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Columbia University

Risk & Return

Columbia University via edX


In this course, you will learn to estimate the expected return of equity and debt. You will also learn to estimate the weighted average cost of capital (WACC), the opportunity cost of capital you should use when discounting the free cash flows to value a firm.

In the process, you will learn to estimate the risk of financial assets and how use this measure of risk to calculate expected returns. You will also learn how the capital structure of a firm affects the riskiness of its equity and debt. Throughout the course, you will learn how to construct Excel models to value firms using hands on activities.


Week 1: Risk, return, and the Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM)

Week 2: The Weighted Average Cost of Capital (WACC) and the effect of capital structure on WACC

Week 3: Case study: Estimating the WACC

Week 4: Valuation capstone case

Taught by

Daniel Wolfenzon


4.0 rating, based on 1 Class Central review

4.6 rating at edX based on 18 ratings

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  • Md.Humayun Kabir
    I am working in a micro finance organisation. Risk and return both are very familiar term to me. In micro finance we are mostly working with small business holder and entrepreneurs . The whole task associated with huge risk and return, lending to the small holder without collateral in some cases took huge tools. At the same time fund for smooth operation also a very critical issue. The course I think will make it easy and give me depath understanding both risk and return.

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