The coronavirus pandemic brought a wave of stock market volatility with it, leaving many Americans questioning whether now is a good time to invest. Others are wondering if they need to adjust their existing portfolios amid this period of economic downturn.
If you can relate and feel like you may need a bit more knowledge before making any decisions, an online investing course can help you learn the basics. CNBC Make It rounded up five free courses that will help you to better understand how the stock market works, what a broker is, what a stock is, why various companies go public and more.
1. "BUS-123: Introduction to Investments" by Southwestern Community College in Chula Vista, California
If you want to learn the basics of investing, including everything from what a bond is to how you should allocate your investments, check out the "BUS-123: Introduction to Investments" taught by Frank Paiano, professor emeritus from the Southwestern Community College's School of Business and Technology in Chula Vista, California. The course is comprised of 43 lectures, each lasting anywhere from 13 minutes to over an hour.
This class goes over stocks, bonds, mutual funds, short-term investments, hybrid instruments and more. Plus, it doesn't require any previous investing knowledge or experience.
The course is available on Paiano's website or on iTunes, where you can follow along with Paiano's PowerPoint presentations as he instructs.
2. "Investing 101: Stock Market Course for Beginners" by Stock Market 101
The "Investing 101: Stock Market Course for Beginners" from Stock Market 101 is a good option for those with no prior investing experience.
This course, which is made up of 10 chapters of reading, starts by teaching students the definition of a stock, an ETF, a mutual fund, a bond and more. By the last chapters, it goes into greater detail, teaching pupils about "hot topics in trading" and explaining why stock markets move.
Usually, this class costs $99, but for a limited time with promo code "STAYIN100," Stock Market 101 is offering it for free.
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3. "Investing 101: Understanding the Stock Market" by Skillshare
The "Investing 101: Understanding the Stock Market" course, offered through online learning platform Skillshare, is for anyone who wants to learn more about how stock exchanges, such as NASDAQ and the New York Stock Exchange, function. It guides students through what a broker is, what a stock is, why various companies go public, what an exchange-traded fund (ETF) is and more.
This beginner-level class consists of eight lessons, each lasting just a few minutes, and is taught by Business Casual, a digital media company.
4. "Investing Master Class" by Wealthsimple
Wealthsimple, an online investment management service, created its "Investing Master Class" as a way to teach people about investing without all the jargon you often hear when learning about finances.
This course, which is made up up of 10 short videos, takes less than 45 minutes to complete. Each video goes over a different topic, including how the stock market works, mainstream investing philosophies such as passive investing, the benefits of automating your finances and what socially responsible investing is.
5. "Investing Basics for Millennials" by Skillshare
"Investing Basics for Millennials" from Skillshare is designed to help guide young people, in particular, through investing.
This course is designed to encourage young people who may be scared (or unsure) about investing to feel more confident in the process. The class goes over the power of compound interest, proper diversification, historical stock market returns and how investing is critical to keep up with inflation.
Plus, the course is short: It only takes 16 minutes to complete. There are five different lectures, each lasting six minutes or less.
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Disclosure: NBCUniversal and Comcast Ventures are investors in Acorns.