15m
3-2.9. Emotion and Financial Decisions15m
3-3.1. Local Investments35m
3-3.2. Changing Nature of Individual Investors?15m
Summary of Module 3 with Animations2m
Reading2 readings
Module 3 Overview10m
Module 3 Lecture Slides10m
Quiz1 practice exercise
Module 3 Quiz16m
Hours to complete
6 hours to complete

Module 4: Performance of Mutual Funds and Search for Alpha

In Module 4, we will learn about the evidence regarding the performance of actively-managed mutual funds. We will also discuss a few examples of portfolio strategies designed to “earn alpha” (i.e., yield positive risk-adjusted returns)....
17 videos (Total 279 min), 3 readings, 1 quiz
Video17 videos
4-1.1. Overview of Performance of Mutual Funds16m
4-1.2. Fees and Fund Performance10m
4-1.3. Brokers and Fund Performance15m
4-1.4. Trends in Mutual Fund Industry7m
4-2.1. Introduction to Search for Alpha5m
4-2.2. Mutual Fund Disclosure6m
4-2.3. Mutual Funds and Local Investments21m
4-2.4. Information Networks and Performance21m
4-2.5. Closet Indexing and Performance Persistence20m
4-2.6. Valuing Complicated Firms and Exploiting Inattention27m
4-2.7. Faculty Focus with Professor Joshua Pollet (interview)24m
4-2.8. Potential Modern Sources of Information19m
4-2.9. Faculty Focus with Professor Jiekun Huang (interview)19m
4-3.1 Economics of Mutual Funds28m
4-3.2 International Evidence on Active Mutual Fund Management15m
Summary of Module 4 with Animations13m
Reading3 readings
Module 4 Overview10m
Module 4 Lecture Slides10m
Module 4 Recommended Reading10m
Quiz1 practice exercise
Module 4 Quiz22m
Hours to complete
19 minutes to complete

Course Conclusion

It's now time to say goodbye to the Investments II course! Key takeaways from the course are reviewed. Don't forget to answer the survey question regarding how was Scott's sequel that is located at the end of the Conclusion to Investments II: Lessons and Applications for Investors! ...
1 video (Total 14 min)
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Top Reviews

By ACDec 13th 2016

Excellent class! Very useful information for investing. Great faculty focus sessions with UIUC researchers!. Also love the passion that Dr. Weisbenner displays in teaching. Would highly recommend!

By RBDec 7th 2017

I could have known this course before 2009 recession to be a better investor and its great teaching of behavioral finance . This helped me to identify personal bias in investing .



Scott Weisbenner

William G. Karnes Professor of Finance
Department of Finance, College of Business
Graduation Cap

Start working towards your Master's degree

This course is part of the 100% online Master of Business Administration (iMBA) from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. If you are admitted to the full program, your courses count towards your degree learning.

About University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is a world leader in research, teaching and public engagement, distinguished by the breadth of its programs, broad academic excellence, and internationally renowned faculty and alumni. Illinois serves the world by creating knowledge, preparing students for lives of impact, and finding solutions to critical societal needs. ...

About the Financial Management Specialization

This Specialization covers the fundamentals of strategic financial management, including financial accounting, investments, and corporate finance. You will learn to evaluate major strategic corporate and investment decisions and to understand capital markets and institutions from a financial perspective, and you will develop an integrated framework for value-based financial management and individual financial decision-making. The Financial Management Specialization is part of the University of Illinois iMBA Program. Each course in this Specialization also fulfills a portion of the requirements for a University of Illinois course that can earn you college credit. When you complete the Financial Management Specialization, you will: · Have a solid foundation in developing an integrated framework for strategic financial decision-making. · Have a thorough understanding of financial statements and the financial information they provide, and be able to critically evaluate and analyze cash flows statements. · Understand the management and evaluation of portfolios and firm valuation techniques. · Understand how to incorporate risk and uncertainty into investment decisions and understand how companies make financing and investment decisions....
Financial Management

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Once you enroll for a Certificate, you’ll have access to all videos, quizzes, and programming assignments (if applicable). Peer review assignments can only be submitted and reviewed once your session has begun. If you choose to explore the course without purchasing, you may not be able to access certain assignments.

  • When you enroll in the course, you get access to all of the courses in the Specialization, and you earn a certificate when you complete the work. Your electronic Certificate will be added to your Accomplishments page - from there, you can print your Certificate or add it to your LinkedIn profile. If you only want to read and view the course content, you can audit the course for free.

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