Best Finance Courses for Beginners

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Contributor, Benzinga
April 19, 2021

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Are you taking a finance course in school or pursuing an entry-level finance role? An online course can equip you with the knowledge needed to meet your goals. 

There are classes for all budgets, and you can sign up and start working through the lessons right away. Not sure where to look to find the best finance courses for beginners? Benzinga has you covered with a list of viable options worth considering. 

Quick Look: Best Finance Courses for Beginners

Here’s a glance at Benzinga’s top picks: 

What Makes a Beginner Finance Course Great?

With so many finance courses for beginners to choose from, how do you know which are best? Keep the following in mind as you evaluate classes and narrow down your options to find the best fit. 

Led by a Subject-Matter Expert

The best finance courses for beginners are led by subject-matter experts who are well-versed in finance essentials. They should also have the ability to convey the foundational elements of the subject in a way that’s easy for finance newbies to comprehend. 

Read the instructor’s biography to learn more about their educational and professional background. Detailed reviews from past and current students also provide additional insight into their teaching style. 


There are introductory finance courses for all budgets. So, if money’s tight, start with a free or low-priced option. You can always progress to more pricey classes as your budget permits. 


You want a beginner finance course that allows you to work at your own pace. This enables you to spend as much time as you need on each lesson until you fully grasp the contents. Otherwise, you risk rushing through the class to meet pressing deadlines and not fully understand the material. 

Our Top Picks

Below, you’ll find the best finance courses for beginners. Our top selections are from leading online learning providers, like Coursera, edX, LinkedIn Learning and Udemy. 

The classes are organized by skill level — beginners, intermediate and advanced students. There’s also a description and price point for each course to help you make an informed decision. 

Finance Courses for Beginners

Below are Benzinga’s top picks. 

Finance 101: Financial Skills for the Real World

All Levels • 40 videos • 3.4 hours
Finance 101: Financial Skills for the Real World
securely through Finance 101: Financial Skills for the Real World's website

1. Finance 101: Financial Skills for the Real World by Udemy

Who it's for: Beginners

Price: On sale 

In just 3.5 hours, you can learn the essentials of finance with this highly-rated course from Udemy. Finance 101: Financial Skills for the Real World is presented by 365 Careers and delves into pertinent finance-related topics and how they can be implemented in a real-world setting. You’ll learn how to distinguish between fixed and variable rates, convert foreign exchange currencies, calculate a loan schedule and much more. 

Here’s a look at the course syllabus: 

  • Finance 101 – Introduction
  • Understanding the Time Value of Money 
  • The Effects of Compounding 
  • Present and Future Value of Cash Flows 
  • Modeling and Solving Time Value of Money Problems
  • Quiz 1
  • Net Present Value and Internal Rate of Return
  • Portfolio Return Measurement
  • Short-Term Debt Markets 
  • Quiz 2
  • Course Notes
  • Bonus: How to Use a Financial Calculator 

Register today for full lifetime access to 3.5 hours of on-demand video, 6 articles and 13 downloadable resources. 

2. Fundamentals of Finance by the University of Pennsylvania

Who it's for: Beginners

Price: Free

Offered by the University of Pennsylvania, this introductory course is the first component of the Introduction to Finance and Accounting Specialization. It covers corporate finance essentials, core financial concepts, like NPV, annuities, perpetuities, compound interest, simple interest and more. 

Fundamentals of Finance features 5 modules: 

  • Introduction and Net Present Value (NPV)
  • Fixed Income Valuation 
  • Equity Valuation 
  • NPV vs. Internal Rate of Return 
  • (Optional) Additional Course Topics and Resources 

Each module includes a series of video lectures and supplementary readings to ensure you fully grasp the material. There’s also a quiz to assess your comprehension. 

The class is facilitated by Jessica Wachter, Richard B. Worley Professor of Financial Management, and can be completed in 9 hours. 

There’s no cost to enroll. 

3. Finance for Everyone: Smart Tools for Decision-Making by the University of Michigan 

Who it's for: Beginners

Price: Free

Finance for Everyone: Smart Tools for Decision-Making is a 6-week course from the University of Michigan that sheds light on the intricate world of finance. It explores tactics and frameworks you can use every day to make responsible decisions and boost your financial literacy. 

Instructor Gautam Kaul, Professor of Finance in the Ross School of Business, covers these core concepts: 

  • The broad impact of finance on everyday life
  • How to apply financial tools in personal and professional situations
  • Essential skills for financial decision-making 
  • Time Value of Money (TVM) 

Enrollment is free, or you can upgrade your registration to add a verified certificate for only $49. 

4. Finance for Non-Financial Professionals by the University of California, Irvine 

Who it's for: Beginners

Price: Free

Finance for Non-Financial Professionals is presented by the University of California, Irvine. This 7-hour course is the third segment in the Career Success Specialization and provides in-depth guidance to boost your organization’s profitability. 

Facilitated by David Standen, MBA, this introductory class entails 4 segments: 

  • Foundations of Finance and Accounting
  • Costing
  • Financial Ratios 
  • Valuation 

You will walk away with the knowledge to discuss the significance of finance, interpret financial information, apply accounting and finance concepts to analyze financials and examine financial statements with key ratios. Plus, you will have an advanced understanding of the budgeting process and proven strategies to boost profitability. 

It’s free to enroll. 

Finance for Non-Finance: Learn Quick and Easy

Beginner • 30 videos • 1.4 hours
Finance for Non-Finance: Learn Quick and Easy
securely through Finance for Non-Finance: Learn Quick and Easy's website

5. Finance for Non-Finance: Learn Quick and Easy by Udemy 

Who it's for: Beginners 

Price: On sale 

Finance for Non-Finance: Learn Quick and Easy is an exceptional offering from Udemy for individuals who want to master finance concepts fast without spending a fortune on training material. It caters to business owners, startups, non-financial executives and other individuals interested in the subject but does not have a financial background. 

Financial manager, investor and tutor Anthony Jameson divides the course into the following segments: 

  • Introduction to Finance
  • Accounting and Financial Statements
  • Financial Analysis (Ratios) 
  • Budgeting 

Register today to get instant access to the course. The enrollment fee includes 1.5 hours of on-demand video and 8 downloadable resources. There’s also a 30-day, money-back guarantee if you’re unsatisfied for any reason. 

6. Finance Foundations by LinkedIn Learning 

Who it's for: Beginners

Price: Included with the monthly membership 

Accounting Professors Kay Stice and Jim Stice from Brigham Young University (BYU) bring you this stellar course on finance fundamentals. They begin with the basics and transition to more complex concepts, like balance sheet analysis, derivatives, securities, long-term financing, investment funds and initial public offerings (IPOs).

Finance Foundations consists of 9 sections: 

  • What Is Finance?
  • Understanding Financial Statements
  • Short-Term Financial Management
  • Risk and Return
  • Obtaining Long-Term Financing
  • Understanding Securities Markets 
  • Financial Institutions
  • Capital Budgeting
  • Personal Financial Planning 

There’s also a quiz at the end of each section to test your knowledge. 

Grab a free seat in this course with a monthly LinkedIn membership. Not yet a member? You can opt-in to a free 1-month trial to access the class for free. 

Finance for the Real World – Corporate Finance 101

Beginner • 22 videos • 1.9 hours
Finance for the Real World – Corporate Finance 101
securely through Finance for the Real World – Corporate Finance 101's website

7. Finance for the Real World – Corporate Finance 101 by Udemy 

Who it's for: Beginners

Price: On sale 

Join over 17,000 others who selected this popular Udemy course to learn the basics of finance. It features 22 lectures condensed into 2 hours of on-demand video and 6 downloadable resources to help you go from finance novice to expert in record time. 

  • Interest Rates and LIBOR
  • Estimating the Cost of Default
  • Time Value of Money – Print Handouts – Using Excel/Google Sheets
  • Compounding Interest
  • Introduction to Capital Budgeting – Print Handout – NPV, IRR and Payback
  • Loan Amortization Schedule – Google Sheets 
  • Corporate Borrowers
  • Foreign Exchange Rates
  • Modern Financial Theory

Facilitator Son Han holds Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and Certified Public Accountant (CPA) designations. He’s also the founder of BrainyMoney, an online platform designed to simplify personal finance. 

8. Corporate Finance Foundations by LinkedIn Learning 

Who it's for: Beginners

Price: Included with the monthly membership 

Also led by Kay Stice and Jim Stice, Corporate Finance Foundations discusses the significance of corporate finance for companies and how it impacts decision-making and long-term growth. The lessons address the Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM), the importance of risk in financial decision-making, the perks of diversification, short- and long-term financing and its impact on business operations and more. 

The 1.5 hours of video instruction are categorized as follows: 

  • What Is Finance?
  • Risk and Return 
  • Obtaining Long-Term Financing
  • Understanding Securities Markets
  • Capital Budgeting 

Enrollment is included with a $29.99 monthly LinkedIn membership, or you can grab a free seat by registering for a 1-month trial. 

9. Financial Markets by Yale University 

Who it's for: Beginners 

Price: Free

Financial Markets is another ideal finance course for beginners that focuses on core behavioral finance principles and risk management. The primary objective is to teach you how to leverage the banking, insurance and securities industries to help improve society as a whole. 

Here’s what you can expect to learn while enrolled: 

  • Module 1 – The basics of financial markets, insurance and the Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM) 
  • Module 2 – Behavioral finance, forecasting, pricing, debt and inflation 
  • Module 3 – Stocks, bonds, dividends, shares, market caps, corporate basics and basic financial markets history 
  • Module 4 – Recessions, bubbles, regulation and the mortgage crisis 
  • Module 5 – Options and bond markets and essential components of financial markets 
  • Module 6 – Investment banking, brokers, dealers, exchanges, processes and financial market innovations 
  • Module 7 – Corporations, nonprofits and finance careers 

There’s no cost to register for the course, and you can expect to spend 32 hours working through the videos, readings and quizzes. 

Facilitator Robert Shiller is a Sterling Professor of Economics at Yale University. 

Get Started with a Finance Course for Beginners 

When you’re ready to sharpen your finance skills, don’t spend hours scouring the web for courses. Instead, consider a class from our list of top recommendations. They are led by subject-matter experts who offer interactive and engaging lessons on finance. You can also enroll for a fee that won’t break the bank and work at your own pace until you reach the finish line. 

Frequently Asked Questions


What makes a finance course great?


The best courses have excellent instructors and content, flexible paces and affordable prices.


What are some great finance courses for beginners?


Fundamentals of Finance, Finance for Everyone and Finance 101.

Southern New Hampshire University Online

SNHU Online Offers:

  1. Flexible schedules
  2. Affordable tuition
  3. Online tutoring
  4. Access to electronic research materials
  5. Specialized academic advising
  6. Supportive online community