If you are seriously considering making the investment in a Tulane Master of Finance degree, then I think that it is fair to say that you are serious about being an entry level financial analyst. Whether in a corporate finance role or an investments role, the entry level finance jobs can be less than glamorous. The hours are long, the tasks are challenging, the workload is demanding and the pay is not going to buy you that Bugatti at the top of your Christmas list (hey, at least a Metrocard is tax deductible). In short, you will be doing the grunt-work and getting your nose dirty in the nitty-gritty details of complex financial data.
But fear not future Tulane MFINs! The MFIN curriculum is designed to give future analysts the skill-set that is essential to becoming a successful analyst. The spring semester curriculum is a large part of the MFIN experience and is the culmination of the of the summer and fall coursework. The required Freeman Reports course is designed to give students an inside look at the process of working as a sell-side equity analyst. The invite-only Darwin Fenner Student Managed Fund is aimed at giving students exposure to working as a buy-side analyst and students will have the opportunity to make investment decisions with a portion of the Tulane’s endowment. In the upcoming weeks, I will be blogging about the things that we are working on in these courses and I will include interviews with the faculty members that are teaching these courses.
The Sell Side: Freeman Reports
Freeman Reports is designed to teach students how to produce sell-side analyst reports. The skills taught in this course are absolutely essential to producing the highest level finance professional. Freeman Finance faculty created the core Freeman Reports course to provide every Tulane MFIN the opportunity to experience life as a sell-side analyst. The ultimate goal is to create a financial model for an assigned company and to prepare a professional-grade equity research report. During the semester, students will have the opportunity to connect with management and ask questions that will help us to better understand the assigned company.
The Buy Side: Darwin Fenner
Tulane has an endowment that is actively managed and students at Tulane take part in that actively managed portfolio through the Darwin Fenner Student-Managed Fund. This course is dedicated to teaching future finance professionals the art of creating abnormal returns. That is creating higher returns while taking on less risk (without derivative products). There are three Darwin Fenner portfolios: a large-cap, mid-cap and small-cap fund. MFINs manage the mid-cap fund, and I will walk you through our learning experience every step of the way. We will be using a mixture of standard methods and cutting edge academic methods to help manage the Dawin Fenner Mid-Cap Fund toward a profitable 2014.