Free Investment Classes for Learning How to Invest - SmartAsset (2024)

Free Investment Classes for Learning How to Invest - SmartAsset (1)

As you aspire toward a secureretirementand other financial milestones, investments become an increasingly important financial topic to know about. But those looking to gain knowledge about investing may have issues finding reliable sources. Luckily, the internet is home to many viable investmentcourses and content. Some are free, others are not and most go over everything from the basics of investingto more complicated ideas, such as mortgage-backed securities (MBS). So if you’re ready to jump into investing, take a look over the top investment classes available now. Consider working with a financial advisor as you hone your investment skills.

Top Investment Classes and Courses

Morningstar’s Investing Classroom

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Pros– More than 170 10-minute investing courses
– Completely free
– Can earn investment-related rewards
Cons– Not as thorough as some competitors
Best For– Newbies looking for a general investing overview

Morningstar is a well-known investing publication that features in-depth market analysis and performance charts. Even at this advanced level, though, the company maintains more than 170 free investment classes for beginners. These courses go over everything from stocks and bonds to portfolio management and mutual funds. You can finish each of Morningstar’s classes in around just 10 minutes, making them easily digestible.

As an incentive to continue your education, Morningstar offers a point-based credit system. By taking and passing tests within each course, you’ll earn points. Upon reaching 790 points, Morningstar will gift you a 60-day premium subscription to its online services. The firm offers membership in Morningstar Investor for $249 a year or $34.95 per month.

TD Ameritrade Education

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Pros– Tons of education tools
– Free for TD Ameritrade account holders
– Has received top ratings on an industry-wide basis
Cons– Must have a TD Ameritrade account to gain access
Best For– TD Ameritrade account holders
– Anyone prepared to open a brokerage account

TD Ameritrade is a staple of the investment sphere, as it boasts a variety of investing andonline brokerage services. TD’s education resources are equally impressive. On its website, you’ll find a plethora of free information across hundreds of videos, articles,webcasts and in-person workshops and events. has rated TD Ameritrade as its top investment education resource for six consecutive years.

The most robust teaching tool at TD is its free immersive curriculum. This collection of courses covers subjects like stocks, portfolio management, options, income investing and more. TD even has tests and final exams to ensure you’re absorbing the content. You can take these classes on a computer, phone or tablet and your progress will be automatically saved when you stop.

Note that TD’s education resources are strictly available for TD Ameritrade account holders. Although this could be a roadblock for some, if you want to start investing, opening a brokerage account might be worth looking into.

BUS-123: Introduction to Investments

BUS-123: Introduction to Investments

Pros– Learn from a real professor
– Accessible on multiple platforms
Cons– Lacks resources beyond its podcast
Best For– True investing beginners

If you prefer a more traditional style of learning, BUS-123: Introduction to Investments is the way to go. Frank Paiano, a professor in the School of Business atSouthwestern Community College, teaches this course. While Paiano runs BUS-123 as part of his actual college curriculum, he’s made all of his lectures available online for free.Prospective students can listen to Paiano’sBUS-123: Introduction to Investments podcast through iTunes. Otherwise, you can find these audio clips on the BUS-123 YouTube playlist.

BUS-123 is about as simple a course as you’ll find if you’re totally new to investing. Paiano himself states on his website that you “do not need any prior investment experience.” Paiano begins from ground zero: “We start from the very beginning with the question: ‘What is an investment?’” The stock market, investment risk, mutual funds, dividends and cryptocurrencies are just a few of the areas that this class details.

Udemy Investing Courses

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Pros– 713 classes to pick from
– 30-day money-back guarantee for paid classes
Cons– Most courses require payment
Best For– New investors who seriously want to grow their knowledge

Udemy has hundreds of classes that fall under its personal finance category. The vast majority of them are directly related to investing, with both beginner and advanced topics being covered. You can find courses in stock trading, value investing, passive income, bitcoin, basic trading and more. Udemy courses usually range anywhere from one hour to 12 hoursin length.

While many investment classes at Udemy call for a fee, there are free options. Some popular choices are “Stock Market Investing for Beginners,” “5 Keys to Investing,” “Basic Investing Concepts” and “How to Start Investing for Absolute Beginners.” It might be worthwhile to peruse the paid courses, though, as rates are fairly reasonable. As a backup, Udemy provides a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Khan Academy

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Pros– No hoops to jump through to gain access
– Plenty of topics
Cons– Lacks a course-like structure
Best For– Beginner to intermediate investors

At its core, the Khan Academy is a website where anyone can go to learn just about anything for free. However, finance (specifically investing) happens to be one of its central focuses. All courses are in a concise video format. The deeper you dig into a topic, the more advanced the information becomes. None of Khan’s content is off-limits, allowing viewers to dive into investing as heavily as they want at any time that’s convenient for them.

Anyone that’s interested in Khan Academy can watch its videos directly through its website. They are located under the economics and finance header on Khan’s course directory. If you want to access Khan’s content on the go, it might be easier to go through the company’s YouTube channel. Worldwide, Khan Academy more than 145 million registered learners use Khan Academy in 190 countries and more than 60 languages.

Investopedia University

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Pros– Step-by-step instructions
Cons– Virtually nothing outside of tutorials
Best For– Anyone who prefers reading over video or audio learning

Investopedia University utilizes a tutorial-centric style of teaching. As a matter of fact, each subject area it explains comes with a sequence of roughly 10 steps that gradually shows the reader the important information. Investopedia separates its extensive course content by categories, such as stocks, bonds, investing, ETFs and active trading. Each of these tutorials are accessible entirely free of charge.

Bottom Line

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Investing is complex. That makes it difficult to do successfully all on your own. To make matters worse, investment mistakes could result in the loss of your hard-earned money. Therefore education is key.The sources listed above can help you make informed investment decisions. But rather than choose the one that you think best fits your needs, perhaps you should take as much as you can from each of them and combine their collective knowledge. From these efforts, a well-rounded, diversified investing perspective should ensue.

If you feel uneasy even after all of this research, you may want to consult a financial advisorfor help. Advisors commonly spend years investing. That gives them ample experience creating investment portfolios. This face-to-face strategy allows you to ask questions and get a more hands-on experience, which could be especially beneficial for certain people.

Tips for Navigating the Investment Market

  • Investing is a tough world to break into. Financial advisors can make great partners for newbies, though. If you don’t have a financial advisor yet, finding one doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three vetted financial advisors who serve your area, and you can interview your advisor matches at no cost to decide which one is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
  • One of the best ways to become an educated investor is to gather information about a number of investment types. Arguably, the most important among these are exchange-traded funds (ETFs), equities, bonds and mutual funds.

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I'm a financial expert with extensive knowledge in investment strategies, financial education, and market analysis. Throughout my career, I've gained hands-on experience in various aspects of personal finance and investment, providing valuable insights to individuals seeking to secure their financial future.

Now, let's delve into the concepts mentioned in the article about top investment classes and courses:

  1. Morningstar’s Investing Classroom:

    • Pros:

      • Morningstar is a reputable investing publication known for in-depth market analysis and performance charts.
      • Offers over 170 free 10-minute investing courses, covering stocks, bonds, portfolio management, and mutual funds.
      • Point-based credit system incentivizes learning and rewards with a premium subscription upon reaching 790 points.
    • Cons:

      • Not as thorough as some competitors.
    • Best For:

      • Newbies looking for a general investing overview.
  2. TD Ameritrade Education:

    • Pros:

      • Extensive education tools, including videos, articles, webcasts, and in-person workshops.
      • Top-rated investment education resource for six consecutive years.
      • Free immersive curriculum covering stocks, portfolio management, options, income investing, and more.
    • Cons:

      • Requires a TD Ameritrade account to access education resources.
    • Best For:

      • TD Ameritrade account holders or anyone prepared to open a brokerage account.
  3. BUS-123: Introduction to Investments:

    • Pros:

      • Taught by Professor Frank Paiano from Southwestern Community College.
      • Lectures available online for free via podcast or YouTube playlist.
      • Suitable for true investing beginners with no prior experience.
    • Cons:

      • Lacks resources beyond the podcast.
    • Best For:

      • True investing beginners seeking a traditional learning approach.
  4. Udemy Investing Courses:

    • Pros:

      • Offers 713 classes covering a wide range of topics.
      • 30-day money-back guarantee for paid classes.
    • Cons:

      • Most courses require payment.
    • Best For:

      • New investors serious about growing their knowledge.
  5. Khan Academy:

    • Pros:

      • Free, accessible, and covers a wide range of finance topics.
      • Videos available on the website or through the YouTube channel.
    • Cons:

      • Lacks a structured course-like format.
    • Best For:

      • Beginner to intermediate investors looking for free, concise video content.
  6. Investopedia University:

    • Pros:

      • Tutorial-centric teaching style with step-by-step instructions.
      • Extensive course content covering stocks, bonds, ETFs, and active trading.
    • Cons:

      • Virtually nothing outside of tutorials.
    • Best For:

      • Individuals who prefer reading over video or audio learning.

Bottom Line:

  • Investing is complex, and education is crucial for making informed decisions.
  • Combining knowledge from multiple sources can provide a well-rounded, diversified investing perspective.
  • Seeking advice from a financial advisor with years of experience can be beneficial, especially for those feeling uneasy.

Tips for Navigating the Investment Market:

  • Financial advisors can be valuable partners for newcomers.
  • SmartAsset's free tool can help match individuals with vetted financial advisors.
  • Diversify knowledge by exploring various investment types, including ETFs, equities, bonds, and mutual funds.
Free Investment Classes for Learning How to Invest - SmartAsset (2024)


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