Trading for Beginners
Take the first steps towards becoming an active trader. Learn the basics and develop a trading system that aligns with your risk tolerance and financial goals.

Led by RJ Hixson View Instructor Bio

See what other students are saying
$199.00 $199 USD
Lifetime Access
  • Over 50 lessons with video, exercises and interactive content
  • Create your own trading path
  • Investopedia Guarantee

What will I learn?

  • The difference between trading and investing
  • The various types of markets (bull, bear, etc)  and how to characterize and identify them
  • Position sizing strategy and goals
  • To establish rules for trading decisions, including a  system that constructs concrete entry and exit points, and maintains a safe volume of risk
  • Build a trading plan based on both proven methods and individualized goals and strategies
  • How to improve your trading system and personal performance

This course includes:

  • Over 50 lessons with on-demand video, exercises, and interactive content
  • Extensive visuals detailing different trade types and markets
  • Lifetime access to course so you can watch and rewatch whenever you want

This course is designed for: first-time traders and those interested in starting - this course will introduce you to the fundamental concepts and practices.

Certificate of Enrollment

Receive an Investopedia Academy Certificate of Enrollment with this course

Financial Assistance

Students and U.S. military may be eligible for reduced pricing. See this page for details about how to apply.

Course Curriculum

Could I Trade?
  • Introduction
  • Misconceptions and Challenges
  • What a Trader Does
  • How To Survive
  • Tools of the Trade
  • Candelsticks
  • Moving Averages
  • Donchian Channel
  • Volume and Volatility
  • The Long and Short of Things
  • Order Types
  • MACD
  • Stochastic Oscillator
A Successful Approach
  • Introduction
  • Trading Rules
  • Setup and Entry
  • Exits
  • Targets to Ratio: Explained
  • Trailing Stop: Explained
  • Sizing Strategy
  • Sizing Strategy: Review
  • Conclusion
Starter System
  • Introduction
  • Turtle System
  • Turtle System: Examples
  • Turtle System: Review
Market Types
  • Introduction
  • Directional Visualization
  • Directional 200 Day Moving Average
  • Directional Percentage: Gain and Loss
  • Volatility VIX
  • Volatility ATR
  • Volatility Analysis
  • Conclusion
Improving Trade Performance
  • Introduction
  • Define and Measure Risk
  • Identifying Good Trades
  • Sizing Strategies: Examples
  • Conclusion
Measuring System Performance
  • Measuring and Improving System Performance
Improving Performance
  • Improving Personal Performance
What Kind of Trader Am I?
  • Introduction
  • Psychological Factors
  • Hobby vs. Business
  • Conclusion
Follow Your Path
  • Introduction
  • Trading Education

About the Instructor

RJ Hixson
RJ Hixson VP, Research and Development at The Van Tharp Institute

RJ Hixson earned his MBA from the University of North Carolina and has decades of trading experience. In 2008, he was hired as an instructor at the prestigious Van Tharp Institute, where he has educated thousands of students about what it takes to be a successful trader. Currently the VP of Research and Development at the Van Tharp Institute, RJ has helped countless professionals and new traders improve their results through the models that Dr. Van Tharp developed based on 30 years of research. In this Investopedia Academy course, RJ will show you what it really takes to be a successful trader.

Students are Saying...

The clarity of information provided by Investopedia Academy's Trading for Beginners course was a breath of fresh air for someone coming into trading with no financial education background.

Robert Blake
Trading for Beginners Student

Investopedia Academy is an excellent resource from which I have learned a great deal of financial knowledge. I have recommended it to many people and will continue to recommend it to anyone wishing to better understand finance. The academy has such high quality educational courses and great customer service.

Yusef Lighari
Investopedia Academy student

The “Excel for Finance” course delivered easy to follow lessons that provided me with a practical skill-set, advancing me quickly in my current internship, and preparing me for an upcoming career.

Isaac Urichko
Student at Florida State and Investment Management Intern

David's ability to convey the basics and fundamentals surrounding them is second to none. I have been trading for seven years and it was a great reminder of getting back to the basics and keeping things simple to make money. He did an excellent job with the course.

Eric Nolen
Full-Time Day Trader

The way JC explains the details of Technical Analysis to a beginner like myself is amazing and the content is so rich. I can already apply the information in this course to my swing trading strategy. I am now able to identify my past mistakes and am making better trading decisions because of it.

John Thompson
Technical Analysis Student