Discover the Best Investing Classes Online
Have you ever heard the phrase “buy low, sell high?” That’s an investing term, and it actually describes the process fairly well. The goal when you invest is to purchase something that will create additional income and wealth. While investing in yourself is a common term, too, financial investing is different and focuses purely on the money.
Although it’s a complex topic, investing itself isn’t all that complicated. You purchase assets for a low price, then watch the value increase—this is called appreciation. When your assets have appreciated, you sell them at a higher price than you purchased them to make a profit. In the investment world, making a profit is called realizing capital gains. The trick, and the risk, is selling at the best time to make the most money before the asset depreciates (loses value) or the market changes.
The other typical way people invest and make a profit is through dividend payments. This happens when you buy stocks and bonds, or shares in a company or their debt, respectively, and they pay shareholders on a regular basis.
There are four primary types of investments:
- Real estate and property
- Stocks and bonds
- Mutual funds and Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs)
- Commodities like gold that have value outside of currency
Real estate and property investment occurs when you purchase buildings, homes, and/or land.
It’s often considered a smart way to spend money, as long as you’re being strategic because land and the buildings on it are likely to continue to hold value, making them a bit less risky than other types of investments. Many factors impact real estate investing—things you’ve probably heard of like the area’s economy and government and the crime statistics in the area.
Purchasing property of any kind requires maintenance. For those who like the idea but don’t want to do the upkeep, there are Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) to act as a go between. REITs do the legwork for you, making the investments and ensuring they’re profitable—all you have to do is purchase stock. Basically, instead of doing the real estate investment yourself, you’re investing in a company that’s designed to make you money using real estate. They usually pay out a higher dividend than other types of stocks, too.
What is a stock, though? When companies need capital or “backing” to grow, they often make it possible to purchase stock. When you buy, you’re putting money into the company to fund operations in exchange for part ownership of the business. The risk with stocks is that because you’re a part owner—even if it’s a tiny part—you win when the company wins and you lose when they fail. Businesses big enough to have stockholders often pay a regular part of their earnings, called dividends, to shareholders.
Bonds are different from stocks, although they’re usually lumped together in conversation. A bond is actually debt. When a company borrows money from an investor, the debt is called a bond. The money the investor puts into a company to purchase a bond, but it’s still the investor’s money and typically gets paid back on a “fixed rate of return.” This simply means the company pays the investor back with interest. Because of the loan-like nature of bonds, they’re considered less risky than other types of investing because of the fixed rate of return.
A mutual fund’s purpose is to gather money to invest in securities (i.e. stocks and bonds) and invest them on behalf of a group of investors. The mutual fund creates a portfolio with the goal of making money for all the investors who purchase a stake in the company. When an individual investor puts money into a mutual fund, they’re entitled to receive a part of the portfolio’s profit. Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) work similarly, but are based on the market value rather than a dollar value like mutual funds.
Industries use material goods, like wheat, oil, and precious metals, to function. These goods are called commodities, and the market determines the value. Investors can purchase commodities, which is great when the market highly values them. When there’s a downturn, or the market lowers the value, commodities investors are likely to lose money. It’s a risky way to invest, and many people borrow money to essentially bet on an uncertain future. Not to mention, you have to have a place to store the commodities. It’s more advanced than other types of investments because there are many more risks and factors to consider, although it can be quite profitable if you gain a good understanding.
Why You Should Learn Investing Online
The short answer is that people learn how to invest because they want to make money. When you understand and become a skilled investor, you can set yourself up for a stable financial future and additional consistent income. This often makes the learning curve and inevitable risks more worthwhile. After all, investing is a skill. It’s not all risk, and it does come with many rewards.
Learning investing online is a great place to dip your toes into a new world while still being cautious. There are many ways to learn for free, which is great for beginners because there are many basics like vocabulary and money mindset to understand before you can get into strategy.
As you’re learning online, you’re bound to meet others with similar goals and interests. It gives you a good chance to connect with people you probably wouldn’t have otherwise met and a place to ask questions and bounce ideas before you take action. For people new to investing, especially if you don’t know anyone who does it, these relationships are really valuable.
The elephant in the room is that when you know how to invest, you can make excellent money. If you enjoy learning, there are many careers in finance and investment that could be a great path for you. While many larger companies require finance degrees for corporate positions, there’s no rule that says you couldn’t be comfortable investing on your own without the corporate hustle.
Virtual Investing Classes
Depending on where you live, it could be tricky to find in-person investing courses. The good news is that there are plenty of online investing classes to choose from whether you can’t find a course or simply want to learn from your own spaces.
Plus, virtual courses have a few convenient perks:
- More flexible live options, and usually replays of class
- Wider variety of of topics
- Learning in spaces you’re already comfortable in
- No commute or traffic
You do generally have to provide your own materials for online classes, but with investing there aren’t many materials you should need. If anything, the instructor can probably make suggestions about books and other resources you could use to keep learning after class.
If you’re interested in learning about stocks, which are arguably the most familiar investing term, NYC Career Centers offers Stock Market Investing Fundamentals live online. You’ll get the same real-time instructor with an expert as you would in the in-person version. When class is over, you’ll have a good understanding of investing fundamentals of stocks, bonds, real estate, stock market valuation, among other ideas. The course will show you the principles for how to invest wisely and make the most over the long-term.
Santa Monica College offers a virtual Investment Bootcamp to teach you about mutual funds, annuities, and retirement plans. Strategy is key with investing, and during class you’ll learn how extremely successful investors like Warren Buffet invest and manage their finances. This class is about practical information, and includes useful information like tax strategies to help you get started making your own investment decisions.
Private Online Group Investing Classes
Do you want to schedule an investing class as an interesting and useful team-building event for your business or organization? Private group investing classes through CourseHorse could be just what you’re looking for.
During Finance Corporate Training, you and your group will gain a solid understanding of many corporate finance fundamentals. It’s ideal for creating an opportunity for your employees (or you!) to move into a number of financial careers or simply become more knowledgeable to make the best decisions for the business. Topics include (but aren’t limited to): financial terminology, financial instruments like stocks and bonds (i.e. investing), and dividend payments.
Using real-world case studies, you’ll explore current market pricing on securities and discuss the decision-making involved in the strategy. As many as 20 people can participate, which means there should be plenty of time to ask questions as you learn.
When you book the class through CourseHorse, there are several useful benefits:
- No booking fees
- Registration confirmation in 24 hours or less
- Multiple video platforms supported for class
- Could provide live instruction or vouchers for your team to go on their own schedule
- Can be customized to your group
When you book the group, you can purchase a set number of vouchers and your employees can attend when it works for them. Alternatively, you can arrange for a customized class for your entire group. Reach out for a free consultation and the instructor will be able to create a package that provides what you’re looking for.
Have questions? Contact CourseHorse via the website contact form and someone on the team would be happy to help.
Online vs. In-Person Investing Classes
There are advantages and disadvantages to every learning environment whether it’s in-person or online. As you’re deciding what’s best for you and doing your research, there are a few considerations to think about.
- Distractions —If you’re learning online in your home, will there be lots of noise from kids, pets, or roommates?
- Commute/time saving —You won’t have to worry about traffic causing a long commute, but will you be able to mentally prepare and focus during class if you’re working on something else at home?
- Community —With online classes, there’s a greater chance you’ll meet people you never would have known because you’re not tied to a geographical location. How will you manage building new relationships and networking online?
- Instructor and School—What level of experience do you expect your instructor to have? Are you looking for a class at a specific school?
- Technology —Do you have the tech you’ll need to participate in online classes? For instance, is your wi-fi stable enough to take a class live online?
Ultimately, you’ll have to make the choice of what’s most important to you. For many people, the flexibility of online learning outweighs other areas that might be lacking, such as face-to-face interaction with peers in your own community.
Can I Learn Investing for Free Online?
You can learn almost anything for free on the internet these days. Technically speaking, yes you can learn investing online for free; however, as you probably guessed, this is a complex topic involving risk and money. It’s more effective and you’ll learn quicker when you take a guided course with someone who’s done this before. Plus, when you learn from an expert, you’ll go on making smart and strategic decisions with your money.