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Publisher's Summary

This course is an introduction to the stock market and stock investing for novices and experienced investors alike. Professor DeGennaro uses simple analogies to explain the origin of stocks and other securities, as well as their relative risks. He stresses the danger of trying to beat the market by trying to pick winners, predict price trends, or otherwise find opportunities that other investors have missed. Far better, he counsels, to own a well-diversified portfolio of individual stocks or stock funds, which tend to grow as the economy grows. He offers detailed guidance on how to pursue this course.

Among the topics covered in these 18 lectures are how to open a brokerage account and choose a financial advisor; the essentials of mutual funds, including index funds, and exchange traded funds (ETFs); how to trade individual stocks, including how to use options; the relative advantages of traditional IRAs, Roth IRAs, and 401(k) plans; how to minimize transaction costs and use tax laws for your benefit; the dangers of frequent trading; and the basics of corporate balance sheets, income statements, and cash flow statements.

For anyone who owns stocks or is thinking of entering the market, this course provides indispensable advice. If you entrust the management of your assets to a financial advisor, this course will give you the background you need to communicate more knowledgeably with him or her and be an informed participant in your own financial well-being.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2014 The Great Courses (P)2014 The Teaching Company, LLC

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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Must read for everyone outside of the industry

What did you love best about How the Stock Market Works?

This book breaks down the structure of the stock market, dispels most of the myths and traps, and gives you a solid recommendation on how to manage your own stock portfolio.<br/><br/>Specifically this book does an amazing job discussing how money managers try to tell you they've beat the market average and so you should bring your business to them. Very few people, if any, have beaten the market consecutively over any larger span of time. Your best bet is an index fund and to avoid fees and transactional charges.

What does Professor Ramon P. DeGennaro bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

He is very enthusiastic and knows the material so well it just flows out of him. It's very easy to follow him and it gave me a ton of confidence and ability to shut out all the noise of the industry.

Any additional comments?

Like I said this book should be a mandatory read for every graduating high school kid and should absolutely be on your reading list.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

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Bad analogies and useless anecdotes

What disappointed you about How the Stock Market Works?

Bad analogies and useless anecdotes made this lecture series feel like it was trying to fill time. Since it was already one of the shorter Great Courses lectures, I felt myself getting irritated every time the narrator went off on some long tangent that added nothing to my understanding of the subject material. In the end, I felt as though I learned little more than I had picked up by talking to the investment adviser at my bank that handles my IRA. I think the first half of the course is intended for people with absolutely no understanding of business or investing.

Would you ever listen to anything by The Great Courses again?

Yes. This is my 6th Great Courses purchase, and it is the only one so far that I found unsatisfying.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Professor Ramon P. DeGennaro?

Since the narrator is the professor that actually teaches the course, I don't think a narrator change could help.

What character would you cut from How the Stock Market Works?

I would cut the useless analogies and anecdotes, such as (paraphrasing):<br/><br/>Some people think it's unfair to factor in the performance of the stock market during its early years when calculating the average market returns. If you wanted to determine your average weight, you wouldn't start from the day you were born. (A couple more minutes of different methods you could use to measure your average weight.) ...And so using the average returns over the life of the market may not be the best way of measuring current performance.<br/><br/>or<br/><br/>I had a student who was bored in class. When I asked him what he did for a living, he said he flew jets off an aircraft carrier. (A couple of minutes of describing whats involved in flying jets off an aircraft carrier.) ...So I'm willing to bet that he would be more comfortable with a higher risk portfolio than some of my other more conservative students.

Any additional comments?

Too much filler material, and very little useful advice. I'll admit that SOME of the advice and insight the professor offered was very helpful, but overall the course felt diluted and, at times, condescending. For example, he explains how a corporation works by describing them as "a bag of goodies." It certainly didn't feel like a college level course, and I thought the material was pretty elementary even for laypersons.

43 of 53 people found this review helpful

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Good Info Ringed with Opinions

In between telling you how the stock market works, he spends quite a lot of energy trying to convince you it is fair, needs deregulation, and a host of other opinions with loose definitions. Other than that, it was a great resource for learning how it all works. And even a bonus about how you might want to invest as a casual.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Terrific synthesis and grounding

I have been reading and dabbling in the stock market for years, so I "knew" most of this. What was great was having it all cohesively presented.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Great overview on how the stock market works

I've been investing for over 25 years. This is a great course on how the markets and investing works.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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One of the greatest courses I've taken

If you could sum up How the Stock Market Works in three words, what would they be?

Pluses:<br/>• A great explanation of the investment vehicles available<br/>• Eye-opening insights into what drives the stock market and general principles of investing and examples of its benefits<br/><br/>Minuses:<br/>• While the professor was generally good at explaining investment vehicles, there were a few cases in which a simple example would’ve really helped one to understand the concept being discussed<br/>

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Terrific Stock Market 101

If you're like me and have "played" around the edges of the U.S. Stock Market for years without understanding its basics, this very easy to comprehend audiocast is for you! I will listen repeatedly for sure!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Simple Review

I thought the book was great it provided a very simple explanation as to how the stock market works and to be helpful to invest in it as well.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Very informative.

Much of what it taught me was new, the information was extremely valuable and I would certainly review it again and recommend it to many other people.

The information is easy to digest, the tips are backed by studies and facts and he offers many ways to continue educating yourself.

I wouldn't say I feel like an expert on the stock market, but I'm less intimidated and know a few things I'd definitely want to look at when I'm in a position to invest.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Great insights for the small guy investing

This lecture series taught me a lot, I did not expected to turn out the way it did. However, it turned out the best way I would hope it too. It educate you on how to invest in the stock market without being a professional stock trader. It gives you tips on when and how to inv

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Customer near Manchester
  • 06-04-14

Highly recommended

The course starts off with the basics, explaining what a share is with easy to follow examples. Each lesson builds on concepts introduced in previous lessons, you are introduced to concepts like Options trading, mutual funds, etf and more. The only lesson not completely relevant to uk listeners is the one about US tax free saving accounts, but some of the principles there are still valid with the UK's ISA accounts.

Anyone interested in investing in the stock market should learn all the concepts in this course, and I think this course is one of the best way to learn the basics about them.

Highly recommended.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • critical friend
  • 12-23-16

Good introduction to the principles, but USA bias

Would you consider the audio edition of How the Stock Market Works to be better than the print version?

No. I found the canned applause at the beginning and end of each lecture irritating and unnecessary. A star removed for this. Forced to listen in order, which was useful, but with print could read in different order or even skip a chapter. Graphs and visual reinforcement would have been better to illustrate or enhance points made.

Who was your favorite character and why?

No characters, but favourite concept was not wasting investment money on high degree of churn (dealing charges) in portfolio.

What about Professor Ramon P. DeGennaro’s performance did you like?

Knowledgeable passion.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No. It also encourages listener to digest and think about the content of each lecture.

Any additional comments?

Is geared to the USA audience so section on tax is not relevant outside USA and these and legal considerations may go out of date very quickly. There are still some fundamental and general concepts worth knowing and employing.

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  • OFT
  • 09-08-14

Hard to Imagine a more Engaging Introduction

What made the experience of listening to How the Stock Market Works the most enjoyable?

As usual with The Great Courses, the delivery is by a talented professor of the topic with particular talent and enthusiasm for the subject. This is the essence of the series and anyone who's ever heard one will tell you the same.

What other book might you compare How the Stock Market Works to, and why?

As always The Great Courses, get the right people to turn potential tedium into a valuable learning experience.

Have you listened to any of Professor Ramon P. DeGennaro’s other performances? How does this one compare?

This is no different, and given the subject matter, it's uncannily accessible though perhaps as it's at a fairly moderate - though suitable - level of detail.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The subject matter is fairly unemotional, of course, but well connected to the human aspect in order to better aid the listener's understanding so they can relate to it and engage with the topic, a skill Professors hone over many years - even if sometimes it comes across a little patronising from time to time, it would be worse to resort to simple regurgitation of facts, and after there's a huge human element to Economics and the Stock Market.

Any additional comments?

Can't recommend The Great Courses enough. What better way to fill your spare time?

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  • mr
  • 07-03-14

Decent

I learnt a good amount, more useful if you are thinking about investing, not so much if you just want to understand jargon, though it is covered.