Indian School of Business, Coursera Team Up on Financial Basics

(Photo: Flickr, Creative Commons)

(Photo: Flickr, Creative Commons)

The Indian School of Business (ISB) and massive open online course provider Coursera will be collaborating on a specialization in Financial Markets and Investment Strategy. The intent is to address the lack of financial knowledge by the average person in India.

A specialization is Coursera's version of a professional certificate, each consisting of four massive open online courses (MOOCs) and a capstone to apply and test skills learned in the courses. The courses included in Financial Markets and Investment Strategy are Introduction to Financial Markets; Portfolio and Risk Management; Behavioral Investing; and Investment Strategy, Philosophy, Client Management, and Current Trends. The specialization ends with a capstone project in which students manage assets and securities for a person or company using the portfolio management skills and behavioral aspects that they have learned. The fee to complete a specialization is $355.

Introduction to Financial Markets deals with general economic concepts, primary and secondary markets, and economic indicators. Portfolio and Risk Management includes topics like risk and expected return, the investment process, and portfolio management. Behavioral Investing deals with how people make financial decisions, and why those decisions might be different than those predicted by economic theories. Investment Strategy, Philosophy, Client Management, and Current Trends teaches about needs analysis, investment policy, asset allocation, product selection, portfolio monitoring, and re-balancing. For the capstone, students will design an investment plan for one person at three different stages in that person's life.

The courses are taught by Vaidya Nathan, Vikram Kuriyan, and Ramabhadran Thirumalai, all professors of the ISB.

The courses were announced June 9th and the first session began the 13th.

The chief executive officer of Coursera, Rick Levin, says that the financial strategy specialization will appeal to anyone who wants to learn financial planning basics, reports MBA Universe. He said:

ISB's new specialization will appeal to a mass audience not just in India but to our 19 million plus learners around the world – from aspiring to working professionals in finance to anyone who would like to learn the basics of financial planning for personal or professional use.

Swathi Rathori of the Times of India quoted Nathan, who said:

In India, direct equity investments account for only 2% of household savings. Therefore, we developed this course with Coursera to address the lack of financial knowledge and education the average person about financial markets and financial instruments.

In 2015, a global financial literacy survey found that almost 76% of Indian adults don't understand basic financial concepts, which is much higher than the worldwide average.

This is the ISB's second Coursera track, reports the Economic Times of India. The first, on happiness, premiered in November 2014.

The Indian School of Business is an internationally recognized business school in Hyderabad and Mohali, which has provided management education for the past 12 years.

Coursera has teamed up with 140 universities and schools including Stanford University, Yale University, Peking University, the University of London, and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, to create 1,900 online courses. 19 million people worldwide use the service.

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