Long-term investment is one of the best ways to create financial freedom and stability in your life. If you want to take your investment decisions into your own hands, you will have a lot to learn about how financial markets work; or at least, you need to have a good idea of where to turn for advice. We at BrokerChooser have plenty of educational material on investment topics; but in the following pages, we’ll focus mainly on where you, as an independent investor, can seek out information - whether it’s books, apps, or tools provided by your online broker.
Learning from professional sources
Information and learning material about investment comes in many shapes and sizes, from 500-page books to half-minute TikTok videos. Choose whatever format best fits your style or the amount of time you can dedicate to learning. Whatever sources you use for learning about investment, you need to pick them carefully, because any decisions you make based on these can have a major impact on your finances. To make sure you don’t fall for any get-rich-quick nonsense, always have the following questions in mind when looking at investment-related content:
Content quality: Watch out for misleading content that promises too much. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Look for content that is well-researched, thorough or cites credible experts.
Transparency and credibility: Content creators should be transparent and upfront about their identity and their affiliations. It is OK to earn commissions from brokers or financial institutions, and it is OK for brokers themselves to publish educational material, but this should not influence the quality of content or lead to bias.
Visibility: A mass following is not always a guarantee for quality content, but you can probably trust content that draws positive feedback from audiences and favorable reviews from independent critics.
Books on investment
If you really want to dig deep into the world of investment, we encourage you to go the old-fashioned way - books. Here are some timeless and well-researched classics that are also favorites with many members of the BrokerChooser team.
The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham – A classic book on value investing, offering timeless advice on building a solid foundation for long-term financial growth.
One Up on Wall Street by Peter Lynch – This book demystifies Wall Street and provides insights into stock picking from one of the most successful fund managers of all time.
A Random Walk Down Wall Street by Burton G. Malkiel – A comprehensive guide on investing that offers a strong case for the efficient-market hypothesis and encourages a passive investment approach.
Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki – This book challenges conventional financial wisdom and offers a different perspective on personal finance and investing, focusing on building wealth through smart investments. Kiyosaki also runs an excellent YouTube channel (more on those below).
The Little Book That Beats the Market by Joel Greenblatt – A concise, easy-to-read book that introduces the 'magic formula' approach to value investing, simplifying the process of selecting winning stocks.
Best YouTube influencers
No time for books, but still looking for some depth? Your next best bet may be YouTube. There are quite a few great educational channels out there about stock investing. But how do you pick the best ones?
With thousands of financial influencers, or “finfluencers” on YouTube, this is no easy task. To help you cut through the noise, we compiled a shortlist of what we think are the best YouTube channels for those wanting to learn about investment and the stock market. We looked at the quality of the content; who the creators are and what we know about them; the number of followers; and the quality of production.
Investment learning courses and apps
If you’re looking for a more active (or interactive) form of learning, there are many online courses and educational apps on the market. Here are some popular choices for all skill levels:
But before you shell out any money for online courses, be sure to check out our own education section, where we cover all topics from long-term stock and ETF investing to trading other assets such as forex or cryptos.
How brokerages support learning
Books and YouTube channels are great, but online brokers themselves can be a great source of learning material and practical advice about investment topics. Here’s what to look for:
Many (but not all) brokers offer written articles or even videos about stock investing and broader financial market topics, for both beginners and more experienced investors. These are usually accessible within the trading platform, but some brokers also post educational material on their public websites.
You know a little bit about the markets and investing, but you’re still afraid to pull the trigger? In-house analysts at many online brokers dispense useful advice on which stocks to buy, sell or hold. If you think this could help your investment decisions, see below if some of the most popular brokers out there offer such analyst recommendations.
Are you looking for an even more specific recipe for success? Social trading is a great feature that lets you see what assets other people are trading, and how much profit or loss they have made. If you like what you see, you can copy the portfolio of another trader, a feature called copy trading. There’s no guarantee that you’ll repeat their success, but it’s a good place to start if you’re short of trading ideas. Check below if the broker of your choice offers social trading.
Are you ready to move beyond other people’s advice and do your own analysis before investing? Here, the opportunities really open up. Online brokers offer many resources to aid your investment decisions. Here are just a few:
Fundamental data - find out about companies’ business performance and valuation
News feed - stay on top of breaking news about stocks and the general economy
Charting - identify and predict price patterns using various technical indicators
What is long-term investing?
Long-term investing is the buying and holding of securities (typically stocks, ETFs, mutual funds or bonds) for an extended period; generally at least one year but often several years or even decades.
How do I start learning about investing?
First, it’s a good idea to learn how various assets such as stocks, ETFs, bonds or mutual funds work. Online brokers often have useful articles and videos for this.
How can I teach myself about investing?
There are many books, YouTube videos and online courses about investing, while online brokers also often have good educational material.
What classes should I take to learn to invest?
You don’t necessarily need to take actual classes before starting to invest, but it’s a good idea to learn some basics about how the stock market works, and what stocks, ETFs or mutual funds are. Educational material posted by online brokers can be a good source for this.
How do beginners learn to invest?
Aside from educational articles, books and videos, one of the best ways to learn to invest is to open a demo account at an online broker and try your skills using virtual money.