Gain the skills to manage your investments. Find out how to analyse portfolio risk and plan your pension.

50,338 enrolled on this course

A chart showing investments such as stocks and shares rising and falling
  • Duration

    6 weeks
  • Weekly study

    3 hours

Improve your understanding of investments and the decisions you make

Research shows that UK households are poor at investment management, with a limited understanding of choices, risks and returns. This could mean that many people cannot afford to retire in future.

This online course will give you the tools to avoid this nightmare. You will study investment choices, and the risks and returns of each; investment strategies and your risk-return appetite; and behaviours that can impair effective investment decisions.

The Open University’s Centre for the Public Understanding of Finance created this course, with the generous support of True Potential LLP.

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What topics will you cover?

  • Week 1: Why and how should we invest for the future?
  • Week 2: The spectrum of personal investments
  • Week 3: Devising investment strategies – principles and practice
  • Week 4: Investment in practice: practices, styles, history and performance
  • Week 5: Investing for retirement: planning your pension
  • Week 6: Investment and human behaviour

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Assess and to understand the range of investments available to the public and the factors that determine the returns they provide.
  • Calculate to understand pension products and how to plan for income in retirement.
  • Engage to understand key investment theories and their linkage to investment practice.
  • Demonstrate to understand to how evaluate investment performance.
  • Assess to understand financial risks.
  • Explore how behavioural factors (or biases) can affect investment behaviour.

Who is the course for?

This course is intended for those with an interest in developing their personal financial skills to make good decisions when managing their investments and buying investment products. The course does not require any previous experience of this subject.

Who will you learn with?

I am Director of the True Potential Centre for the Public Understanding of Finance (PUFin) at the OU Business School. Previously I was Treasurer of Nationwide Building Society.

Who developed the course?

The Open University

As the UK’s largest university, The Open University (OU) supports thousands of students to achieve their goals and ambitions via supported distance learning, helping to fit learning around professional and personal life commitments.

  • Established

  • Location

    Milton Keynes, UK
  • World ranking

    Top 510Source: Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2020

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control

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