Course Outline

Introduction to ETFs

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The Basics

Estimated time to complete:   12 hours.

Course description:   This is an introductory class on exchange traded funds. We assume you have some basic knowledge of the stock market but it is OK that you don't have a lot of experience with ETFs. This class is an online class that involves a lot of reading of concepts and studying data. We go into detail, so that you will have an in-depth understanding of the ETF market by the time you are done. We also have you study quite a few actual ETFs.

Prerequisites:   Some basic knowledge of the U.S. stock market.

Recommended Way To Take The Class:    It is an online class, which gives you the flexibility to take the class however you can, whenever you can. Our suggestion is to try to find solid blocks of time of at least two or three hours where you can focus on the class. Better yet, set aside an entire day to taking the class, so that you really focus, and "dig in".

To Complete The Course:   You must pass our online exam with a score of at least 70%.

Price:   $100.00

Course Outline

You complete the class by completing 67 steps, organized into sections. It should take you about 15 hours.

Section 1, Stock Market Basics
In this section, we cover a lot of facts about the stock market. You might know some of this material already, but we try to make every article contain at least one or two sets of facts that even experienced investors may not know or remember.
Section 2, Investment Fund Types
This is a review of the different investment fund types in the U.S., with a focus on comparing and contrasting ETFs against the other three major fund types (mutual funds, closed end funds, and hedge funds).
Section 3, What is an ETF?
In this section we introduce you to the basics of how ETFs work.
Section 4, Research Tools
This section is designed to introduce you to some of the tools you can use to research ETFs.
Section 5, Smart Beta ETFs
In this section we introduce you to smart beta ETFs, which are ETFs designed to outperform the market as a whole.
Section 6, Global Stock Markets
This section covers introductory material on global stock markets. ETFs make it easy to invest in foreign stock markets. But there is some basic background information about foreign stock markets that everyone should understand. Topics covered include 1) international stock stock exchanges and symbology; 2) what is an ADR? and 3) an overview of China's complex stock market.
Section 7, Global Stocks ETFs
This section covers the largest, most popular global stock ETFs. As part of this section, we will also make sure you understand key global stock indexes.
Section 8, Bond ETFs
This section covers introductory material that all investors should know about the bond markets. The focus is to make sure you understand the affect of changing interest rates on the value of a bond. After that, we have you study some of the largest bond ETFs, with a focus on "core" bond ETFs.
Section 9, Special Security Types
Special security types are securities traded on U.S. exchanges that are not common stocks: preferred stocks, MLPs, BDCs, closed end funds, mortgage REITs, and convertible bonds. Each of these securities has some unique attributes that investors need to understand. We discuss each security and then also have you study some of the ETFs that buy these special security types.
Section 10, Other ETFs
In this section we cover other types of ETFs (commodity and leveraged ETFs).
Section 11, Wrapping up
Final steps - you are almost done. We ask that you take our online test and answer at least 75% of the questions correctly.

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