Whether offered through public universities or private institutions, courses in investment banking revolve around the central idea of generating returns for banking clients. The tools and methods of achieving such returns dictate the subject matter of each course. Generally speaking, investment banking courses can be divided into research and valuation, equity trading strategies, private equity and fixed-income investment.
Research and Valuation
Research and valuation courses serve as the foundation of all investment banking. Such courses teach students how to analyze the prospects of companies and investment funds, and how to assign value to such enterprises. The University of Central Florida, for example, offers a course through its continuing education program called "The Analysis and Valuation of Stocks." The course is designed to teach students both conventional and advanced techniques in research and valuing stocks. Students learn to read financial statements and calculate financial ratios as well as research and compare different industries.
Equity Trading Strategies
Buying and selling stocks, or equities, is the focus of many investment banking courses. After learning the basics of valuation, students heading into the field need to understand trading strategies. One such strategy is called value investing, developed by legendary investor Benjamin Graham. New York University’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies offers a course in this investing style as part of its investment banking certification program. The class covers topics such as stock selection, management evaluation and portfolio building. It also covers mutual funds and asset plays as well as techniques employed by active value traders.
Private equity is an arm of investment banking that uses private funds to acquire or sell interests in businesses not publicly traded. Course work in private equity at the Investment Banking Institute delves into the complex nature of this investment strategy. According to the institute’s website, the course covers valuation and cash flow modeling, leveraged buyout modeling, merger modeling and distressed security analysis. The latter topic focuses on restructuring distressed companies, both in and out of court settings. The private equity course also explores best practices of investment banking.
Beside equities, investment bankers use fixed-income financial instruments to achieve returns for clients. Courses in fixed-income investment typically focus on the intricacies of treasuries, municipal and corporate bonds, and other instruments like mortgage-backed securities and derivatives. NYU’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies offers a course called "Fixed-Investment Securities" that covers both domestic and international debt markets. Students in the course review bond pricing and duration, risk and return relationships, and credit and rating scores, among other factors. The course is designed to provide “a foundation and context for managing fixed-income portfolios.”
- University of Central Florida Continuing Education: The Analysis and Valuation of Stocks
- New York University School of Continuing and Professional Studies: Value Investing Course Description
- Investment Banking Institute: IBI Proprietary Investment Banking – Private Equity Syllabus
- New York University School of Continuing and Professional Studies: Fixed-Income Securities Course Description
- John Foxx/Stockbyte/Getty Images