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Learn how to invest with skill and confidence so you can achieve your financial goals. Economist and Professor Connel Fullenkamp explains the fundamentals of investing to those new to the subject while broadening and deepening the knowledge of more experienced investors. Understanding Investments just may be the smartest investment you make.

The Great Courses Signature Collection
1 Season, 48 Episodes
April 6, 2012
Cast: Connel Fullenkamp
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Understanding Investments Full Episode Guide

  • Now that you understand the many investment products out there, it's time for practical decision making about turning your financial planning into financial reality. Grasp how to shape your investment choices to match your retirement plans and how to turn those investments into income for living expenses when you do reach retirement.

  • Now that you understand the many investment products out there, it's time for practical decision making about turning your financial planning into financial reality. Grasp how to shape your investment choices to match your retirement plans and how to turn those investments into income for living expenses when you do reach retirement.

  • Zero in on the whole point of investing: reaching a particular goal or goals you've decided on. This lecture uses the calculating tools you've already learned to show you how to plan for your retirement, but its techniques can be applied to any financial goal you set for yourself.

  • Zero in on the whole point of investing: reaching a particular goal or goals you've decided on. This lecture uses the calculating tools you've already learned to show you how to plan for your retirement, but its techniques can be applied to any financial goal you set for yourself.

  • In addition to understanding some basic ideas, you need some key skills for smart investing. This lecture teaches you how to perform the simple calculations that will enable you to compare returns across different investments, project their future value, and estimate a reasonable price to pay for them.

  • In addition to understanding some basic ideas, you need some key skills for smart investing. This lecture teaches you how to perform the simple calculations that will enable you to compare returns across different investments, project their future value, and estimate a reasonable price to pay for them.

  • The cliche is that high risk brings the potential of high returns. But you learn in this insightful lecture that the cliche isn't true as you explore the two ways risks are classified and the very different expectation of potential rewards that come with each.

  • The cliche is that high risk brings the potential of high returns. But you learn in this insightful lecture that the cliche isn't true as you explore the two ways risks are classified and the very different expectation of potential rewards that come with each.

  • Selling an investment - whether a winner or loser - can be emotionally difficult. In addition to learning why this is so, grasp the different reasons that selling is often the right decision, and learn some techniques that can help offset emotional influences.

  • Selling an investment - whether a winner or loser - can be emotionally difficult. In addition to learning why this is so, grasp the different reasons that selling is often the right decision, and learn some techniques that can help offset emotional influences.

  • What role should three key cycles - price cycles in financial markets, the business cycle, and the interest rate or credit cycle - play in your investment decisions? Learn how these cycles work and the best way to protect yourself against their fluctuations.

  • What role should three key cycles - price cycles in financial markets, the business cycle, and the interest rate or credit cycle - play in your investment decisions? Learn how these cycles work and the best way to protect yourself against their fluctuations.

  • Do real estate and commodities belong in your portfolio? And if they do, what are the best instruments for putting them there? This lecture offers a realistic view of these questions, including a look at real estate investment trusts, or REITs, and commodity-focused ETFs.

  • Do real estate and commodities belong in your portfolio? And if they do, what are the best instruments for putting them there? This lecture offers a realistic view of these questions, including a look at real estate investment trusts, or REITs, and commodity-focused ETFs.

  • Explore the world of stock and index options and how you can put them to work for you at very low or even zero risk. Learn about call options, put options, strike prices, and how to use the return-enhancing technique known as the covered call strategy.

  • Explore the world of stock and index options and how you can put them to work for you at very low or even zero risk. Learn about call options, put options, strike prices, and how to use the return-enhancing technique known as the covered call strategy.

  • With about $80 trillion of investment opportunities outside the United States, foreign investment can be a tempting option. Learn how the rules for diversifying into these investments are changing, and what you need to know to help ensure that your foreign investment decisions are as sound as possible.

  • With about $80 trillion of investment opportunities outside the United States, foreign investment can be a tempting option. Learn how the rules for diversifying into these investments are changing, and what you need to know to help ensure that your foreign investment decisions are as sound as possible.

  • Today's marketplace contains an amazing variety of mutual funds from which to choose. You can navigate this often-bewildering array of choices with confidence as you learn the key categories of differentiating them, including assets, goals, balance of growth vs. value, and diversification.

  • Today's marketplace contains an amazing variety of mutual funds from which to choose. You can navigate this often-bewildering array of choices with confidence as you learn the key categories of differentiating them, including assets, goals, balance of growth vs. value, and diversification.

  • Although bonds are often part of a buy-and-hold investment strategy, they can also be as actively traded as stocks, with just as great a risk. This lecture explains the descriptive terms, jargon, pricing, price-yield relationships, and standard practices you can encounter in the potentially confusing marketplace for bonds.

  • Although bonds are often part of a buy-and-hold investment strategy, they can also be as actively traded as stocks, with just as great a risk. This lecture explains the descriptive terms, jargon, pricing, price-yield relationships, and standard practices you can encounter in the potentially confusing marketplace for bonds.

  • Gain the analytical tools to intelligently navigate the wide ocean of choices faced by anyone contemplating an investment in bonds. This lecture guides you through the three critical issues that can help shape your selection: default risk, inflation protection, and how your earnings may be taxed.

  • Gain the analytical tools to intelligently navigate the wide ocean of choices faced by anyone contemplating an investment in bonds. This lecture guides you through the three critical issues that can help shape your selection: default risk, inflation protection, and how your earnings may be taxed.

  • Although using leverage - borrowing a portion of the purchase price of an investment - can offer tempting rewards, the level of risk can be high. Explore how leverage works as you learn about margin requirements, short sales, and how leverage impacts both potential profits and potential losses.

  • Although using leverage - borrowing a portion of the purchase price of an investment - can offer tempting rewards, the level of risk can be high. Explore how leverage works as you learn about margin requirements, short sales, and how leverage impacts both potential profits and potential losses.

  • The glamour of initial public offerings can obscure their realities. This lecture explains how most IPOs are done, the "Dutch auction" method that is sometimes used instead, and what you need to know if you get the opportunity to participate in an IPO.

  • The glamour of initial public offerings can obscure their realities. This lecture explains how most IPOs are done, the "Dutch auction" method that is sometimes used instead, and what you need to know if you get the opportunity to participate in an IPO.

  • Your skills broaden as you gain an additional tool for drilling down into a company to evaluate its investment potential. This lecture introduces the concept of valuation models, beginning with the popular Method of Comparables, which uses ratios like price-to-earnings, or P/E, to value stocks.

  • Your skills broaden as you gain an additional tool for drilling down into a company to evaluate its investment potential. This lecture introduces the concept of valuation models, beginning with the popular Method of Comparables, which uses ratios like price-to-earnings, or P/E, to value stocks.

  • In the first of three lectures introducing standard tools for analyzing and selecting stocks and other possible investments, learn how to read a typical financial statement. Grasp the meaning of concepts like income statements and balance sheets, and learn what they can tell you about a company's strengths and weaknesses.

  • In the first of three lectures introducing standard tools for analyzing and selecting stocks and other possible investments, learn how to read a typical financial statement. Grasp the meaning of concepts like income statements and balance sheets, and learn what they can tell you about a company's strengths and weaknesses.

  • Learn how this relatively new option for investors differs from mutual funds and about the advantages they may have over mutual funds for those making investments outside of tax-advantaged plans such as 401(k)s. You also learn what depository receipts are, and the key role they play in ETFs.

  • Learn how this relatively new option for investors differs from mutual funds and about the advantages they may have over mutual funds for those making investments outside of tax-advantaged plans such as 401(k)s. You also learn what depository receipts are, and the key role they play in ETFs.

  • Can anyone actually beat the performance of the stock market? Grasp what the Efficient Market Hypothesis and the debate over its validity can reveal about the answer - and how your own opinion can shape your investment strategy.

  • Can anyone actually beat the performance of the stock market? Grasp what the Efficient Market Hypothesis and the debate over its validity can reveal about the answer - and how your own opinion can shape your investment strategy.

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