Course Logistics Explained
This module explains how the course is set up and administered, both for those joining and those thinking about it. The course content was created in 2019 so it's fresh, and the examples are current and relevant. The course is a 12 month subscription course, in order to spread the financial burden, and you can take it at entirely your own pace.
The lectures consist of videos, written materials, exercises and quizzes. These are supplemented by both live and recorded webinars where Steve Clapham (and occasionally other specialist tutors) explains all the content. Students can ask questions at monthly live Q&A sessions and on an ongong basis in the Analyst Academy Community where we encourage interaction with fellow students and Steve and colleagues.
The curriculum is released on a drip basis so you cannot see all the elements of the course below. There are five sections in total.
The course is structured in sections, modules and lectures. Each section (there are 5) consists of several modules. Each module has several lectures, typically about 10. Between each module is some extra-curricular activity, described as homework.
At the start of each module, there is a welcome lecture with some explanation of what you are about to learn and a short video explaining the main things to watch out for.
A lecture will on average have a roughly 5 minute video in which the tutor goes through some material, often a series of powerpoint slides, or sometimes a spreadsheet. In addition there will be some explanatory text, and an article or several, to read. There will then often be a quiz at the end to enable you to test your understanding.
In some modules, one of the lectures may be an exercise and another may give the suggested solution. Most of the modules relating to the accounts have exercises, whereas the modules on finding ideas or similar would not have them.
At the end of the module there will be a wrap-up lecture, summarising what was learned and with the resources you need, for example the slide deck. There will also often be an additional article to read which may summarise an alternative view, to ensure you have a balanced perspective on this particular aspect.
After every module there is some homework or extra-curricular activity. This consists of one or two articles to read, a podcast to listen to and a video to watch. These are sometimes related to the previous module, sometimes of more general interest. They are not necessary to complete the course and certainly most would not have the time - read/listen to/watch the ones that interest you.
Within each homework section, there is also an investment philosophy lecture. It's helpful to read these as they highlight some aspect of investing as flagged by a successful investor. Reading these will provoke thought, and help you develop your own investing philosophy - I think this is a key deliverable from the course, as students figure out what they enjoy, and what they are good at and what they should therefore focus on.
The lectures are all delivered in this lecture format which you can cover at your own pace, watching videos, reading the articles and doing the exercises within your allotted time. We suggest that you allocate at least 2-3 hours per week.
In addition to these self-paced lectures, we have webinar content. You can either watch these webinars live or watch the recording. This will enable you to sit in a virtual classroom where the tutor goes through all the material. Ultimately you will be able to do the whole course simply watching the webinar recordings. Using these to ensure you have understood concepts or to check your understanding is an important benefit.
The live webinars are one method of asking questions. The other is to post questions in the community. We encourage students to answer each others' questions, because answering a question is a great way of ensuring you have understood something. But all questions will be answered by a tutor within a day or occasionally two. We encourage students to ask questions, as it's the best way of learning. There are a lot of questions in the community and students can go back and review others' questions also.
The webinars are also an opportunity to discuss current markets and what is happening in the economy and enough time is allowed for a full debate which is one of the fun parts of these live events.
There is a community in whcih you can interact with other students and ask questions, and we aim to respond within 24 hours.
We are often asked how long should you dedicate and this depends on your level of experience, dedication and ultimate objective.
On average, people spend about 3 hours per week on the course. Two hours is the number many busy professionals dedicate, accepting that they will not cover all the extra content in the homework. Remember you will have access once your 12 month payment plan has expired, so it's not a problem to go back and cover some of that material later.
If 2-3 hours per week is a suggested time allocation, we have some course members at the other extreme. We have students who have plenty of free time and are looking to get a job as an analyst. And we have retired people who see this as an enjoyable way of spending time on a hobby and of augmenting their savings - some can spend as much as one day per week and there is enough content with the additional reading, videos and recommended books to fill that time (don't worry - much of this is the free extra content which we include for enthusiasts).
In short, you can complete the course in your spare time and become a competent investor. But if you want to go the extra mile, and do some in-depth studying, there is enough material here to keep anyone busy.
This course assumes a basic investment knowledge - that you understand the terms growth investing and value investing and that you know what EBITDA stands for. If you don't, you will need a little more help, and we have two additional free courses for you:
1 an introduction to the basics of accounting - this is just to get you up to speed to be able to take this course. We shall also recommend a book to buy which will help you.
2 an introduction to basic investing principles.
Please email us and we shall give you access to these additional courses at no extra charge. And please don't be put off by accounting and investing jargon. Experts like to make things sound difficult by using excessive jargon. But investing is essentially a simple affair - it's difficult to do well but it need not be complex - we will help remove the mystery.
Included with the course is a detailed financial glossary - if you are a beginner, it might be helpful to print this off, and look up any unfamiliar terms.