Program Structure and Enrollment Criteria

With education costs on the rise, the Macro Specialist Designation provides a practical and cost-effective alternative to an MBA or other financial-related degrees. The program can be completed in as little as 18 months, while maintaining a full-time career.

  • The M2SD program is a self-paced course consisting of three levels of exams, each of which must be passed in order to move on to the next level.
  • All three levels of the program can be completed on your own schedule in as little as 18 months.
  • Each level requires approximately 250 hours of study time, depending on prior experience. This would mean about 7-10 hours per week to complete a level in 6-9 months.
  • Study materials consist of a series of video lessons taught by François Trahan, including a downloadable PDF document of the slides. They are housed on the Canvas learning platform.
  • Each chapter contains Essential Readings by external authors that provide context for the M2SD study materials.
  • Study materials also include practice Q&A for each chapter and three full-length practice exams.
  • The final exam consists of 150 multiple choice questions to be completed within three hours. 
  • Candidates will register to take the exam through a Pearson testing center in a location convenient for them. There are four testing windows available per year.
  • After successfully passing all three levels of the M2SD program candidates will be invited to become a member of The Macro Institute. They will be entitled to display the M2SD designation on their resumes and business cards.
  • Currently, only residents of the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, the European Union, Australia, India or Singapore may register for the program. Additional locations will open shortly.

Congratulations to our inaugural M²SD Ambassador Class that closed on June 30, 2023!

Curriculum and Exam Topics

LEVEL 1 The Essentials of Applied Macro

Bloc 1: An Introduction to Financial Economics

Chapter 1: Introduction To Macro Principles

Chapter 2: A Guide to Practical Economics

Chapter 3: The Data

Chapter 4: Leading Economic Indicators (LEIs)

Chapter 5: Anticipatory Economic Indicators (AEIs)

Bloc 2: The Forces Driving The Economy

Chapter 6: Monetary Policy

Chapter 7: The Yield Curve

Chapter 8: Fiscal Policy

Chapter 9: The Currency

Chapter 10: Other Long-Term Influences

Bloc 3: The Stock Market: Fact, Myths, Misconceptions

Chapter 11: The Equity Market

Chapter 12: Earnings Expectations (EPS)

Chapter 13: Market Multiples (P/Es)

Chapter 14: An Alternative Take On Dividends

Chapter 15: Market Cycles

Bloc 4: Important Topics In Financial Research

Chapter 16: Market Valuation Models

Chapter 17: Fixed Income Markets (Bonds)

Chapter 18: Behavioral Finance

LEVEL 2 A Global Approach to Portfolio Strategy

Bloc 5: The Structural Backdrop

Chapter 19: From “Great Moderation” To “Era Of Uncertainty”

Chapter 20: Investing In The “New Normal”

Chapter 21: A History Of Exuberance And Crisis

Chapter 22: The Investment Backdrop And Why It Matters

Bloc 6: Global Influences and Investment Decisions

Chapter 23: The World’s Influence On U.S. Equities

Chapter 24: The Eurozone

Chapter 25: Japan

Chapter 26: China

Chapter 27: Asset Allocation Is A Global Affair

Bloc 7: Sector Leadership

Chapter 28: Sector Positioning And The Business Cycle

Chapter 29: The Technology Sector

Chapter 30: The Consumer Discretionary Sector

Chapter 31: The Communication Services Sector

Chapter 32: The Industrials Sector

Chapter 33: The Financials Sector

Chapter 34: Defensives: Health Care And Staples

Chapter 35: Cyclicals: Energy And Materials

Chapter 36: Rate-Sensitives: REITs And Utilities

LEVEL 3 Translating Macro Into Micro

Bloc 8: The Centerpiece Of Stock Selection: Factors

Chapter 37: The Use And Misuse Of The Size/Style Matrix

Chapter 38: Growth Investing In The New Normal

Chapter 39: Value Investing In The New Normal

Chapter 40: The Classic Factors And Their Applications

Chapter 41: Valuation

Chapter 42: Manipulation (Quality)

Chapter 43: Governance

Chapter 44: Operating Efficiency

Chapter 45: Profitability

Chapter 46: Factor Leadership And The Business Cycle

Bloc 9: The Essential Tools Of Stock Selection

Chapter 47: Model Building In The Era Of Uncertainty

Chapter 48: Monitoring A Portfolio For: Credit Downgrades

Chapter 49: Monitoring A Portfolio For: M&A Activity

Chapter 50: Monitoring A Portfolio For: Sentiment/Crowding

Chapter 51: Monitoring A Portfolio For: Red Flags And Torpedoes

Bloc 10: The Essential Behaviors Of Successful Stock Selection

Chapter 52: Strengths & Weaknesses Of Classic Investment Strategies

Chapter 53: Value Traps And Other Common Pitfalls

Chapter 54: The Do’s And Don’ts Of Stock Selection


Are you ready to enhance your investment framework and improve your performance? Click the button below to Register.