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Not sure if the Investment Management Specialization from the University of Geneva is for you?
Over 80,000 students have enrolled and it is filled with positive reviews. But do the courses deliver on the promise of teaching you “how a wealth-generating investment portfolio functions in practice?”
This post is a full review of the Coursera specialization—exposing the good and the bad.
Make sure you stick through until the end to understand what the biggest limitation of this series of courses really is.
What Is the Investment Management Specialization
A specialization in Coursera means a series of courses ending in a capstone project assessed by fellow student peers. And you receive a certificate upon completion to share on your CV or LinkedIn.
The University of Geneva (UNIGE) is one of Europe’s leading universities. It has an award-winning team of professors with real skin in the game through a history of top executive positions in the largest corporations and investment firms.
Also, key speakers from UBS (the world’s largest wealth manager) contribute to this specialization. They’ll give you practical tips gathered through years of experience to help you skip past the mistakes they made.
The Investment Management Specialization has five courses. Here’s what to expect from each, in my humble opinion:
- Understanding Financial Markets (10 hours): The content structure could be better and the presentations more engaging, but this course is easy to follow. It gives you insight into the basics of financial markets and how to manage your portfolio depending on the market environment you find yourself in. Everything in this course is practical and you can implement it immediately.
- Meeting Investors’ Goals (8 hours): This course is all about the psychology behind how people make financial decisions. You’ll get a clear sense of how emotions and cognitive biases impact us as investors, and how to respond to unexpected changes in the economic environment.
- Portfolio and Risk Management (7 hours): Course 3 teaches you how top investment firms measure and manage risk. A good introductory course for those who have never studied investing, although a basic understanding of statistics will help you. The lecturers are clear as always.
- Securing Investment Returns in the Long Run (7 hours): How do you evaluate the performance of investments? What are the benefits of active and passive funds? In this course, you learn to evaluate the risk-adjusted returns of investments and the performance of active managers. The videos are of great quality, the content is comprehensive and engaging. The quizzes could be more challenging though.
- Planning your Client’s Wealth over a 5-year Horizon (13 hours): The capstone project. You’ll be asked to design an appropriate wealth plan over the next 5 years for three different people with completely different profiles. You’ll have to apply the knowledge from the previous courses. And you need to be familiar with Excel. Overall very useful to consolidate the studies.
All modules have assessments and quizzes to test your knowledge. Be careful as some insights required on the quizzes are not thoroughly explained in the lectures.
How to Enroll
To enroll in the course, simply go to the Investment Management Specialization page and click the Enroll for Free button.
The specialization is not free though. It gives you access to the courses’ materials but not to the quizzes or the shareable certificate. For that it costs $79/month.
But it is included in Coursera Plus which costs $59/month if you’re in the United States. (The price varies according to your location and currency.)
Click the button below to check how much it costs in your country:
You get a free trial of Coursera Plus for 7 days. If you cancel within the free trial time, you will not be billed.
Coursera Plus is a subscription plan from Coursera that gives you unlimited access to 7,000+ courses and specializations from 170+ leading companies and universities, at no additional cost.
Once the free trial expires, you have the standard subscription plan options: monthly or annual. Select what you prefer and enter your payment information to complete the enrollment process.
After you enroll, you will have access to all the materials, including video lectures, readings, quizzes, and assignments.
You will also be able to interact with other students in the course through the discussion forums. You’ll find a lot of threads in there, as over +80,000 have already enrolled.
Because Coursera charges a monthly fee rather than a fixed price, you can save money by completing the courses faster.
Pros & Cons
Things I liked about the specialization:
- Top university: You’re getting direct contact with the best finance professors, who have real skin in the game. Not to mention it looks damn good on your resume.
- Self-paced: The faster you complete the course, the less you pay. You can also pause, rewind, and review concepts as you need.
- Real-world connection: Unlike some other finance courses that focus on concepts that only exist in a vacuum of theoretical worlds, this program challenges you with real-world problems that will teach you job-relevant skills and tools. It’s tangible project experience you can mention in a job interview, for example.
- Shareable certificate: You earn a certificate once you complete the specialization. You can share it in your LinkedIn profile, CV, or other documents. Everyone has a degree nowadays. If you want to stand out you need extracurricular activities, and this is a great way to do it. Companies love proactive people who don’t need to be handheld. And this is not me chitchatting, this is advice from an hiring manager who rejected me.
- Free trial: The 7 days Coursera offers you eliminate all risks of joining something you don’t find valuable. Like buying a house, you get to make your decision only after looking at the inside of it.
Things I disliked about UNIGE’s Investment Management Specialization on Coursera:
- Other course participants grade your project. This peer review system sounds like a good idea but the grading is inconsistent as a result, and you may have to wait a while to get a result. Other than that, the assignments are good learning material.
- Some lectures in the first courses are too summarized. Too quick. The lecturers hop between topics and the presentation style is boring. It gets better towards the middle of course 2 as you start to get more comfortable and new lecturers come in.
Alright so with this in mind, what’s the verdict?
Coursera and University of Geneva Investment Management Specialization: The Verdict
Overall, the Investment Management Specialization helps you find the ups and downs of capital markets. It’s thorough and covers all the possible aspects of investment management. Definitely recommended to all equity market enthusiasts.
It’s also perfect for people looking to shift from a different career into finance, existing finance professionals angling for a promotion, or students looking to improve their resumé and skills.
Even if you have zero experience managing investments, the lectures are clear and you learn so much.
You’ll learn not only the theory that supports strong investment decisions, as well as practical, real-world skills you can apply when discussing investment proposals with your advisor, managing your personal assets, or your client’s investment portfolio.
One special shoutout to Dr. Michel Girardin. A wonderful instructor and motivator who clearly loves teaching. I wish he’d teach more courses so I could take them.
As to the price, it’s very cost-effective. You’re getting top-notch content from some of the brightest minds, for a fraction of the cost of an industry-average finance course ($300-$600). More value for less money.
You can click below to claim your free trial of Coursera and access to the specialization:
Have you enrolled? What did you think of the courses? Leave your comments below.
Have any further questions I didn’t answer? Let me know and I’ll get back to you in less than 24H.
Also, if you have enrolled and need any help understanding the course’s content, feel free to contact me.