The goal of this specialization will be talked about in detail today, but also the general philosophy of my approach to teaching and my experience on teaching in general, but especially with books and similar activities over the last three years. So let's just get started. The first thing I always talk about is why finance and the reason for talking about this is quite simple is because finance is a field that has enameled me for decades now. And most of my students both online and during the regular face to face interactions seem to relate very well to this motivational part of specialization or a course, so I would like to start with that first. So finance is fundamentally the study of value. And by value, usually we use dollars or the currency of your country. But when I say value, I mean something deeper and hopefully you'll get a sense of what that is as you go through the specialization and the courses within. Value in creation has two key components. Think about it this way, you cannot create value consciously without thinking through implications of whatever decision you make. So there are two key components of every decision of value creation activity and one is time and the other is uncertainty. By time I mean everyone makes decisions at a point in time and usually its implications are in the future. And why does uncertainty come in? It's simply because we don't know the future. So the reason I like finance is, it's the study essentially of time and of uncertainty. And these two simple things can be quite complex, but the goal here is to make it as simple as possible after diving into the complexity. Almost everything that you can think about in the world can be valued using this framework. And I would admit that most of finance has been used by the corporate sector, by firms all over the world especially in well functioning markets. But that doesn't stop you from using this framework for any institution, may it be not for profit, an NGO, the government, whatever. And most importantly, even for your personal decisions. It's a way of thinking, but what's so cool about it is it comes with a set of tools. And so that's what I like, a marriage between a way of thinking and also practical tools. So I've done a lot of economics in my life and finance is that part of economics that has the most applicability in my opinion. And that's what I like about it, both a framework and a set of tools. Most importantly, as I said earlier, it helps you make good decisions. Now when you're making decisions because time is involved and the future is involved, you have no clue whether you're right or wrong. In fact, that's what life is all about and that's what's interesting about life. But what finance helps you do is I believe make good decisions more often because you're very thoughtful and you use state of the art tools to make decisions. I want to draw your attention to the two key aspects of the specialization. The first one is valuation and the second one is investing, but they kind of go hand in hand. I will draw your attention to something that I'll use throughout the specialization and that is a balance sheet of a firm, a person or anything. So if you look at the little chart above it shows assets on one side and liabilities on the other. And the word real is emphasized and the reason I will do this over and over again is that I want to distinguish between financial assets and real assets, and most of the world are about real assets. In fact, you wouldn't have any financial assets if you didn't have any real assets. So what do I mean by real assets? By real assets, I mean things that produce either a commodity for sale or a service, which is pretty much everything. So a real asset is something that actually takes a lot of effort to put together so that it gives you benefits in the future in terms of products sold or services sold. So that's what we'll focus on, we'll focus largely on how to understand and value real assets. And on the liability side you will see equity and debt. This is a very simple chart, but simplicity is the crux to life in my book eventually, because if you can make complex things simple, that's what life is about. So under a liability side of equity and debt. So how do you participate as a person in owning real assets in the world? It's by either an equity investment or a debt investment. Of course there are many other kinds. But if you understand these two, this is how we invest. So in a nutshell, the course is all about valuation of real assets and about investing in them through two primary vehicles. One is equity and one is debt. The difference between the two we'll talk about at length is one is where you give the money in hope of getting some return, that's equity. And the other is debt where you sign a contract where you don't give any money up front to finance some kind of enterprise or a project, but you want to return listed on a piece of paper before you give that money. So we'll get into stuff like that. But I wanted to just give you a visual of why this is about valuation and what are we valuing real assets and what are we investing in again real assets. But through two primary vehicles, one is equity and the other is debt. So why am I offering the specialization? To give you some broad sense about it, finance is a very structured and awesome conceptual framework. And the thing about it is because it's structured, it builds its like I think of it as And if you know your Very well and if you can make anything you want. So because finance is so structured and because I have doubled with books in a major way, Is actually understating what I've done and I have been very, very amazed at how much is possible in the digital space. What I'll do in the specialization is I'll give you the building blocks, but then I'll make it more and more real world. So we'll start with something that is fundamental and build on it. All of this, all of this is applicable to almost any decision. And even though we'll start off with the building blocks, each building block can be applied almost right away. That's why finances, because you don't need to justify its applicability, it's all around you. But rigor and depth are the two main reasons why are for the specialization. So what I'm going to do is I'm going to focus on rigor and depth so that you can internalize the And how do you focus on rigor and depth? By doing more rigor obviously, by having more math more complexity. But I think really rigor and depth comes because you confront the real world more and more. So this whole specialization has in part been motivated by my MOOC, but also being motivated by my fascination with how far you can take digital education. And you'll see that I'm trying very hard to take it to compete with face to face education. I believe face to face education is supreme, you always need it, but I want to show our test for myself and with your help do as much rigor as possible and as feasible. So that's what the specialization is all about. It is all about depth, but more importantly about real world applications, motivated personally by the MOOC I offer and several other MOOCS that are out there.