Investment and Personal Finance Resources
The Internet's Best Education Resources
Freelearninglist.org, an initiative of SchoolofThought.org maintains a list of the top educational resources on the internet. Scope is way beyond finance and investing.
Online Education Platforms
This is a list of the large online education platforms. They offer pretty much anything to study. Courses that provide you with a certificate often cost money, but you can take many classes for free if you don't care about the certificate.
Also, go to Study.com for a large catalogue of resources and additional references to online education resources. They also have a Guide to Budgeting in College for Students that may be of interest to you.
Podcasts / Blogs
- Invest Like the Best with Patrick O'Shaughnessy
- Acquired with Ben Gilbert and David Rosenthal
- Capital Allocators with Ted Seides
- The Grant Williams Podcast
- The Investor’s Podcast Network
- How I Built This with Guy Raz. Guy Raz dives into the stories behind some of the world's best known companies. How I Built This weaves a narrative journey about innovators, entrepreneurs and idealists—and the movements they built.
- a16z by Andreessen Horowitz
- The Knowledge Project with Shane Parrish, Master the best of what other people have already figured out.
- The Financial Samurai with Sam Dogen
- The College Investor Audio Show, by Robert Farrington
- The Stacking Benjamins Show
- A ton of insight on what matters in your professional life: 100 Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me After College And Before I Entered The Real World
- Awesome page focused on making you a better student: College Info Geek
- A collection of short courses - highly condensed: 5 Minute Finance by the Milken Institute
- A good, general and very comprehensive personal finance site: The Balance
- A good source for general investor education: Lyn Alden Investment Strategy
- Tutorials on doing Time Value of Money Calculations with different calculators and Excel: www.tvmcalcs.com
- Blockchain literature: Dan Romero Crypto Reading
News and market information
Investment Management Firms
- www.swanbitcoin.com - they published a free book introducing and explaining cryptocurrency, which can be found here.
The good old textbooks are somewhat a thing of the past. They are not cheap but are very comprehensive. They tend to be very good reference books that belong into the library of a diligent student and with a handful of books, you cover pretty much all the relevant skill areas.
- Brealey, Myers, Allen: Principles of Corporate Finance
- Koller et al, Valuation: Measuring and Managing the Value of Companies
- Bodie, Kane, Marcus, Investments
- Fabozzi, The Handbook of Fixed Income Securities
- Cowen, Tabarrok, Modern Principles of Economics
There are so many investment books out there, and it seems like everybody has their own favorites. Here is a list of the more classic ones and some I found interesting and practically relevant (in alphabetical order):
- Ammous, The Bitcoin Standard
- Berkshire Hathaway, Letters to Shareholders
- Peter Bernstein’s books. This is a kindle link to four of his books, all great reads
- Bogle, The Little Book of Common Sense Investing: The Only Way to Guarantee Your Fair Share of Stock Market Returns
- Greenblatt, The Little Book That Beats the Market
- Housel, The Psychology of Money
- Kaufman et al, Poor Charlie's Almanack: The Wit and Wisdom of Charles T. Munger
- Maggiulli, Just Keep Buying: Proven Ways to Save Money and Build Your Wealth
- Malkiel, A Random Walk Down Wall Street
- Malkiel, The Elements of Investing
- Mallouk, The 5 Mistakes Every Investor Makes and How to Avoid Them: Getting Investing Right
- Marks, The Most Important Thing Illuminated: Uncommon Sense for the Thoughtful Investor
- Siegel, Stocks for the Long Run
- Swensen, Unconventional Success: A Fundamental Approach to Personal Investment
- Pretty much all books of Nassim Taleb are great
- Thaler, Misbehaving
- Thorp, A Man for all Markets
- Zuckerman, The Man Who Solved the Market: How Jim Simons Launched the Quant Revolution
Some really good, more general business books that I think are must reads:
- Christensen, The Innovator’s Dilemma
- Feld and Mendelson, Venture Deals: Be Smarter Than Your Lawyer and Venture Capitalist
- Horowitz, The Hard Thing about Hard Things
- Trout, Differentiate or Die
- Thiel, Zero to One
Noteworthy Instructional Videos
- In Pursuit of the Perfect Portfolio - an interview series with investment legends and Nobel laureates
- Ray Dalio produced a great 30 minute video on how the economy works: How The Economic Machine Works
- William Ackman: Everything You Need to Know About Finance and Investing in Under an Hour
- Creating Value by McKinsey
The Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation is the gold standard for the financial industry. It is governed by the CFA Institute, which continuously updates the curriculum to keep it relevant and applicable. It requires successful passing of three consecutive levels of fairly comprehensive and difficult exams. To carry the designation, one also has to have at least four years of relevant professional experience. As an ambitious Finance undergraduate, one can pursue the Level 1 exam during Senior year.
They also offer the Investment Foundation Program which is an excellent, free, introductory course introducing students to the various aspects of the investment management industry.
The third program they offer is the Certificate in Investment Performance Measurement (CIPM®). This is a fairly specialized, technical, niche program, not recommended for the early years in your career.
All of their programs cost money, and there are third parties who offer study programs to prepare you for the tests (especially the CFA), which also cost money but essentially summarize the large amount of content down to more digestible learning units. Two to consider are:
Note that sometimes they have free resources for you to tap into. For example, Schweser/Kaplan offered free 'MasterClasses' for the Level 1 curriculum which are nine 2-hour videos.
Corporate Finance Institute
The Corporate Finance Institute offers a series of online education resources that are practical and tailored to develop skills for a career start in corporate finance or investment management. They offer a series of free courses covering the absolute essentials, such as Excel, analysis of financial statements, intro to corporate finance and economics, and others.
If you are a student at Trinity University in San Antonio, TX, please use this link to sign up and get access to the free courses. For anyone else, the free courses can be found here.
They also offer certifications that are based on taking numerous courses they have available on their website. The quality of their modules is solid and allows for completely independent and self-paced study. They do cost money but provide you with professionally relevant education and a certificate that has resume value. Currently they offer four certifications, the Financial Modeling & Valuation Analyst Certification, the Certified Banking & Credit Analyst, the Capital Markets and Securities Analyst, and the Business Intelligence and Data Analyst.
There are many other accreditation to pursue, such as the CFP for financial planners, the Series X exams administered by the Financial Industry Regulatory Industry (FINRA) that are applicable to specific professions in the financial industry. It's best to take those based on your actual job you will have after you graduate. Some of those will be required and some will be beneficial to earn while being on the job for a couple of years.
The best career skills to have for any job - WSJ
The following topics are areas that a solid finance education should cover:
- Basic understanding of micro- and macroeconomic principles
- Time value of money and basic financial mathematics
- Valuation of corporate projects, companies and financial securities (TVM applied)
- Reading and understanding financial statements
- Measuring and managing corporate value creation
- Investment instruments and investment management
- Risk management, derivatives and international finance
- Behavioral economics
- Expert-level proficiency in Excel