Teacher Background and Credentials

Your main teacher in The Investing Course will be me, Mikael Syding.

I’m a retired hedge fund manager, private investor, family offices adviser and sell-side equity analyst. I quit my position as managing director, partner and portfolio manager of the successful billion dollar hedge fund Futuris/Brummer in 2014, to focus on personal development, podcasting, blogging and sharing my lessons from 20 years in the absolute upper echelons of finance.

By then, during my 15 years at the firm, I and my two partners had won several prestigious awards, not least The European Hedge Fund Of The Decade 2000-2009 prize from Hedge Fund Review.

This page provides an overview of my background and qualifications as a finance teacher.

Watch this video for a long format presentation of the course and how it can benefit you:

Teacher Background:

Education, and a royal award

In 1990 a board of teachers decided that I was the best mathematics and physics student in secondary school over the last three years, and was awarded a significant sum as an ex-post reward for a job well done; “in memory of Leif Anders Bergqvist”.

The award ceremony consisted of me receiving the certificate and check on Sweden’s National Day, directly from the hands of His Majesty The King of Sweden, in front of a crowd of about ten thousand people, or ten per cent of the city’s entire population. The money was mine to do whatever I wanted, no conditions applied. I bought an advanced laptop to aid my masters in finance studies at Stockholm School of Economics, and saved the rest.

Four years later, in the spring of 1994, I accepted a job as a broker’s assistant at a small stock broker firm that was owned by the insurance giant Skandia. Sweden was just crawling out of a severe financial crisis and recession, so despite having absolute top grades, finishing first in my class, I was happy to take any job I was offered.

I worked long hours, and typically arrived first, around 6 a.m., and left last, usually around 10-11 p.m. but sometimes after midnight. I did everything from writing the morning report (by fax) to our clients, to getting lunch for the team, automating certain back-office routines by introducing programming in Excel. Within six months I was promoted to analyst, since it was obvious I was more of an intellectual than a sales person.

In 1995, little over a year from starting my position as a broker assistant, I finished a course in Financial Analysis, required for being accepted in Sweden’s Association for Financial Analysts. Today that course costs about 20 thousand USD.

My timing for becoming a certified analyst, together with my enthusiasm for information technology was perfect. I worked harder than ever before to create good research and recommendations. Within a year I was headhunted to be responsible for IT-research at Sweden’s largest bank, Swedbank.

I mainly covered IT companies and investment companies (a huge category in Sweden, with Investor and Industrivärden together sometimes controlling about half of the entire Swedish stock market capitalization).

My hard work paid off: In 1998 I was ranked the #1 analyst in Sweden in the category Investment Companies.

In 1999 I and 24 other top talents at Swedbank were enrolled in a bespoke one year executive education for Swedbank’s future leaders. The program included both financial analysis and more networking and leadership based courses, as well as negotiation tactics and social etiquette.

After this, I was recruited by Futuris, a new hedge fund within Brummer & Partners.
I began as an analyst, quickly advanced to portfolio manager, became a partner within four years, and eventually also served as Managing Director.
Our team consisted of 8 members: three portfolio managers, one trader, and four analysts.
We traded globally, and during this period I became familiar with a wide range of industries and related financial instruments.
We typically traded up to 100m USD when market events occurred, occasionally reaching as much as 1 billion USD in a single day.
Between 2000 and 2010, we outperformed the index by 600%, earning the title of European Hedge Fund of the Decade for being the best hedge fund in Europe, with low risk and zero negative years.
Being responsible for a hedge fund was one of the most challenging experiences I’ve had, marked by extreme highs and lows, akin to an emotional rollercoaster. If you’re interested, I have written a book about this experience, available in The Investing Course.
It is difficult to encapsulate a period of 20 years, but here is an attempt in pictures:

After 15 years at the hedge fund and a total of more than 20 years in the finance industry, I handed in my resignation as PM and partner in January 2014, just around my 42nd birthday, but stayed on as the managing director for another year.

Since then, I have been a venture capitalist and private investor. I have also dedicated time to fitness and health, been active on social media, written articles, and launched four podcasts (25 Minuter, Future Skills, Antiloop and Outsiders).

Lessons Learned

My four-year Master’s program at the Stockholm School of Economics, together with my studies with the Swedish Association of Financial Analysts, and Swedbank’s Executive Education Program are of course a relevant and solid basis for teaching how to analyze investments.

But it’s my daily contacts with analysts at Goldman Sachs and other investment banks over 15 years, not to mention all my investments both at the fund and in my private portfolio that have honed my investment skills.


I sometimes accept to hold lectures about investing, including for students at London Business School, Penser Bank (below), and Bernstein Associates (Société Générale).

This is why I created The Investing Course
Those who can’t do, teach,” they say. I often repeat this, half-jokingly, half-seriously. It’s a disparaging view that students with hubris have held towards their teachers for ages. Yet, some of history’s greatest thinkers, philosophers, business leaders, and scientists argue that teaching and sharing one’s knowledge—and sometimes even wisdom—is the most valuable thing one can do for both the world and one’s own understanding.
I want as many people as possible to understand the concept of “value” and what it means to pay a higher or lower price for an asset than its actual worth.
I want everyone investing in stocks and other risky assets to understand what they are buying and have an idea of how they will actually get their invested money back, from whom, and when

It’s entirely acceptable if the plan is simply that “someone else” will buy the stock for a higher price than you paid, but you should know that your assumption is based on “a greater fool,” who also has no basis in value.
Ideally, I believe one should only buy stocks and other assets where the intrinsic value justifies the purchase.
What does the concept of intrinsic value entail? 

And how should one think regarding stocks and other asset classes?
Let’s take the unlisted credit information company Creditsafe as an example. This is a good example of value investing: I bought my shares in Creditsafe for 0.4 USD each about 20 years ago. These days, I receive approximately 1 USD per share in annual dividends from the company (which is still privately held). In principle, the price is still 0.4 USD , but I still get to enjoy the real value, which might be around 40 USD per share (calculated at a 2.5% dividend yield and continued high growth). I have thus begun to benefit from the intrinsic value, despite there being no official stock price.
What I want to convey with the Finance Course is that THERE IS AN INTRINSIC VALUE for all companies, a value embedded in the “cake,” where the cake represents the future already in the cards. Yes, it is random which cards come up in poker or blackjack, but they are already there. They will be drawn in exactly the order they are in. We just don’t know which ones they are. Therefore, we must learn to make educated guesses informed by research and assign them a probability.
What I want to teach is that this value exists, that it is possible to calculate an approximate level and range for this value using time-tested analytical methods, grounded in fundamental business analysis, comparable to how simple it is to calculate when buying a bond or selling a hundred dollar bill for delivery in a year.
I want as many people as possible to understand that what is traded on the stock market is essentially the sum of future cash flows (an unknown number of future “hundred dollar bills”), not just a ticker symbol with a price trend. 

If you buy the “hundred dollar bill” for less than 100 USD (and are correct in your assessment), you are immune to price drops (and can dare to buy more) and know better when you have the chance to sell your hundred dollar bill for more than a hundred dollars.
In short, I started The Investing Course to give everyone a chance to actually perform their own stock market research and valuation, rather than blindly following tips and recommendations.

We are contacting applicants Between 24-31 March.
Apply before April to be guaranteed a spot.

Enrollment between April 1-8 by payment on website. Course starts April 8th.