The world of financial concepts and instruments is one of seemingly endless variation. Do you want to learn about economic indicators or consumer savings instruments? Or maybe derivatives and gold and silver ETFs? As you can see (the words are all linked!), you can learn about all these topics free online. But it’s not enough to just google a word–you should make sure you’re learning from an authority. Since open courseware often is associated with colleges and universities, many of the courses below are great learning tools that focus on economics and finances.
However, if you’re interested in day trading and investing, you may need to rely on Web sites, books and lessons provided by experts in the field. You’ll find a mix of these sources in the list of 50 free open courseware classes for investors and day traders.
The list below is categorized and each link in every category is listed alphabetically. This methodology ensures that we do not value one resource over another.
The following courses are for those who don’t know how to invest. A few economics courses are thrown in for a solid foundation.
- Beginning Investing: A variety of resources on how to invest “like a fool.” [Motley Fool]
- Economics: You have access to the online course workbooks used in this full semester course on Micro Economics. [Carnegie Mellon University]
- Informed Trades: This site has it all, and it’s designed for beginners. Learn more about trading, patterns, risk management, commodities and more. [Informed Trades]
- Introduction to Economics: The economics basics in five different topics. [Utah State University]
- Investing 101: Article that leads into a full page of lessons to be learned about investing. [Suite 101]
- Investing 101 Introduction: Investopedia provides a great resource for any investor, but their focus is on beginners and mid-level learners. [Investopedia]
- Investing for Beginners: About.com has developed into a learning site, where you can discover, in this case, how to invest even if you have no previous experience. [About.com]
- Investing for Your Future: A home study course on basic investing. [Cooperative Extension in cooperation with the Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Financial Security for All community of eXtension, and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission]
- Investment Basics: UC Irvine offers a personal finance course, and Module #5 covers investment basics. [UC Irvine]
- Investment Risk: The Open University offers a brief and preliminary course on risk aversion and management for beginners. [Open University]
- Finance and Economics (FINEC): Beginning and mid-level courses in economics and financial management. [KRUPM Open Courseware]
- Financial Management: Great series of short courses to illuminate how businesses operate, go public and manage projects. Information could help you with your research. [Financial Management Training Center]
- Real Estate Finance and Investment: MIT offers diversification for the investor. This course provides the most fundamental concepts, principles, analytical methods and tools useful for making investment and finance decisions regarding commercial real estate assets. [MIT]
The following courses are directed at those who have some college education or years in investing knowledge.
- Advanced Corporate Risk Management: Most of these MIT courses focus on derivatives, futures and options, and financial engineering, and are taught from the viewpoint of investment bankers and traders in the securities. [MIT]
- Advanced Investing Topics: Enjoy a number of topics including Index fund and ETF expenses, value averaging and more. [Sigma Investing]
- Advanced Macroeconomics II: Investment and capital liquidity are explored and the roles of these entities in macroeconomic behavior is described and explained. [MIT]
- Domain 4: MSUglobal Learning Ventures (GLV) offers a course for advanced investors on how to assess political and economic risks and cultural issues in foreign countries. The second section leads into evaluation of foreign currency exchange risk and risk mitigation. [MSUglobal Learning Ventures]
- Economics: Although this MIT economics list contains some beginning courses, the resources here are vast and include many advanced courses. [MIT]
- Introduction to the Art of Venture Valuation: In this e-seminar, Professor Fuerst discusses the main methods of valuation and highlights some of the adjustments that are typically necessary for technology-related companies. [Columbia Business School]
- Investments: MIT offers information on how to make sound investment decisions through in-depth knowledge of the financial markets, rigorous analytical thinking and precise mathematical derivation. [MIT]
- Metroeconomica: Download chapters of the entire book, an advanced course in commodity and an open economy. [InterScience]
- The Law of Corporate Finance and Financial Markets: This advanced MIT class provides, among other issues, an in-depth treatment of the law of finance. [MIT]
- The Law of Mergers and Acquisitions: MIT provides a graduate-level introduction to the law-sensitive aspects of Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A). [MIT]
Commodities and Currencies
The following courses and lessons range from beginner to advanced, but they all focus on commodities and currencies.
- Commodity Trading Methods: Bruce Gould offers his book about commodity trading methods free online. [Bruce Gould]
- Finance Theory II: An advanced course from MIT that presents the basic insights of corporate finance theory, but emphasizes the application of theory to real business decisions. [MIT]
- Forex Lessons: Market Traders Institute, Inc. usually charges for classes, but this in-depth tutorial on Forex is open to any user. [Market Traders Institute]
- Free Forex Training: Forexopia offers numerous tutorials on Forex trading, starting with Forex 101. [Forexopia]
- Futures Trading: Articles that expound on various technical strategies. [Futures-Investor.co.uk]
- How an Average Investor Should Use Currency ETFs: Get up to speed in ETFs (exchange traded fund) with this tutorial.
- International Trade:This MIT course is an introduction to the theory of international trade and finance with applications to current policy issues. [MIT]
- Margin Strategies: Profitable Forex strategies taught through six lessons. [Margin Strategies]
- Mathematics of Finance: Professor Mikhail Smirnov’s e-seminar is based on two sections of coursework offered as a master’s program in mathematics of finance. [Columbia University]
- Oil in the Arab-Persian Gulf: In this e-seminar, Professor Jean-Francois Seznec examines the intricacies of the oil trade in the Arab-Persian Gulf and its global impact. [Columbia University]
- School of Commodity Trading: This course will take you from zero knowledge about commodities to trading commodity futures for a living. [School of Commodity Trading]
- The International Gold Standard and U.S. monetary policy from World War I to the New Deal: Long, complex yet detailed history lesson on the International Gold Standard. [BNET Financial Services]
- The United States Fiat Money: Learn why fiat money is important to the gold standard and, as a consequence, to currency.
Unfortunately, you won’t find courses on day trading at any college or university. However, thousands of lessons exist online. Here are a few:
- Day Trading: This is an About.com site filled with tutorials, resources and more for the beginning day trader. [About.com]
- Day Trading Lessons: Video lessons on trading for active traders and investors in the Forex market, stock market, and futures market. [veoh]
- Day Trading Training: The mission behind this educational site is, “The primary strategy of day trading is to earn consistent money on daily basis.” [Indian Share Market]
- Day Trading Tutor: Do the short journey or take the long journey to learn more about day trading online. [Day Trading Tutor]
- DayTrading: Although this is a blog, it’s also a series of lessons on how to day trade. [DayTrading]
- Fibonnaci.com: Sign up for free and learn all about this trading indicator. [Fibonnaci.com]
- Gann Online Lessons: The objective of this site is to further educate the futures and stock traders’ insight into the Gann Methodology. [Solarmatrix]
- Metacafe: This site contains a slew of videos for viewers to learn how to day trade. [Various]
- MTrader.com: In the fall of 1997 MTrader.com was founded as the first education-oriented trading chatroom, to promote responsible, high potential trading, with reason and method. [MTrader]
What better way to learn than from your peers through an open community? Pick brains, lurk, share your knowledge. It’s like being in a classroom with private tutors. We included a handful of these stand-alone sites to get your started:
- Covestor: Where tens of thousands of self directed investors share their real trades and you can follow them live for free. [Covestor]
- Investing Minds: An online investment community where members contribute opinions and advice on stocks, bonds, mutual funds, financial planning, estate planning, building wealth and the ways of Wall Street. [Investing Minds]
- Money Talk: Need financial advice? Pose your investing, credit or other fiscal questions in our money forums, and you’re assured of an answer. [Money Talk]
- UpDown: Not only can you gain insightful stock tips, you can practice what you learn with a $1,000,000 practice portfolio. [UpDown]
- Wikinvest: Information from regular, everyday investors who are “sick of the level of information on the major finance portals.” [Wikinvest]