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Finance Textbooks

There are many excellent textbooks available these days. Because different people learn differently,
there is no one optimal book in my view. That said, some have resonated with me and many of my
students. Below is a (very) brief list of those texts that I use in my teaching here at Wharton. (I have
no financial interest in these texts, but I do know the authors.)
Corporate Finance, 3rd Ed. Jonathan Berk and Peter DeMarzo.
o I use this text in the core finance course here at Wharton. The coverage is much broader than the
title suggests as it details the fundamentals of asset pricing, investment, and derivatives, in addition
to topics isolated to corporate finance. It is outstanding in most every way - comprehensive, lucid,
elegant, and relevant. The authors illustrate most every concept with a practical application, and the
practice problems are seemingly endless literally endless when access to the accompanying
software is purchased. Yet, none of the academic rigor is lost in their discussions and applications.
Jonathan and Peter have a unique ability to distill the cutting edge of academic research into a
format that is digestible for non-academics and immediately applicable to addressing real world
problems. (Note: There are alternative versions of the text called Fundamentals of Corporate
Finance and Corporate Finance: The Core. These version differ in their coverage from the one that I
use in class.)
Corporate Valuation: Theory, Evidence, and Practice, Robert Holthausen and Mark Zmijewski
o I use this text in the corporate valuation course here at Wharton. Like Berk and DeMarzo, this is an
outstanding text. It does not shy away from the accounting details involved in performing
professional valuations. Yet, it presents the accounting issues in the broader context of building
financial models to value companies. The text is littered with simple examples to illustrate concepts,
as well as examples using real data from publicly traded companies. The coverage is impressive
market multiples/comps, operating models, merger models, LBO models, in addition to supporting
accounting and finance principles all in one book.
Finance Books (Light Reading)
Below is a brief list of interesting and often entertaining books related to Finance.
Against the Gods: The Remarkable Story of Risk, Peter L. Bernstein
Barbarians at the Gate: The Fall of RJR Nabisco, Bryan Burrough and John Helyar
Too Big to Fail, Andrew Ross Sorkin

When Genius Failed: The Rise and Fall of Long-Term Capital Management, Roger Lowenstein
Liars Poker, Michael Lewis
Capital Ideas: The Improbably Origins of Modern Wall Street, Peter L. Bernstein
Websites: Data and Information
Most of my research is empirical in nature so data and institutional details, along with econometrics,
play a big role. Below are some websites that I find useful in terms of access to data and
information. Most of it is free.
US Government Accountability Office:
US Department of the Treasury:
Treasury Direct:
o This sites contains information and data about US treasury securities (e.g., Bills, Notes, Bonds,
TIPS, FRNs, and Savings bonds (I, EE, and E)
Internal Revenue Service (IRS):
o Statistics of Income:
Quantitative Economics (QE):
o QE is a fantastic website put together by Tom Sargent and John Stachurski that makes available
their lectures on quantitative economic modeling. Not for the faint of heart but accessible to any
economics or finance PhD student and many advanced undergraduates with quantitative training.
Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC):
* SEC-EDGAR is the website to find any and all corporate filings.
National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER):
o There is a wealth of new and old academic research, and data here.

Social Science Research Network (SSRN):

o SSRN is a massive repository for research articles across a number of disciplines in the social
science. Scholars often place early working papers on this site. There are many contributions from
practitioners as well.
American Finance Association (AFA):
o Journal of Finance:
* (I co-edit this journal with Ken Singleton from Stanford and Bruno Biais from Toulouse.)