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Best Free Online Finance Courses
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Imagine being able to take a course in finance from Duke University, MIT, or Yale. Now imagine being able to do so for free. Now stop imagining and look at ten of the very best free online finance courses available in the United States. Students now have unlimited access to the critical and multifaceted sector of finance in these highly accessible MOOC courses. While these courses are free, their value is high. These free courses are delivered by top-notch business schools and respected faculty experts in business, finance, and academia. Whether students are interested in behavioral finance, fintech, or corporate finance, there are top-rated free online finance courses that are beneficial for the newly graduated or seasoned professional.

Applying Data Analytics in Finance – University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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Applying Data Analytics in Finance is a free course that is part of the 100% online Master of Science in Accountancy at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Business students admitted to the entire program will have their courses count towards their degree learning. This course is an excellent introduction to the overview of financial analytics.

Distance learners will learn how, why, and when to apply financial analytics in real-world scenarios. Students will also explore techniques used in analyzing time series data and the intricacies of evaluating the risk-reward trade-off present in modern portfolio theory. While most of the focus is on the prices, returns, and potential risks of corporate stocks, the analytical techniques are leveraged in other domains. Finally, an introduction to algorithmic trading rounds out the course. After completing this free online finance course, students should comprehend time series data, design forecasts, and determine the efficacy of their estimates. This course matters because understanding financial data is an essential skill of an analyst and consultant.

Behavioral Finance – Duke University

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People make thousands of decisions every day. Do I cross the street now or wait for the oncoming bus to pass? Should I eat a burger or a salad for lunch? We usually make these decisions instinctively, using what psychologists refer to as “heuristics” – general rules of thumb that help us navigate our lives.

Without these mental shortcuts, we would be hampered by the multitude of daily choices. But in some circumstances, these shortcuts lead to predictable errors – predictable if we know what to monitor. For example, did you know that we naturally lean towards selling investments that are performing well for us and tend to hold on to those performing poorly? Or that we often select less-than-optimal insurance plans while routinely purchasing insurance that we don’t need? Behavioral Finance is a free online course at Duke University that deals with studying these and many more financial decision-making errors that can be avoided if we know about the biases that cause them. The course examines these predictable errors and explains where we are most susceptible to them.

Finance for Everyone: Smart Tools for Decision-Making – University of Michigan

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Are you interested in learning how to think clearly about critical financial decisions and ways to improve your financial literacy? Finance for Everyone: Smart Tools for Decision-Making from the University of Michigan showcases the power and beauty of finance. This free online introductory finance course acts as a gateway into the world of finance and examines multiple applications to apply to one’s everyday life.

Enrolled distance learners understand how to use frameworks and tools to make wise financial choices. Starting with the time value of resources, the free online course helps students develop a full appreciation for the many finance applications. Using real-world case studies, the course enables students to understand and analyze many professional and personal decisions we confront daily. Students enrolled in this course will also learn stocks and bonds, allocate scarce resources in a value-add operation, and adopt innovative techniques to make everyday decisions.

Financial Accounting – University of Maryland

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A glance at an organization’s financial statements – which reflect the firm’s performance – reveals a wealth of data about its history, financial health, and future potential. This is why successful business leaders use accounting to explain their organization’s financial information to shareholders, potential investors, regulators, and lenders. Financial accounting allows a company’s leaders to make intelligent business decisions and helps investors better comprehend company value.

In Financial Accounting at the University of Maryland, online students will learn how to interpret and process financial statements so they can speak confidently on economic indicators like shareholders’ equity, assets, liabilities, and goodwill. This free course teaches students how to explain the three financial statements core to any organization–the income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statements–and analyze how they reflect leadership decisions. By the end of this free online finance course, students know how to use financial accounting as a strategic tool in understanding and growing a business.

Financial Analysis for Decision Making – Babson College

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How does one find the money needed to manage one’s business effectively? How can you be sure a business opportunity is worthwhile? How do you gauge timing for investing in a stock, bond, or company? Does the financial side of growing an organization create anxiety? The free finance course known as Financial Analysis for Decision Making presented by Babson College will take the mystery and fear out of financial analysis and help students make the right business decisions.

To properly establish a company, leaders need to secure funding. Once they have money, they need to determine the most effective and efficient use of their capital. Leaders also need to possess the ability to carry on engaging and professional conversations with finance professionals who direct access to funding. Students enrolled in this free online course will discover various options for funding their businesses and negotiate financial meetings successfully. They will also learn how to evaluate ideas to determine the appropriate costs and benefits to screening them correctly.

Financial Markets – Yale University

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Yale University‘s Financial Markets is a free online course that offers an overview of the ideas, institutions, and methods that allow human society to manage risks and foster enterprise. There is a heavy emphasis on financially-savvy leadership skills and knowledge. Course content also includes a description of modern practices and an analysis of prospects for the future. Introduction to behavioral finance and risk management principles to understand the real-world operations of securities, insurance, and banking industries is included.

The ultimate goal of this free online finance course is learning to use such industries effectively and for a better society. The course’s opening module shows distance learners the basics of financial markets, CAPM (Capital Asset Pricing Model), and insurance. The introducing module serves as the foundation of the entire course. Students dive into some details of behavioral finance, debt, forecasting, pricing, and inflation in the second module. Instructors also explain what stocks, bonds, market caps, dividends, and shares are, who needs them, and why. Financial Markets’ final module explores economic concepts, corporation and organizational basics, and some rudimentary financial markets history.

Fintech: Blockchain for Business and Finance – University of Texas at Austin

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Fintech: Blockchain for Business and Finance is a free online course offered by the University of Texas at Austin as the second in a series of business courses on financial technology, also known as Fintech. The distance course provides a business-oriented overview of cryptocurrencies, blockchain technology, and distributed ledgers.

Course designers have structured it into four main modules. In the first one, students learn about cryptography. Having a working understanding of hashing functions and decryption is essential to understanding blockchain technology. Students dive deep into distributed ledger technology in the second module, from creating transactions to validating transactions. The third module includes looking at blockchain technology business applications. The class talks about cryptocurrencies, enterprise applications of blockchain, and digital wallets and exchanges. The free course concludes with a Prof. Tej Anand interview. He is an award-winning business-technology strategist, advisor, and educator who teaches blockchain technology courses at the University of Texas at Austin.

Foundations of Modern Finance I – Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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Foundations of Modern Finance I is the first half of a two-part course offered by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. It is a free online finance course featured as part of the MicroMasters Program in Finance. The course includes a rigorous and comprehensive introduction to modern finance fundamentals and their applications to business challenges in investments, valuation, and corporate financial strategies under a unified framework.

Completing this free program will help finance students prepare for a career as financial analysts, financial advisors, vice presidents for finance, chief financial officers, and more. Finance provides a core function in all productive economies by providing a mechanism for savings, liquidity, and investment. Whether the student resides in an industrialized country or a developing country, financial realities and services are needed to smooth the economy. This free online course is an excellent preparatory experience for anyone planning to take the CFA exams.

How Software Ate Finance – Stanford University

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How Software Ate Finance by Stanford University shows business students how software is metaphorically eating the world and creating radical consequences on financial services and organizations. This free online finance course gives students a foundation for understanding the future of financial services and provides them with guidance on creating fintech businesses in the 2020s and beyond.

Distance learners enrolled in this online course can apply for a sharable certificate at the program’s conclusion. The course also features flexible deadlines so students can customize their course deadlines to meet the needs of their professional and personal schedules. Program designers have placed an approximate time of completion at sixteen hours. The course is taught by R. Martin Chavez and Jeffrey Conn of the Graduate School of Business. Enrolled students can expect four weeks of the curriculum with seven videos and two readings for the entire course. Course reviewers find the class favorable.

Introduction to Corporate Finance – Columbia University

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Columbia University‘s Introduction to Corporate Finance is a free online finance course where students will understand time-honored financial rules and concepts and then see how these can be applied to value firms, stocks, and bonds. Enrolled students will also gain exposure to the ideas of capital budgeting, the time value of money, and the cost of capital. Distance learners will be using Excel for much of the course, including finding IRR, valuing bonds and stocks, and computing NPV.

This is an introductory finance course required for all first-year Columbia Business School MBA students. The course is taught by a world-class instructor who actively trains the next generation of Wall Street market leaders. Students from all backgrounds are prepared to participate on the world’s financial playing field. The course’s curriculum also covers how to value assets, decide which projects to reject, and compute the return on projects. Finance students will not want to pass up this excellent course.

Next Steps

These free finance courses are delivered by some of the most reputable business schools and universities on the planet. Upon finding a course that sparks your interest, it will be time to take some steps for their completion. First, make sure to read all of the course requirements for technical and online compatibility. Once you are sure you have the right resources for the free online course, make sure how long the course lasts and how much work per week you will be responsible for. It would be less than optimal to begin a course only to realize you don’t have the margin of time needed and be forced to exit the course. It is important to remember that some of these courses are identical to some found within the nation’s best finance degrees. The final step will be to decide if you want to simply dive in and register for your free online finance course or choose to pay a nominal fee to receive a certificate at the completion of the class. Happy learning!

Related Resources:

Best Online Finance MBA
Best Online Master’s in Finance Management
Ultimate Guide for Financial Managers
Ultimate Guide for Financial Advisors
What is an Associate’s in Finance Degree?
What is a Bachelor’s in Finance Degree?
What is a Master’s in Finance Degree?
What is a Doctorate in Finance Degree?

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Get our emails in your inbox, and you’ll get acceptance letters in your mailbox

Find Your Degree

Find Your Degree