Tempting as it may be to sign up for a get-rich-quick trading course for beginners advertised in the weekend papers, it’s worth doing a bit of research.
Courses range from a few evenings at a local adult education centre right up to masters degrees at prestigious business schools and universities. You can even do a course from home.
The type of course that is right for you will depend on factors such as how much time you can devote to learning and how much you are willing or able to pay.
Other things to consider include whether you are happy to study on your own via the internet or much prefer to learn in groups of like-minded people.
Evening trading courses for beginners
At the more affordable end of the scale are evening classes. Harrow College, for example, runs a course called Stocks, Shares and Investments for Beginners. It is aimed at “anyone with an interest in the stock market wanting to build a portfolio”.
The syllabus includes how to buy and sell stocks, shares and other securities. Students need take only writing materials and a Financial Times and part of the assessment is a final night quiz.
- Cost £107
- Course lasts nine weeks
Online trading courses for beginners
If a final night quiz in a building that could probably do with a bit of investment itself is not really your thing, there is the option of learning on your computer at home.
Online courses include an Introduction to Securities and Investment (UK) run by FitchLearning. It is part of the Fitch Group which specialises in financial information services.
Students need no prior knowledge and the course leads to a foundation qualification. The syllabus includes equities, bonds, derivatives and investment funds.
- Cost £205
- Course requires 80 hours of study
Short courses is the area of trading courses for beginners that the back of the newspaper brigade specialise in. They promise that after just a few hours in their company you will be getting returns that seem too good to be true.
Often, courses seem too good to be true because they are too good to be true.
Be sure that the course is run by a name that you trust before parting with your money. The well-recognised Open University, for example, offers a module called Personal Investment in an Uncertain World.
Its prospectus says: “You will be shown how to build a portfolio, using financial and economic modelling (such as the Capital Asset Pricing Model), that manages and spreads risk while pursuing higher returns.”