A new session of each course opens each month, allowing you to enroll whenever your busy schedule permits!
How does it work? Once a session starts, two lessons will be released each week, for the six-week duration of your course. You will have access to all previously released lessons until the course ends.
Keep in mind that the interactive discussion area for each lesson automatically closes 2 weeks after each lesson is released, so you’re encouraged to complete each lesson within two weeks of its release.
The Final Exam will be released on the same day as the last lesson. Once the Final Exam has been released, you will have 2 weeks plus 10 days to complete the Final and finish any remaining lessons in your course. No further extensions can be provided beyond these 10 days.
Lesson 01 - Overview of Class
Welcome! In this first lesson, you'll get to know a little about me, but more importantly, I'll get to hear from all of you. I like it when people post messages, so don't feel shy about posting any comments or questions you have! This is also the lesson where we'll set forth our game plan, reviewing what we'll cover and putting things in context so you can get your bearings and get the most out of the class.
Lesson 02 - The Theory and Importance of Investing
Hold on, there—we can't have you just running around, investing randomly in different investments! You need to fully and fundamentally understand the theories, laws, and concepts that govern investing. In this lesson, you'll learn what really gives money its value, how to increase that value, the power of compounding, and how much money you'll need to save for retirement. Then we'll look at how all of this pertains to the three most important investments you'll make: retirement, education, and housing.
Lesson 03 - First Things First
With a solid understanding of investing, we'll then apply a timeline or a schedule. Which investments should you make first? Would it be more beneficial to invest in an IRA or should you be thinking about college? Or might this perhaps be a good time for you to invest in rental property? We'll explore all of the benefits and drawbacks of these options to help you decide when to incorporate which investments into your lifetime plan.
Lesson 04 - Stocks, Bonds and Mutual Funds - Part I
Mutual funds, IRA accounts, 401k plans, and most other investments are primarily composed of two simple building blocks: stocks and bonds. So before we get too far along, we'll need to take a closer look at them. In this lesson, we'll go into intricate detail about stocks and bonds, discussing exactly what they are, what gives them value, how to look up their prices, and much more.
Lesson 05 - Stocks, Bonds and Mutual Funds - Part II
Understanding stocks and bonds allows us to understand a whole new set of securities and investments that are available to us. Things like mutual funds, options, ADRs, ETFs, REITs, and much more. Today we'll discuss these different investments, how they work, why you might want to invest in them, as well as any pros and cons to investing in them.
Lesson 06 - The Markets and Exchanges
But where do you purchase said stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and other investments? Never fear—there are many different exchanges throughout the world that are here to serve your trading needs. Need to purchase an indexed mutual fund? The AMEX is more than happy to help you. Looking for a tech stock with a promising future? You'll find tech stocks aplenty at the NASDAQ. In this lesson, I'll help you get familiar with all the major (and perhaps a bit more obscure) markets and exchanges throughout the world. If you're already investing, chances are you've been making purchases within one or more of these exchanges.
Lesson 07 - Processes, Players and Operations
In this lesson, you'll meet all the different people and visit the institutions involved in trading and investing. Brokers, brokerages, traders, routers, etc., as well as the different types of brokerages you may want to choose from—traditional, discount, or online. You'll also learn more about the roles they play in getting your trade through. Perhaps most important, you'll learn what these people's real incentive is in trading for you: it isn't charity!
Lesson 08 - Trades and the Trading Process
How are all these different stocks, bonds, and mutual funds traded? How does everything come together with the traders, brokers, and processes? And how do you know you're getting the best deal from your broker? You'll need an intricate understanding of the trading process, traders, brokers, and their incentives, not just in order to make investments, but to know when you're getting a good deal. In this lesson, you'll learn how to tell if you made a good trade or not.
Lesson 09 - Retirement Programs
While we briefly touched on the topic of retirement programs in our first lesson, the options are so varied, detailed, and important that they deserve a lesson all to themselves. So here we'll take a detailed look at the operations, contribution limits, tax advantages, and withdrawal requirements of IRAs, Roth IRAs, SEP Plans, 401ks, 403bs, 529 plans and many other plans.
Lesson 10 - Picking Stocks
Eat healthy, don't smoke, don't drink, get plenty of exercise, get an education, get a house, invest in your 401k, invest in a 529 plan, and get a good night's sleep. Who are we kidding? Almost everyone has that itch to go to Vegas, stay up all night, bet a grand on blackjack, have a martini, have a steak, and maybe even smoke a cigar. Lots of people have the same itch to invest in an unknown stock, make a fortune on it, and then retire in the Bahamas. While investing in your 401k may be good for your long-term investment plan, sometimes risk is a good thing. In this lesson, we'll look at stock valuation and analysis, and we'll review some of the basics of taking calculated investment risks.
Lesson 11 - Types and the Importance of Research
In this continuation of Lesson 10, you'll discover research techniques that you can use to analyze and pick stocks, such as fundamental analysis and technical analysis, as well as valuation techniques used to price stocks. You'll also learn how to read a company's annual report, then you'll gain some insight into the details of stock analysis and research. This is required reading if you plan to make it big by investing in stocks!
Lesson 12 - Researching Resources
We've covered a lot of ground thus far, and it wouldn't be fair to expect you to commit all of it to memory. That's why we'll spend some time here in Lesson 12 researching resources, looking at a vast array of Web sites, publications and other sources of information that will help guide your future investments.