So you want to start learning about stocks but you are unsure how long it will take? What if you knew a way of learning about investing and the stock market that was faster, and better than anything else?

In this article, we will uncover how long it will take for you to learn about stocks, the stock market, and investing. We will also provide you with some advice on how to speed up the process so that you can learn to invest or trade as fast as possible.

How long does it usually take to learn about the stock market?

There is no simple answer to this question, and in fact, there is also no simple recipe to follow that will turn you into a Wall Street professional overnight. The time it will take you to learn about stocks and the stock market depends on a few factors:

  • Knowledge background
  • Effort and time you want to dedicate
  • Learning process
  • Final objectives

The knowledge you already have

The knowledge you already possess on topics such as finance, economics, accounting, as well as math will be the most decisive factor when it comes to learning to invest or trade.

If you already have a solid background on any of these topics, it will far easier for you to understand some of the key concepts about the stock market. However, if you feel like giving up because you do not have this background, don’t do it just yet. The fact is that the stock market may seem complex, but anyone can learn

Obviously, without a background in any of those areas, you are at a slight disadvantage, and it will take you more time to understand some basic finance concepts, accounting, and understand how the stock market works.

It all boils down to the effort and time you want to dedicate to it.

Effort and time

The amount of time and effort you are willing to dedicate will be the decisive factor to determine how fast you can learn about stocks, and start investing. If you are willing to dedicate yourself entirely it is possible to become somewhat knowledgeable about the stock market in less than a year. 

However, this will require you to dedicate a set number of hours every week to studying and learning as much as you can. It will also depend on the learning process you choose.

Learning process

The learning process is also one of the most important factors. Oftentimes beginner investors are swindled by course promoters and gurus, that do not really teach them anything. There is no value-added, and it will actually take you a lot more time to learn to invest and start doing it. The problem is that once you start to learn things in a certain way, it might take a while for you to rewind all of that information and take the right approach.

There are obviously paid courses that are worth it. But there are also tons of free content available online that will probably be much better. Why not start with a free course from Nobel laureate Robert Shiller! Yes, it’s free, believe it or not, there is a free course offered by Yale, and it does not cost anything. Easily one of the best resources available out there to start learning about financial markets. We will go into more detail about how you can structure your learning process depending on your starting point. 

Final objectives

Perhaps one of the least significant factors that affect how fast you can learn about the stock market depends on your final goal. Do you simply want to have a better understanding of how financial markets operate? Do you want to trade stocks or derivatives? Or are you just looking for the safest place to invest your money?

If you just want to understand how financial markets operate, without getting into specifics it might take you 3 to 6 months. However, if you are planning on trading stocks or derivatives, it can take upwards of a year. In order for you to understand exactly what you should trade or invest in. If you have the goal of picking stocks and conducting equity analysis it might take over 6 months to a year.

Depending on the goals you might have, combined with the amount of time and effort you are willing to commit to your learning process will determine how fast you can start investing or trading.

What does it take to learn about stocks?

To learn about stocks you need to have a solid understanding of finance, accounting, and economics. This is the bare minimum required to understand the inner workings of financial markets you have to dedicate yourself. Additionally, you will also have to be extremely dedicated in order to be on top of the news, conduct market research, and analysis, while also monitor your portfolio. At least if you want to actively manage your investments, which has several advantages.

How hard is it to learn about the stock market?

While learning about the stock market is not particularly difficult, it can be confusing. Therefore, it is extremely important that you choose the right approach and learning process. 

It is also crucial to choose the right sources for knowledge, instead of taking what everyone says at face value. Make sure you do courses with renowned professors, read books from the best investors, and watch videos of successful investors. 

What is the best learning process to master the stock market?

Before you even start considering what should be your approach to learning about stocks you need to ask yourself a few questions:

  • What do I know about finance, economics, and accounting?
  • How much effort am I willing to invest into learning about stocks?
  • What are my long terms goals?

Knowledge background


If you already have a solid background in any of the topics mentioned, you might want to skip some introductory courses. 

If you do not have any previous knowledge the best way to start is by going to Coursera. There are hundreds of Ivy League quality courses available for free. You will hardly find any other platform online that has what Coursera has to offer. 

Skip the gurus! There are clearly well-intended people offering courses on diverse subjects such as trading and investing, however, none of them actually come close to the free options you have available.


Books are another simple and affordable way to learn about the stock market. Just make sure you pick the right books from authors that are experts in their field. Today it is incredibly easy to publish an ebook that might not be bad, but it is not the best resource out there for you. 

Start by reading Peter Lynch books, or books on fundamental analysis. These should be your top priorities.


There are countless videos online about the stock market and step-by-step guides that can help you to learn more about stocks. Once again, in the same way, that there are thousands of ebooks and courses, there are also thousands of videos that are not worth your time. There is however plenty of videos of Warren Buffett sharing some of his most remarkable quotes, as well as Peter Lynch. 

Choose videos with credible professionals that know exactly what they are talking about. Here is one of Peter Lynch videos you can’t miss:


There are countless ways of learning about the stock market and starting investing or trading. However, having the right strategy and plan in place to start accumulating knowledge is the key to how long it will take you.

Once again, and repeating what was previously said, you should avoid uncredible authors and sources at all costs. It will cost you over the long term, and it will take you more time to actually learn anything.

Remember that the anyone can learn about the stock market, however, the amount of time it takes depends a lot on the effort and time you put in.