Uncovered the secrets of decision making in financial world: Thanks Open Yale Courses

Financial markets

How I came to know Open Yale Courses (OYC)?

In 2012, I was working on my ‘Envisioning 21st century global manager’ project, a project through which I was trying to equip myself with the skill-sets necessary for a 21st century global manager. One of the aspects of this program was to understand business more carefully and keep track of activities happening around the world.

To keep track of business activities around the world, I have started to read business newspapers from 7-8 regions of the world. For India specific information, I subscribed to the print edition of ‘The Economic Times of India’. It was around June, 2012 and I was able to grasp many things about the markets, business trends, strategic plans through the newspaper readings. Out of 16 pages, 5-6 were reserved for ‘Markets+Finance’ section. I was not able to get anything out from this section. So, my search started to find a suitable online material enabling me to find meanings behind those 6 pages. With some proper search and going through some websites, I have arrived on Open Yale Courses website. There I have found the course ‘Financial Markets’ from Prof. Robert Schiller. I liked the initial description and this is how my association with OYC has started.

Experience with the course, ‘Financial Markets’ (2011 version)

I always had the strong desire to study markets and how they function, especially after the financial crisis of 2008. Why such crisis has started? What’s the probability that this will never occur? Who owns the money when every government is under debt? How exactly I can figure out if my future is safe or not? What does it mean by bond markets? What is the effect on market when major bank cut their benchmark rates? Why every government is afraid of ratings? Such questions were keep circulating in my brain without getting any proper answers. I have studied many different newspapers, articles but none of them were able to satisfy my curiosity.

I am not sure, which corporations, what position, I will be working in future but it was necessary for me to understand the functioning of markets both personally and professionally. So that if such difficult situation occurs again, it will not take me by surprise. My objective while taking this course was to get a good grasp over fundamentals of markets, adding a good knowledge on the top of it for making better decisions in future.

Without any hesitation, I like to say this course provided the much needed tonic to digest things in the systematic manner. We all know that future is uncertain, stated by even Prof. Robert Schiller in his very first lecture transcripts. Uncertain may be, still we can make some good approximation about future through a very little knowledge of finance, markets, banking rates and monetary policies. Through this course, I have enjoyed fantastic ride of many new sectors such as insurance, real-estate to name a few. For the first time, I got to know that even bank also invest our money when I saw chapter on Investment Banking. Having good mathematical background helped in easily understanding numerical equations and mathematical formulas.

From this course, I got to know many new terms like Monetary Policy, Credit Ratings, Diversification of Portfolios etc. The course also stress the necessity of synchronization actions between Government and Corporations. It is true, when state support in the form of strong pro-business foreign policy is always expected by firms. I like to say sorry to Prof. Schiller for not entirely finishing this course. Unfortunately, some of things did not catch my interest, so I did not go in details through those sections. This course has ignited my curiosity to explore things further in the world of Finance and Economics. In my view, this was the biggest takeaway from this course.

Addition of further knowledge: Reaching new heights in understanding decision making process
This course served as a strong base to move further in the direction of understanding the world markets. In the year 2013, I have taken courses on Microeconomics & Macroeconomics through Coursera. I have also finished course on basic finance and basic financial accounting in context of decisions making at large corporations. I have also studied more about the role of WTO , IMF and World Bank and role of banks in economics. With extensive study of Newspapers, I came across Mergers & Acquisitions many times and I am currently analyzing M&A through the lens of organizational and cultural perspectives. My ‘Envisioning 21st century global manager’ would not been successful without the basic foundation provided by this course.

Today, I am in much better position than 2008 to understand the sudden changes in the markets. Terms like PMI , FDI, FTA are no longer alien to me. Now, I can also make sense of newspaper reports, budget calculations and economic policy making. I am also confident in making better judgment both personally and professionally.

Thank you Yale University and Prof. Robert Schiller for the wonderful course.

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