Making Intelligent Investment Decisions — Value Investing

Columbia Business School

How long?

  • 9 weeks
  • online

What are the topics?

Columbia Business School


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Who should attend

Individual investors and portfolio managers will benefit from learning the value investing methodology, uncovering opportunities that others miss. Beyond that, the analytical approach teaches critical thinking about growth and profitability, valuable for all corporate decision makers.

About the course

Legendary investors like Warren Buffett and Mario Gabelli have been guided by the value investing principles during their entire careers. It’s an investment approach that helps investors identify, research, and buy securities priced well below their true market value.

This online program is designed to give you a strong foundation in the value investing process. We’ll give you tools and strategies to collect and analyze information as well as an integrated framework that teaches you how to identify opportunities for investment that others may miss.

Throughout the program, we ask questions such as:

  • Does diversification create value?
  • How do I factor in economies of scale, first mover advantage, and barriers to entry?
  • When does the value investor know when to buy?
  • When does growth create value?


At the end of the program, you will be able to:

  • Apply the value investing principles to make smart, rational investment decisions
  • Think independently about investment opportunities without simply following the market
  • Learn to calculate asset value and earnings power value to understand the underlying value of a security
  • Be able to conduct a strategic analysis of a company to understand its ability to produce ongoing profits
  • Learn how to assess and value growth opportunities and learn why many value investors shun high growth businesses
  • Execute a method for making investments by exploiting available data
  • Follow a process for systematic valuation
  • Strengthen your ability to evaluate growth and risk

Program Structure

Our approach to this program is to teach the core value investing concepts and then take the learners through in-depth case studies where they will apply these concepts. Key components include video lectures, case studies, and application exercises, so the methods are put to use with real-world company examples. Every two weeks, participants learn a new set of concepts and have multiple opportunities to apply the learning.

The program includes the following modules:

Module 1: Value Investment

Foundations, framework, and introduction to asset value: overview of the valuation approach and calculating asset value

Module 2: Earnings Power Value

The methodology to identify and buy securities priced well below their true value

Module 3: Strategic Analysis

Understanding the value of scale economies and barriers to entry

Module 4: Magna International Case Study

Valuation exercise for automotive market in the aftermath of the financial crisis

Module 5: Growth and Value

Estimating future earnings and accounting for growth using Walmart as an example

Module 6: Amazon Case Study

Calculating the value of a high-growth company in dynamic industry segments

Module 7: Risk Management

Managing the risks of individual stocks and portfolios through proven financial and management strategies

Module 8: John Deere Case Study

Using the value investing approach to evaluating the attractiveness of John Deere


Tano Santos

Biography Professor Santos' research focuses on two distinct areas. A first interest is the field of asset pricing with a particular emphasis on theoretical and empirical models that can account for the predictability of returns, both in the time series and the cross section. A second interest of...

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Making Intelligent Investment Decisions — Value Investing at Columbia Business School

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