We have three courses for private investors which we hold at our training school in the City of London:

Introduction to Equity Analysis (half day)

Introduction to Accounting for Investors (half day)

Creative Accounting and Fraud Detection (full day)

Introduction to Accounting for Investors is intended for serious investors who could benefit from being able to read, interpret and understand a set of accounts more quickly and efficiently.

Introduction to Analysis explains to investors the steps they should take to analyse a company thoroughly in the way professional investors do. It naturally includes some accounting data but it can be used in conjunction with our Introduction to Accounting for Investors.

Creative Accounting is for analysts at smaller funds and experienced private investors with a working knowledge of accounts and investment.

The courses are given by Steve Clapham who was a rated sell-side analyst for 20 years before becoming a special situations analyst and a partner/head of research at two multi-billion hedge funds based in London. Steve explains the subjects in layman’s terms and in an engaging way. The courses are available on Eventbrite and are described in more detail below. See also our online training courses which are explained in the video at the foot of the page.

Introduction to Equity Analysis

Our Introduction to Equity Analysis will help you to make better investment decisions. The course runs for four hours and will equip you with a checklist to help you pick winning stocks and avoid problems. The course is structured in the following modules:

  • Finding the Ideas - how to find winning stock ideas

  • Testing the Hypothesis - check that this is an idea worth pursuing

  • Understanding the Industry - how to understand the business model

  • Company Specifics - drilling down from industry to company

  • Checklists - history, share price trends, shareholder base, management, assessing quality

  • Valuation - how to value the business and judge if the stock is cheap

Tutor Steve Clapham has generated extremely high returns from the portfolios he has analysed and managed and he brings the course to life by using examples from his extensive practical experience.

This course has had a fantastic reception from past attendees:

"Professional analysts can spend weeks analysing a company. With Steve's Introduction to Equity Analysis course you get a whistle-stop tour of his analysis process and all of the tools he uses to determine whether he's found an actionable investment opportunity. The course certainly showed me how I could level up my own analysis technique and be more selective in my investments."

Damian Cannon, Private Investor

“It was good to meet you last week and attend the equity valuation and analysis course. I thoroughly enjoyed it …………Once again, the day was very interesting to me and I learned a lot.”

Patisserie Valerie Shareholder, attended Introduction to Analysis Course 22/2/19

This course will help attendees approach new investments with more confidence and will teach you the key factors to look for in an equity investment. The next course is published on Eventbrite or contact us at, or using the form below.

Introduction to Accounting for Investors

This course will help you to understand the way companies present financial information in their accounts and investor presentations. Only a basic financial knowledge is assumed, and the intention is to help the lay investor understand financial reporting. In turn, this will enable you to make better investment decisions. The course runs for four hours and will equip you with the understanding you need to find your way round the financial statements. The course is structured in the following modules:

  • Report and Accounts - how to approach the accounts

  • Balance Sheet - this is where an understanding of a company starts

  • Income Statement - principal features, what's important

  • Cash Flow - how cash is generated and how it ties back to the other statements

  • Other statements - looking at other statements and company publications

  • Valuation - some key valuation tools and how to calculate them

Your tutor Steve Clapham will explain why the various accounting concepts are important, using real-life examples from his extensive practical experience.

This course has had fantastic reviews from past attendees, who found it enjoyable (yes it is a course on accounting), interesting and really useful:

"The course is aimed at the private investor. It thoroughly analyses a set of accounts and explains what to look for and the things an investor needs to know rather than the theory of accounting. I found the case study really useful and would highly recommend it, great value."

Anthony Moran, Private Investor from Manchester

"If you know one end of a balance sheet from another then Steve's Introduction to Accounting course will show you where to focus your attention when analysing company accounts. This is all about looking past the picture that management present and piecing together one that might tell a very different story. The course has certainly helped me to understand more fully what the numbers are really saying."

Damian Cannon, Private Investor

“Steve Clapham knows all the tricks and pitfalls, and is adept at conveying his knowledge clearly and interestingly. I have been a full-time investor for over 10 years, and was at first sceptical about how much benefit I would derive from the course, however, Steve’s workshop, with “real-life” examples of financial reporting shenanigans and red flags, was highly informative and educational. I would highly recommend the “Behind the Balance Sheet” courses to any serious investor. The section on ratio analysis and how to best research a new company, was also excellent. There are limits to how much ground can be covered in a day session, but Steve did a fantastic job of explaining the key areas and directing us to other areas of interest where further research would extend the benefit. His collateral resources on the website are also invaluable in this regard. If I have any criticism it is that the slides supplied were bullet-pointed and could benefit from a bit more narrative, to save delegates from time wasted in adding their own notes. That aside, I cannot recommend it highly enough! “

Freddie A, Full Time Private Investor, attended Accounting and Analysis courses July 2019

This course will help attendees understand how to read a report and accounts and to identify the key factors which underpin a quality investment. The next course is published on Eventbrite or contact us at, or using the form below.

Creative Accounting and Fraud Detection

Our Creative Accounting and Fraud Detection Course has been developed for enthusiastic private investors and smaller institutions which do not have sufficient numbers to warrant a full course at their ofices. Held at our City academy over the course of a day, it is designed to help investors detect earnings manipulation, and better evaluate the quality of a company's earnings. Packed with real-life examples of accounting chicanery, attendees will learn about

  • Accounting policy tricks companies use to flatter their earnings.

  • Working capital ratios, and how best to modify them to detect early revenue recognition

  • Expense capitalisation – how companies defer recognition of liabilities

  • How companies fake profits using related party transactions

  • Cash Flow Manipulation - how cash from operations can be boosted to make companies appear more valuable

The course has some 200 real life examples of accounting chicanery and several in-depth case studies, and draws on a number of relevant academic studies. The content is similar to our institutional course, but has been adapted for private investors, family offices, and smaller funds. This course has had a fantastic reception from both institutional equity analysts and private investors:

Comments from the private investor course (also open to professionals from smaller funds):

“Thanks again for today, a thought provoking course full of information”

Stuart Fry, Private Investor

“I really enjoyed the course….a great subject….fun to study”

Richard Hutchings, Camomille

“Excellent course, relevant and suitable for all levels of experience from entry level analysts to seasoned portfolio managers. Steve does a great job in categorising the various relevant topics and manages to make the sometimes dull topics more entertaining”

Monesh Kirpalani, Ibis Capital

“Course was very well pitched and covered a lot of good material with a range of worked examples to enhance learning. Steve knows his stuff. Extremely good value from a very strong practitioner.”

Principal of a family office

The next course is published on Eventbrite or contact us at or use the contact form below.