Value investing is an investment philosophy that involves buying a high-quality stock sold at a low or reasonable price relative to its intrinsic value.
This methodology is practiced by top investors of all time, including Warren Buffett, Benjamin Graham, Peter Lynch, and many others.
The strength of value investing is quite apparent. It is 100% based on logic. It ignores the noise of the market. Thus, unlike day trading and swing trading, you don’t need to worry about short-term fluctuations. You can sit back, enjoy financial freedom, and watch your passive income grow over time.
However, as an investor myself, I could say it is not that easy. Finding investible value stocks from thousands in the stock market is unsurprisingly challenging and tedious.
You need to conduct a sophisticated analysis quantitatively and qualitatively of the company. The goal is to find out whether its business model has bright prospects and its stocks are undervalued.
The entire process is, therefore, complicated. However, it is perfectly learnable.
Most investors who would like to adopt the value approach (including me) mostly learn the methodology by reading investment books, such as One Up on Wall Street, Buffettology, The Intelligent Investor, or Margin of Safety.
Undoubtedly, these books are excellent. I personally like them, especially the first one.
Still, as online courses are rising in prominence, you can start learning value investing from them as well. Hence, I will detail the five best value investing courses you could learn online in this post.
Things You Should Know
I admit that the post title is a bit misleading. As I never want to mislead my audience, I decided to tell you the truth. Not all courses in this post are exclusively for learning value investing. However, I chose to include them in the list.
The reason is most online courses that claim to teach value investing exclusively (aka “value investing courses”) are low-quality. There are very few good ones that are beneficial, which you will also read about in this post.
I also found out that other finance courses could help one make better investment decisions based on value investing. Hence, I do not hesitate to add them to this list.
These are the courses on
- Financial Accounting (for a complete understanding of each company’s financial statements, but not as in-depth as those of accountants)
- Financial Markets (for analyzing the big picture of the stock market)
- Financial Modeling and Valuation (to find intrinsic value of any company)
- Behavioral Finance (helping you sit tight when the price action is not favorable)
- Investment Management (helps you structure your investment portfolios to get rid of excessive risks and prevent nasty surprises from destroying your wealth)
My recommendation is that you don’t need to take all of those. You can select only those that teach concepts that you need to learn more. I think that would suffice.
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Still, as we always value integrity and prioritize our audience’s interests, you can rest assured that we discuss every detail of the courses truthfully.
Value Investing Courses
These are courses, programs, or tutorials designed particularly for learning value investing. Thus, you will learn all the value investing concepts and practices within one course.
1. Value Investing (Online) Making Intelligent Investment Decisions
This online value investing program by Columbia Business School is unarguably the best value investing course you can find online.
The school was where Benjamin Graham and David Dodd originated their value investing strategy almost a century ago. Warren Buffett also learned value investing by attending Graham’s classes at Columbia.
Hence, you will receive training based on original value investing principles.
This online program is 2-month long. Designed specifically for individual investors, this program will teach all essential value investing concepts, case studies, and best practices.
Below is the summary of all modules you will learn in the program (from on-demand video lectures)
- Value Investing Framework – Foundations, Valuation Approach and Calculation of Asset Value
- Earnings Power Value – How to identify stocks selling well below fair value
- Strategic Analysis – This part will deal with the qualitative side of value investing. You will understand how to analyze each company’s competitive advantage, economies of scale, and barriers to entry.
- Growth and Value – Estimating future earnings and accounting for growth rates.
- Risk Management – Strategies to manage portfolio risks and other stock risks
Besides these program topics, you will learn from real-world case studies chosen by experts. These include Walmart, Amazon, Intel, and many more.
As a usual university program, there will be assignments and a capstone project for students to complete. For example, you will put what you learn into practice by finding a company’s intrinsic value.
Experts will grade your work and provide feedback to help you improve your understanding of all core concepts.
The duration of the program is two months. Columbia suggests spending 6-8 hours each week on the course, which I think is doable for those with full-time jobs. You will also receive a certificate upon the successful completion of the course.
The cost of the program is $3,750 (you can pay in installments). You can get as much as $375 off if you click on the referral link (the button below.)
Pros and Cons
- Comprehensive, one-stop-shop value investing training
- Learn from an industry expert
- High-quality and in-depth video lectures
- Numerous real-world case studies and examples
- Grading and evaluation provided
- Moderate workload
- Networking opportunities with other participants (many are corporate decision-makers and fund managers)
- Certificate from Columbia University
- Extremely expensive
- Needs background knowledge in Finance
2. Udemy Value Investing Tutorials
Udemy has several good value investing tutorials. Though they are far from being complete value investing courses, they could help beginners interested in the value investing approach.
Below is a list of courses on Udemy that beginners may be worth considering.
1. Value Investing Bootcamp: How to Invest Wisely – A short tutorial that summarizes all value investing concepts such as Price vs. Value, Risk vs. Reward, and valuable tips to pick stocks and manage portfolio
Rating: 4.5/5.0 stars, 34,400+ students
2. Value Investing The Complete Value Stock Investing Course – A good course that focuses on selecting stocks according to the value investing principles.
You will learn to conduct quantitative and qualitative analysis, calculate the margin of safety, find hidden gems, and many more.
Rating: 4.6/5.0 stars, 1,600+ students
I recommend buying these courses only when they are on sale. You will pay less than $20 per course.
Nevertheless, if you are an experienced value investor who wants to improve your skills, you will not need these introductory investing courses. I recommend selecting useful ones below instead.
Practical Courses for Learning Value Investing
Below is a list of courses that I find beneficial for learning value investing and utilizing the methodology in real life. They will improve your practical skills as a prudent stock market investor.
Most courses will teach you different skills. As a beginner, you may need more than one course.
3. Financial Modeling & Valuation (FMVA)
This online training program from the CFI (Corporate Finance Institute) will teach the concepts, skillsets, and techniques of financial modeling and valuation.
Even though the program targets new graduates who plan to apply for financial analyst positions on Wall Street, I found the program particularly beneficial for value investors.
Besides learning the necessary financial accounting knowledge, you will understand how to create practical financial models like an investment banking analyst.
Hence, you can find the intrinsic value of every company and evaluate investment opportunities on your own. All these skills are vital for value investing.
The FMVA program comprises many learning resources, including video lectures, assignments, quizzes, projects, or even a final exam. Thus, you will get hands-on experience on company valuation.
Below is a summary of the course content you will learn in the program.
- Accounting and Financial Statements
- Introduction to Corporate Finance
- Introduction to Excel and other helpful tools
- Financial Analysis
- Financial Accounting
- Building a 3-statement financial model
- Business Valuation
- Cash Flow Forecasting
- Scenario and Sensitivity Analysis
- Real Estate Financial Modeling
- Startup/Ecommerce Financial Model
- M&A Modeling
- LBO Modeling
- Renewable Modeling
- Corporate & Business Strategy
There will be 28 courses in total. Each will have detailed case studies and assignments based on real-world data that will test your knowledge and enhance your skills.
Upon program completion, you will possess substantial experience in performing fundamental analysis that you can utilize effortlessly in your investing strategy.
In addition, if you pass the final exam, you will get a certification from the institute.
CFI currently uses a subscription-based pricing model. There are two options you can choose as follows.
- Self-study – $497 per year
- Full Immersion – $847 per year
Once you subscribe to any plan, you can access all courses on the platform, including all in the FMVA program and others. Therefore, you can learn about financial modeling, financial markets, and credit analytics in one go.
If you need extra support, you can subscribe to the full immersion plan by paying an additional $350.
With this plan, you can access a team of experts who will answer your questions and provide feedback on your models. Furthermore, you can use premium tools (i.e., Capital IQ) to work on more challenging case studies.
However, I don’t think the full immersion option is necessary, as the course materials are excellent and sufficient for self-studying.
Pros and Cons
- Beginner-friendly (No background knowledge needed)
- Learn all the practical fundamental analysis needed for value investing
- The program includes industry-specific financial modeling (Startups, Real Estate, Renewable, etc.), thus excellent for those who have investments in these industries.
- Prep courses are free to access.
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Overall, a cost-effective training program, providing good value for money
- Passing the final exam to get certifications could be problematic (80% passing score.)
- Not the most affordable option
3. Financial Markets (Coursera)
Despite selecting the right stocks, those who invest during the financial bubbles can receive subpar returns or even lose a tremendous amount of money. Hence, learning about the nature of the financial markets is essential for making sound investments.
This course on the Coursera website will teach the basic knowledge of financial markets, including the participants, history, and nature of boom and bust.
You will learn from Robert Shiller, a Nobel laureate and well-known researcher who predicted the dot-com bubble crash in late 2000. I don’t think there is anyone who is more well-versed in these topics than him.
The course consists of four modules as follows.
- Basics of Financial Markets and CAPM
- Forecasting and behavioral finance
- Stocks, bonds, market caps
- Recessions, bubbles, regulations
Each module will have a quiz that will help you review what you have learned and sharpen your skills.
The course is free to audit. However, if you want graded assignments and a certificate, you need to purchase the course, which costs $49 one-time.
Pros and Cons
- Top-notch, highly knowledgeable instructor
- Helpful information to learn about financial markets and help evaluate the big picture
- Free auditing
- Some parts could be unclear to those who are new to finance.
4. Investment Management Specialization (Coursera)
This specialization from the University of Geneva will help investors create an optimized, diversified portfolio that balances risk and reward. Thus, you can make favorable returns over time from your investments without the risk of being completely wiped out.
Investment management is particularly vital to long-term investors. Even though you are an excellent stock picker, you cannot be right 100% of the time (even Warren Buffett is not.)
If you have not managed your portfolio well, a single losing position could destroy your hard-earned savings. This catastrophe has happened to many investors during the last century. It is always better to be safe than sorry.
This specialization comprises four minor courses as follows.
1. Understanding Financial Markets – This first course will provide insights into the stock market. You will understand how we calculate the price of different securities. Experts from UBS, a leading investment bank, will also show you how to build an optimized portfolio based on them.
Furthermore, you will also learn about the central banks and how their policies influence the financial markets.
2. Meeting Investors’ Goals – The second course will discuss rationality and irrationality that affect the direction of the stock market, which could send stock price far away from its intrinsic value.
You will also learn how to construct an optimized portfolio based on multiple modern portfolio theories.
This course could be helpful for many investors, as it explains why persistence is always necessary for value investing success.
3. Portfolio and Risk Management – The sole purpose of this course is to elaborate on portfolio construction. You will shape investor profiles, manage risks, and utilize optimal asset allocations to create a personalized portfolio.
4. Securing Investment Returns in the Long Run – You will learn how to measure your portfolio’s performance accurately. Experts will discuss mutual fund topics, including active funds and index funds
5. Capstone Project – In this final project, you will be asked to design an optimal wealth management plan for the next five years. You will use all knowledge learned from former courses in this task.
The instructor recommends spending 2 hours on the specialization, and you will complete it in 5 months.
Similar to other Coursera specializations, this one is also free to audit. However, if you want to receive feedback on your assignments, quizzes, and projects, you will need to subscribe to the course by paying $49 per month.
You can try the full experience 7 days for free.
Pros and Cons
- Learn from financial experts from a leading Swiss university and UBS
- Explain all the fundamentals of portfolio management
- Practical knowledge useful for real-life investing
- Free auditing
- Light weekly workload
- Some reviewers noticed a sudden spike of difficulty in minor parts of the specialization, which confused them.
5. Behavioral Finance (Coursera)
Many decades ago, Benjamin Graham pointed out that a stock market is a voting machine in the short run, while in the long run, it is a weighing machine.
This quote alone manifests the significance of behavioral finance in value investing. Therefore, I think a behavioral finance course perfectly belongs to the best value investing courses list.
You will learn with a faculty from Duke University in this course.
Unlike other courses in this list, you will primarily learn theories on these courses. There will be several readings alongside video lectures.
Below is a summary of the course contents of the course.
- Behavioral Finance and Classical Economics
- Correlation and Causation Errors
- Heuristic-driven bias
- Loss Aversion
- Money Management
- How mental heuristics can lead investors to make poor investment decisions
The length of the course is relatively short, as you can complete it in 5 hours. Purchasing the course would cost $49. However, I don’t recommend this, as the course does not have much content. Free auditing is a much better option.
Pros and Cons
- Learn about behavioral finance from top experts
- Understand why we make poor investment decisions
- Good additional readings provided
- Thoughtful quizzes and assignments
- You will learn mostly from the readings, as the video lectures are too concise.
Stock Research Tools for Investors
Excellent stock research tools are vital for successful value and growth investors. They can help you gather and analyze financial data faster and more accurately.
You can find the best and most affordable ones in my other post, the best stock research tools.