| First principles of investing
The investment industry is a mature industry with a range of different products developed to meet your needs. Until you know what your needs are, you won't know which products to choose. This course explains how to draw up an action plan for your personal finances, and how to decide what it is you are looking for. Then it explains where to find the products that will bring you the rewards you want at a risk level you are comfortable with.
| How shares are traded
The mechanics of trading shares are a vital part of an investor's education. Only by understanding what brokers do, how prices are quoted, how deals are executed, and how they are settled can you participate in the market to your best ability. This nuts-and-bolts course highlights the key things you need to know, and explains their significance.
| How the stock market works
New issues, rights issues, scrip issues, warrants, dividends, buybacks - there are all sorts of things that listed companies do that affect shareholders. You need to understand them if you are going to respond in the best way. In this course, learn how stock markets operate, who the main players are, and where you fit into the jigsaw.
| Risk and reward
Many investors fail to appreciate that investing, like motor racing, is an activity that can be done with Safety as the main priority, or Performance. If you prioritise safety, don't expect exhilarating performance. If you prioritise performance, be prepared for the odd crash. And then there's somewhere in between. The purpose of this tutorial is to show how you can adapt your investing strategy to choose a point on the spectrum that suits you.
| Investment clubs
Investment clubs are being set up at a record rate as people realise the benefits of investing this way. It is sociable, it pools knowledge and skills, and the group approach can result in better decisions. But to make a success of it, you have to set the club up properly, define sensible rules, understand the unit valuation system works, and establish proper reporting procedures. This course shows you how.
| Investment trusts
What are investment trusts and how do they differ from unit trusts? Why buy shares in an IT when you could buy shares in a company directly? How should you choose an IT? Should you invest a lump sum or drip-feed your money in? For answers to these and lots of other questions take this course - an essential guide to the ins and outs of ITs.
| Unit trusts and OEICs
Unit trusts and OEICs are ideally suited to those who don't have the time or inclination to choose individual shares themselves, or who have limited capital but want the benefits of professional fund management and diversification. For many investors, they are the main way in to the stock market. This course explains the different types of fund, how their charges, risk profile, and investment objectives vary, how to choose between them, and a lot more besides.
| Fifteen favourite fallacies
Much of the proverbial wisdom passed down about investment is bogus, misleading, or simplistic. The 'strategies' often depend on wrong facts, and sometimes they are just a convenient excuse for bad habits. In this course we expose the 15 worst faux pas and show why you should step carefully around them.
| Ten great investors
Learn from the most successful investors of all time: Warren Buffett, T Rowe Price, Philip A Fisher, Kenneth L Fisher, Jim Slater, Peter Lynch, Ralph Wanger, William O'Neil, Sir John Templeton and John Neff. For each of these icons, this popular course details their current job, their investment style, their long-term returns, their biggest success, the methods they use, their key sayings, and places where you can find out more about them.
| Basic taxation
Death and taxes may be the only two certainties of life, but there are plenty of things you can do to postpone them. In this course you will learn how to arrange your affairs in a way that results in minimal income, capital gains and inheritance tax on your earnings and capital.
ISA advertising dominates the financial press as the big fund management companies encourage you to buy their products. But what are ISAs? How significant are their tax benefits and to whom? What investments can you shelter in them, and how much can you put in each year? There are strict rules surrounding ISAs and the Revenue isn't amused if you flout them. To make sure you get the best out of an ISA regime, take this fact-filled course.
| Tax and your investments
This course provides a detailed analysis of income tax and CGT as it affects share investors. It covers the differing tax treatment of dividends, bank interest and Treasury interest, explains the allowances, exemptions and reliefs that are available, and shows what the tax consequences of various corporate actions are.
Research and analysis
| A company life map - the rise and fall of a hot stock
Follow the turbulent stockmarket history of Country Bumpkins, a fictional retailer, as it grows from a small private company into a FTSE 250 giant - and then founders on negative dotcom sentiment. Learn along the way about new issues, share buybacks, directors dealings, rights issues, splits, and all the other corporate actions which affect shareholders.
| How to read the financial pages
Investing is an information game: the better the quality of your information, and the earlier you get it, the more chance you have of making the right decision. This course identifies the 4 types of information, the best places to find it, and its uses. From company accounts to daily share price listings, from takeovers to sector analysis, from index comparison to City diaries - we show you how to sort the nuggets from the sludge and end up with a pan full of gold!
| Interpreting company reports and accounts
Accounts are fundamental to investment. They are the nearest thing to 'hard' information that an investor has. This tutorial describes the five main components of a set of accounts, shows which pieces of information to select from them, and how to build up an overall impression of the company's health and ongoing prospects from what you find.
| Using ratios to analyse companies
Investing is about numbers and ratios. Luckily, the ratios that matter in investing are much easier than most people think. This course highlights the important ones. Using simple examples it explains where to find the numbers, how to put them into ratios, and what to make of the figures that result. P/Es, PEGs, dividend yields, gearing, interest cover - they're all here, and once you've mastered them the whole investment process will make a lot more sense.
| Directors' dealings
Many investors treat purchases and sales of shares by directors in the companies they run as evidence of whether the share price is undervalued or overvalued. In this course, find out what directors dealings are, where to get up-to-date information on dealings, and how to distinguish significant dealings from insignificant ones.
| Investing abroad
Investing only in UK companies is like putting all your money on a few numbers of a roulette wheel. If the UK economy tanks, so does your portfolio. And most of the world's leading companies are not quoted in London anyway. So global investing is a necessity, not an option. This course explains the different ways of investing abroad - individual shares, funds, trusts - the mechanics of dealing and the tax implications.
| Investing in US markets
This course looks at the mechanics of investing in the US market. It examines the information you need to help you do it successfully, and the range of investments you have to choose from.
| New issues
New issues are 'priced to attract' and the profits to be made out of them can be large and quick. As dotcoms have shown, they can also be stunningly unprofitable. This course explains how the new issue market really works, how you as a private investor can get access to the best offerings, ways to distinguish the lemons from the plums, and the changes being wrought by the internet.
| Bear market investing
Faced with a bear market, many investors either freeze and do nothing, or carry on using strategies that served them well in the preceding bull market. Neither is conducive to wealth preservation. This course is designed to ensure that you tackle the bear properly, by explaining what bear markets are, why they occur, and what strategies you can adopt to ensure survival. It also highlights the opportunities that bear markets present, and how you can position yourself for the end of negative sentiment and the return of the bulls.
| Gilts and bonds
The course explains the different types of bonds, and the risks and rewards associated with each. It shows how the price of bonds, and their income yield, is linked to movements in interest rates, and how the timing of your purchase and sale can dramatically affect the total return you get from them. Finally it looks at the practical aspects of buying and holding bonds.
| Growth investing
Growth investing is the most exciting and one of the most risky approaches to stock market investment. You have to find companies that are growing their sales and earnings rapidly, buy into them at the right time, and exit before the picture changes, hopefully with a healthy profit. This course explains tried and tested methods for investing in growth stocks using a mixture of numbers analysis and judgements on 'softer' factors.
| Investing in smaller companies
Elephants don't gallop; fleas can jump ten times their own height. Therein lies the attraction of small caps. But small caps can be volatile. Making money from them requires a particular approach. This course explains their characteristics, how to identify the companies that have the strength and stamina to succeed, the pros and cons compared with a portfolio of blue chips, the techniques used by experts to maximise the upside and limit the downside, and how to time your entry and exit.
| Portfolio management
Portfolio management is a critical skill. First you need to define your investment goals, and consider your tolerance of risk. Based on that self-appraisal you have to make choices about the types of asset, the shares, the sectors and the countries you invest in. Thirdly you have to keep adjusting your portfolio to keep it in line with your goals. This course shows why portfolio management is an essential skill for every private investor, not just the professionals.
| Technical analysis I
The tutorial explains the origins of technical analysis, how it relates to fundamental analysis, and how to draw and interpret simple price and volume charts for shares. It covers the theory and practice of the main techniques at an introductory level, and is complimentary to 'Technical Analysis II'.
| Technical analysis II
The tutorial builds on our first TA course - Technical Analysis I. It explains how to calculate moving averages, how to plot them on a chart, and how to interpret them. It then looks at common reversal patterns: head and shoulders tops and bottoms, double tops and bottoms, rounding tops and bottoms, broadening formations, and rising and falling wedges. Finally it looks at momentum indicators and oscillators, and at the Relative Strength Indicator. Example charts are used in all cases.
| Traditional corporate equity warrants
Warrants are for experienced investors who have an understanding of risk, and who want to exploit the gearing potential in warrants. This is one of the more hidden - and thereby inefficient - areas of the market, offering interesting opportunities to the shrewd investor.
| Value investing
Value investing is one of the key strategies for making money in the stock market. At its core is the idea of buying something for less than it is worth. This course explains the techniques that value investors use to identify undervalued shares, the numerical analysis they do, the sectors where value investing traditionally works best, and the rules for selling stocks.
| When to sell
Most investors think hard about what shares to buy and when to buy them, but give far less time to their selling strategy. Big mistake! This course rams home the critical importance of having a proper selling strategy, explains various mechanical and judgement-based methods that are commonly used, and shows how to decide which one is appropriate for you.
| Covered Warrants I
Warrants are for experienced investors who have an understanding of risk, and who want to exploit the gearing potential in warrants.
| Spread betting
Make money whichever way the market is heading, pay no capital gains tax, leverage small stakes into big profits, change your bet as frequently as you want - it all sounds too good to be true! But there must be something in it because share investors are turning to spread betting in their thousands. Find out how it works, what the attractions are, how to limit risk through controlled bets, which strategies work best, and how to open an account with an indexation company.