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The answer is really, "It depends." Really, no two people/magazines are going to agree on this one. I actually don't feel comfortable commenting much on schools outside of the U.S., but for what it's worth, Business Week ranked these schools as the top five in finance in their last rankings:
Don't get too hooked on those rankings. I just offer them as a starting point.
It also depends upon your definition of "finance." If finance includes investment banking (incl. capital markets) and investment management, there is a definitive group.
Instead of relying on rankings from news services, simply take a look at the recruiters going to a particular finance school. Start with defining an extended finance bulge bracket (say, top ten investment banks based on transaction value). Then, take the percentage of total graduates who are hired by the extended bulge bracket. Compare the percentage of a whole set of schools, and pick the top four or five.
Truth is that the only people who you can believe for rankings/comparisons are the ultimate employers. If US News has assigned a stellar reputation to a particular school in finance and the percentage of graduates picked up by top finance employers from that school is measly, it's a moot rank.
Based on the IB/IM hiring in 2003, you'll end up with the following ranking:
Based on the IB/IM hiring in 2002, you'll end up with the following ranking:
Finally, some people will group VC/PE/LBO employers with other finance employers. If that's the case, then the above rankings will change slightly.
In any case, whether a school is a top finance school depends upon what you want to get out of it and how you define top.
PS. Based on the depth of the curriculum and expertise of the faculty, nothing beats Wharton.
Hiring counts are certainly one way of measuring the strength of a given school's reputation. However, an important variable is the set of opportunities in other industries for graduates of a given school. For instance, a finance heavy school might have such a high percentage at finance firms in part because graduates have relatively low chances at other types of firms. Thus, the latent trait of desirability within the finance sector for a given school’s graduates is not fully revealed by the percentage of students actually hired.
Few sane observers would argue that Penn is not one of the best schools in finance. However, I think it would be difficult to conclusively argue that it is better than all schools in NY, IL, or MA.
Hiring counts are certainly one way of measuring the strength of a given school's reputation. However, an important variable is the set of opportunities in other industries for graduates of a given school. For instance, a finance heavy school might have such a high percentage at finance firms in part because graduates have relatively low chances at other types of firms. Thus, the latent trait of desirability within the finance sector for a given schoolâ€™s graduates is not fully revealed by the percentage of students actually hired.
Correct, but if someone is bent on pursuing a finance program or getting into a finance career, it doesn't matter if chances at other types of non-finance firms are low.
I think the original poster, when asking about a top finance school, is letting us make the assumption that his/her career choice is finance. If another school is well known for placing graduates in management consulting, this feature becomes fairly irrelevant to a finance-focused applicant.
Few sane observers would argue that Penn is not one of the best schools in finance. However, I think it would be difficult to conclusively argue that it is better than all schools in NY, IL, or MA. Hjort
I don't think I'm conclusively arguing that Wharton's better than all schools in the three states you mention. Instead, in my opinion, the depth of its finance curriculum and the expertise of its finance faculty is unmatched.
I've taken my GMAT and scored a 710( Q-49, V - 38). Moreover, I have more than 10 years work experience. I aim to major in investment banking.
But, the trouble is that in investment banking there are two schools of thought. One follows efficient market hypothesis, and the other does not believe in it. Somewhere I read that even the top schools are polarized on this issue.
I don't believe in efficient market hypothesis. I would like to know which top-5 schools for Finance/Investment are against the efficient market hypothesis. This may sound strange. But, in my opinion, this makes a big difference. All the investment ideas are based on belief in this principle.
I think it is a fair assumption that you reject the strong form.
How about the semistrong form?
Do you accept the weak form?
I don't even accept semi-strong form of EMT!
My understanding is that Economics and Investment are muddled subjects. What is correct for one person could be wrong for another. There are conservative ideas and then there are progressive ideas. If market is really efficient, then Warren Buffet will be a beggar in Wall Street. I'm not saying this, but he himself told once.
Based on this information, could you suggest schools that don't believe in EMT?
Last edited by kpadma on 17 Sep 2004, 17:06, edited 1 time in total.
University of Chicago is known to teach the efficient market theory pretty strongly.
Most schools will teach the different theories and their underpinnings and not necessarily state that one has uphold one over the others.
I vaguely remember reading that UofC is strong supporter of EMT.
Thanks for clarifying the issue. Could you give more information on
which schools strongly preach investment ideas based on Graham,
the mentor of Warren Buffet?
I vaguely remember reading that UofC is strong supporter of EMT. Thanks for clarifying the issue. Could you give more information on which schools strongly preach investment ideas based on Graham, the mentor of Warren Buffet?
I don't think schools really have professors teach entire classes based on this value approach. They certainly discuss them in great detail, but it's typically within a broader course that focuses on investment tactics. For example, at HBS there's a course on investment management. The professors don't hold any of the particular theories up as optimal, but rather share their underpinnings and then allow us to debate their merit. Naturally Graham and Buffet and other "value investors" are held in high esteem by students, but their tactics are not necessarily held up as preeiminent by the faculty (because they want you to come to your own conclusions).
You would probably have the most opportunity at schools with the broadest number of finance courses (electives). If I were you I would investigate Wharton, Columbia and Stern further and find out if they have any courses where Graham is the main focus.
I have attended all the first year classes and taken a few second year electives in finance. I have just one thing to add - if you are joining a B-school just to learn Warren Buffet's fund managers strategies....i somehow feel very uncomfortable....
Most of the faculty at the top b-schools, I assume, would never consider EMH as the only guideline. They would prefer weak form over other theories but I am doubtful if one comes across a faculty who states that if you do consider or believe in any other theory you are dismissed. He will state his reasons and would let you argue and thus enhance the quality of discussion. If one is convinced about EMH - all the more reason to join and know about the other school of thought. Perhaps that would broaden your outlook!
Also I have queries...
If one is as focussed on studying strategies applied by a particular person - won't it be better to pursue a PhD in that topic? Or Perhaps if one is not that dedidated he/she can work as an Research Assistant under the right faculty for a couple of months.
Does one join an MBA program with such a narrow focus?
I bet - an MBA from top 20/30 schools should be fruitful more because of interacting and competing (and the quality inputs one gathers in the process) with the best business-minded people across the globe, learning inter-disciplinary skills, enriching oneself with the perspectives of exceptional professors and finally grooming oneself into a well-rounded business person equipped with the tools and techniques used for decision making in the management context.
FOr a person as focused as Kpadma is - I for one strongly believe that she should either pursue a PhD or take a course or two by identifying the concerned faculty. Perhaps working as a research associate wont be a bad idea either.
Spending $1,00,000 just to learn one particular fund managers strategies sounds exhorbitant - Ask Warren Buffet himself...:p
Am sorry to be rude but that was not the intention..just wanted to have a discussion going.....
Am I going wrong somewhere?
Many of the strongest critics of EMH are responding more to their own strawmen than to the current status of the hypothesis/theory. Almost all schools would (hopefully) teach EMH and related developments in finance theory such as MM and CAPM since they have influenced the thinking of so many others.
EMH, at least in the modern form, has far more nuance than many observers might believe. Remember that it is merely a simplified model to help us understand reality; it is not a complete depiction of reality. Understanding these deviations from reality is often crucial to our comprehension of the underlying phenomenon regardless of our feelings toward the model per se.
The process of "creative confrontation" that one undergoes when learning ideas that seem (at first) incredible is the hallmark of both a great university and a life-changing academic experience.