Online Class: Investing 101 — Stocks, Bonds, and Mutual Funds
This course will help you demystify the stock market and start making money! Everyone yes, everyone is sure to find something suitable in the stock market to invest in. It doesn't matter if you are looking for a very safe investment to protect your nest egg or a risky investment with a huge potential to make a killing! Everyone finds themselves along that spectrum and will discover that the stock market has investments for people who want to protect their savings and for people who want to grow their savings.
Investing or "being in the stock market" does not guarantee that you will make money. In fact, if you remember the famous "tech boom" that took place in 2000 and 2001, you may recall that many investors lost a lot of money because of that market which grew incredibly and then collapsed. What you'll learn in this course will help you avoid the mistakes that many investors made then.
When the economy is good everyone makes money. During the tech boom of 2000 and 2001, the market was flooded with "newbie" investors who dumped all of their money into stocks without any real research or knowledge (based mostly on tips they heard from their brother's neighbor's friend's cousin!). Because of the number of people in the stock market, prices naturally rose and it seemed like EVERYBODY made money without even trying. However, when stock prices got a little shaky, many of those inexperienced investors then pulled out and without realizing it became the cause of their own downfall!
What they needed was a basic instructional guide --which is what you'll have through taking this course. While you may not make a fortune by investing with what you learn from this guide (although you might!), you will learn how to make smart investment choices that are based on a solid foundation of knowledge (not rumor) and you will be able to weather the storms that will come. Once you've learned the important investing details, you can then build on this knowledge with specialized courses to become even more successful.
A Short Introduction to the Economy
The economy is like a living organism. It can be healthy or sick, it can grow or diminish, and it has periods of vitality and periods of rest. What makes it most like a living organism, though, is the principle of interdependence. We can't just look at something and say "that is the economy." Instead, the economy is made up of the exchange of money for goods and services between individuals, businesses, and governments. But even that description is very simplistic! It is also the relationship between supply and demand, employment, inventories, as well as government policies and people's attitudes. Our bodies are interdependent on the functions and processes inside and outside of ourselves, so too, the economy is interdependent on many factors. These factors influence whether the economy is considered "good" or "bad" by those who live in it.
Although you and I might dub an economy either good or bad, in general, economists have found that the economy moves in 4 phases. We'll look at the 4 phases: growth, peak, contraction and trough, but understand that the description here is a generalized description and so many other factors are involved.
The "growth phase" is a phase where buyers are clamoring for goods, which requires those goods to be made, which requires manufacturers to build more (and hire more people to build those goods). Those newly hired people now have more money to buy more goods--feeding the cycle. It is a very good phase - everyone's favorite part of the economic cycle - and the reason why everyone was making money during the tech boom. Newspaper headlines most often read "Help Wanted."
At some point, though, inventories catch up to demand and people are buying goods as fast as they can be produced. Money is good. Everyone is happy. This is called the "peak phase". Newspaper headlines most often read "It Will Never End!!!"
Then, because inventories have caught up to demand, prices drop a little (because the product is no longer hard to get). Manufacturers don't need to employ people to work double overtime to catch up with orders, so hours are cut back. Since hours are cut back, people have less to spend. Anticipating a shortage of money, they save more than they normally do by curbing their spending. This is the "contraction phase". When other factors are present it is sometimes called a recession and has even been the start of the Great Depression in 1929. But in general, all economies go through contractions normally. Times are tight but they should not be confused with recessions or depressions. Newspaper headlines most often read "Unemployment Grows."
The fourth phase is the "trough phase". Demand for goods is at its lowest so manufacturers are closing their doors and laying people off. So no one has money to spend on extra items. Instead they save their money for things they desperately need. Newspaper headlines most often read "Will It Ever End???"
Economists expect the economy to go through all four stages. This is normal and healthy. At first we might wonder why we would want to go through a contraction and a trough. They are not always pleasant (although they're not that bad as long as they don't get to the recession stage). But we do need them. Why? Because of inflation.
Ultimately, we need a contraction to help the economy rest a little. Just like our bodies can't operate at full capacity 24 hours a day. To help avoid financial ruin for many people, government bodies like the Federal Reserve in the USA (and similar organizations in most other countries) make adjustments to the amount of money in the economy and to the interest rates in order to help manage these 4 stages. Peaks that don't get too high and troughs that don't get too low. You may have heard of the term "soft landing" which is what economic decision makers try to do when they know a contraction is expected. Like an airplane, they make decisions to help bring the economy in for a soft landing so that it can be ready to take off again shortly.
But here's something that most people don't know: an economy is only as healthy as the amount of money that is flowing. During the growth and peak phase, there is a lot of money flowing: just about everyone has a job and they're spending like crazy. During the contraction phase, people are concerned about their job security and they begin saving money in case they get laid off or because they think their wages might be cut. Because so many people do this, money is taken out of the economy and stored away (in a savings account or under a mattress). Although it sounds counter-intuitive, one way to improve a falling economy is to spend more money. In order to get it out from under the mattress and into the economy!
In this class, we're going to look at specific types of investments to help you understand (and hopefully profit) from them. But you need to understand a few things first:
And it’s a mistake that can be avoided.
This course will show you the mistakes that were made and how they could have been avoided – and you’ll be able to apply that knowledge to your own portfolio.
You’ll also learn the fundamentals of the stock market – so that you can make wise choices. While there are other so-called investment e-courses that will offer you a “fool-proof plan” with charts and graphs, don’t be taken in by someone who claims to have made a bundle on the stock market and is guaranteeing that you’ll do the same.
They’re wrong – there are no guarantees.
However, in this course, you will learn the way that the economy works and how the stock market fits into the economy. You’ll then learn about financial portfolios and what it takes to build a strong, solid one – and between the lesson on the economy and the lesson on your portfolio, you’ll have the tools needed to know when to buy and when to sell – and, more importantly, you’ll have all the knowledge you need to make intelligent and sound choices.
In today’s marketplace, more and more people are coming to understand the need to have a working background knowledge of investment. After all, who better to watch over your assets than yourself?
Unfortunately, too many people lack that knowledge and don’t understand the workings of the stock market. As a consequence, they have haphazard investment strategies and that can lead to financial loss. Had these individuals understood the workings of the stock market, they would be able to maintain a portfolio throughout various fluctuations in the market.
Many people are put off by the thought of handling their own investments because they feel that the stock market is too complex and that no one other than a professional can really know how to understand the workings of the market.
In this course, you’ll learn what it takes to truly understand the workings of the stock market and you’ll see how you can apply your knowledge so that you can build a strong portfolio and have a sense of security – as well as insights that you can share with your family and others.
You’ll learn the following aspects of investing:
· General economic and market information: You’ll start off with a general lesson of the economy and you’ll discover the four phases of an economic cycle and how inflation plays a role. Unlike some of the high school economics courses that you might have taken, you’ll be given a valid and solid working knowledge of the economy.
· Building an investment portfolio: Moving on, you’ll examine your financial and investment portfolios and you’ll understand what has to be included. You’ll also learn about the two types of investments – along with the risk/reward ratio.
· Common and preferred stocks: You’ll learn about stocks – which stocks to buy, when to sell, and how to make money on the stocks that you’ve bought. You’ll also learn about such aspects as dividends, the market price, and leading indicators.
· Bond and other fixed income securities information: You’ll understand what bonds are and the benefits of other fixed income securities.
· Mutual funds: You’ll be focusing on mutual funds and learn how to invest in them – as well as why you should invest in mutual funds. You’ll also learn some strategies that will assist you with mutual funds as well as pick up some tips for success.
· Other investments: Finally, you learn about the commodities market, as well as other types of investments. You’ll see the difference between the commodities market and the stock market, and you’ll be given a full understanding of futures, options, and how to make money with other types of investments.
Above all, you’ll come away from this course with a sense of confidence in your own abilities to manage your portfolio – and you’ll see the workings of the economy in a whole new light.
Lesson 1: General Economic and Market InformationWe will begin with a general lesson on the economy. We will go over the four phases of an economic cycle and how inflation plays a role. We will then examine the stock market and go over the differences between exchanges and indexes, and the role of broke
Lesson 2: Building an Investment PortfolioIn this lesson we will go over your financial and investment portfolios and what should be included. The two types of investment along with the risk/reward ratio will also be discussed.
Lesson 3: Common and Preferred StocksIn this lesson topics are covered that will help you understand stocks, which stocks to buy, when to sell, and how to make money on the stocks you decide to buy. Dividends, the market price, leading indicators and coincident indicators are also presented
Lesson 4: Bond and Other Fixed Income Securities InformationIn this lesson we will go over Bonds and the benefits of other fixed income securities.
Lesson 5: Mutual FundsIn this lesson we will focus on mutual funds covering topics that will include: how to invest in mutual funds, why invest in mutual funds, how to make money with mutual funds, and strategies/ tips for success.
Lesson 6: Other InvestmentsIn this lesson we will focus on the Commodities Market and other types of investments. Topics covered will include the commodities Market vs. stock market, futures, options, and how to make money with other types of investments.
- Describe the general economy.
- Describe how to build an investment portfolio.
- Compare and contrast common and preferred stocks.
- Summarize bond and other fixed income securities information.
- Describe the pros and cons of investing in mutual funds.
- Describe other, more risky investment options.
- Demonstrate mastery of lesson content at levels of 70% or higher.
Additional Course Information
- Document Your Lifelong Learning Achievements
- Earn an Official Certificate Documenting Course Hours and CEUs
- Verify Your Certificate with a Unique Serial Number Online
- View and Share Your Certificate Online or Download/Print as PDF
- Display Your Certificate on Your Resume and Promote Your Achievements Using Social Media
- "The course is put together in an easy-to-understand format. The subject is complicated so simplifying it while providing important basic knowledge is important. Well done." -- Jessica R.
- "This course was super helpful and put me down a path of financial freedom. I learned so much from this course and happy that I took it!" -- Scott H.
- "Instructor has abundant knowledge on this subject and would like to thank him for sharing his knowledge." -- Aganalakshmi N.
- "One of the best courses I have taken. Great work here." -- Mickey B.
- "Excellent content easy to follow and understand, for a beginner." -- Alexandria M.
- "Great course, great instructor." -- Lydia S.
- "The instructor was very helpful." -- Christopher H.
- "Actually the entire course was quite informative, I learnt quite a lot." -- Christopher H.
- "A very comprehensive introductory course." -- Joe C.
- "In general the organization of topics was very helpful." -- Joe C.
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