This course provides an introductory survey of the field of finance. It examines the agents, instruments, and institutions that make up the financial system of the modern economy, such as bonds, the stock market, derivatives, and the money market. Along the way, standard concepts and tools of financial analysis are introduced: present discounted value, option value, and the efficient markets hypothesis. Recent developments in the field—in particular, the application of psychology to financial markets (called behavioral finance)—are also discussed. The course is designed to equip students with the tools they need to make their own financial decisions with greater skill and confidence. Specifically, we see how insights from academic finance can inform and improve students' own investing decisions.
Harvard Division of Continuing Education