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The Corporate Finance Email Chronicles: Spring 2015

I confess. I send out a lot of emails and I am sure that you don't read some of them. Since they sometimes contain important information as well as clues to my thinking (deranged though it might be), I will try to put all of the emails into this file. They are in chronological order, starting with the earliest one. So, scroll down to your desired email and read on...

Date
Email content
1/21/15

Happy new year! I hope you have have a wonderful break and that you will come back tanned, rested and ready to go. This is the first of many, many emails that you will get for me. You can view that either as a promise or a threat.

I am delighted that you have decided to take the corporate finance class this spring with me and especially so if you are not a finance major and have never worked in finance. I am an evangelist when it comes to the centrality of corporate finance and I will try very hard to convert you to my faith. I also know that some of you may be worried about the class and the tool set that you will bring to it. I cannot alleviate all your fears now, but here are a few things that you can do to get an early jump:
a. Get a financial calculator and do not throw away the manual.
b. The only prior knowledge that I will draw on will be in basic accounting, statistics and present value. If you feel insecure about any of these areas, I have short primers on my web site that you can download by going to
http://pages.stern.nyu.edu/~adamodar/New_Home_Page/primer.html
c. If you are taking the Foundations in Finance class simultaneously, don't panic. There will be 150 others in the same position and you will not be at any special disadvantage.
And trust me. We will get through this together.

Having got these thoughts out of the way, let me get down to business. You can find out all you need to know about the class (for the moment) by going to the web page for the class:
http://www.stern.nyu.edu/~adamodar/New_Home_Page/corpfin.html
This page has everything connected to the class, including webcast links, lecture notes and project links.

The syllabus has been updated and you will be getting a hard copy of it on the first day of class but the the quiz dates are specified online. If you click on the calendar link, you will be taken to a Google calendar of everything related to this class.
https://www.google.com/calendar/embed?src=stern.nyu.edu_8j7spbil24jqrdv5ec0rr1f0vg%40group.calendar.google.com&ctz=America/New_York
You will note references to a project which will be consuming your lives for the next four months. This project will essentially require you to do a full corporate financial analysis of a company. While there is nothing you need to do at the moment for the project, you can start thinking about a company you would like to analyze and a group that you want to be part of.

I am a minimal user of NYU Classes (I hate closed systems) but am planning to use a young upstart site that allows content, social media and commentary to co-exist called Yellowdig. The site is listed below:
https://www.yellowdig.com
You will shortly be getting an invite to join in the site with a code. Please do accept the invitation. Once you log in, the site will remember you and you will automatically be put into the course page. In fact, feel free to post in the stream page well before class starts.

I will also be posting the contents of the site (webcasts, lectures, posts) on iTunes U. If you have never used it, here is what you need: an Apple device (iPhone or iPad), the iTunes U app on the device and you need to link to the link below:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/course/corporate-finance-spring-2015/id959944936

Like all things Apple, the set up iis very well done and it is neat, being able to catch up on a lecture you missed on your iPad, while browsing through the lecture notes on it too.

I know that you are feeling overwhelmed by now, but for those of you with devices and slower broadband, I also have a YouTube Playlist for the class:
http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLUkh9m2BorqlnGQlU8OWKyprTrP5c5uul
Please check it out.

Now for the material for the class. The lecture notes for the class are available as a pdf file that you can download and print. I have both a standard version (one slide per page) and an environmentally friendly version (two slides per page) to download. You can also save paper entirely and download the file to your iPad or Kindle. Make your choice.
http://pages.stern.nyu.edu/~adamodar/New_Home_Page/cflect.htm
If you prefer a copied package, the first part (of two) should be in the bookstore next week.

There is a book for the class, Applied Corporate Finance, but please make sure that you get the fourth edition. It is exorbitantly over priced but you can buy, rent or download it at Amazon.com or the NYU bookstore
http://www.amazon.com/Applied-Corporate-Finance-Aswath-Damodaran-ebook/dp/B00P6SS6MU/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1421799164&sr=1-1&keywords=applied+corporate+finance+4th+edition
While I have no qualms about wasting your money, I know that some of you are budget constrained (a nice way of saying "poor") . If you really, really cannot afford the book, you should be able to live without it. I can even lend you a copy around quiz weeks.

One final point. I know that the last few years have led you to question the reach of finance (and your own career paths). I must confess that I have gone through my own share of soul searching, trying to make sense of what is going on. I will try to incorporate what I think the lessons learned, unlearned and relearned over this period are for corporate finance. There are assumptions that we have made for decades that need to be challenged and foundations that have to be reinforced. In other words, the time for cookbook and me-too finance (which is what too many firms, investment banks and consultants have indulged in) is over.

That is about it. I am looking forward to this class. It has always been my favorite class to teach (though I love teaching valuation) and I have two objectives. I would like to make it the best class you have ever taken, period. I know that this is going to be tough to pull off but I will really try. I hope to see you on February 2nd in class.