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Personal Finance

Introducing our investing course: Foundations of financial independence

An outline of the free course curriculum. 

Co-Author | Mark LaMonica, CFA


We believe that to invest successfully you need a framework and structure. This course has been created to be consumed sequentially so you’re able to build, monitor and maintain a portfolio to achieve your goals.

Why this course is different:

  1. It focuses on you, and not the products that you should invest in. Too many discussions about investing skip immediately to which share or ETF is the ‘best’ one to buy. The investments purchased are a means to an end. Investing is about achieving your goals and designing an approach that is appropriate for your unique circumstances.
  2. The course is designed to help you achieve financial independence – whatever that means to you. At Morningstar we believe that knowledge is the foundation of financial independence. We want to foster understanding by cutting through the jargon and focusing on what truly matters over the long-term. 
  3. It is free. The purpose of this course is to make investing accessible for all Australians. Our mission at Morningstar is to empower investor success and we don’t believe you should pay for the foundational knowledge needed to invest successfully.
  4. The course is designed for all investors. While foundational in nature many experienced and knowledgeable investors forget why they are investing in the first place and get too caught up in the day-to-day market noise and lose sight of the big picture. New investors can form a basis for getting started while building knowledge.

Each module includes additional free material that investors can use to learn more about an individual topic. Insights from Morningstar can be found on www.morningstar.com.au and by listening to our podcast Investing Compass which is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Google Podcasts.

You are able to find the modules to the course below: 

1: How to set yourself up for investing success: How to invest successfully

Mark LaMonica, CFA runs through how to set up the frameworks for investing successfully, and how to think about risk.  

2: How to set yourself up for investing success: Ensuring you have set the right foundations prior to investing

If you were building a house, you would need to ensure it was built on good foundations to ensure its longevity. The same goes for investing. Shani Jayamanne outlines the foundations that you need to invest successfully for the long-term. This includes understanding your position with debt like mortgages and personal loans, tax, time horizon and safety buffers.

3: How to set yourself up for investing success: Defining your goals

Mark LaMonica, CFA goes through the process of defining your goals. This is the first step of constructing a goals-based investment portfolio.   

4: How to set yourself up for investing success: Required rate of return

The required rate of return is the return that your portfolio needs to earn to achieve your goal. Shani Jayamanne goes through how to calculate your required rate of return, and the inputs that you need.

5: How to set yourself up for investing success: Asset allocation

Mark LaMonica, CFA explains why asset allocation is so important to your portfolio outcomes, how to connect asset allocation to your required rate of return and your goals, and how to put together the exposure you need to reach your goals.

6: How to set yourself up for investing success: Selecting investments

Many investors start with choosing investments. For goals-based investing, it is the last step - and for a reason. It is important that your portfolio is built around your goals, and not around investments. Shani Jayamanne goes through how to select investments in your portfolio that align with the type of investor you are and your goals.

7: How to set yourself up for investing success: Monitoring and Maintaining your portfolio

Setting up a portfolio is not the end of your work as an investor. The goalposts are always changing with markets, investments and circumstances. Mark LaMonica, CFA goes through the steps to monitor and maintain your portfolio so you are still on track to achieve your goals.  

8: How to set yourself up for investing success: Selling down investments to fund your goals

Investments are a means to an end. Mark LaMonica, CFA goes through the process of selling down your investments to fund your goals.

9: How to set yourself up for investing success: Course conclusion

Shani Jayamanne and Mark LaMonica, CFA provide a summary for the course and where investors should go from here.



© 2024 Morningstar, Inc. All rights reserved. Neither Morningstar, its affiliates, nor the content providers guarantee the data or content contained herein to be accurate, complete or timely nor will they have any liability for its use or distribution. This report has been prepared for clients of Morningstar Australasia Pty Ltd (ABN: 95 090 665 544, AFSL: 240892) and/or New Zealand wholesale clients of Morningstar Research Ltd, subsidiaries of Morningstar, Inc. Any general advice has been provided without reference to your financial objectives, situation or needs. For more information refer to our Financial Services Guide at www.morningstar.com.au/s/fsg.pdf. You should consider the advice in light of these matters and if applicable, the relevant Product Disclosure Statement before making any decision to invest. Our publications, ratings and products should be viewed as an additional investment resource, not as your sole source of information. Morningstar’s full research reports are the source of any Morningstar Ratings and are available from Morningstar or your adviser. Past performance does not necessarily indicate a financial product’s future performance. To obtain advice tailored to your situation, contact a financial adviser. Some material is copyright and published under licence from ASX Operations Pty Ltd ACN 004 523 782.

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