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Resolved: Learn Again

Sanjib Saha, 4:08 am ET

I DEVOTE A GOOD amount of time to learning, not because I worry about cognitive decline—though that’s a worthy reason—but because I enjoy sampling a host of subjects, everything from meditation to music theories.

Before online courses became popular, my self-directed learning involved watching lecture DVDs. I later discovered many free online offerings from reputed universities, including Stanford, Harvard, Yale, MIT and Princeton.

When the pandemic forced me to spend more time at home, I signed up for a five-course series on modern finance. It was a comprehensive program for folks pursuing a career in finance. Paid enrollees could earn college credits toward a master’s degree in finance. I didn’t need another degree, nor was I ready to cough up a few hundred dollars per course, so I was happy to choose the free option.

The program started in the fall of 2020, with one course each for the next five quarters. The first two quarters covered the foundations of modern finance and the third covered financial accounting. New lectures were released each week, with assignments due the week after. I was thoroughly enjoying the rigorous curriculum. The pressure was manageable. I was happy with my progress—until the fourth course, the one on quantitative finance.

Within a week or so, I realized that I should’ve taken the course prerequisites more seriously and brushed up on my undergraduate math. Unprepared and stressed out, I fell behind, struggled to catch up and finally threw in the towel.

Dropping out felt like a shameful intellectual defeat. Fearing a repeat disappointment, I stopped taking online courses altogether. My learning paused for 2021’s entire second half, and I felt awful about it.

Even before the new year began, I resolved to get past my embarrassment and resume learning. A quarterly course on the adaptive market hypothesis caught my eye. The class has started—and I’m loving it.

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Kishore Ranade
Kishore Ranade
3 days ago

Sanjib
I enjoy your posts. You are thoughtful,yet compose simply.
A talent I do not have
Keep blogging!!

Sanjib Saha
Sanjib Saha
3 days ago
Reply to  Kishore Ranade

Thank you so much for your kind words, Kishore. I’m pretty sure that likewise, you have many other talents that I don’t.

Last edited 3 days ago by Sanjib Saha
Rick Connor
Rick Connor
5 days ago

Good on you, Sanjib. I’m a big fan of lifelong learning, and you have provided some great sources. But please don’t beat yourself up, be proud of the effort and take pleasure form learning new ideas and concepts. I realize I’ll never master many subjects, but I’m happy to gain some knowledge. My brother turned me on to an MIT open course series on blockchain tech that I’m thinking of trying (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EH6vE97qIP4).

you can also take a Financial Markets class taught by a Nobel Prize winning economist (https://poorvucenter.yale.edu/Financial-Markets-Global).

Sanjib Saha
Sanjib Saha
5 days ago
Reply to  Rick Connor

Thank you, Rick. Coincidentally, I completed the Financial Markets class during the holidays (my wife complained about the binge-watch :)). I thoroughly enjoyed it and paid a small fee to Coursera for the course certificate (couldn’t resist the temptation of having a cert with Robert Shiller’s signature on it).

Happy learning!

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