Prof. Aswath Damodaran

Stern School of Business at New York University

Keynote: Narrative and Numbers – The Story behind your Valuation

  • The world of investing/finance is divided into two camps:
    • In one, you have the number crunchers, who believe that the only things that matter are the numbers and that imagination/creativity are dangerous distractions.
    • In the other, you have the story tellers, who build on the stories they tell about companies and how these stories will bring untold wealth.
  • Each side believes it has a monopoly on the truth and looks with contempt at the other. In my view, both sides are right and both sides are wrong.
  • Stories matter, but only if they are connected with numbers, and numbers are empty, unless they are connected with narratives.
  • In this session, I look at the process by which you build narratives, check them against reality and convert them into valuations.
  • I use Uber and Ferrari to illustrate the process.
Closing Keynote: Friday, 6 December, 3:30 - 4:45 pm

Prof. Aswath Damodaran, Ph.D., MBA

is the Kerschner Family Chair Professor of Finance at the Stern School of Business at New York University. He teaches the corporate finance and valuation courses in the MBA program. His research interests lie in valuation, portfolio management and applied corporate finance.

He is best known and famous as author of several widely used academic and practitioner texts on Valuation, Corporate Finance and Investment Management. Damodaran is widely quoted on the subject of valuation, with "a great reputation as a teacher and authority".

He has written four books on equity valuation (Damodaran on Valuation, Investment Valuation, The Dark Side of Valuation, The Little Book of Valuation) and two on corporate finance (Corporate Finance: Theory and Practice, Applied Corporate Finance: A User’s Manual). He is also widely published in leading journals of finance, e.g. in the Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, the Journal of Finance, the Journal of Financial Economics and the Review of Financial Studies.

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