Free Investment Classes You Can Take Online

Educate Yourself With These Free Courses

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Get smarter about your money by using free online classes and educational websites. Klaus Vedfelt/Iconics/Getty Images

The more you learn about your money, the more comfortable you will feel as you transition into retirement. The following seven websites offer educational material and online investment classes that make you smarter about your money.

1. Free Online Investment Classes Offered by Fee-Only Advisors

NAPFA (National Association of Personal Financial Advisors) is an association of fee-only advisors. Advisors who sell products or collect a commission of any kind cannot belong to this organization.

NAPFA hosts a series of free webinars (online investment, tax, and financial planning classes) available to the public. Every month they offer a different topic led by an expert in that subject matter. You would normally pay $100 - $300 an hour for these expert's time. Check out their Upcoming Webinars every month and make the time to listen, watch, and learn.

2. Recorded Online Classes on YouTube

Dana Anspach, MoneyOver55 Expert, and the author of this article teaches free online classes through her company, Sensible Money, LLC. Class topics and times vary from month to month. The classes are educational in nature. Many of the classes are recorded and posted to YouTube. Investing basics and key retirement income planning concepts are covered regularly. On YouTube check out her most popular recorded class, How to Invest for Retirement.

3. Visit Vanguard’s Plain Talk® on Retirement

This investment class covers much more than investing.

Vanguard has laid out this online investment course in a series of choices that allow you to click through to the topics and issues most relevant to your stage of life.

The investment and retirement courses come with calculators and quizzes that help you find answers to your specific questions. If you only visit one online investment course, this would be the one to spend time on.

The course starts by allowing you to click on any of the following topics:

  • I’m already saving or just starting to save. Topics under this link help you figure out how much you should save and how you should invest.
  • I’m preparing to retire. Contains course material on everything from preparing your portfolio to showing you how much you can withdraw in retirement.
  • I’m retired. Among other things, this course teaches you how to evaluate withdrawal strategies that will help your money last longer.
  • Retirement planning tools. Great calculators and quizzes that help you determine the right decisions to make regarding IRA distributions, company stock and much, much more.

Each choice above leads you to specific educational material written just for that stage of life.

4. Try CNN Money’s Retirement Essentials

This investment course is laid out in article format with a series of steps that cover how much to save, how to invest, employer-sponsored plans, changing jobs, and withdrawals. The online class provides a general overview of things to consider as you near retirement. It’s great entry level material but doesn’t get into the specifics that the Vanguard online investment course provides.

The course contains the following lessons:

5. Check out Morningstar Investment Classroom

Morningstar’s investment classroom provides great lessons specific to the topic of investing. The investment courses contain lessons grouped into the following categories:

Each series of lessons start with the basics and then delves into the details; covering topics such as taxes, investment fees, interest rates, and a section devoted to what matters and what doesn't. If a portion of your retirement income will come from your investments, I highly recommend you go through the Morningstar investment classes.

6. Visit Motley Fool’s Investing 101

Motley Fool’s Investing 101 is structured more like a series of articles that provide all the basics about investing.

They are grouped in the following topics:

Each article above lays out investing concepts in simple, easy to understand terms.

7. Too Young To Retire – Helps You Consider Alternatives to Traditional Retirement

The Too Young To Retire website has the following course description, and I can’t describe this great class any better than they do.

“Who am I? What am I doing here? These Big Questions, in one form or another, become unavoidable, around age 50 for thoughtful people. You could take the rest of your life answering them, and some of us do. But what if you could accelerate the process and have some fun while you make new discoveries? What if your answers helped you launch a whole new, more meaningful life in the years ahead?

The 2young2retire course is such a process. Working in groups with a 2young2retire Certified Facilitator, you'll discover what matters most to you and where your skills and experience could be put to good purpose."

There's a lot that can be learned online if you're willing to invest the time.