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First steps

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Demo certificate

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Presentation of the demo certificate

How to follow the demo certificate?

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  • Students
  • Young graduates
  • Individual investors

Objectives of the certificate

The First steps certificate is composed of a course, a simulation, a contest and a case study. It gives you a pedagogical and playful approach to understand how financial markets works and how firms are valued.

At the end of the certifcate, each participant should master the following points:

  • Explain how the market works: limit order book, prices and transaction volumes
  • Send orders to the market
  • Choose the type of order (market order, limit order, etc.)
  • Analyse the impact of events on stock prices
  • Understand firm valuation
  • Appreciate the degree of market efficiency
  • Practice some market activities: build a position, liquidate a position and make the market.

Pedagogical dynamics

This certificate gives you great freedom to learn: you can start with theory in courses or with practice in simulations and simtrading contests.


The courses, simulations, contests and case studies of this certifcate covers the following topics:

  • Market micro-structure with a limit order book
  • The passage and execution of orders
  • The different types of orders
  • Analysis of information
  • Market efficiency
  • Firm valuation
  • Market activities.

Terms of the certificate

The certificate includes individual on-line work: take courses, launch simulations, participation to simtrading contests and case studies.

  • With courses, you will access to knowledge validated by on-line MCQ tests and a final physical MCQ test at the end of the SimTrade course.

  • With simulations, you will acquire skills evaluated on the basis of your market activity.

  • With simtrading contests, you will have the opportunity to show both your knowledge and skills in finance.

  • With case studies, you will make the link between the world of financial markets and the real world of firms.

You will interact with other participants and the pedagogical team through case studies (peer grading) and discussions forum to ask questions and leave comments.

Training time

The time to spend on the certificate (course, simulation, contest and case study) is estimated to 3 hours.

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About the author of the certificate

Professor Franois Longin
ESSEC Business School

« Financial markets are likely the last space of freedom left to individuals. In this demo certificate, you will acquire some knowledge and skills necessary for your financial freedom. »

Access to the certificate