Understanding how the capital market works, its products, and the role it plays on the economy and investing
Over 1.8 million professionals use CFI to learn accounting, financial analysis, modeling and more. Start with a free account to explore 20+ always-free courses and hundreds of finance templates and cheat sheets.
Capital markets education is an undertaking that involves understanding how capital markets work, their products, and the role they play in the economy and investing.
Capital markets are the exchange system that moves capital from people looking to invest for a return to the users of capital who require the capital to finance various projects or business operations. They are the most important way the economy grows and functions effectively.
Learning about capital markets is essential for everyone – from people who wish to begin a career within the capital markets to those who want to learn more about how the economy functions and how to make more informed personal investing decisions.
However, learning about capital markets is a complex undertaking, as there are many different functions and products within capital markets.
Many people enroll in higher education to understand the basics of how capital markets work because it is so large and complex. The theories and concepts extend from bachelor’s degrees all the way to doctorate degrees.
What are Capital Markets?
Entrepreneurs and businesses know how to generate money; however, to expand their business, they need money. On the other hand, investors have money available that they would like to earn a return on.
The capital markets facilitate the transfer of money between the two parties in an effective manner. It is the most vital function that allows a market-based economy to grow over time.
Capital markets add efficiency to an economy. Instead of investors having to search for places to invest their money, and instead of businesses seeking out individual investors, capital markets provide a central hub that facilitates these transactions.
Each of the products above is traded in different markets and exchanges. Trading provides different risks and different returns for investors.
There are many differences among the securities. Some securities are sold on exchanges that are centralized, such as equity securities, forex, and some derivative securities.
Others are decentralized and are traded “over-the-counter” (OTC) between market participants without an exchange or a broker, such as debt securities, commodities, and other derivatives.
Derivatives can get complicated, but they represent a huge market as well. They are versatile and can be structured and created to tailor features such as risk and return for other securities.
Why Learn About Capital Markets?
Capital markets are the most vital function in a market-based economy. As such, it is a dynamic and exciting career path for many. It deals with current evolving trends happening in the world, from technology to healthcare and other industries. It also provides a lucrative way to make a living through investing and trading securities.
To be successful in investing in capital markets, it takes skill, knowledge, and experience to navigate the complex markets. However, building an underlying foundation of skills and knowledge is the most important way to start a career in this field.
The skills and experience can be gained over time, but the basics need to be understood. To succeed, people in the early stages of their careers should possess at least a good understanding of the basics of:
Furthermore, it is important to learn about the different products within capital markets. It’s important to understand what the products are, in addition to the risks and returns of investing in each. Some of the products and asset classes include:
Learning about the different financial products and asset classes does not only apply to people who wish to work within capital markets as a career path. Any person who wants to make informed investment decisions with their own personal finances should learn about capital markets as well.
People can manage their personal finances more effectively, implement their own trading strategies, and make investments without worrying about entrusting a financial institution with their life savings.
Lastly, learning about capital markets gives a better understanding of the world in general. You can understand what is going on in the news and how it relates to and impacts the markets. Understanding capital markets can enhance your ability to interpret modern-day society.
To keep advancing your career, the additional CFI resources below will be useful:
Take your learning and productivity to the next level with our Premium Templates.
Upgrading to a paid membership gives you access to our extensive collection of plug-and-play Templates designed to power your performance—as well as CFI's full course catalog and accredited Certification Programs.
Already have a Self-Study or Full-Immersion membership? Log in
Access Exclusive Templates
Gain unlimited access to more than 250 productivity Templates, CFI's full course catalog and accredited Certification Programs, hundreds of resources, expert reviews and support, the chance to work with real-world finance and research tools, and more.