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BUS 104 — Investments in Today's Market: Stocks, Venture Capital, Biotech, and AI

Quarter: Summer
Day(s): Saturdays
Course Format: Live Online (About Formats)
Duration: 5 weeks
Date(s): Jul 8—Aug 5
Time: 9:00—11:00 am (PT)
Refund Deadline: Jul 10
Unit: 1
Tuition: $475
Instructor(s): Ronjon Nag, Frank Sortino
Class Recording Available: Yes
Status: Open
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
Live Online(About Formats)
9:00—11:00 am (PT)
Jul 8—Aug 5
5 weeks
Refund Date
Jul 10
1 Unit
Ronjon Nag, Frank Sortino
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
An investor’s impossible dream: how to know what financial instrument to buy—and how to buy before it goes up and sell before it goes down. While we live and operate in a world of uncertainty, there is a professional way of managing that uncertainty to reduce the risk to something less than a gamble. In this introductory course on investing, we will examine how various methods and theories have evolved since the first financial instruments were traded. Specific topics we will cover include stocks and bonds (stock picking versus bond investing, duration versus maturity); venture capital (how it works, valuations, and due diligence methodologies); the capital asset pricing model and the Sortino ratio; and new forms of assets such as cryptocurrencies. By the end of the course, students will have exposure to methods of calculating risk and evaluating investments as well as critiquing financial articles and conversing with investment professionals. Students will also understand venture capital term sheets and structures from the investment viewpoint.

This course is open to students of all levels. No finance, investing, mathematics, or programming experience is needed. This course does not provide specific investment advice.

Adjunct Professor in Genetics, Stanford School of Medicine; Visiting Fellow, Stanford Center for the Study of Language and Information; President, R42 Group

Ronjon Nag has invented AI systems for three decades. He has started companies sold to Motorola, BlackBerry, and Apple. In 2016, he became a Stanford Interdisciplinary Distinguished Careers Institute Fellow. Nag received a PhD in engineering from Cambridge. He also received the IET Mountbatten Medal, the $1M Verizon Prize for Bounce Imaging, and the 2021 IEEE-SCV Outstanding Engineer Award.

Professor of Finance, Emeritus, SF State; Founder and Director of the Pension Research Institute

Frank Sortino is an advisor to R42 Group and a manager of its hedge fund. For 10 years, he wrote a quarterly analysis of mutual funds for Pensions & Investments magazine, and he has written two books on postmodern portfolio theory. He has conducted research projects with Shell Oil Pension Funds, the Netherlands, and the City and County of San Francisco Retirement System, among others. Sortino received a PhD in finance from the University of Oregon.

Textbooks for this course:

(Recommended) Frank Sortino, The Sortino Framework for Constructing Portfolios: Focusing on Desired Target Return™ to Optimize Upside Potential Relative to Downside (ISBN 978-0123749925)