Understanding Financial Markets

A MOOC is an innovative online learning experience, which has already attracted over 8 million participants around the world.
Participate for free and join the first MOOC ever taught on the subject of Wall Street/Capital Markets through the eyes of experienced market practitioners.

Pics of Stephen L. Weiss - lecturer

The lecturer: Stephen L. Weiss

Active investor, markets expert, public speaker and author.
A 27-year veteran of Wall Street, Weiss started his career at Oppenheimer & Co... Learn more

  • Access to video lectures
  • Interaction with
    the professor
  • Participation in discussion forums
  • Case study resolutions
  • Option to have course
    participation recognized
  • For students
    & professionals

Watch the MOOC's introductory video:

MOOC : Massive Open Online Course

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The Wall Street MOOC


Capital markets have taken an essential and vital part in global open economies which has been underlined by the drastic macroeconomic consequences of the global financial crisis. Thoroughly understanding how capital markets work is therefore a necessity for anyone involved in any segment of the economy or simply willing to safely invest in capital markets. However, the variety and complexity of products and businesses as well as the use of a very specific jargon can make the mechanics of capital markets very confusing.

That is why this MOOC has four objectives:

  • understanding the relationship between financial markets and the macroeconomy
  • knowing how capital markets are organized and the roles of the main key players
  • grasping the mechanics of key financial products: stocks, bonds, options
  • making informed investment decisions

This MOOC will reach those learning objectives by presenting real financial stories based on the mishaps of major investors as described in the Stephen Weiss blockbuster THE BILLION DOLLAR MISTAKE. Those stories will be used to dynamically illustrate concepts that will be analysed and explained in separate videos, providing you an optimal balance of theory and practice anchored in the sometimes harsh reality of capital markets.


There are no prerequisites to make the most out of the Wall Street MOOC. A set of pre-readings will be delivered to you: short and pedagogic, the materials will help you get the most out of the MOOC.

Pics of Stephen L. Weiss - MOOC Wall Street

Stephen L. Weiss

Stephen L. Weiss - MOOC Wall Street

Stephen L. Weiss is the Founder and Managing Partner of Short Hills Capital Partners, LLC, a fund of hedge funds. SHCP invests in long/short equity hedge funds on behalf of qualified investors and institutions. The firm began with, and continues to manage, a substantial personal investment from an individual widely regarded as the industry’s most successful hedge fund manager.

A former hedge fund manager, Weiss has enjoyed a 27-year career on Wall Street having held senior management positions at the most prestigious Investment Banks and hedge funds. During his tenure on the sell-side, he was privileged to have had responsibility for generating investment ideas for firms including Tiger Management, Soros Funds, Omega Advisors and Viking Global.

Weiss is the author of two investment books,The Billion Dollar Mistake and The Big Win which profiled twenty of the industry’s true legends.The Billion Dollar Mistake has been translated into two Chinese dialects as well as Korean and Japanese.

A CNBC Contributor, he appears regularly on the Halftime Report.

Pics of Shelly Lombard - MOOC Wall Street

Shelly Lombard

Shelly Lombard - MOOC Wall Street

Shelly Lombard has spent more than two decades on Wall Street working at some of the world’s preeminent financial institutions, including Barclays, Citi, Drexel Burhnam Lambert, and Chase Manhattan Bank.
In those capacities she worked on some of the most high profile deals of all time including the KKR/RJR Nabisco LBO which served as the basis for the best-selling book: Barbarians at the Gate.
In 2007 Shelly became one of the leading research analysts on Wall Street covering the Automotive Industry and was a frequent speaker on CNBC, Bloomberg TV and various other media outlets.

In addition to her market experience, Shelly has spent the past seven years as an instructor and trainer of Capital Markets where she has trained both new hires and experienced professionals at some of the world’s most prestigious Investment Banks.

She is a graduate of Columbia Business School.

About the MOOC


  • Each week: five 10-minute videos + assessment and pre-reading
  • A live video session of 45 min facilitated by CNBC’s Stephen Weiss every Thursday night to discuss the week's topics
  • A forum to interact with Stephen Weiss and other participants of the MOOC
  • Video investment pitch contest! Get a chance to win first prize by posting a 2-minute video pitch


  • Practice your newly acquired skills and learn how to read an equity research report. Written exercise corrected by your peers
  • Receive an attestation of success to the Wall Street MOOC delivered by FIRST BUSINESS MOOC
  • Receive the complete CMF® textbook
  • The opportunity to prepare for the CMF® Certificate (Certificate in Capital Markets Foundations®) examination of which the MOOC delivers the basic foundations
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Depending on your assessment results you can obtain a certificate of achievement. In addition, this MOOC is the first step towards the CMF® Certificate (Certificate in Capital Market Foundations®), which is recognized by many investment banks, Masters in Finance and MBAs. You can take the CMF® Certificate examination in one of the PEARSON VUE centers existing in over 150 countries.

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people trained and certified by First Finance Institute