Optimizing investment to maximise your return

Learn the techniques used by Finance professionals to value projects & investments.
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Instructed by Lee Hawthorn Business / Finance
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  • Lectures 11
  • Length 38 mins
  • Skill Level All Levels
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
    30 day money back guarantee!
    Available on iOS and Android
    Certificate of Completion
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About This Course

Published 3/2016 English

Course Description

This course walks you through the techniques that Finance professionals use to value investments for things like new products, R&D etc...  This helps you to make big decisions based on a solid ground.

Acquire the Skills that are normally reserved for expensive consultants

Learn how to:

Create Excel based models to assess projects using measures such as:



Discounted Payback

Discounted Payback Index

Internal Rate of Return

Modified Internal Rate of Return

The course is structured around practical application of the techniques. You can down the Excel file containing the models referred to in the course.

The course uses some mathematical techniques but you don't need to be a Mathematical wizard to complete the course.  We raise numbers to powers for calculating figures but this is as complex as it gets.  All the other mathematics is basic + - / *.

The only prerequisite I have is that students need to know how to use Excel to the level where they can write formulae (note:Formula content is provided). 

The type of terminology used on this course includes: Discount Rate, Cost of Capital, Discount Index, Interpolation.

The course is taught using screencasts & slides.  It shouldn't take you longer than 30-40 minutes to complete this course. There are over 30 minutes screencasts.

The skills you'll gain on this course will help you  make more effective decisions.  If you don't yet make the big decisions this will give you the skills to help advise those that do.  Boost your career or boost your financial return.

What are the requirements?

  • Excel is required if you want to follow along and develop your own models.

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Learn about capital planning
  • Learn about technqiues to use to help decision making on big investment decsions
  • Use the provided Excel file to start your own models

Who is the target audience?

  • Students who need to make decisions on how to invest capital
  • Students who want to develop their Financial Analysis skills

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Section 1: Introduction

In this lecture I'll introduce the course content.  You'll find the main model file in the resources section for this lesson.  You can use this file for the subsequent lectures so please download it now.

Capital Planning Introduction
Section 2: Techniques

Often big decisions have outcomes spanning several years.  In this this lecture we'll look at how to calculate the benefits of the investments in the future at today's prices with NPV.


Decision makers often want to know when the cash invested will be paid back, in 3 years, 5 years etc..

In this lecture we'll learn about the Payback technique to answer this question.


When the investment spans more than 1 year the Payback number can be inaccurate due to not factoring in the change in value over time.   We'll learn to address this problem with DPBI.


We'll learn about the popular technique IRR that is used to calculate the return when NPV is 0.  This is used when the cost of capital is unavailable.


In this lecture you'll learn about the MIRR technique that was invented to overcome some of the weaknesses of IRR.


In this lecture we bring together the techniques we learnt about in the earlier videos to evaluate the decision : Invest in R&D or Launch a new Product.

Summary and Take aways

In this bonus lecture I show how you can back calculate the cost of capital for an NPV of 0.


I have 2 other Udemy courses that teach business users to create insight from data with Power BI.   Once projects go live you can monitor the performance of projects with ease and share visualisations with your team. I give a short example of how you can do this.

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Instructor Biography

Lee Hawthorn, Data & Finance professional

I'm a business intelligence professional who has 10 years’ experience turning data into information. I work with companies in the UK & Ireland to help them by building systems that provide reports and dashboards in a fully automated manner.

Qualifying as a Chartered Management Accountant in 2005 and a degree in Performance Management. Before working in the field of BI I worked in Finance as a Financial Analyst.

I have given training to over 200 people on Excel & Microsoft BI. I've received excellent feedback too.

I learnt to code as a child but I'm not a professional coder. This allows me to relate to non-technical people and explain concepts in easy to understand terms.

Having worked for some of the largest organisations I’ve seen personally have BI can be used to improve business performance. I blog about BI & Data Analytics see blog link in my profile.

I have a passion for sharing knowledge as I know it has the power to change the world.

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