01 July 2011

For Beginners: 4 Free Classes That'll Improve Your Finance / Investment Skills

Those who did not focus on finance or business applications in school may find themselves in a really big bind as they grow older and realize how important these two subjects are in maintaining and maximizing their personal income. But if you do not have the time and/or money to return to school to acquire a formal education in these principles there is fortunately another alternative you can take—free online courses. These courses are provided by note-worth sources located in both the U.S. and the UK and although you can't claim credit (and thus can't technically be "certified" in these areas) the old class materials offered by these institutions can in fact help you become better acquainted in these fields. With that said, the classes listed below are perfect for those that do not have the slightest clue about finances or for those looking for a "refresher course."

1. Economics.
It might prove to be extremely difficult to understand the financial markets and investing without having a firm understanding of money-making principles learned in an economics course. Thus this "introductory package" is comprised of 5 different mini-courses—Intro to Economics, Intro to Microeconomics, International Economics, Managerial Economics and Macroeconomics for Managers— in an effort to teach beginners the core principles of economic institutions, including property rights, markets, business organizations, labor unions, money and banking, trade, and taxation. [Utah State University: >http://ocw.usu.edu/economics]

2. Investments.
This course is designed to teach advanced students how to make responsible and sound investment decisions by providing them with the tools and the knowledge they need to analyze financial markets both analytically and mathematically. Topics will include: portfolio theory; equilibrium models of security prices (including the capital asset pricing model and the arbitrage pricing theory); the empirical behavior of security prices; market efficiency; performance evaluation; and behavioral finance.
[Massachusetts Institute of Technology: >http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/sloan-school-of-management/15-433-investments-spring-2003]

3. Real Estate Finance and Investment.
This is the perfect course to take for those who are less interested with the stock market and are more concerned with doubling their money via investments in commercial real estate assets.
[MIT: >http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/urban-studies-and-planning/11-431j-real-estate-finance-and-investment-fall-2006/index.htm]

4. Investment Risk
Lastly, because the finance market can be a very rocky slope, it's crucial that one has the ability to recognize risks and how to recuperate when things go awry. With that said, this course requires students to identify and calculate risk factors of several fictional companies. Students will also learn how to calculate net present value in order to configure a particular investment.
[The Open University: http://openlearn.open.ac.uk/course/view.php?id=2599]

This guest post is contributed by Barbara Jolie, who writes for online classes. She welcomes your comments at her email Id: barbara.jolie876@gmail.com.



Xaivier Chia said...

Hi Barbara Jolie,

Thanks for your great sharing about free online courses. It is definately a useful article for those who prefer self-learning, like me. ^^

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