Some ‘free’ investment courses are a sham
September 24, 2015
Beware that sometimes free investment courses can be a slick way to sell you something.
Let’s start with the basics. Nothing is free and when something is advertised as such you should immediately put your guard up.
For years I have been skeptical seeing various courses advertised. They often look like a sham.
My belief is that education is a basic foundation for both life and a career. The idea of lifelong learning makes a lot of sense.
When self-serving investment advertising is promoted as education, then in my opinion businesses have crossed the line. Society would be better off if those selling a product or service were fully transparent as to their objective.
If a business is trying to sell you something there should be no misunderstanding. Under no circumstances should they disguise themselves in an educational camouflage.
Go ahead and entertain yourself and Google ‘free investment courses’ and make your own opinion on whether these are useful or misleading.
One website suggested that investing a few hours in their course would change your life. They suggested they would identify when supply and demand are out of balance and a stock price is about to move.
Call me a skeptic on this one. Assuming their motivation is profit I would suggest that if they really had the magic formula they would be selling it to the highest bidder and not give it away for free.
To promote that all that is required is a couple of hours to learn these magic tricks is in itself absurd.
The idea that they are going to give away some life-altering financial formula is a bit of a stretch.
Yes, in some cases individuals have bought or sold investments that have proved to be profitable but the truth is that is based on luck, not skill. If anyone had that skill their investment success would be repeatable.
If that ability were repeatable then there would be a history of certain money managers and or investors regularly making trades that were profitable. The number of “successful” managers is so small that it can be attributed to just plain luck.
There is no evidence in the academic literature that some “star managers” consistently best the market. There is no such thing when you look at publicly available investment performance of investment managers.
My concern on investment courses does not just apply to ones that are free. Just because you pay for a course does not mean the content will lead to the profits that you had hoped.
As much as we would all love to get rich quick there is no such thing. Investing is all about basics.
Consider any misleading investment course that implies you can easily profit from a few simple ideas to a theft: Theft of your better judgment.
Having investments and personal property requires you to guard them. Yes there are those who would want to take them from you.
Trust your instincts and when something does not feel right be cautious. Do not be fooled by investment courses that are just intended to make you buy investment services.