Investments course – It’s online and free!

Free course on investments

Welcome to this free, online investments course. The purpose of this course is to give you a strong background in central topics in investing. We believe that this course would be useful for both beginner and seasoned investors as well as students studying finance as part of their undergraduate or postgraduate degrees.

Course highlights

  • Fundamental concepts in investing.
  • Portfolio theory and practice.
  • Equilibrium in financial markets.
  • Capital asset pricing model.

Course structure

This investments course begins with introducing fundamental concepts in investing. These include concepts such as the holding period return, arithmetic average return, geometric average return, etc. Then, we move on to the portfolio theory. In particular, we explain how to calculate portfolio return and risk. Afterward, we discuss how to form efficient portfolios. The final part of the course deals with the concept of market equilibrium. This is where we introduce asset pricing models such as the capital asset pricing model (CAPM) and the arbitrage pricing theory (APT).


  1. Basic return calculations – Dividend yields, capital gains.
  2. Real return vs nominal return – What is the difference?
  3. Holding period return – How is it calculated?
  4. Average return – Arithmetic vs geometric.
  5. Return volatility – A measure of risk.
  6. Expected return – A forward-looking return measure.
  7. Risk-free rate of return – Is there a riskless asset?
  8. Investors’ appetite for risk – Risk preferences.
  9. Risk premium – What does it mean?
  10. Portfolio return – Calculator and formula.
  11. Portfolio risk – Calculator and formula.
  12. Efficient frontier – Efficient portfolios vs inefficient portfolios.
  13. Optimal risky portfolio – How to locate it?
  14. Market portfolio – Key characteristics and practical relevance.
  15. Systematic risk and unsystematic risk – Benefits of diversification.
  16. Capital asset pricing model – Security market line.
  17. Arbitrage pricing theory – APT formula, relation to the CAPM, and factor models.
  18. Jensen’s alpha – Calculator, formula, and examples.
  19. Sharpe ratio – Calculator, formula, and examples.
  20. Investments quiz – Test your learning of the material taught in this course.

If you are a total beginner to investing, we suggest you begin with the first lesson: basic return calculations. If you are comfortable performing simple return calculations, you can head straight to average return calculations where we introduce the concepts of arithmetic average return and geometric average return. Or, if you are comfortable with investment basics, you can start from portfolio return where we begin to cover modern portfolio theory.

Check out our other free courses and tutorials

We also offer a course on trading basics. It introduces the fundamental concepts beginner traders need to be familiar with. If you are interested in digital tokens in general or cryptocurrencies in particular, we provide a course on tokenomics as well. This course is for beginners and covers topics ranging from nun-fungible tokens to cryptocurrency exchanges. Finally, you can check out our tutorial on analyzing stock returns. Within this tutorial, we provide step-by-step guides on topics such as plotting time series or histograms of stock returns.