Risk and Return and the Weighted Average Cost of Capital Free Online Course by Columbia University

Columbia University

The Columbia University is offering free online course on Risk and Return and the Weighted Average Cost of Capital. In this course, students will learn to estimate the expected return of equity and debt.

In this five-week course, applicants will learn how to measure the risk and return of equity and debt; and compute the weighted average of cost of capital. This course will start on January 10, 2018.

Course At A Glance

Length: 4weeks
Effort: 3-4 hours pw
Subject: Economics & Finance
Institution: Columbia University and edx
Languages: English
Price: Free
Certificate Available: Yes, Add a Verified Certificate for ?6426
Session: Course Starts on January 10, 2018

Providers’ Details

Columbia University is one of the world’s most important centers of research and at the same time a distinctive and distinguished learning environment for undergraduates and graduate students in many scholarly and professional fields.

About This Course

In this course, you will learn to estimate the expected return of equity and debt. You will also learn to estimate the weighted average cost of capital (WACC), the opportunity cost of capital you should use when discounting the free cash flows to value a firm.

Why Take This Course?

In the process, you will learn to estimate the risk of financial assets and how use this measure of risk to calculate expected returns. You will also learn how the capital structure of a firm affects the riskiness of its equity and debt. Throughout the course, you will learn how to construct Excel models to value firms using hands on activities.

Learning Outcomes

  • How to measure risk.
  • Estimate the expected return of an asset based on its risk.
  • Adjust the risk of the equity and debt of a firm when the firm changes its capital structure.
  • Calculate the weighted average cost of capital (essential input to value of firm).


Daniel Wolfenzon

Daniel Wolfenzon is the Stefan H. Robock Professor of Finance and Economics at Columbia Business School.


Students must be familiar with basic concepts of Accounting; basic skills in Microsoft Excel (or equivalent); Students should have completed Introduction to Corporate Finance and The Free Cash Flow Method for Firm Valuation.

How To Join This Course

  • Go to the course website link
  • Create an edX account to SignUp
  • Choose “Register Now” to get started.
  • EdX offers honor code certificates of achievement, verified certificates of achievement, and XSeries certificates of achievement. Currently, verified certificates are only available in some courses.
  • Once applicant sign up for a course and activate their account, click on the Log In button on the edx.org homepage and type in their email address and edX password. This will take them to the dashboard, with access to each of their active courses. (Before a course begins, it will be listed on their dashboard but will not yet have a “view course” option.)

Apply Now

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