Value investors use deep research to understand the underlying worth of companies and their long-term potential, and to make investments accordingly. Yale SOM’s approach to MBA education, with its emphasis on rigor, interdisciplinary thinking, and understanding major societal trends, gives its graduates an edge in this demanding field.
The Yale School of Management finance faculty have identified a collection of courses, programs, and resources that can launch students on successful careers in value investing. In their two years at Yale, students benefit from hands-on investing experience, cutting-edge faculty research into markets, and interactions with leading practitioners, including the managers of the Yale Endowment.
Starting from their first days on campus, students get a complete picture of markets and organizations through their core and elective courses. In the first year, students take the core Investor course, which provides a foundation in finance concepts as well as a broad understanding of what motivates investors, and Sourcing and Managing Funds, an in-depth look at the financing of enterprises. Through electives in accounting and finance, Yale students can learn about valuing companies from leading scholars; take an in-depth study of financial fraud taught by James Chanos, a renowned short seller who predicted the fall of Enron; or learn from leading-edge researchers in automated value investing.
Sample Value Investing Courses
- Sourcing and Managing Funds, K. Geert Rouwenhorst and Jacob Thomas
- Financial Reporting, Alina Lerman
- Financial Statement Analysis, X. Frank Zhang
- Corporate Finance, Kelly Shue
- Security Analysis, Matthew Spiegel and Shyam Sunder
Other Relevant Courses
- Behavioral Finance
introduces mechanisms by which stocks may become misvalued
- Competitive Strategy
analysis of competition within industries and the forces leading to advantage
- History of Financial Frauds: A Forensic Approach, James Chanos
- Quantitative Investing and Program Trading, X. Frank Zhang
- Applied Quantitative Finance, Tobias Moskowitz
Student Investment Fund
Starting in 2018, Yale SOM students are making real investment decisions as part of a course called Security Analysis, taught by Matthew Spiegel, professor of finance, and Shyam Sunder, the James L. Frank Professor of Accounting, Economics, and Finance. The course is offered year-round. Students in their first semester act as securities analysts and produce fundamental value research on industries and the individual firms in them. Second-semester students are the portfolio managers, overseeing several industries each, produce fundamental value research on industries and the individual firms in them, and making decisions about how the fund’s money will be allocated. The class has a distinctly global component, as students from Ireland’s Smurfit School of Business, a fellow member of the Global Network for Advanced Management, work alongside Yale students.
Each year, teams of students from the 30-plus schools in the Global Network for Advanced Management participate in an investment competition run by Yale SOM’s International Center for Finance and sponsored by Bloomberg. The students perform in-depth research on companies to create stock picks, and the finalists in a pitch competition get feedback from a lineup of accomplished investors and scholars (not to mention prizes). Prizes are also awarded for portfolio performance each year. In addition to this direct learning, students learn from each other and gain insights into markets around the world through their peers’ research and reports.
Speakers and Advisors
The convening power of Yale brings remarkable speakers to campus every year, including a number of Yale alumni. Students get unique access to industry experts who run some of the most distinguished value investing firms and organizations. The school also has close ties with the Yale Endowment, a path-setter in the investment industry. A number of the endowment managers are SOM graduates and frequently speak and teach classes to share their knowledge with current students.
- Bob Davis ’97, Nebrodi Partners
- Neal Pawar, AQR Capital Management
- Mellody Hobson, Ariel Investments
- Sally Rocker ‘81, J.C. Flowers & Co.
- Lisa Howie ’08, Yale Investments Office
- Alex Acree JD/MBA ’08, Fenway Summer Ventures
- Eddie Tam ’93, CEO & CIO, Central Asset Investments; member, International Center for Finance Board of Advisors
- James Chanos, Founder & President, Kynikos Associates
- John Glass, Managing Director, Morgan Stanley
- Robert Pohly, Founder & Portfolio Manager, Samlyn Capital
- Dan MacEachron, Managing Director, BlackRock
- David Genovese, Founder and President, Baywater Properties
The school’s active Investment Management Club is committed to helping all students interested in the industry develop the knowledge, skills, and relationships they need to succeed. The club runs regular workshops and talks during the school year. In fall 2017, for example, the group hosted a program on how to make a successful stock pitch, covering topics such as developing an investment thesis, building a valuation model, and ultimately presenting the investment idea to the judges. The club also leads job treks, through which participants visit major investment firms and meet with leaders in the field. In 2017-18, the club went to Boston and New York, meeting with firms such as Putnam Investments, MFS, Eaton Vance, Cambridge Associates, and Greenlight Capital.
International Center for Finance
The school’s International Center for Finance supports research and educational activities by bringing together faculty, students, and practitioners to foster leadership in the understanding, practice, and management of finance from multiple perspectives. In addition to supporting faculty research, the ICF hosts conferences, workshops, and speaker series on topics such as fintech, real estate, and behavioral finance.