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Course Title
Stocks, Bonds, and Investing: Oh My!


Join us for this online course in the basics of stocks, bonds, finance and investing. Learn about the stock markets, 401k plans and preparing for retirement to make your own investment decisions easier. You'll leave this course with a comprehensive and thorough education in personal finance and investment.


  • Introduce class to course, review material to be covered, and go over some important concepts and vocabulary terms.
  • Explain to the class investing theory, how investing works and review the most likely investments they will come across.
  • Show the class that before they even think about investing in the stock markets there are personal financial issues that should be addressed and considered. Notably ,education and housing are important investments in themselves and should be pursued well before speculative investing.
  • To teach the students the definitions, uses and more of stocks and bonds.
  • To expand on lesson 4 and show the students that there are other securities out there aside from stocks and bonds.
  • To expand the students' knowledge about finance to include how the securities exchanges and stock markets operate and work so that they have a better understanding of these things which will allow them to understand Lesson 7.
  • To show students the processes, players and institutions they will be dependent upon to trade.
  • To show the students how the players involved in Lesson 7 perform the job and how they are compensated so that students may become educated consumers and can protect themselves against some of the lesser practices of the financial services industry.
  • To review in detail the pros and cons of different investment programs.
  • To explain to the students what drives the true value of a security (mainly stocks) and how to gauge whether markets are overvalued by using value ratios.
  • To give the students a conceptual understanding of the different techniques used to research and analyze stocks. While we don't have the time to go into detailed financial statement analysis, this lesson gets their minds thinking in the right construct.
  • To introduce the students to some of the more useful information resources used to conduct research on stocks and other securities.


Wednesday - Lesson 01

Welcome! In this first lesson, you'll get to know a little about me, but more importantly, I'll get to hear from all of you. I like it when people post messages, so don't feel shy about posting any comments or questions you have! This is also the lesson where we'll set forth our game plan, reviewing what we'll cover and putting things in context so you can get your bearings and get the most out of the class.

Friday - Lesson 02

Hold on, there—we can't have you just running around, investing randomly in different investments! You need to fully and fundamentally understand the theories, laws, and concepts that govern investing. In this lesson, you'll learn what really gives money its value, how to increase that value, the power of compounding, and how much money you'll need to save for retirement. Then we'll look at how all of this pertains to the three most important investments you'll make: retirement, education, and housing.

Wednesday - Lesson 03

With a solid understanding of investing, we'll then apply a timeline or a schedule. Which investments should you make first? Would it be more beneficial to invest in an IRA or should you be thinking about college? Or might this perhaps be a good time for you to invest in rental property? We'll explore all of the benefits and drawbacks of these options to help you decide when to incorporate which investments into your lifetime plan.

Friday - Lesson 04

Mutual funds, IRA accounts, 401k plans, and most other investments are primarily composed of two simple building blocks: stocks and bonds. So before we get too far along, we'll need to take a closer look at them. In this lesson, we'll go into intricate detail about stocks and bonds, discussing exactly what they are, what gives them value, how to look up their prices, and much more.

Wednesday - Lesson 05

Understanding stocks and bonds allows us to understand a whole new set of securities and investments that are available to us. Things like mutual funds, options, ADRs, ETFs, REITs, and much more. Today we'll discuss these different investments, how they work, why you might want to invest in them, as well as any pros and cons to investing in them.

Friday - Lesson 06

But where do you purchase said stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and other investments? Never fear—there are many different exchanges throughout the world that are here to serve your trading needs. Need to purchase an indexed mutual fund? The AMEX is more than happy to help you. Looking for a tech stock with a promising future? You'll find tech stocks aplenty at the NASDAQ. In this lesson, I'll help you get familiar with all the major (and perhaps a bit more obscure) markets and exchanges throughout the world. If you're already investing, chances are you've been making purchases within one or more of these exchanges.

Wednesday - Lesson 07

In this lesson, you'll meet all the different people and visit the institutions involved in trading and investing. Brokers, brokerages, traders, routers, etc., as well as the different types of brokerages you may want to choose from—traditional, discount, or online. You'll also learn more about the roles they play in getting your trade through. Perhaps most important, you'll learn what these people's real incentive is in trading for you: it isn't charity!

Friday - Lesson 08

How are all these different stocks, bonds, and mutual funds traded? How does everything come together with the traders, brokers, and processes? And how do you know you're getting the best deal from your broker? You'll need an intricate understanding of the trading process, traders, brokers, and their incentives, not just in order to make investments, but to know when you're getting a good deal. In this lesson, you'll learn how to tell if you made a good trade or not.

Wednesday - Lesson 09

While we briefly touched on the topic of retirement programs in our first lesson, the options are so varied, detailed, and important that they deserve a lesson all to themselves. So here we'll take a detailed look at the operations, contribution limits, tax advantages, and withdrawal requirements of IRAs, Roth IRAs, SEP Plans, 401ks, 403bs, 529 plans and many other plans.

Friday - Lesson 10

Eat healthy, don't smoke, don't drink, get plenty of exercise, get an education, get a house, invest in your 401k, invest in a 529 plan, and get a good night's sleep. Who are we kidding? Almost everyone has that itch to go to Vegas, stay up all night, bet a grand on blackjack, have a martini, have a steak, and maybe even smoke a cigar. Lots of people have the same itch to invest in an unknown stock, make a fortune on it, and then retire in the Bahamas. While investing in your 401k may be good for your long-term investment plan, sometimes risk is a good thing. In this lesson, we'll look at stock valuation and analysis, and we'll review some of the basics of taking calculated investment risks.

Wednesday - Lesson 11

In this continuation of Lesson 10, you'll discover research techniques that you can use to analyze and pick stocks, such as fundamental analysis and technical analysis, as well as valuation techniques used to price stocks. You'll also learn how to read a company's annual report, then you'll gain some insight into the details of stock analysis and research. This is required reading if you plan to make it big by investing in stocks!

Friday - Lesson 12

We've covered a lot of ground thus far, and it wouldn't be fair to expect you to commit all of it to memory. That's why we'll spend some time here in Lesson 12 researching resources, looking at a vast array of Web sites, publications and other sources of information that will help guide your future investments.

Method of Instruction



Class participation