Aswath Damodaran, Professor of Finance at the Stern School of Business at NYU, has started teaching another year of corporate finance and valuation. And, according to a recent post on his blog Musings on Markets he is “just as excited as I was the day that I taught my first class” in 1986.
Quoting Damodaran, here are two of several reasons he doesn’t mind “teaching the same class over and over:”
The issues that we face in valuation change constantly. When I first started teaching the class, the big issue was recapitalization, as many large US companies were shifting to using more debt in their capital structure. In the 1990s, interest shifted to valuing technology companies, in general, and young technology companies, in particular. The last decade saw the rise of emerging market companies in the first part and the banking crisis, towards the end.
First principles endure: While the issues and challenges that we face in valuation change constantly, I have adhered to the same first principles over time. In fact, it is these first principles of valuation that I return to, at times of uncertainty and crisis, to look for answers. I truly believe that if you "get" these first principles, you are capable of answering any question in valuation, and I view that as one of the primary objectives for this class.If you find yourself wishing you could attend his class, now’s your chance. The popular professor invites us to “join in and follow the class”–virtually. The lectures, which can be downloaded, will be webcast a few hours after the class. He is also making his lecture notes and emails available. You can even take the quizzes and exams, which you’ll have to grade yourself with the help of his grading template online. To find out more click here.