Whether you’ve never invested a dollar or are a pro at the stock market, there’s a lot to learn about investing. Because they can help you plan for your future and end up in great shape for retirement, investments are important. And if your 2020 financial goals are to learn how to invest, you may consider an online course. We compiled a list of programs that range in experience and prices, so you can find one that best fits your needs.
The 8 Best Investing Courses of 2020
- Stock Market From Scratch: Best Overall
- The Investing and Trading Library From TD Ameritrade: Best Free Option
- “Investing Basics” From morningstar.com: Best for a Free and In-Depth Experience
- Warrior Trading’s Warrior Starter, Warrior Pro and Warrior Inner Circle: Most Comprehensive Course
- Bear Bull Traders: Best for the Community-Minded
- Ultimate Stock Market Investing: Learn How to Value Stocks: Best for Market Philosophy Enthusiasts
- Peak Analytics’ Direction First Newsletter: Best for the Mobile Trader
- “Stocks, Bonds, and Investing: Oh, My!” From The University of Central Florida Online: Best for the No-Frills, Practical Investor
Best Overall: Stock Market From Scratch
Stock Market From Scratch, a course from online academy Udemy, boasts 40 million students and 130,000 courses. For $194.99, Stock Market From Scratch transforms you from an investment newbie to a stock market pro. The class uses pre-recorded video lessons, ensuring that you can learn on your time and schedule.
Taught by the instructor, Jatin Taneja, a stock market investor with years of experience, you'll learn terms, concepts, and ideas like technical indicators, the difference between types of equities, and how to choose the correct broker. Taneja uses many real-life examples in his courses, and has been praised for his ability to explain the complexities of the stock market to people who have no experience. All you need is a computer and an internet connection to get started.
Best Free Option: The Investing and Trading Library From TD Ameritrade
If you have an account with TD Ameritrade, you can take advantage of its huge library of content. TD Ameritrade puts a lens on personal finance: there are classes like “Simple Steps For A Retirement Portfolio” and “Income Investing” so you can stay on track with your financial goals.
Once you login to its site, the materials are both easy to comprehend and very expansive: investing education guides, tutorials, how-to videos, fun animations, vocabulary dictionaries, and quizzes. With the help of an Education Coach, courses are paired with webcasts and events to help achieve your goals. Depending on how in-depth you want to go, you can learn various ways for how to make a portfolio that will help you bring in an income.
Need to take your learning on the go? It’s easy to do with the hub of information on its mobile app. Whether you’re an investment newbie or a seasoned investment professional, there is something in their content library for everyone.
Best for a Free and In-Depth Experience: “Investing Basics” From morningstar.com
If you don’t have a TD Ameritrade account and you're seeking an in-depth approach to investing, you can enroll in brokerage and investment firm Morningstar’s free program. There's no need to have any money invested with them to gain access to a comprehensive 170-course catalog.
Through the program, you can learn through four different course tracks: funds, portfolio curation, stocks, and bonds. If you’re just starting out, its "Investing Basics" course is a great fit. Unlike TD Ameritrade, there are no fun animations, quizzes, or a mobile app. But if you prefer a more bare-bones, text-based approach to learning, this is a great option. "Investing Basics" is a great self-study option for beginners or those who already have a basic skill-set.
Most Comprehensive Course: Warrior Trading’s Warrior Starter, Warrior Pro and Warrior Inner Circle
If you’re curious about investing and want to go from beginner to advanced, Warrior Trading has three different courses to get you there. Learn momentum training from nationally recognized stock trader Ross Cameron, who moderates the courses. With an intuitive and easy to navigate program, you can take advantage of chat rooms and even a simulation program, so you’re not losing real money in the stock market. And the three courses will ensure that you’re in the right level.
In addition to learning materials, the Warrior Starter pack features chat rooms and a trading simulator and starts at $997. The Warrior Pro, their most popular offering, starts at $1,497 per month for three months and has the aforementioned features in the starter pack, plus a day trading course, a swing trading course, an advanced large cap course, cryptocurrency course, and options course. Plus you’ll get mentored in small groups six times a week. Warrior Trading also offers the Warrior Inner Circle package, an application-only course that gets you the Warrior Pro plus one-on-one mentoring.
Best for the Community-Minded: Bear Bull Traders
If you’re looking to connect with one of the top trading industry professionals, Bear Bull Traders might be up your alley. Co-founder by author Brian Penzim, who wrote How To Swing Trade, he makes videos every week about the markets and has a live, one-hour market update where he discusses swing trading in the Bear Bull chat room. He also sends out alerts on trading several times a week.
Penzim is respected in the industry for his insights, and participants really value being able to communicate with him and learn his strategies on trading. All of these perks are on top of comprehensive lessons that go from basic to advanced, a trading simulator, swing trading materials, and more. And if you buy into a lifetime membership, you can even get one-on-one training with Brian Penzim. Prices start at $99 a month.
Best for Market Philosophy Enthusiasts: Ultimate Stock Market Investing: Learn How to Value Stocks
If you’ve tried your hand at the market before but are unsure how to make long-term selections that will grow in value, you’ll want to take this Udemy course. Co-instructors Randy and Kevin Tudor have a combined 40 years of experience, and the 37-class course includes quizzes and chapter notes to help you grow your learning.
But if you’re looking for a more philosophical approach—less swing trading and more the philosophy of trading—you’ll enjoy this course. Learn which types of stocks to buy and when, and how to value stocks appropriately so you don’t underpay for them. With class discussion boards, you'll have direct access to your instructors where questions related to the content of the course will be replied to in a prompt manner. By the end of the course, you'll have a step-by-step game plan to enter the market. Ultimate Stock Market Investing: Learn How to Value Stocks costs $49.
Best for the Mobile Trader: Peak Analytics’ Direction First Newsletter
Looking to study in a digestible format? Peak Analytics' course comes in the form of a newsletter. Every day, you’ll receive their stock recommendation list, featuring what to trade for in the currency, bond, and commodity markets. Another feature is the service's Value Technician, who offers advice and recommendations for day traders with undervalued assets.
With the newsletter, you’ll also receive Peak Analytics’ daily activity feed, allowing you to set up mobile and email alerts to get news on unusual market movements in real-time. Once subscribed, you'll also find the consulting firm's activity feed accessible. While you’re not getting classes and quizzes with this subscription, you are gaining access to a portfolio that has done better than the S&P 500 since 2016. Priced at $39 a month, this course is definitely on the affordable side.
Best for the No-Frills, Practical Investor: “Stocks, Bonds, and Investing: Oh, My!” From The University of Central Florida Online
Let’s say you’re not too crazy about learning market philosophy. You don’t want to make trading a part-time job, or even a hobby. You just want to save money for retirement, pay down your debt, or reach other kinds of financial goals. “Stocks, Bonds, and Investing: Oh, My!” from The University of Central Florida Online would be an ideal pick.
For $129, Yale alum Matt Crabtree will teach you only the practical nature of investment. The class is six weeks long, and you’ll learn how to open a retirement account, create plans to save for big goals like a college fund, and how to reach financial goals that are grounded in reality. People who have taken the class say that it’s fun and interactive, and you’ll appreciate being able to learn about personal finance, as well as the technical terms of investment. By the end of this course, you'll be confident in making independent financial decisions without having to pay a broker or a financial advisor.
How Can I Learn to Invest?
Anyone can learn how to be a savvy investor, especially if they are armed with the right tools and resources.
If you want to teach yourself the tips and strategies necessary to make smart investments, think first about how you learn. Do you prefer a hands-on, DIY approach or do you retain information better when someone is personally guiding you through the steps?
Next, research the best options to suit your schedule, budget, and learning style. This might mean taking an investing course at your local community college or signing up for a webinar. You could better benefit from an online investment simulator course or perhaps by browsing the educational libraries offered by many of the big brokerages.
Can I Start Investing With Little Money?
These days, anyone can get started investing, no matter the budget. You just need to know what types of investments are available to you based on the funds you are willing and able to invest.
You'll find a number of brokerage accounts out there with considerable minimum investment requirements; you may need to cough up $10,000 to open a web trading account with one broker, while another has a hefty $30,000 requirement, for instance. But luckily, there are just as many others that have low- or no-minimum requirements when it comes to opening an account and investing your funds.
Quite a few of today’s online brokerages allow for fractional investing, too, making it easier to invest in a small piece of the names you know and love, sometimes for as little as $1. And if you really want to simplify your investing efforts without feeling a big pinch, you can choose a platform that rounds up your everyday purchases and invests that spare change for you.
What Types of Investing Courses Are There?
No matter what type of investor you are or your experience level, there is an investing course for you.
Some courses cover the basics of investing including stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and retirement funds. Others delve a bit deeper into futures and commodities, or even international investing.
Of course, you can (and should) choose the course that best matches both your interests and your existing knowledge. If you are just getting your feet wet, there are basic investing courses designed to teach you about the market, how it works, and what the different types of investments can do for you and your portfolio.
If you’ve been dabbling for years and either want to invest in something new or take your efforts up a notch, there are plenty of advanced courses to suit.
How Much Do Investing Courses Cost?
Learning about investing doesn’t have to cost a fortune. In fact, many brokerages offer free online libraries to customers, allowing you to teach yourself a range of topics without any cost at all. If the self-taught and self-paced approach is your style, this is a good way to save money—which you can put into your portfolio!
You can sign up for interactive courses—which include quizzes—for as low as $49. If you want to spend a bit more and get ongoing instruction, some courses offer plans for $99 a month, which can include online communities, live chats, and even one-on-one instruction.
And of course, if you’re really looking to dive into your investing education and have the cash to spare, there are courses that easily run $4,000+ for 90 days of instruction.
How We Chose the Best Investing Courses
To choose the best investing courses available today, we looked at a number of trusted platforms and compared them against a range of educational criteria. We looked at the types of courses offered and the levels of education provided. We also looked at whether the classes involved any sort of live instruction, community involvement, or if they were self-paced and/or self-led.
To determine the best value, we also considered the price and what sort of course options were available for users, especially in terms of continued access and resources.
Cobra Trading. "Trading Account Requirements." Accessed August 10, 2020.
Lightspeed. "Trading Platform Requirements." Accessed August 10, 2020.
Fidelity. "Why Fidelity." Accessed August 10, 2020.
Robinhood. "How to Start Investing For As Little As 1 Dollar." Accessed August 10, 2020.
Acorns. "Round-Ups." Accessed August 10, 2020.