Free Investment Classes You Can Take Online

Educate Yourself With These Free Courses

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The more you learn about your money, the more comfortable you will feel as you transition into retirement. While not exhaustive, the seven online sources described below offer educational materials and classes that will make you smarter about your money.

Key Takeaways

  • Vanguard offers online investment courses tailored to your stage of life.
  • Morningstar’s investment classroom provides informative lessons specific to the topic of investing. 
  • NAPFA hosts a series of free monthly webinars on online investments, taxes, and financial planning.

1. Vanguard’s Plain Talk on Retirement

Vanguard offers online investment and retirement courses that allow you to click through different topics and issues that are most relevant to your stage of life. For instance, the investment course covers the following:

  • I am already saving or just starting to save: Information found at this link helps you figure out how much you should save and how you should invest.
  • I am preparing to retire: This link provides materials on everything from preparing your portfolio to figuring out how much you can withdraw in retirement.
  • I am retired: This link provides materials on, among other things, how to evaluate withdrawal strategies that will make your money last longer.

These online courses also come with calculators and quizzes that help you find answers to specific questions. They help you determine the right decisions to make regarding IRA distributions, company stocks, and more.

2. CNN Money’s Ultimate Guide to Retirement

CNN Money offers an online course that provides a general overview of things to consider as you near retirement. The course is laid out as a series of articles that cover (among other things) how much to save and invest, employer-sponsored plans, the effect of changing jobs, and withdrawals.

It offers great entry-level material but does not get into the specifics that the Vanguard course provides.

3. Morningstar's Investment Classroom

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

  • Stocks
  • Funds
  • Portfolio
  • Bonds

The lessons start with the basics before delving into the details and include sections devoted to what matters and what does not. These lessons are highly recommended for those whose portion of retirement income comes from investments.

4. NAPFA's Webinars

NAPFA, also known as the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors, is an association of fee-only advisors. Those who sell products or collect commissions of any kind cannot belong to this organization. NAPFA hosts a series of free monthly webinars on (among other things) online investment, tax, and financial planning that are made available to the public.

Each webinar focuses on a different topic and is led by an expert in that particular subject matter; normally, you would pay anywhere from $100 to $300 an hour for that expert's time.

5. Dana Anspach's YouTube Videos

Dana Anspach, Founder and CEO of Sensible Money, LLC, was the "MoneyOver55" expert for The Balance for nearly nine years. She focuses on financial planning for those in their 50s and 60s. She records and posts on YouTube free online classes, which regularly covers investing basics and key retirement income planning concepts. One of her more popular classes is called "How to Invest for Retirement."

6. 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.

7. 2Young2Retire's Website

2Young2Retire is comprised of certified facilitators and associates who support the philosophy that we all have much to contribute beyond our initial careers. The organization's website offers a course that helps participants discover what matters to them most and where their skills and experiences could be put to good use.

For more investing information and advice, consider listening to investing podcasts.