How the Stock Market Works

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Informative information! How the stock market works is great information for someone new, like me, wanting to learn about how the markets work. Informative information that I recommend for anyone new interested in learning!
Date published: 2019-12-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A solid introduction I'm an economist, so I bought this course to pick up some tips on how to present this material to undergraduates and to have something to possibly recommend to friends. While I have a few quibbles, overall I think Dr. DeGennaro did an excellent job presenting the material for a general audience interested in investing in the stock market. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend the course to friends or students, because it emphasizes the difficulty of "beating the market" and the need to take a well-considered approach to risk while also getting started on saving goals today. One word of caution that I'd offer is that, as is appropriate given its title, this is not a course on financial planning in general. But I do think anyone new to investing would get a lot of value from this course in conjunction with learning more about financial planning or talking to an appropriate adviser.
Date published: 2019-09-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Cours definitely It was s great informative course for me. It really prepared me what to expect when getting stocks...
Date published: 2019-04-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from I'm half way through. I enjoy it alot. I am learning. Good content and understandable.
Date published: 2019-01-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent Intro to the Stock Market I've always wanted to start investing but I was clueless about the stock market and how it works. This gave me a great survey of what the market is, what stocks and bonds are, and best long-term strategies for beginner investors. Professor DeGennaro is very knowledgeable and simplifies things without watering them down, while letting us know what's important to learn about. It might be too basic for someone more seasoned with the market, but for a complete newbie this is a fantastic introduction that'll help you start investing.
Date published: 2019-01-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Solid introduction to investing Really enjoyed the course and my time was well spent. This course gives any viewer a solid foundation or baseline to start investing with confidence or to just study their portfolio statements. But it's just a start and uses very simple examples to illustrate points. And while it does offer a brief historical overview of the stock market, I guess I was wishing the historical aspect was more substantial. Only 4 stars due to its rudimentary nature. Professor DeGennaro did a fine job. No complaints. He's actually kind of funny in a sneaky way. Kept my attention throughout. I'd like to see another course by this professor.
Date published: 2019-01-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good basic overview of the stock market. I have a good understanding of investments and learned new ways to look at the market.
Date published: 2018-09-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Investing Outstanding content — superb lectures on the subject.
Date published: 2018-08-30
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Too Elementary I purchased this course in order to learn more about investing in stocks. The course--at least for me--was disappointing because it was so "basic"; it presented a general understanding of how the stock market works, but it was pitched at such a low level that it seemed too simplistic at times. Also, I found it dated--the most recent references were to 2013. Finally, I found some of the advice to be either wrong or contradictory. The most glaring was "sell your losers and ride your winners." The general wisdom is "buy low and sell high."
Date published: 2018-06-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Clear! Covers every item for you to start trading with more confidence.
Date published: 2018-04-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Good advice based on common sense. I've invested in the stock/bond market for many years. Yet I benefitted from this course because it convinced me that complicated strategies are no better (and no worse) than simple ones. And simple strategies are, well, simpler and less time consuming. It saved me time, effort and added greater clarity to my thinking. Thank you.
Date published: 2018-03-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from For learners on the go All it takes is one course and your hooked you are going to want another and another.
Date published: 2018-03-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from More background would've been handy This course wasn't dumbed down enough for me (background in science and engineering, with very little knowledge of finance and the like).
Date published: 2017-12-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Clear and pragmatic Excellent course that covers some general investment advice in addition to its stock market focus. Clear examples. Pragmatic approach. For example, Professor DeGennaro teaches how to read key items from a company's financial statements but asserts you don't have to study everything before investing. I especially appreciated his perspective and advice about letting go of investments that “got away.”
Date published: 2017-12-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Stock Market video My husband and I are long time stock market investors, but always thought we needed to know more about how it all works. This Great Courses video does the trick.
Date published: 2017-06-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic Video & Great Analogies This was my very first course from the Great Courses. When I first started this course, I had some basic knowledge of how the stock market worked, but now, this video helped enhance that knowledge so I have a better understanding of how everything works. I really like the Professor's analogies that he uses in the video. I was formerly in the Navy, so I definitely liked his analogy of the USS Scorpion disaster and the statistical probability of finding the wreckage. I liked the way he correlated that with the statistical probability of predicting stock market prices and price movements. I really liked the lesson on the types of stock market orders. I also liked the manner in which he toned down the vocabulary, so it's not too complex. It was easy to follow along.
Date published: 2017-05-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent Course on All Things Stock Market Excellent overviews of the stock market and of investing in general including best practices/strategies. Pluses: • A great explanation of the investment vehicles available • Eye-opening insights into what drives the stock market and general principles of investing and the examples of its benefits Minuses: • While the professor was generally good at explaining investment vehicles, there were a few cases in which a simple example or two would’ve really helped one to understand the concept a little better (for example I still get lost trying to understand bonds) This is a course for all ages and levels. If you just want to understand how the stock market works and the different investment vehicles I'd recommend this course. If you are intermediate and want good reinforcement of best practices such as diversification, dollar cost averaging, re-balancing, and long-term vision I would recommend this course. If you are advanced then you will love some of the debates such as the efficient market theory. So yes: I'd recommend this for anyone and everyone!
Date published: 2017-02-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A ground, up Tutorial on "The Stock Market" This was a surprisingly in-depth course, made easy by the "from square one to square 'n'" approach of the very knowledgeable Professor. As with the Learning Company's course, "Banking & Wealth, What everyone should know", this slightly faster pace leaves no one behind; presenting topics as if easily-traversed stepping stones. When looking back on my investing history, I wish I had had such a tutorial at the outset. It would have prevented numerous errors in my approach. I HIGHLY recommend this course (among others at TLC) for anyone interested in oozing into the stock market safely.
Date published: 2017-01-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I usually get grouchy every time I try to learn more about investing. It seems there is a long litany of terms and discrete bits of information that lead nowhere. This course, however, started at the beginning and built up understanding through simple concepts I grasped immediately. Thank you for giving me a more cohesive understanding and the confidence to continue learning. I hope this teacher gives a course on bonds.
Date published: 2016-11-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I love The Great Courses I love the fact that I can attend a college level course and not have to commute and pay all the tuition expenses. I can stop the video when I don't understand and clear it up before I move forward. This way I can get a full understanding of what the Professor is talking about. Also, it's wonderful how I can get the best professor in the field and "personally" give me his lecture. This is the way college ought to be taught. Thank you for bringing these Great Courses to us. It has enriched my life immensely. Gary
Date published: 2016-10-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from How the Stock Market Works is the only course of the 3 that I recently bought that I've listened to and completed. It was very well done. I'm heading off on a trip now and will not be listening to any courses for some time.
Date published: 2016-09-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Exceptional amount of info in an easy format The course coverage is comprehensive and very understandable. For me, I should have had this course a long time ago but having been lucky and received advice at certain times, my investment strategy has worked fairly well. I am now at an MRD age and have had the benefit of making reasonable investments but the course content is excellent to know. The instructor has a very easy manner and excellent presentation of the complexities of the market. Several topics were new to me and I will do additional follow up eg. short selling, options and ETF funds. There are more technical stock market courses but this is a great place to start.
Date published: 2016-08-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Outstanding course... Dr. DeGennaro presents the course material in a very comprehensive manner while keeping the content highly relevant to average investor - not unnecessarily theoretical. His delivery is very professional and yet witty, which makes the course very engaging. I have been a Great Courses customer for years, and this course is one of the best that I have seen. This course is highly recommended.
Date published: 2016-07-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Review of How the Stock Market Works “We’ll learn what stocks actually are and how they are traded. We’ll learn about the risks you’ll take if you invest in stocks, and why you might find buying them attractive despite those risks.” Ramon DeGennaro, a Professor in Banking and Finance at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, explains the reality and the myths of the stock market in his illuminating course, How the Stock Market Works. Published by The Great Courses, this series of 24 lectures can help both students and parents become much more conversant with the language of money and finance and the advantages and disadvantages of buying stocks. Dr. DeGennaro provides insightful explanations of key concepts that are often baffling to the average person. He explains the origins of the stock market, the idea of risk and expected returns, and the benefits of compound interest applied to investments over a long period of time. This course also overviews how to evaluate corporations, how mutual funds work, how to choose a brokerage firm and minimize transaction costs, and trading strategies and common mistakes. His analysis of the stock market suggests two crucial lessons. First, “the historical record tells us that you can make a good deal of money investing in stocks”, especially if you have a diversified portfolio held for longer periods of time. Second, “don’t waste your time and money trying to beat the market.” In other words, no one has been able to consistently find a way to pick specific winners and losers in the stock market. Claims that investment counselors can provide huge returns routinely to clients should be viewed skeptically: “The truth is pretty simple: There’s no free lunch. If a deal sounds too good to be true, then it is probably is.” “The stock market is like a teenager,” he wryly notes in explaining efforts to predict the stock market. “Researchers have tried to analyze large one-day market moves to determine their causes but have been unable to find answers.” In other words, the behavior of the stock market from day to day is beyond explanation, a phenomenon also experienced by many parents of adolescents. Dr. DeGennaro also provides lots of practical advice for the personal investor. His final lecture, “Investing with Confidence”, outlines how to understand your financial position, how to set financial goals, and how to start investing. This advice is tempered with the behavioral biases that can influence the individual investor. For instance, the “overconfidence bias” is the belief that you have a skill that others don’t. The “loss-aversion bias” is “the tendency to avoid admitting a mistake or accepting a bad outcome.” How the Stock Market Works is an entertaining course that will appeal to students from middle school and beyond and also to the parents of these students. Dr. DeGennaro helps his viewers understand the mechanics of money and investment. These topics are seldom the subject of educational curriculum despite their importance. This course can be recommended to all families who want to learn more about the world of the stock market.
Date published: 2016-06-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Stocked with Good Information I need to explain my motivation and experience for this review to be helpful. If you are coming from a different place (more or less experienced with the stock market) then you may have a very different experience. I consider myself moderately experienced with the stock market. I have diligently invested in stocks for more than a decade with the goal of saving for the future. Don't get me wrong, I'm not talking about investing large sums but just some extra savings that I hope will someday be worth more in the stock market than sitting in my bank account getting less than one percent interest. I have read numerous books on stock investing and trading, so I cannot say that I learned too much new information from this course, though it was interesting to hear this professor's perspective and a refresher is always welcome. The professor's presentation style is clear and approachable. One of my main motivations for watching was to see if this course would be helpful to my daughter when she is a little older. I am very frustrated with the lack of personal finance taught in school, and I am doing my best to teach it at home. The good news is that I think this course will work for my daughter when she is in late high school. The course is taught at a relatively basic level and does not include advanced issues like options trading and technical analysis. This lack of complexity is bad in the sense that the course does not have a lot to offer to a moderately experienced investor such as myself but good in the sense that it will be perfect for my daughter's personal finance education. That being said, I do not want to make this course sound too rudimentary. It strikes a nice balance between being basic and packing in most of the information that a new investor needs to know. My wish is for the Great Courses to make another course taught by this same professor entitled Advanced Stock Market Techniques and provide information more relevant to moderately skilled investor.
Date published: 2016-05-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Thank you for your valuable tips Well balanced and clear. Debunks a lot of misconceptions and educates on the important things to know. Dr. DeGennaro presents each idea with a recent example. He limits his equations to one. Very up to date.
Date published: 2016-02-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Worth Every Penny. This Course Pays For Itself I wish my high school economics instructor was as easy to understand and as well informed as this instructor. He takes his time in explaining the concept that he talks about, but he has a knack of keeping the lecture moving along without feeling rushed. This guy is gifted at explaining complex ideas in a non-technical way that makes common sense. It is easier to remember what I learned if I understand the thought process and can put that idea into practice. Everything he talks about is useful if you are thinking about investing in the stock market. It doesn't matter if you want to invest in bonds, or stocks, or even mutual funds. The basic principles of avoiding the hidden fees and lowering your tax bill are universal. I found out why I never want to buy a fund before its distribution date (because you will buy the fund, and then get some of your money back along with a tax bill). How many times have I done that without ever knowing? The tax bill doesn't really tell me how I generated those charges in a manner that means anything to me, so I have racked some unnecessary charges over the years because of my ignorance. That is an example of the practical knowledge you will gain in this course. It pays for itself. I can't recommend this course highly enough. It is outstanding in both presentation, content, and usefulness.
Date published: 2016-01-30
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Title should be "Investing in the Market" The title of this course is completely misleading. It is really a course on investing for the long term. It does cover the basics of the stock market, but most of the time is spent on the various instruments of investment. I was hoping for some more on the invisible mechanics of the market. Instead my final take away was the all investment products are fairly priced, because the market guarantees fair pricing, and that buy and hold is the only investment strategy that works. My first disappointing course.
Date published: 2015-09-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Hits the Mark ! Professor DeGennaro explains the Stock Market function in a straightforward compelling manner with great examples. His delivery style is second to none, by keeping you focused with a great delivery style, and better yet great charts and examples. I found this approach lacking in other financial courses. If you are a student of the financial world, this is the course for you. You will be compelled to keep going thru the courses until you master the knowledge. I highly recommend it to any student of the Stock Market and the Financial World.
Date published: 2015-08-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Sophisticated and informative DVD: This was an excellent course, and compared to other TC finance courses, did a better job of preparing one to invest in stocks. The course actually went beyond superficial coverage and presented topics such as IPOs, relation to macroeconomy and IRAs in detail sufficient for practical use. It also had excellent coverage on what actually happens when a customer orders a stock. The professor is very knowledgable, well-paced, and presents the material in a captivating style. My only criticism was at times he would use terms (such as price/earnings ratio or bid-ask spreads) before he actually defined them a few minutes later. Although not too problematic, it did force me to go to the internet a few times to find definitions (Investopedia is a great site for this!) and to return back to review what had just been said. My other criticsm was that it did not cover how the stock market is presented in newspapers such as the Wall Street Journal. I think the course leaves you with enough knowledge to do that on your own, but half a lecture on reading the business section and all those tables would have completed the course. I highly recommend this course. Chances are you will watch it twice. I frequently read the course syllabus after the lecture and this consolidated my learning greatly. In any case, it has the detail that is missing in TC's other finance courses and complements them well.
Date published: 2015-04-24
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How the Stock Market Works
Course Trailer
Is Investing in Your Blood?
1: Is Investing in Your Blood?

Begin the course by exploring the difference between beating the market and investing in it. One carries very high risk, while the other is a much safer strategy. Learn about the human propensity to look for patterns in everything-but are stock returns predictable?

33 min
Understanding Fundamental Securities
2: Understanding Fundamental Securities

Learn how stock is an outgrowth of simple business relationships. Use an ingenious analogy to compare two major types of securities: stocks and bonds. Both are ways to share the assets that a corporation owns and the cash that it produces-but with crucial differences.

31 min
What Is the Stock Market?
3: What Is the Stock Market?

The stock market may be high-tech and getting more sophisticated every year, but it is essentially like markets you already know, such as grocery stores and car dealerships. Armed with this insight, delve into the special features of stock markets and how they work.

29 min
Historical Returns and Volatility
4: Historical Returns and Volatility

Explore the relationship between the risk of investing in stocks and the return you can expect from owning them. Survey the average return on a broad portfolio of stocks held over many decades. Next, focus on the short-term volatility that makes many people understandably nervous.

31 min
Risk, Expected Return, and Diversification
5: Risk, Expected Return, and Diversification

Address the investment advisor's favorite question: Do you want to eat well or do you want to sleep well? Analyze your risk tolerance in simple role-playing games. Then investigate strategies for limiting risk and improving your odds of making money in the long run.

30 min
What Determines How Much You'll Make
6: What Determines How Much You'll Make

Learn the most important formula in investing-the simple equation for compounding earnings. Then focus on the three variables that determine how much money you'll have at the end of an investment. Most people worry too much about the one variable that they can't reliably control.

29 min
The Efficient Market Hypothesis
7: The Efficient Market Hypothesis

Delve into evidence that beating the market is hard even for seasoned professionals. According to the efficient market hypothesis, stock prices are almost always fair, with very few bargains available for sharp-eyed investors. Examine different scenarios and evidence that support this view.

29 min
Choosing a Brokerage Firm
8: Choosing a Brokerage Firm

Walk through the steps for choosing a brokerage firm, which can be as simple as going online and filling out an application or as involved as interviewing multiple firms to find the right fit. Analyze your needs, and dispel misconceptions that you may have about brokers.

30 min
Trading and Investing Basics
9: Trading and Investing Basics

Explore how stock trades are made. Then look at ways you can place orders tailor-made to your needs. For example, you can avoid the emotion of spur-of-the moment decisions by specifying in advance when to buy or sell a stock. Also learn the mechanics of short selling.

31 min
Trading Strategies and Common Mistakes
10: Trading Strategies and Common Mistakes

Review a range of useful trading strategies, and identify some common trading mistakes, such as confirmation bias, overconfidence, and loss aversion. Finally, survey the fascinating world of options, looking at cases when it makes sense to use them.

30 min
The Language of Financial Reporting
11: The Language of Financial Reporting

Dispel the mystery surrounding financial reporting by analyzing three important documents: the corporate balance sheet, income statement, and cash flow statement. You can think of these as analogous to your personal mortgage application, tax return, and checking account statement.

30 min
Corporate Analysis and Valuation
12: Corporate Analysis and Valuation

Dig deeper into corporate finance by looking at different ways to value a corporation. Study the price-earnings ratio, book value, liquidation value, and other measures, evaluating their strengths and weaknesses. In the process, learn terms that are widely used by financial analysts in the media.

33 min
Mutual Funds and Other Investment Companies
13: Mutual Funds and Other Investment Companies

Probe the tremendous growth of mutual funds, one of the most successful examples of financial innovation in history. Examine managed versus index funds, and compare mutual funds with exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

32 min
Minimizing Transaction Costs and Taxes
14: Minimizing Transaction Costs and Taxes

Consider various strategies for minimizing taxes and transactions costs, thereby increasing the rate of return on your investments. Discover the good sense behind two investing mantras: (1) the more you trade, the worse you do; (2) sell your losers, and let your winners ride.

31 min
Tax Shelters-Roths, IRAs, and 401(k) Plans
15: Tax Shelters-Roths, IRAs, and 401(k) Plans

Focus on tax shelters that work for everybody, not just high earners. Traditional IRAs, Roth IRAs, and 401(k) plans offer tax advantages for even the most casual of investors. Review the requirements and advantages of each type of account.

33 min
Making Sense of IPOs
16: Making Sense of IPOs

Initial public offerings, or IPOs, are some of the most glamorous and lucrative events in the stock market. What are they? How do they work? And what can go wrong? Learn what investment banks do to set the share price for an IPO, and then see how unpredictable market forces take over.

31 min
The Stock Market and the Macro Economy
17: The Stock Market and the Macro Economy

Explore national and global economic forces that affect stock prices. Then look at what you should do in a recession. Is there a way to avoid losses? Also examine the purpose and activities of the Federal Reserve System, asking if you need to care about its decisions.

31 min
Investing with Confidence
18: Investing with Confidence

In the last lecture, learn how to analyze your current financial position with the goal of deciding how much to invest and how to allocate your assets in a well-diversified portfolio. Now that you know how the stock market works, it's time to make it work for you!

31 min
Ramon P. DeGennaro

I like teaching things that will let people solve problems for the next 50 years, and if something can be automated, then I don't want to teach it.


The Ohio State University


The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

About Ramon P. DeGennaro

Dr. Ramon P. DeGennaro is the CBA Professor in Banking and Finance at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. In addition, he consults in the areas of business valuation, investments, and financial management and is a Luminary Member of the Angel Capital Group. He also served as a Visiting Scholar at the Federal Reserve Banks of Cleveland and Atlanta and for the American Institute for Economic Research. Professor DeGennaro holds a Ph.D. in Finance from The Ohio State University. At The University of Tennessee, Professor DeGennaro has been nominated for the Allen H. Keally Outstanding Teacher Award, the John B. Ross Outstanding Teaching Award (three times), and the College of Business Outstanding Teaching Award. Professor DeGennaro has presented original research at dozens of professional conferences, and he is the recipient of more than 50 research and professional development grants. His current research involves investments, financial markets, and entrepreneurship. He has published more than 40 refereed articles on investments, financial market volatility, small-firm finance, the term structure of interest rates, financial institutions, and prediction markets. He also has written research reports, book chapters, book reviews, and several Federal Reserve publications.

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