Investment Philosophies

Leonard N. Stern School of Business

How long?

  • 15 weeks
  • online

What are the topics?

Leonard N. Stern School of Business


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Who should attend

Although there are no formal education or background requirements, this course is designed for participants who meet the criteria below. While we strongly encourage global participation, please note that all courses are taught in English. Proficiency in written and spoken English is required.

Years of Experience

Participants with all levels of work experience are welcome to attend

Job Functions

Ideal for professional & personal investors, money managers, mutual fund managers, & PE investors


Intended for individuals with some experience in professional or personal investing; additionally, students must have a desktop or laptop computer with an internet connection

About the course

Consistently winning at investing is not only difficult to do, but does not follow a standard script. In other words, investment winners range the spectrum, from chartists to value investors to market timers, and imitation seems to provide no payoffs. So, what is it that separates these winners from the losers? Is it just luck? Is it skill? Is it personality? Professor Aswath Damodaran believes it is all three working together. The combination of all three takes the form of a consistent investment philosophy built not just on fundamental beliefs about how markets work (or fail to work), but one that fits an individual’s personal strengths and weaknesses.

In this course, students will look at the range of investment philosophies with the intent of finding not only the core beliefs that animate them, but also the ingredients needed to make them work. Students will look at the historical evidence in support of or working against each philosophy and what they need to bring to the table to succeed with that philosophy. In the process, Professor Aswath Damodaran hopes that students will find an investment philosophy that best fits them, given their individual strengths and weaknesses.


In-House Quality

NYU’s Learning Experience Design group is a team of educational designers, multimedia specialists, and technologists within NYU's Teaching and Learning with Technology (TLT) organization. TLT collaborates with schools, departments, and instructors to create meaningful, technology-enhanced learning experiences, with an emphasis on connecting the professor with his or her remote learners and fostering a global community of professionals within each course.

Online Learning Terminology

Asynchronous activities are things you do independently, like watch videos and complete assignments, and interactions with others over time via email, discussion forums, collaborative documents, and other channels. The term "synchronous" refers to learning with others in real time using videoconferencing and other technologies. Our online certificate courses are asynchronous with optional synchronous elements.

The term "asynchronous" refers to courses or course elements that can be completed at any time within the parameters of the course schedule.


  • An open mind and a willingness to work on your weak side
  • Desktop or laptop computer
  • A webcam and headset (preferred) or microphone for online meetups
  • Broadband/high-speed Internet (1.5 Mbps minimum/3 Mbps preferred) to ensure your ability to participate fully in online meetups
  • Operating System: Mac OS 10.14 or Windows 10 or later
  • Browser: Safari 12.0.2, Chrome 72.0.3626, Firefox 65.0.1, or Internet Explorer 11 or later
  • This program does not support mobile devices, including tablets and iPads.


This course is a non-credit, pass/fail program. To pass this course, you will need a cumulative score of at least 55%. Upon successful completion of this course, participants will receive the NYU Stern Certificate in Investment Philosophies.

Program Takeaways

No One Path

There is no one path to investment success that works for every investor, but there is one path that is right for you & you have to find it yourself.

Entitled to Opinions, but not Facts

We are all entitled to our own opinions about what works in investing & what does not, but we are not entitled to our own facts; the data is the tie-breaker.

Things Change, Let Go

The world is dynamic & constantly changing; what worked in the 20th century may no longer work now.



Course Access

In order to access the course, you will receive login credentials via email on the start date of the course. Activation instructions for your login credentials will be provided.

Required Books

Investment Philosophies, 2nd Edition, Aswath Damodaran, John Wiley & Sons

Live Online Meetups with Faculty

Our live online meetups provide you with the opportunity to engage face-to-face with Professor Damodaran. Please note that all online meetups are recorded and available for your viewing at a later time. Missing a meetup will not impact your grade, however we recommend attending all sessions.


Please expect to invest about 8 to 10 hours of your time per week to course lessons, exercises, and assignments.

Week 1: September 8th

  • Introduction
  • Understanding Risk I: The Risk in Bonds
  • Understanding Risk II: The Risk in Equities

Week 2: September 14th

  • Financial Statement Analysis
  • Valuation: The Basics
  • Trading Costs and Taxes
  • Live Online Meetup 1: Wednesday, September 16th at 12:00 PM ET

Week 3: September 21st

  • Market Efficiency I: Laying the Groundwork
  • Market Efficiency II: Testing Market Beating Schemes and * Strategies
  • Random Walks and Momentum

Week 4: September 28th

  • Temporal Patterns
  • Technical Analysis
  • Introduction to Value Investing

Week 5: October 5th

  • Value Investing: The Passive Screeners
  • Value Investing: The Contrarians
  • Value Investing: The Activists
  • Live Online Meetup 2: Wednesday, October 7th at 12:00 PM ET

Week 6: October 12th

  • Value Investing: Where is the Beef?
  • Investing on Hope: Introduction to Growth Investing
  • Get in on the Ground Floor: The IPO Story ** Week 7: October 19th*

  • Growth Investing: Growth at a Reasonable Price (GARP)

  • Activist Growth Investing: Be your own Change Agent

  • Growth Investing: Against the Tide of History?

Week 8: October 26th

  • Information Trading: Trade on the News?
  • Information Trading: Following the Insiders
  • Information Trading: Following the Analysts

Week 9: November 2nd

  • Information Trading: Public Information – Earnings Reports
  • Information Trading: Public Information – Other than Earnings
  • Too Good to be True? Pure Arbitrage

Week 10: November 9th

  • Close Enough? Near Arbitrage
  • Not Riskless, not Even Close! Pseudo or Speculative Arbitrage
  • Market Timing: Setting the Table
  • Live Online Meetup 3: Thursday, November 12th at 12:00 PM ET

Week 11: November 16th

  • Market Timing Approaches: Non-Financing & Technical Indicators
  • Market Timing Approaches: Mean Reversion & Macro Fundamentals

Week 12: November 23rd

  • Market Timing Approaches: Valuing the Market
  • Market Timing: Does it Work?
  • Live Online Meetup 4: Tuesday, November 24th at 12:00 PM ET

Week 13: November 30th

  • The Case for Passive Investing: Active Investors’ Track Record
  • More on Investor Performance: Continuity & Consistency

Week 14: December 7th

  • Passive Investing Choices
  • Live Online Meetup 5: Thursday, December 10th at 12:00 PM ET

Week 15: December 14th

  • The Grand Finale


Aswath Damodaran

Aswath Damodaran holds the Kerschner Family Chair in Finance Education and is Professor of Finance at New York University Stern School of Business. Before coming to Stern, he also lectured in Finance at the University of California, Berkeley. Professor Damodaran received a B.A. in Accounting fro...

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Investment Philosophies at Leonard N. Stern School of Business

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