Learn About the Stock Market While Wasting Time Online
January 9, 2007 7:49 PM   Subscribe

Want to learn about investing? Morningstar, an independent investment researcher, is offering 172 free online "classes" on stocks, bonds, funds, and portfolio building. And there's nifty quizzes at the end of each lesson where you can earn points that can be used for Morningstar products.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero (20 comments total) 69 users marked this as a favorite
It has taken all the will power I have today to do my work and not just take "classes" all day.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:49 PM on January 9, 2007 [1 favorite]

Like corn dogs?
posted by fiercecupcake at 8:06 PM on January 9, 2007

Nice. Will these be permanently free, or are they luring me in to buy a book? I don't like to be lured.
posted by bjork24 at 8:07 PM on January 9, 2007

Well, as I go through the courses, they do link to their own services a bit, which isn't totally unexpected, I suppose.

And you don't have to buy a book, you can EARN a book if you get 400 points, or a newsletter with 800. At 5 points a pop.... I think I'm going to be taking a lot of these classes, hehe.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:11 PM on January 9, 2007 [1 favorite]

Will this help me in Tower Defence?

I have trouble keeping enough gold in the bank early on to do well enough later on in the game.

I need to plan for my future, here.
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 8:15 PM on January 9, 2007

Whee! Thanks, TPS, I've been looking for something just like this.
posted by ibmcginty at 8:15 PM on January 9, 2007

I like that you can go back and take the quizzes over, so you don't miss getting any points.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:24 PM on January 9, 2007 [1 favorite]

They do encourage you to sign up for their service to access the premium features. (I'd actually like to, but it's kind of pricey for the amount of investing I do.) But there's lots of good free information there.
posted by pmurray63 at 11:06 PM on January 9, 2007

(possibly via Metafilter's own jdroth?)
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 12:50 AM on January 10, 2007

Outstanding, Pink. Thank you!
posted by beautifulstuff at 7:12 AM on January 10, 2007

Will these be permanently free?

I think this website has been around for awhile- the portfolio class on IRA's still has the maximum contribution for under 49ers for 2004 ($3,000), instead of the new maximum ($4,000 until 2007, at which point it rises to $5,000). I e-mailed them to update it, because I'm just that that nerdy.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:25 AM on January 10, 2007 [1 favorite]

Morningstar is just a modern version of tea leaves and chicken entrails. It's just a prop for brokers to sell whatever funds they get commisions for. The reports show a blob of stats and metrics that can be read any way you want. This fund "undperformed here" but "outperformed there". What does that mean? Is that good or bad? "Well, it depends on the market, the weather, the mood swings of Amazonian buttlerflies..." ." Save your time and flip a coin instead. Or better yet, take your money to a casino so at least you'll get "free" drinks while pissing your money away.

Bah humbug.
posted by StarForce5 at 7:39 AM on January 10, 2007

StarForce5 needs a cookie. Guess what, you can buy your OWN funds using Morningstar research WITHOUT paying anyone a commission! ZOUNDS!!
posted by spicynuts at 7:45 AM on January 10, 2007

There is a lot of investment research to be had on the internet and through your broker. Trading commissions are miniscule, and very few brokers, except for full-service ones, which often get a % of assets, will focus on retail commissions as a major source of revenue. They make thier money on margin interest, stock lending, proprietary trading, investment banking, etc. Most just want your account for the relationship to sell other services. Bank of America offers free trades, other will follow.

Check out the performance of a fund from one of the many free services. Few funds actually beat their benchmarks over the long term. A good index fund is a lower cost alternative for the very passive investor, or a sector fund or ETF if you believe in 'the next big thing.'

Research on individual stocks is much more important if you invest in them. There are numerous services and your discount broker will have them. Other services such as Value Line and S&P can be a good choice for more active investors. Morningstars stock research is average and not thier strong point.
posted by sfts2 at 8:10 AM on January 10, 2007

As an obsessive compulsive financial guy, this looks great. I will have to check it out further at home. Thanks TPS!!
posted by ObscureReferenceMan at 8:14 AM on January 10, 2007

I, too, am totally obsessed with money. It's all I can do not to look at my retirement account everyday. I keep telling myself it'll be a long 40 years if I go it like that.....
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:43 AM on January 10, 2007 [1 favorite]

This is excellent, thank you TPS! Who cares if they want to sell their funds? The free classes are brilliant and much more engaging than learning from a book -- I've tried that numerous times. I never even open 'em up once I leave the bookshop.
posted by thinkpiece at 10:20 AM on January 10, 2007

TPS - One of the things I've learned about "retirement money" is to watch it, but don't stress over it. Especially when my 401k spent a couple years (the "dot com bust") in the tank. It's been likened to a kid using a yo-yo while walking up a hill - don't watch the yo-yo, watch the hill.
(At the next NY Meetup, we can quietly geek out over finances in a corner...)
posted by ObscureReferenceMan at 10:43 AM on January 10, 2007

posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 11:36 AM on January 10, 2007 [1 favorite]

I bookmarked this yesterday, from some obscure surfing trail that I can't remember because I was drunk (might have been Digg of all places). I never thought of posting it to the blue, because, well, I was drunk and I've seen how badly that can end.

If there's anything I learned from watching all the conversations on the trail, it's that everyone has their own opinion about what makes money, and you might as well be drunk, becaus that's the only guaranteed return you're ever going to get.

Still, it's a pretty good link if, like me, you've ever wondered what the hell Equity was.
posted by Sparx at 2:34 PM on January 10, 2007

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