Financial Literacy: Finding Your Way in the Financial Markets

Course No. 5831
Professor Connel Fullenkamp, Ph.D.
Duke University
Share This Course
4.5 out of 5
40 Reviews
87% of reviewers would recommend this product
Course No. 5831
Sale
  • Audio or Video?
  • You should buy audio if you would enjoy the convenience of experiencing this course while driving, exercising, etc. While the video does contain visual elements, the professor presents the material in an engaging and clear manner, so the visuals are not necessary to understand the concepts. Additionally, the audio audience may refer to the accompanying course guidebook for names, works, and examples that are cited throughout the course.
  • You should buy video if you prefer learning visually and wish to take advantage of the visual elements featured in this course. The video version is well illustrated with more than 450 visual elements designed to aid in your understanding of the material, including a walk-through of financial calculations and key points using on-screen text, as well as 30 custom graphics, including animations, diagrams, and instructive graphs and charts.
Streaming Included Free

Course Overview

The financial markets create tremendous opportunities that, for many of us, would otherwise be out of reach. A new home. Your child’s college education. Retirement. Without the ability to borrow and invest, life as we know it simply wouldn’t exist.

Taking full advantage of everything the markets have to offer requires not only becoming familiar with its unique instruments, practices, and risks, but understanding the ways the financial world and your own life are inextricably linked in ways both direct and indirect, visible and obscured.

But with record-breaking highs one minute and economy-rocking lows the next—not to mention arcane rules and ambiguous terminology—it can seem as if there’s no way to feel truly comfortable in this mysterious world. But there is, and it’s more accessible than you might think.

Financial Literacy: Finding Your Way in the Financial Markets is an essential primer on this domain, from its functions, strengths, and possibilities to its weaknesses and vulnerabilities. In 24 eye-opening, plainspoken lectures, award-winning Professor Connel Fullenkamp of Duke University reveals the interconnected workings of the financial markets and how society’s financial strength—and your own—depend on money continuing to move through these channels. You’ll not only gain a new appreciation for the variety of financial products and services available to you, but also for how crucial we as individuals are to the functioning of the entire system.

You’ll clearly see how these markets affect you—and vice versa—any time you’re involved in a financial transaction, whether you’re

  • financing a car;
  • applying for a mortgage;
  • receiving a preapproved credit card offer;
  • participating in your company’s 401K plan; or
  • making a deposit at your local bank.

Introductory in nature but by no means taught at a surface level, this course provides the concepts and tools you need to draw direct connections between headlines made globally and what’s happening to your bottom line locally. By the final lecture, you’ll understand just how interdependent the world’s markets have become; feel newly at ease in the realm of stocks, bonds, mutual funds, derivatives, and credit; and be better able to make informed decisions for your financial future.
Learn the Rules of the Game

To many of us, the financial markets seem to play by their own rules—and those rules make little logical sense. For example, when the unemployment rate rises, the stock market sometimes rises along with it. In a short sale, an asset is sold before it is bought. And in the high-stakes world of mergers and acquisitions, financial transactions are routinely done “on paper,” with massive companies being bought and sold despite no money changing hands. How can this be?

Presuming no prior experience in finance, Financial Literacy unravels these and other riddles as it walks you through the fascinating history of banking, which begins with medieval goldsmiths’ vaults, and the functions of the instruments and institutions that constitute the system as a whole.

Carefully connecting the dots each step of the way, Professor Fullenkamp demystifies industry jargon and explains how businesses, governments, and—primarily—households inject funds into the market, revealing that it’s our money flowing through this labyrinthine network that forms the bedrock of the system.

You’ll start the course with an overview of the six essential jobs the financial markets perform for society and how every financial transaction or product attempts to carry out at least one.

You’ll investigate how the markets

  • transfer resources across time and space, allowing you to buy a home without having the entire purchase price on hand;
  • pool resources and share ownership, making it possible for investors to collaboratively lend money to governments and buy into corporations;
  • discover financial prices, which can have serious consequences if assets are not set at the right level;
  • deal with information problems, thereby mitigating the risks associated with a lack of reliable information about borrowers;
  • clear and settle payments, allowing us to easily purchase items anywhere in the world; and
  • manage risks by providing safety nets with products like insurance.

Along the way, you’ll learn answers to questions you’ve likely pondered, from the reasons hedge funds are permitted to sidestep SEC regulation to what the letter grades used by Standard & Poor’s and other credit rating agencies really mean.

  • How is your credit score calculated?
  • What information do lenders take into consideration when you apply for a loan?
  • Why do some stocks pay dividends while others don’t?
  • What happens to your mortgage after you sign on the dotted line?
  • How do currency exchange rates work, and how do they affect international investments?

Become a More Savvy Financial Consumer

Financial Literacy provides a solid foundation for both would-be investors and those who’ve been participating in this space for years without knowing how all the parts fit into the bigger picture. You’ll find out how stocks get introduced to the market; how U.S. dollars leave the country; and how market regulation actually protects healthy competition. You’ll also learn background on Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and mortgage-backed securities, as well as a plethora of practical information, including

  • how to calculate payments on amortizing loans;
  • why index funds are often a great choice for investors; and
  • how to read a company’s balance sheet and income statement.

In addition, these lectures offer a rare opportunity to peek inside hedge funds and the money market— territory typically closed to the average investor—as well as the turf battles that occur between the government’s appointed “referees.” You’ll also see how technology and the recent economic crisis are changing the rules around the world.

In the second half of the course, you’ll investigate which major economic indicators have the biggest impact on the markets, including central banks like the Federal Reserve. While you may regularly hear this enigmatic entity reported on in the media, you may not fully be aware of how the Fed’s monetary policy affects inflation, bank lending, and interest rates. But you will after you complete this course.

Objective Information from a Sought-After Expert

You could work your way through the bookstore’s entire finance section or watch hours of cable TV shows on money, but you’ll never encounter a better resource for this kind of robust, reliable, unbiased information. As both an accomplished educator and a consultant for the International Monetary Fund, Professor Fullenkamp presents each well-informed lecture in an encouraging, engaging manner that leads you to not only comprehend the material, but to get as excited about it as he does.

Add the professor’s outstanding guidance to the many explanatory graphs, animations, and graphics featured in video formats, and Financial Literacy: Finding Your Way in the Financial Markets yields an unparalleled learning experience. You simply won’t find a worthier investment to develop financial fluency.

Hide Full Description
24 lectures
 |  Average 29 minutes each
  • 1
    Feeling at Home in the Financial Markets
    Sometimes it’s hard to see how the financial markets are connected to the “real” economy. What do financial markets actually do for us? Start to get a handle on how the financial markets operate through an exploration of the societal functions that financial assets perform and the way they’re linked to real assets through contracts. x
  • 2
    Where the Money Goes
    How much are the financial markets worth? Where does the money come from and where does it go? Learn how the stock market’s value compares with other measures of the economy like America’s national debt and GDP. Next, follow how money flows through the market to understand how trillions of dollars of assets are distributed between businesses, governments, and households. x
  • 3
    Financial Markets Run on Information
    There’s one resource in the financial markets that’s even scarcer than money or time: information. Discover the worst problems of asymmetric information and the way lenders build remedies to mitigate risk into the process of writing and trading financial contracts. Also, see how this information gap can work to your advantage. x
  • 4
    Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due
    How can a credit card company preapprove you? How is your credit score calculated? Why do you have to endure a long and drawn-out process to apply for a mortgage? Get answers to these and other questions by taking a close look at the inner workings of credit analysis. x
  • 5
    The Fine Print
    Take some of the fear out of loan contracts by delving into the basic structure of car loans and credit card statements and learning how lenders calculate your monthly charge. Spend time looking at each part of the promissory note, from covenants to enforcement clauses to the security agreement. x
  • 6
    What Is Special about Banks?
    Why does your bank offer free checking? How do banks make money? Discover the advantages banks have in lending to understand why they play such a dominant role in the markets. Learn how banks evolved from goldsmiths’ vaults, how our payment system operates on a clearing house model, and more. x
  • 7
    Billion-Dollar IOUs—Using Bonds to Borrow
    When companies need to borrow enormous sums of money over long periods, they can’t turn to banks, so they issue bonds. Learn what’s involved in issuing these IOUs, the limitations of credit rating agencies that rate bonds, and why the bond market is an increasingly important part of financial markets around the world. x
  • 8
    The Double Identity of Stocks
    Paying dividends isn’t required for stocks. So how do companies issuing stocks repay lenders? And how can stockholders, who pool their resources to share ownership, hold companies to their promise to increase the value of shares? Examine the structure of corporations that issue stock and the potential benefits, rights, and drawbacks inherent with investing in these instruments. x
  • 9
    The Sell Job
    Before companies can get their stocks into the market in an initial public offering, they must register their securities with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which conducts a stringent review. Learn about this process and the system that the financial markets use to sell public and privately held stocks, bonds, and other securities. x
  • 10
    The Mysterious Money Market
    The money market is virtually invisible to most people, yet it forms the financial lifeblood of governments, large banks, and corporations. Differentiate between the money market and the capital market, learn why so many lenders exist, and look closely at three of the most important money market instruments—Treasury bills, commercial paper, and repurchase agreements. x
  • 11
    Think Globally, Lend … Globally
    How do U.S. dollars leave the country? How can companies borrow internationally without having to leave their home country? As you investigate the Eurodollar market and why companies, governments, and individuals choose to borrow and lend globally, see how foreign currencies and exchange rates complicate the process of international investing. x
  • 12
    Trading Securities
    Does the thought of stock trading conjure images of a crowded exchange floor with people yelling “buy!” “sell!” and gesturing wildly? See how technology has changed most securities exchanges around the world (and this popular image) as you learn about the basics of securities trading and how it provides liquidity to the secondary market. x
  • 13
    Returns and Prices in the Secondary Market
    What does it mean when the news reports that the Dow was back above 13,000 or that the 10-year Treasury bond price closed at 92½? Now that you understand how financial instruments are used and the basics of the secondary market, learn how prices are quoted and returns are calculated. x
  • 14
    The Truth about Pricing
    Investors and traders have opinions about what is the right price for the asset they’re trading. But how do they arrive at their values? Compare theories, practical methods, and models that guide market players when pricing assets, including the fundamentals-based approach, the economics-based theory, and the method of comparables, where “like” prices “like.” x
  • 15
    A Tale of Two Funds
    Examine differences between two of the most important types of money management companies or “designated traders”—mutual funds and hedge funds—and contrast the trading strategies they pursue. Learn why index funds are a good investment option, and about the trading technique called a “short sale.” Then consider whether hedge funds have the power to trigger a financial crisis. x
  • 16
    The Market for Corporate Control
    Move on to a market where entire companies are bought and sold, fortunes are made and lost, and yet—frequently—no money changes hands. As you delve into what economists call the market for corporate control, learn what it means to buy and sell corporate control and how mergers, acquisitions, hostile takeovers, and stock swaps operate. x
  • 17
    What Companies Tell the Markets
    From “material information” to CEO compensation packages, which details are publicly held companies required to disclose? Break down what information can be found in the annual and current reports companies file with the SEC, paying particular attention to the importance of the numbers provided on financial balance sheets and income statements. x
  • 18
    What Moves the Markets
    People who can predict market shifts by paying attention to economic indicators have the potential to earn huge profits by buying or selling before everyone else does. But which indicators and price statistics are the most important to follow if you want to understand what’s happening in the financial markets? x
  • 19
    When Central Banks Talk, Markets Listen
    Since the 1950s, central banks such as the U.S. Federal Reserve have become one of the most powerful forces in the financial markets and the global economy. Why are central banks so powerful—and so secretive? How and why do they affect market interest rates so much? Peer inside central banks to find out. x
  • 20
    Interest Rates as Indicators
    Move on to a deeper discussion of how interest rates are connected to each other with a look at benchmark rates such as government bond rates and the controversial LIBOR. Learn how these rates reveal information about the state of the economy, then focus on one of the most important but least understood diagrams in all of finance—the yield curve. x
  • 21
    Risk Management and Insurance
    Even with all the financial tools at our disposal, we can’t completely protect ourselves from risk. Learn about the different types of risks that investors and companies encounter on a daily basis, and the main ways that individuals and companies manage those risks—including the use of financial products such as insurance. x
  • 22
    Mortgages and Securitization
    What happens to your mortgage after you buy a home? Solve this mystery as you investigate the mortgage market and why the securitization process—in the housing market and elsewhere—is attractive for both borrowers and lenders. Learn why mortgage-backed securities exist and how Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac operate. x
  • 23
    The Whys and Hows of Financial Regulation
    Who is in charge of monitoring the financial markets? How are the rules of the “game” enforced? Consider the fundamental reasons that financial institutions require regulation, and learn some of the conflicts that arise between entities charged with this task. Then, see how a cycle of regulation and deregulation began in the 1930s and continued through the financial crisis of 2008 and beyond. x
  • 24
    The Future of Finance
    Big trends are changing the way that financial systems function. Learn what they are, and the opportunities they offer, like peer-to-peer lending. And see why, thanks to these trends, each of us needs to take on much more responsibility for our financial well-being than previous generations did. x

Lecture Titles

Clone Content from Your Professor tab

What's Included

What Does Each Format Include?

Video DVD
Video Download Includes:
  • Download 24 video lectures to your computer or mobile app
  • Downloadable PDF of the course guidebook
  • FREE video streaming of the course from our website and mobile apps
Video DVD
Audio Download Includes:
  • Download 24 audio lectures to your computer or mobile app
  • Downloadable PDF of the course guidebook
  • FREE audio streaming of the course from our website and mobile apps
Video DVD
DVD Includes:
  • 24 lectures on 4 DVDs
  • 184-page printed course guidebook
  • Downloadable PDF of the course guidebook
  • FREE video streaming of the course from our website and mobile apps
Video DVD
CD Includes:
  • 24 lectures on 12 CDs
  • 184-page printed course guidebook
  • Downloadable PDF of the course guidebook
  • FREE audio streaming of the course from our website and mobile apps

What Does The Course Guidebook Include?

Video DVD
Course Guidebook Details:
  • 184-page course synopsis
  • Photos & illustrations
  • Suggested readings
  • Questions to consider

Enjoy This Course On-the-Go with Our Mobile Apps!*

  • App store App store iPhone + iPad
  • Google Play Google Play Android Devices
  • Kindle Fire Kindle Fire Kindle Fire Tablet + Firephone
*Courses can be streamed from anywhere you have an internet connection. Standard carrier data rates may apply in areas that do not have wifi connections pursuant to your carrier contract.

Your professor

Connel Fullenkamp

About Your Professor

Connel Fullenkamp, Ph.D.
Duke University
Professor Connel Fullenkamp is Professor of the Practice and Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of Economics at Duke University. He teaches financial economics courses, such as corporate finance, as well as core courses, such as economic principles. In addition to teaching, he serves as a consultant for the Duke Center for International Development. Prior to joining the Duke faculty in 1999, Professor...
Learn More About This Professor
Also By This Professor

Reviews

Financial Literacy: Finding Your Way in the Financial Markets is rated 4.5 out of 5 by 40.
Rated 5 out of 5 by from this is a great gift for anyone you know bought this for my daughter who is an English major not a business major. Before anyone you know steps into buying and selling stocks, buy them this and other Great Courses on Capitalism and the markets.
Date published: 2018-07-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A very useful course I am an economist, therefore familiar with the concepts discussed in this course. Nevertheless, I found it a useful knowledge refresher. But, I think it will be very valuable to non specialists, who want to gain an understanding of financial markets. The lectures are clear and span the range of most relevant issues for the financial layman. The professor is engaging and never boring.
Date published: 2018-06-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent Material A very good course that will lead me through my retirement journey. Informative, and easy to understand. A great course!
Date published: 2018-02-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An Excellent Introduction This is a fine course to introduce relative neophytes, such as myself, to the world of financial markets. It is necessarily somewhat superficial - as our professor says, he has spent thirty years studying this area and is still learning. And of course you should not base any significant financial decisions purely on the limited information here. But it is very worthwhile as an overview. Professor Fullenkamp is outstanding - clear, eloquent, and expert, with a pleasant and well-modulated speaking voice that is a pleasure to listen to. (I was very surprised to read that a few reviewers complained "he sounds like he is reading." I honestly feel he has one of the most appropriately expressive speaking styles of any of our professors.) One major criticism: Almost nothing is said in the area of behavioral economics. That is, with minor exceptions, Professor Fullenkamp speaks as if people and markets are rational actors, always making decisions for good and logical reasons. He often seems to imply that the market is a reliable judge of underlying economic realities. As the work of Daniel Kahneman and many others has shown, this is far from the case. A separate course in this area would be very worthwhile. So - I highly recommend this course for what it is: An excellent introduction to an important field.
Date published: 2017-08-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A good introduction to finance The course manages to be accessible and complete at the same time. You will of course not become a finance expert, but you will certainly get a good foundation of the essential concepts. I really enjoyed it. Also, it works well in the audio-only version (I only buy audio courses, as I would never find the time to watch the videos).
Date published: 2017-07-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Financial Literacy Love it! I have most of the courses in the Economics section. All are wonderful.
Date published: 2017-06-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent Course Prof. Fullenkamp is an articulate, thoughtful lecturer, and the course accurately delivers on the promise in the course description: "Introductory in nature but by no means taught at a surface level." The first half of the course is very basic; it is clearly directed to a financial novice, and Prof. Fullenkamp clearly and succinctly describes the basic building blocks of the financial system - the role of banks, credit card companies, the stock market, the bond market, etc. The second half of the course, however, focuses on topics that are a bit more challenging - the money market, the Eurodollar market, pricing theory, hedge funds, economic indicators, central bank policy and operations, interest rate policy, securitization, and financial regulation. I have a relatively high degree of financial sophistication from my work and private investing, but I nonetheless enjoyed the course, particularly the second half. I highly recommend the course, especially to the novice, but also to the more financially sophisticated purchaser who has the patience to hear information the purchaser already knows in order to get context and information about things the purchaser might not know quite as well. I listened to the course and thought audio was entirely satisfactory.
Date published: 2017-03-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Clear and Insightful Overview I used “overview” in my title, although this course goes much deeper than that implies. “Overview” applies in the sense of covering all the salient aspects of this fairly complex, yet most important subject. I felt I had a decent comprehension of the stock and financial markets before taking this course, but “Financial Literacy” showed me that there is much more to them than meets the eye. Prof. Fullenkamp did an awesome job of presenting the material in a straightforward, comprehensible manner. The material flowed well, and was so well structured that one is lead to the very next question, which he than asks on the listener’s behalf – a most effective technique. Prof. Fullenkamp is very easy to listen to – wonderful cadence, clear pronunciation, with great timing between thoughts – and very personable, too. Anyone who has any investments, or plans to do any investing or saving – which should include all of us – will profit from this Great Course. I highly recommend it.
Date published: 2017-03-13
  • y_2018, m_12, d_14, h_19
  • bvseo_bulk, prod_bvrr, vn_bulk_2.0.9
  • cp_1, bvpage1
  • co_hasreviews, tv_5, tr_35
  • loc_en_US, sid_5831, prod, sort_[SortEntry(order=SUBMISSION_TIME, direction=DESCENDING)]
  • clientName_teachco
  • bvseo_sdk, p_sdk, 3.2.0
  • CLOUD, getContent, 5.19ms
  • REVIEWS, PRODUCT

Questions & Answers

Customers Who Bought This Course Also Bought

Buy together as a Set
and
Save Up To $14.00
Choose a Set Format
$79.90
$115.90