You would like to study corporate finance and have no idea where to start? Start here.
Think of finance as a subject that answers three basic questions
- How do you evaluate opportunities for investment – also known as the valuation question
- How do you choose between opportunities – also known as the investment or choice question
- How do you fund or finance your investment decisions and choices – also known as the funding question
At its heart, the ability to work with finance requires an ability to translate tomorrow’s returns into today’s dollars. At the simplest level, this requires you to calculate present values using a defined rate of return. At a more complex level, we add in payouts that vary with events, probabilities for events and distribution of investment returns based on your class as an investor. As a seasoned financial you adjust payments for likelihood, structure payments for tax efficiency and do analysis that zeroes into drivers of financial performance for a business – sometimes to identify and fix problems, sometimes to learn how to repeat and replicate outstanding results.
But before you can do any of that you start with the First Course in Corporate Finance at Corporate Finance: First Course.
Once you have done the Corporate Finance: First Course you have a few choices. Ideally, the best way to figure out what you like or dislike about the subject is to try a few case studies. A case study presents a real world business problem in an academic setting. The objective is to teach by narrating a situation and then asking you to think about the choices you would make under that situation. Here is our list of cases that showcase a range of specializations that you can pick up as finance students.
- Business Finance Case: AMD: Valuation and Projections: Case Guide
- Finance Tax and Corporate Structure Case: Corporate Finance: LLC or C-Corp
- Finance Credit Applications Case: Credit Process: Baldwin Piano
- Corporate Finance Orientation Case: Electronic Arts: Corporate Finance
- Financial Analysis Case: Office Depot: Ratio Analysis
- Finance Case: Ratio Analysis: ODP and Staples
- Finance Risk Management Class: Risk for the Oil and Petrochemical Industry
The cases should give you a good flavor of the topics and subjects you like or dislike. Depending on the cases above you can learn more about a specific learning track by trying out a few of our core finance courses.
- Financial Analysis Class: Ratio Analysis
- Finance Risk Management Class: Calculating Value at Risk
- Finance Credit Applications Class: Credit Analysis
- Finance Credit Application Class: Credit Process
- Advance Topics in Finance: Derivative products
By the time you are done with the above you are ready to take one or all of the following learning tracks.
Business School (MBA) applications – Corporate Finance Track One
If you would formally want to learn more about finance in an academic setting or about a graduate degree in finance such as an MBA or Master in Finance you can by following the thread below focusing on business school admissions, recruitment, and general reading.
Business School Admissions
- B School: The Four core components of your b school application
- B School Application- Cracking the GMAT 700 score
- B School Applications-Who should write your B School recommendations?
- B School – B School Application Essays – Tips for a great B School application essay
- B School: Applying to B schools – timelines for a B school application
- B School Admissions: Answers for the road to your top ten MBA application
- Top Ten B School programs: 15 months as an MBA student at Columbia Business School
Life at Business School – Recruitment
- B School recruitment: Cover letters for cold calls, interviews and resumes
- B School recruitment: Writing cover letters that work – a cold call
- B School recruitment: Writing cover letters that work for your resume– part ii
- B School Recruitment: Writing cover letters for resumes that work
- B School Recruitment: Writing cover letters for resumes that work
- Teaching Ethics to business school students
Life at Business School – General reading
- B School: My MBA Finance course work at Columbia Business School
- B School first year: Professor David Biem on investment banking, business school, ethics and academia
- B School first year, first term: Drama in Real Life
- B School first year, first term: Case Hell
- B school first year, first term: Dear Mom and Dad or the MBA contract market
- B school first year, first term: The fine art of case analysis
- B school first year, first term: The mid life crisis at 28
- Online Corporate Finance: The story behind the resource, the free finance courses and solved cases.
Corporate Finance Track Two – The small business credit and financing track
The small business financing track focuses on a list of more advanced topics in addition to the Credit Process and Credit Analysis courses covered above. It is a learning resource for small business owners that would help them better understand the language of credit as well as the credit approval and analysis process. Just like taking any standardized exam, credit approval is a function of practicing to answer the right question at the right time with the right level of detail. The posts and courses below highlight some of the preparation required to make that happen.
Small Business Loans – Credit Process & Analysis
- Small Business Loans: Investor Due Diligence and Pre Investment Audits
- Small Business Loans: Analyzing Cash Flows for Credit: Numerical Example
- Small Business Loans: Analyzing Cash Flows for Credit: Operating Cash
- Small Business Loans: Analyzing Cash Flows for Credit: Trading Cash
- Small Business Loans: Analyzing Cash Flows for Credit: Cash from Sales
- Small Business Loans: Analyzing Cash Flows for Credit: Introduction
Small Business Loans – Additional SME finance topics
- Small business Loans: Lessons for SME Owners – Accounting to ratio analysis
- Small Business Loans: Small Business Association (SBA) non-direct Loans
- Small Business Loans: Regional financial initiatives
- SME Small Business Loans: Financing programs for small businesses
- SME Financing Basics: Operating Cycle, Books of Accounts and Forms of doing business
Small Business Loans – Accounting refresher
- Basic Accounting Short Course for small business – Course Guide
- Basic Accounting Short Course: Small Business Accounting Training- Integrating Sales, Purchases & Returns<
- Accounting Crash Course: Purchases Journal and Purchases Ledger
- Accounting crash course: Sales Journal, Sales Ledger and Trade discounts
- Accounting Crash Course: Sales Journal and Sales Ledgers
In our next Corporate Finance Roadmap post, we will take a look at the Computational Finance track.