Best Online Stock Trading Courses

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Online stock trading courses teach you what you need to know to get started buying and selling shares in the stock market. Beginner-level online stock trading classes teach you the basics about how the stock market works and the driving forces behind stock prices. Intermediate and expert-level stock trading classes go deeper into stock analysis, active trading strategies, and methodologies that may outperform the markets.

We looked at a wide range of stock trading classes to help you find a class that may be right for you. We looked at course contents, teaching methods, teacher reputation, and cost so you can dive in and get started with an online stock trading class.

Best Online Stock Trading Courses for 2021

Best Overall : Trading for Beginners


Investopedia Academy

 Investopedia Academy 

Why We Chose It: We chose Trading for Beginners as our best overall class on stock trading because it covers essential market topics with well-produced video lessons from a respected source in online investment knowledge.

What We Like
  • More than 50 lessons including videos and exercises to reinforce what you learn

  • Course takes beginners through markets with an easy-to-understand approach

  • Self-paced with lifetime access

What We Don’t Like
  • $199 price tag

Trading for Beginners is a course from Investopedia Academy. It includes more than 50 lessons made up primarily of video content. We like that the course covers important beginner trading topics with an eye toward risk management and creating rules that protect your finances from excess losses.

You can go back and review specific parts or the entire course at any time in the future. While it is designed for beginners, there are many foundational topics included that could be useful to intermediate traders. 

In addition to video, Trading for Beginners includes exercises and interactive lessons that reinforce course concepts. Once you finish, you should be ready to log in or create your trading account and place your first trade.

This stock trading class costs $199 for lifetime access. Financial assistance is available if you need it, and Investopedia Academy is currently offering 15% off a course when you sign up for its newsletter.

While we retain editorial independence, both Investopedia and The Balance are owned by Dotdash.

Best Self-Paced : The Complete Foundation Stock Trading Course


Udemy

 Udemy

Why We Chose It: We like this course because it includes everything a beginner needs to know to start active stock trading at a reasonable cost.

What We Like
  • 9.5 hours of video and 32 downloadable resources

  • Self-paced course hosted on Udemy

  • Best-rated stock trading course on Udemy, with over 110,000 students

What We Don’t Like
  • This course is the first in a series, so not all advanced information is included

  • $174.99 price may not be viable for all learners

If you’re a beginner and want to learn how the stock market works and what you need to start trading, The Complete Foundation Stock Trading Course from Mohsen Hassan on Udemy is a top choice. This bestselling course has an impressive 4.6-star rating with nearly 30,000 ratings and over 110,000 students. It’s the number-one stock trading course on Udemy.

Once signed up, you can follow the course at your own pace. It includes 9.5 hours of video divided up into 42 lectures. You can also read one article and utilize 32 downloads. It includes some useful sections not covered by all stock trading classes, including trading psychology and risk management. Other core topics include order types, technical analysis, and using chart patterns to inform trade decisions.

Once you pay $174.99, you have lifetime access to the course on the Udemy platform. You can participate in the course on your computer or with your phone on the Udemy mobile app. The beginner-level course is good to start, and there are additional courses from the same creator for a more complete trading education.

Best for Live Instruction : Investors Underground


Investors Underground

 Investors Underground

Why We Chose It: We picked Investors Underground because members have access to multiple premium trading courses and live, interactive webinars with Q&A.

What We Like
  • Community membership includes live chat and group webinars

  • Members have access to 700 video lessons, guides, and trade recaps

  • Membership includes trading courses with more than 20 hours of content

What We Don’t Like
  • Subscription-based pricing

  • High-priced community at $297 per month or $1,897 per year

If you want live instruction, you’re going to have to pay more than an asynchronous course you complete at your own pace. Investors Underground starts at $297 per month for access to its community, and membership includes access to live webinars with other members where you can ask questions and get answers on the spot.

Membership also gets you access to a chat community to learn and share strategies, an education library with past videos, and trading courses to level-up your general stock trading knowledge. If you want an idea of what to expect, check out the free beginner day trading course, hosted on YouTube, with eight trading lessons.

Depending on the course you sign up for, it will take you eight to 14 hours to complete.

This membership is generally well regarded and respected among the trading community and shows up on many best-of lists. It’s best for intermediate and experienced traders looking to connect with others and build their skillset.

Best for Long-Term Strategies : Investment and Portfolio Management Specialization


Coursera

 Coursera

Why We Chose It: We chose this course because it earns high ratings and includes actionable investment strategies from a respected university, and it’s free.

What We Like
  • Investment class taught by instructors from Rice University

  • Free course hosted on the Coursera platform

  • In-depth course takes six months to complete at four hours per week

What We Don’t Like
  • Lengthy course requires a major time commitment

  • Five classes required to complete the series

The Coursera platform hosts many courses taught by real college instructors including the Investment and Portfolio Management Specialization from Rice University, which covers a breadth of knowledge for beginners who want to manage their own investments. You can either audit a course in the specialization for free, or pay $49 a month for full access and a certificate of completion.

This Investment and Portfolio Management Specialization on Coursera comprises five courses: Global Financial Markets and Instruments, Portfolio Selection and Risk Management, Biases and Portfolio Selection, Investment Strategies and Portfolio Analysis, and Capstone: Build a Winning Investment Portfolio. 

Plan on four hours per week for six months to get through everything, though you can go faster or slower in this self-paced investment class.

As of this writing, the course has a 4.5-star out of five rating from past course participants, with more than 2,500 ratings. According to Coursera, a significant number of course completions led to a new career, pay increase, or promotion. But you can just use the knowledge to build your winning portfolio without spending any of your returns on education.

Best Free Option : Morningstar Investing Classroom


Morningstar

 Morningstar

Why We Chose It: The Morningstar Investment Classroom made our list because it includes helpful stock, fund, ETF, and portfolio management courses at no cost.

What We Like
  • Many free courses available

  • Comes from the respected Morningstar brand

  • No login required

What We Don’t Like
  • Less content for active traders

If you want to learn about the markets without spending any money, consider the Morningstar Investing Classroom. Once there, you’re just a few clicks away from courses on stocks, bonds, ETFs, mutual funds, and portfolio management. Each course is self-paced and the site claims they take about 10 minutes to complete. 

Maintaining a diverse and resilient portfolio is important, and this course covers topics focused on company fundamentals and what drives changes in share prices. The content is mostly beginner-focused, but there is plenty more that experienced traders and investors can learn as well.

For traders, useful courses in the library include Stocks 104: What Matters and What Doesn’t and Portfolio 103: How Much Risk Can You Tolerate. With no cost and no registration required, it’s worth checking it out and taking the courses that fill in your knowledge gaps.

Although the courses are free to take as long as you register with an account, each completed course adds credits to your account and once you reach 790 total points, you’ll receive a free 60-day trial of Morningstar’s Premium service.

Final Verdict

There’s something out there for everyone who wants to learn more about the stock market. From free courses for beginners to advanced trading membership communities, anyone on their journey can find the right place to pick up skills and learn the markets.

If you’re unsure where to start, consider registering for our top choice, Trading for Beginners, as it covers all you’ll need to begin trading. Any of our other choices might work for you depending on your budget and what you’d like to learn. There are also plenty of free choices if you’re not prepared to make a financial commitment to an online trading class.

Compare Providers

Course  Category  Notable Feature  Course Length  Cost
Trading for Beginners Best Overall Covers everything a beginner needs to build a trading strategy Varies, as the course is self-paced $199
The Complete Foundation Stock Trading Course Best Self-Paced Highly rated course focused on active trading Varies, as the course is self-paced $174.99
Investors Underground Best for Live Instruction Live webinars and Q&A 8-14 hours $297 per month
Investment and Portfolio Management Specialization Best for Long-Term Strategies Essential investment topics from Rice University 6 months Free or $49 per month
Morningstar Investing Classroom Best Free Option Free with no registration required 10 minutes Free

Best Online Stock Trading Classes FAQ

What Is an Online Stock Trading Class?

An online stock trading class is a course taught over the internet. These classes teach you what you need to know to buy and sell stock through a brokerage account, build a trading strategy, and manage your investment portfolio.

Who Should Take an Online Stock Trading Class?

Online stock trading classes are an important step for beginner investors to improve their market knowledge. However, even intermediate and advanced traders can learn more about stock trading and how the markets work.

Are Stock Trading Classes Worth It?

Stock trading classes may require a significant time and financial commitment. Every trader is different, but many find the cost worthwhile as it may lead to much better stock trading results. Keep in mind: there are never any guarantees in the stock market.

Can I Learn to Trade Stocks Without Taking a Class?

You may learn stock trading by reading a book, watching videos, or through other methods. We like stock trading classes because they cover a wide range of relevant content without having to hunt everything down on your own.

Methodology

To pick the best online stock trading classes, we reviewed 13 different providers with a keen eye on course topics and curriculum, instruction style (live vs. asynchronous or self-paced), reputation and ratings from past students, and cost. 

All of the providers on our list offered comprehensive classes for beginners at affordable price points.