Are you looking for the best investing courses on financial markets? Financial markets is a broad term which covers buying shares, investing in corporate bonds and investing in commodities such as precious metals like gold.
As you can probably already tell – financial markets is a huge topic with incredible richness and surprising secrets.
The best investing courses on financial markets will cover a huge syllabus which stretches across the full topic. I’ve included a summary of what you should be looking for below, grouped into some easy headings. Note: the best investing courses on financial markets may be ordered differently, curation is at the discretion of the course provider.
The Best Investing Courses on Financial Markets
The fundamentals is the name I give to the information which sets the scene for financial markets. It will explain how a market functions at its most basic level, such as the laws of supply and demand. We all think we understand supply and demand… until we learn it properly and explore some of the many bizarre situations that can arise.
The fundamentals would include an explanation of the roles of all the market participants, such as the institutional investors, banks, funds, stockbrokers, market makers, regulators and of course: you!
The theory should explain some of the science behind valuation. Valuation is at the heart of a financial market, because in effect, the stock market is just a giant pricing machine. A share in a company’s stock is such an intangible and uncertain thing. And yet, when traded between even-semi knowledgeable participants, a price is quickly established.
Experts at valuation are able to buy companies at less than their intrinsic value and sell them when their market price returns to a more realistic level. Therefore it’s interesting to learn about how analysts go about trying to confidently assess the true value of a business.
The theory should also cover the topic of risk and return. Risk and return is often misunderstood by new investors at their peril. By chasing higher returns without an eye on risk, they can easily reduce their portfolio’s expected return.
You’ll learn about terms such as the Sharpe Ratio, the Capital Asset Pricing Model and the Efficient Frontier.
The asset classes
This part of a financial markets course will introduce you to the different asset classes. What’s an asset class? Well, they’re how I divided my beginners guide to investing into neat subheadings. Asset classes are groups of investments with similar characteristics. Shares, bonds, cash and property are all examples of asset classes.
You can get further into the detail and look at how asset classes can be subdivided into discrete smaller groups again with similar characteristics such as emerging markets equities or speculative land, but don’t expect an investing course to dwell too much in this area. You can always pick up a cheap investing book to dig deeper into an asset class you have a real interest in. A course would run into a 1,000 hours if it needed to explain every nuance of asset classes.
The history should cover the key periods of drama in the world’s largest financial markets, such as the large periods of boom and bust. By studying the history of the stock markets in particular, we can improve our understanding of how the many events and pieces of news can combine to produce extreme results.
Whilst the exact circumstances that lead to one stock market crash will never appear again in the exact same way – we can remain alert to warning signs that a crash may be imminent.
The psychology of investing is captured in the field of knowledge called behavioural investing.
A financial markets course may introduce you briefly to a few behavioural investing concepts, in explaining why stock markets often act in apparently irrational ways. Understanding that the stock market is nothing more than a collection of people, and that people can occasionally be collectively deluded, is an important lesson to learn.
Interested? Check out the best investing courses on financial markets on our dedicated courses page which features courses from many reputable providers.