Category Archive 'MBA topics'

New category: corporate finance

Corporate finance, MBA topics

For some time now, I’ve been considering adding topics to the list of categories on this site. A little more than 20% of my traffic comes from corporate sites looking to , of all things. To be sure, I spent less time and effort writing that post than many others and therefore was surprised when it became such a big hit (in all senses of the word).

Today, I went through all my old posts and cleaned up their categorizations. Next week, I’ve decided to start writing some posts and refreshers on tools, calculations, and methods useful to those who work in corporate finance and related areas, together with some less serious posts that may interest the same audience. Sort of an MBA-in-a-box type of thing, since I can relate to starting a new job and having to dig through old class notes to remember how to calculate and apply EVA(r) or other common three-letter finance acronyms to whatever project I was working on.

For me, this is a fairly ambitious project since corporate finance topics are, for the most part, dry and only of interest to people who are in the field. Coming up with interesting and helpful posts will be a definite challenge. Anyone in my target audience who’s reading this, I welcome suggestions!

Is getting an MBA worthwhile?

MBA topics

I met an engineer at a party recently who was dissatisfied with his job. He mentioned he’d thought about getting an MBA, but as we talked, it seemed he had a lot of misconceptions about what an MBA involved, and what he could expect afterward. I’ve received similar questions in the past from engineers (probably because many of my friends fall into this category), so I thought I’d sum up my answers to some popular questions I’ve often received. Let me preface this by saying that I attended the , and while I think top MBA programs are largely the same, there are a few differences in methodology and, perhaps, prestige (see below).

1. Except in a few cases, an MBA is probably a more pragmatic degree than what you studied in your undergrad years. Unless you chose business or a specific trade as a major in undergrad, you’ll probably find that an MBA degree is more about getting a job and building a career than anything else. As such, almost everything in an MBA program, from clubs to classroom discussion, is more about getting results and less about wide-open what-ifs as in other types of graduate programs, or even a PhD in Business Administration. This can come as a shock to people (like me) who have been in academia more than they care to admit, but in the end it’s a useful and worthy skill to have, and one you’ll especially appreciate during the interminable business meetings you’ll have once you’re in your new job.

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How to read a 10-K filing: a basic guide

Corporate finance, MBA topics, Personal finance, Value investing

The poll I ran a while ago on 10-Ks didn’t get many takers, but I decided this might be a useful enough topic to write about anyway. It turns out, I think, that unless they’ve had a business school education or worked in finance, most people find 10-Ks intimidating, boring, and unappealingly long documents. That might seem to be the case, but they’re chock full of information on a company and well worth reading before choosing to invest money in the company’s stock. Even if you don’t know what all of the terminology means, or how to calculate financial ratios, you can get a good idea of what the company does, what risks there might be to its operations, and what plans management have in mind.

What are 10-Ks?

are documents that the requires that each and every publicly-traded company file at the end of their fiscal year. They’re also sometimes called annual reports, though I tend to think of these as the nice fancy books that come with the 10-Ks that the company mails out each year that do more highlighting and marketing of the company than anything else. Companies are required to mail you these documents (physically or, sometimes, electronically) if you own even one share of their stock, but if you’re looking at potential companies to invest in, you’ll find these easily accessible at either or the company’s own website. Yahoo! Financials also links to a company’s most recent SEC filings, and their interface is a little easier to use and read.

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