Aswath Damodaran holds the Kerschner Family Chair in Finance Education and is Professor of Finance at New York University Stern School of Business. Before coming to Stern, he also lectured in Finance at the University of California, Berkeley. He has been voted "Professor of the Year" by the graduating M.B.A. class five times during his career at NYU and was profiled in Business Week as one of the top 12 U.S. business school professors. Professor Damodaran currently teaches Corporate Finance and Equity Instruments & Markets. His research interests include Information and Prices, Real Estate, and Valuation.
1. Why has access to increased data and computing power ironically made us more dependent on and susceptible to storytelling?
2. What makes numbers so powerful? How do we guard against being fooled by numbers, especially when we’re fooling ourselves?
3. There seems to be competition amongst many firms on who has the most “unbiased” process and is the most quantitatively-driven. What are some potential shortcomings of being so quant focused?
4. Your book is chock full of great insights on some of the biggest business and investing stories over the last few years including, Amazon, Uber, Valeant, Ferrari, GoPro, Yahoo and Vale. To take one interesting example, can you walk us through how both numbers and narrative impacted your valuation of Uber?
5. What’s the one narrative today that’s likely to eventually cause the most financial pain over the next 3-5 years?