Tag Archives: Analyst Course

Analyst Course

  1. Prior mentions of an analyst course with readers’ suggestions were posted:




There are plenty of other investing courses ranging from free to $20,000.

http://www.tradingacademy.com/ Here you can learn technical analysis and trading techniques for $5,000 to $20,000.  I won’t say this is a scam, but you won’t learn anything than you could find in a $20 book on technical analysis.  Then ask yourself if and how technical analysis has ANY value?

https://www.udemy.com/value-investing-bootcamp-how-to-invest-wisely/  A typical $200 course for beginners.

http://www8.gsb.columbia.edu/execed/program-pages/details/61/VI ONLY $7,200 for three days.  Learn from the famous Prof. Greenwald.  How can you be a value investor and then pay that amount?

https://www.quora.com/What-are-the-best-online-value-investing-courses Look for yourself.

Stamford online value investing course



http://pages.stern.nyu.edu/~adamodar/ FREE. But even an “expert” like Prof. Damodaran can make critical mistakes as pointed out here: http://csinvesting.org/tag/vale/  You must understand economics, banking, and credit cycles!

https://youtu.be/_uQjGz6jp2E?list=PLF1wHLfTCGUQ85w90LIg-1YXZdnUKOGtO 91 short lectures on Buffett.   Not bad.   A good supplement to your readings of Buffett.

https://youtu.be/Jo1XgDJCkh4   M. Pabrai opines about value investing. How to invest in 100-baggers.  I think Mr. Pabrai will beat the averages, but he has had 80% declines in his portfolios (2008/09).  Learn the proper lessons and NEVER cease thinking for yourself.

What Can I Contribute?

Based on my research, I still believe there is a place for a serious, rigorous, and a comprehensive course and resource center to help investors be better independent thinkers and analysts of businesses.  Over twenty-five years, I have collected a huge array of investment writings, case studies, lectures, etc. that would help serious investors–the equivalent of four graduate level courses on investing.  Why pay $60,000 per year to go to graduate school to learn value investing.   Well, students pay the $60,000 for the name brand, the certificate and the relationships with other students. Not a apples-to apples comparison–to be fair.

The issue now is organizing and reformatting the material so both beginner and expert can improve.  My bias is to learn from great investors from theory to case study.   There is nothing new investing that hasn’t been said  before by Buffett, Graham, Klarman, and Jesse Livermore. Why not learn from them instead of from a flatulent, tenured business professor (ironic?!).

While at college, I worked as a pilot. Learning to fly used the theory of flight that the student applied in good, day-light weather with a flight instructor, then progressing to independent flight.  Even Munger says the process of flight training is efficient.

A Craft

Investing is a craft or both an art and science. You need the expertise and experience to place facts, information into perspective.   An investor must understand how capital is allocated by management (Corporate Finance). Take dividends.   There are many perspectives to view dividends, but dividends are paid out of FREE CASH FLOW.   So what is free cash flow and how can we know if it is sustainable?  To understand that you must convert accounting information into underlying reality.  An entire 412 page book is devoted to all the issues surrounding sustainable free cash flow, http://160592857366.free.fr/joe/ebooks/tech/Wiley%20Creative%20Cash%20Flow%20Reporting.pdf

You understand the details but you should not get lost in minutiae because you must focus on what is important and applicable to the opportunity.

Therefore, the course will need to cover the basics like:

  • Does value investing work?
  • Important concepts: How to read, how to think. How to learn.
  • Studying great investors as they apply value investing principles.
  • How to value businesses.
  • Analyzing competitive advantage or disadvantage.
  • When to concentrate and bet heavily/using options, stubs.
  • Subsets of value investing: Growth, special situations, and distressed.
  • And many other skills

You must know:  (1) how to value a business and (2) how to think about prices.  The devil is in YOU and the details.

You either buy an undervalued asset/non-franchise business that is subject to reversion to the mean (growth doesn’t add value)  or

You buy a franchise that depending upon its moat has slower reversion to the mean.  Growth is valuable within a franchise.

The course will take students through those two types of investments with case studies. Students then can refer to Buffett, Graham and others who applied value investing.

One goal would be to help students develop their OWN investment philosophy.

How to SEARCH, VALUE, MANANGE A PORTFOLIO, and IMPROVE THE YOU are involved in having a comprehensive investment philosophy. You will have a library of investors’ different approaches and philosophies.

I probably need four to six months to put the course together.  Several of you have kindly offered to help. I appreciate your interest, and I will reach out at the appropriate time.

The goal will be to have a resource for students to build a strong foundation of skills and knowledge with an area to communicate with one another.

All for now.

Update on Analyst Course, Part 2, Readers’uggestions

An excellent HBO 90-minute special on Buffett. Even if you are sick of hearing about Buffett, this is an excellent video.  Susan Buffett, wife of Warren, “He was reading ALL THE TIME.”

A book on strategy









The above book is an excellent primer on how to view company presentations on their future plans/strategy.   There are not many good books on strategy, but this is one.  View: http://goodbadstrategy.com/background-materials/. I would trade 100 Good to Great books for one of the above.

readers’ suggestions

I would be extremely interested in analyst course you put together especially with emphasis on lots of case studies from the superinvestors used to teach the principles of valuation. I stumbled upon the course schedules of Mentals models course at Columbia University which could help you in your effort to design the course. Please find attached: mental-models-columbia-gbs-2012-syllabus

As Warren Buffet says there should be just two courses taught in valuation

  1. How to value a Business
  2. How to think about market prices

I think for most of us who are not in the field professionally, we can read all about investing in theory from books and articles but lack the practical experience and applications.  So actively doing the case studies and having the critique and feedback would be great for this course. Otherwise, we are on our own with no one to tell us how to improve or where we went wrong and what was missed.

Sharing and demonstrating how certain things are done/calculated would be great help for myself who is a kinesthetic learner and learn best through doing it practically.

Hey John, I’m very interested in the analyst course. I’ve been reading several books on improving skills i.e Cal Newport’s books, Talent Code etc by looking at various domain i.e chess, music etc where the best does it through deliberate practice and I think in investing domain there has been a lack of these structured learning, although all the case studies you’ve presented here are a great starting point.

Maybe another point which can be included in the course could be method of analysis for some key sectors like banks, insurance, Oi and Gas E&P. It could be helpful if we could get sector special books like Sam Walton for retail etc. helps in understanding key points of the sector

I pick Warren Buffett as the first investment master to imitate. Reading his letter (‘Complete Buffett Partnership Letters 1957 to 1970’ and ‘Berkshire Hathaway Letters to Shareholders’ ) to understand ‘what actually done by him’ and followed by additional reading (sources: ie csinvesting.com / You Tube / Books such as ‘The Intelligent Investor’, ‘Security Analysis’, ‘BUFFETT The Making of an American capitalist’, ‘ Warren Buffett Speaks-Wit and Wisdom from the World Greatest Investor’, ‘Inside the Investments of Warren Buffett’ and etc ) to understand the rational or whatever be discussed about his action. Later put the knowledge into practice and learning from own mistakes.

Thereafter I would adopt the same learning method on other investment master such as Mohnish Pabrai and Howard Marks.

The primary intention is to truly understand the investment philosophy behind them by knowing the gap (or difference), if any, between the saying and the action.

It’s an interesting idea. A few thoughts from my end: – You could organize each section to teach a fundamental skill or lesson and then have a case study that requires you to understand that lesson in-depth. – As part of the course, students should have to create at least one succinct pitch for a stock. – There could be sub-groups that are assigned that work together, offer each other feedback, etc. – Rather than charge for the course, you could have students commit to doing the work with one of the habit-forming/public-contract sites (i.e. stickk, beeminder)

Can we actually look at some current case studies?  Maybe reverse engineer the rationale for buying by some of the greats?

This sounds like an awesome idea. I have been trying to go back and read the Deep Value course this group was supposedly made for. I am going through the stuff slowly but there is some conflicting information. It will be great if we can have some course which puts everything together.

I would put something in there on developing qualitative theories behind investment decisions. How best to vet management, employees, and other stakeholders such as upstream and downstream participants. Most people on this site I would assume wouldn’t have direct access like major investors and sell side analysts do, so developing a theory on how to mimic these interactions through information sources would be a benefit. 

basic quantitative research might be a good value add also. Paying some of these sites multiple thousands of dollars for basic search criteria is frustrating, when basic developed quant and programming skills could replace them. And the ability to automate many processes would be a good point to. I guess this falls into the “improving you” section. 

I never got through the Best Practices of Equity Research Analysts, but there’s probably a structure in there to model off of. 


Definitely a module of one-on-one interviews or presentations major investors have given at events like value investing congress would be good for putting positions in perspective. Also, since not everyone here would be a PM at a 10B hedge fund, investing across asset classes and differently sized capitalizations is very important. If Buffett is correct, then all of us managing less than 5M should be able to return 50% Let’s put that to the test. Let’s build portfolios together and give critique, as we go through the process and the modules. Maybe assigning people committed to doing the modules to working groups would benefit that process too. Applying as we go is probably the best way to reinforce the material, so it’s not just something learned and reviewed, and then forgotten. Studying for the CFA, I learned a tremendous amount of information, however I haven’t had to apply 95% of it to my work, so it’s nearly all forgotten unless I go back to heavily review.

Lastly, I would do a module on investing in different industries. Since investing in financials is not like investing in medical devices. What are the key metrics, kpi’s to these businesses. What are the nuances of investing in each of these industries since they are unique. 

If you needed any help in construction I would be willing to participate. I’m currently leaving my company, and actively searching and networking for a new career path on the asset management track, so I will have the time and interest.