Dead Companies Walking; Financial Accounting Course by CSInvesting

http://www.scottfearon.com/

The above is an interesting blog from an original thinker.

For a refresher: A free Wharton course on Financial Accounting (rave reviews)

https://www.coursera.org/course/accounting

Dead Companies Walking – Description

dead companies walking

Dead Companies Walking: How A Hedge Fund Manager Finds Opportunity in Unexpected Places by Scott Fearon

Unlike most investors, who live in fear of failure, Scott Fearon actively seeks it out. He has earned millions of dollars for his hedge fund over the last thirty years shorting the stocks of businesses he believed were on their way to bankruptcy. In Dead Companies Walking, Fearon describes his methods for spotting these doomed businesses, and how they can be extremely profitable investments. In his experience, corporate managers routinely commit six common mistakes that can derail even the most promising companies: they learn from only the recent past; they rely too heavily on a formula for success; they misunderstand their target customers; they fall victim to the magical storytelling of a mania; they fail to adapt to tectonic shifts in their industry; and they are physically or emotionally removed from their companies’ operations.

Fearon has interviewed thousands of executives across America, many of whom, unknowingly, were headed toward bankruptcy – from the Texas oil barons of the 80s to the tech wunderkinds of the late 90s to the flush real estate developers of the mid-2000s. Here, he explores recent examples like J C Penney Company Inc (NYSE:JCP), Herbalife Ltd. (NYE:HLF) and Blockbuster Entertainment to help investors better predict the next booms and busts—and come out on top.

Dead Companies Walking: How A Hedge Fund Manager Finds Opportunity in Unexpected Places

An Introduction to Financial Accounting

This course will improve your fluency in financial accounting, the language of business. You will learn how to read, understand, and analyze most of the information provided by companies in their financial statements. These skills will help you make more informed decisions using financial information.

Watch Intro Video


About the Course

Accounting is the language of business. Companies communicate their performance to outsiders and evaluate the performance of their employees using information generated by the accounting system.  Learning the language of accounting is essential for anyone that must make decisions based on financial information.

The course is designed to provide an understanding of financial accounting fundamentals for prospective users of corporate financial information, such as investors, creditors, employees, and other stakeholders (e.g., suppliers, customers).   The course focuses on understanding how economic events such as operating activities, corporate investments, and financing transactions are recorded in the three main financial statements (i.e., the income statement, balance sheet, and statement of cash flows). Students will develop the technical skills needed to analyze financial statements and disclosures for use in financial analysis.  Students will also learn how accounting standards and managerial incentives affect the financial reporting process.

Course Syllabus

The course is broken up into ten weekly modules:

  • Introduction and Balance Sheet
  • Accrual Accounting and the Income Statement
  • Cash flows
  • Working capital assets
  • Ratio analysis and Mid-course Exam
  • Long-lived assets and marketable securities
  • Liabilities and long-term debt
  • Deferred taxes
  • Stockholders’ equity
  • How to read an Annual Report and Final Exam

Recommended Background

The course is recommended for students with little or no prior background in financial accounting that want to improve their financial literacy.  There are no academic prerequisites for the course.  Although we will work with numbers in the course, the only required math knowledge is addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.

Suggested Readings

The course is designed to be self-contained.  Students wanting to expand their knowledge beyond what we can cover in this course or who want more practice problems or more in-depth explanations can consult any Introduction to Financial Accounting textbook that is geared toward MBA students.  Because the material in the course has been fairly unchanged for the past few years, any used prior editions of textbooks should be acceptable.

Course Format

The course will combine video of the instructor with Powerpoint slides to the deliver the material.  The lectures will be “interactive” in that the instructor will periodically ask students to pause the presentation and guess an answer before proceeding.  The videos will also cover “case studies” of real companies to illustrate the course concepts.  The course will provide eight short homework assignments and two exams.

FAQ

Will I get a Statement of Accomplishment after completing this class?

Contingent on academic performance, you will get a Statement of Accomplishment stating that you completed this course.  However, no certificate will be given from Wharton / Penn and successful completion of this course does not make you a Wharton / Penn alumnus.

 

What resources will I need for this class?

Everything you need will be provided via the Coursera platform.

 

What is the coolest thing I’ll learn if I take this class?

You will not only better understand what people in the business media are talking about, you will also be able to notice when they don’t know what they are talking about!

For more information on Penn’s Open Learning initiative, please go to: http://openlearning.upenn.edu