Understanding Investments

What are your most important financial goals? Sending your kids to college? Buying a new home? Retiring early? Having the freedom to not worry about whether you can afford to buy a new car or go on vacation? It's your financial resources that are the determining factor in how you're able to answer these and a host of other questions. And few things are as important in determining just what those financial resources are as your understanding of where and how to invest.

The Completion Level of Your Training.

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How to Stop Worrying and Start Investing

How Investors Make Money

In this introduction to investing, learn some of investing’s fundamental ideas and the basic impediments that can interfere with sound investment decisions. Also, learn that there are ways to protect yourself, and that the path to becoming a sound investor is available to anyone willing to learn.

Can anyone actually beat the performance of the stock market? Grasp what the Efficient Market Hypothesis and the debate over its validity can reveal about the answer—and how your own opinion can shape your investment strategy.

Starting with Stocks

The Basics of Bonds

Introduction to Mutual Funds

What Are Exchange-Traded Funds?

In this first lecture about bonds—with the focus on a “buy-and-hold” strategy—grasp the variety of available bonds and the features most important to an investor: who issued them, whether they are secured, and the timing of payments. You also learn how to “ladder” your holdings for a consistent income stream.

Financial Statement Analysis

Mutual funds are one of several types of so-called “pooled investments,” which allow small investors to hold securities they perhaps couldn’t afford individually. Explore how these pooled investments work, with the focus on the most popular type, the open-end mutual fund, and learn what to look for in a summary prospectus.

In the first of three lectures introducing standard tools for analyzing and selecting stocks and other possible investments, learn how to read a typical financial statement. Grasp the meaning of concepts like income statements and balance sheets, and learn what they can tell you about a company’s strengths and weaknesses.

Fundamentals-Based Analysis of Stocks

Startup Companies and IPOs

Gain the analytical tools to intelligently navigate the wide ocean of choices faced by anyone contemplating an investment in bonds. This lecture guides you through the three critical issues that can help shape your selection: default risk, inflation protection, and how your earnings may be taxed.

Although bonds are often part of a buy-and-hold investment strategy, they can also be as actively traded as stocks, with just as great a risk. This lecture explains the descriptive terms, jargon, pricing, price-yield relationships, and standard practices you can encounter in the potentially confusing marketplace for bonds.

Today’s marketplace contains an amazing variety of mutual funds from which to choose. You can navigate this often-bewildering array of choices with confidence as you learn the key categories of differentiating them, including assets, goals, balance of growth vs. value, and diversification.

Why Should You Care about Dividends?

Explore the world of stock and index options and how you can put them to work for you at very low or even zero risk. Learn about call options, put options, strike prices, and how to use the return-enhancing technique known as the covered call strategy.