Investors today have more information at their fingertips than ever before. Real-time stock apps, trader blogs, 24-7 streaming business news, fintweets, Reddit communities — there are countless ways to get your due diligence on.
It’s high time we add YouTube to that list — the Alphabet-owned video streaming platform has a deep bench of traders, experts and would-be Warren Buffetts (or perhaps would-be Jim Cramers) proffering advice.
For every season of investing, there is a YouTube channel. Youngsters looking to understand the basics can find intro courses. Those who’ve caught the trading bug and want to turn pro will find countless gurus to guide the way (though many will be looking to turn free viewership into a paid subscription). For the chartists, there is plenty of chart porn, and for veterans, channels that delve into the nitty-gritty, from how to trade off specific news events to the optimal number of screens you need, to when to hold a trade over a weekend.
As with most things on the internet, it can be difficult to wade through the millions of offerings to identify which ones are truly worth your time.
Here are the channels we came up with (in no particular order)…
Pros: This channel is mostly notable as the home for a weekly series of videos hosted by Scott Galloway, “Winners and Losers in the Digital Age.” Galloway, who is a professor of brand strategy and digital marketing at the NYU Stern School of Business, makes for great YouTube. His engaging style comes with a depth of knowledge that’s informative and entertaining at the same time. His efforts are clearly recognized considering the size of his audience. He delivers news you can use and is at his best when he breaks down the prospects of individual companies. Good use of visuals, too.
Cons: Galloway’s strong opinions and edgy takes might be turnoff to some, while newbies will likely have trouble digesting his wonkier takes.
Pros: The Khan Academy has a long record of making complicated concepts simple with the help of its signature blackboard. Everything from P/E ratios and amortization to Ebitda and market cap are covered in this extensive series, an ambitious attempt to cover all the basics — but it manages to pull it off in an easily digestible way.
Cons: While the instructor delivers in a chatty and engaging tone, the content, at times, can feel like a long lecture… especially with the blackboard format. Then again, that’s the nature of the minutiae of finance at times. Bring a strong attention span if you’re going to dive into this one.
Pros: These are great videos for day traders, and there’s a reason that popular video is No. 1 for them — Bulls on Wall Street lead instructor and CEO Kunal Desai has a lot to say about what he has learned through the years. It will specifically appeal to what looks like a crowd of young, male traders. They’re keeping up with what’s hot as well, so there are plenty of videos about trading cryptocurrencies.
Cons: Some of the videos assume a fair bit of knowledge in the markets, so if you’re new to investing, it might be worth scrolling around for the basic introductory ones. Sometimes Desai and his colleagues engage in fairly distracting banter and you are wishing they’d just get on with it. (Like the Trump impersonations, guys? Just, no).
Pros: It’s not hard to see the click appeal in titles like “How FOUS4 Penny Stock Students Made Nearly $30K.” The presumed perks of trading remotely the world over are on full display from high-energy vlogger Cameron Fous. His how-tos are as much about the trading lifestyle as trading, and viewers will appreciate the strong production value for charting intricacies and the voyeuristic walk-throughs of the stunning Bali villas that Fous’s trade winnings reportedly cover, and then some. Fous even tugged along viewers through the decision-making behind breaking his luxury car habit — so long, classic Camaro and Maserati Granturismo — in favor of fewer possessions and more travel. His topics include biotech risks and a lot of teasers like “$1,600 in 20 minutes.” Vlogs venture into how Fous turned a drone hobby into a quick $5,000 and hard-to-skip entries like WTF: Most Peculiar AirBNB Ever.
Cons: Many of this channel’s videos start with a warning: Pros and Cons of … Still, the risk tolerance needed to stomach penny stock trading—not to mention day trading in general—may be lost among the glamour shots. Plus, how fun is it ultimately to watch someone else contemplate trend lines and life from the edge of an infinity pool? How you answer that question will likely be the arbiter in whether this channel is a watch or a skip.
Cons: It’s not easy to land big fish guests, so you will be disappointed if you’re counting on an exclusive interview with every episode. For example, the recent Seth Klarman episode is about what the hosts learned from reading his book, and it doesn’t feature an appearance by the storied investor. The series covers an impressive range of topics, from bitcoin to living in space, but that means you might want to pick and choose, rather than expect that each one will float your boat.
Pros: Trader and entrepreneur Evdakov patiently lays out key investing concepts and questions in a laid-back and straightforward style. It gets as basic as “What is a stock?” for beginners, but he also scales up to talk about options trading, analyzing stock charts and how to become a full-time trader. Most of his videos have a strong educational bent, focused on the macro view of trading and the psychological elements of being a trader.
Cons: Perhaps no surprise given he’s built his name on teaching people to trade, but Evdakov doesn’t spend a lot of time detailing the downside risks of trading. While some videos do an excellent job of explaining how traders can lose money, others don’t seem to emphasize enough the skills needed and risks involved in making the leap to becoming a full-time trader.
Pros: Sykes bills himself as a self-made millionaire trader, and his general strategy is to make a number of smallish, short-term trades on volatile stocks in the hopes of collecting decent individual returns that add up over time. (In one video, he talks about making $1,000-$2,000 a day in profits.) He’s upfront about what he looks for and is transparent about how his trades work out, including unprofitable bets and the times he misses an opportunity that one of his “students” catches. The videos are engaging in a rambling sort of way, particularly for those who enjoy analyzing charts, and he interacts with his followers quite a bit, celebrating their successes and talking about why their failed trades didn’t work out.
Cons: Setting aside the higher risk that comes with this kind of speculation, this is a pretty niche-y subject, with few insights that seem applicable outside of the kind of investing Sykes does (evidently quite successfully). Viewers might have to dedicate a lot of time until they even understand the basics of what his chart-heavy analysis means, and to that end, a lot of the videos seem geared more toward his website’s subscribers, who pay up to $150 a month for his various alerts, access to a chat room, and things of that nature.
Pros: Warrior’s “trading mentors” host videos that range quite a bit, with educational and instructional videos on broader topics (for example, “how to read time and sales”) interspersed with daily market recaps that get into the nitty-gritty of individual trades on individual stocks.
Cons: Warrior’s videos are often just a narrated feed of a computer screen… and said screen is often cluttered to the point where it’s difficult to know what figure, chart move, etc., they are referring to at any given moment. Some of the videos are very wonky, and people without a financial background might feel adrift. As with the Sykes channel, the videos seem incomplete without ponying up for the courses and trading systems, one version of which goes for more than $4,000.
Pros: Market Gauge focuses on bigger-picture issues, with episodes defining terms and strategies and walking through general case studies (“don’t buy the dip in stocks when this happens”). For novices, that big-picture focus is probably more useful than videos on some other channels that walk through specific trades in stocks that may be unfamiliar to the viewer. When Market Gauge does dive into trades, they tend to do so with widely used ETFs, and in ways intended to let you extrapolate broader lessons. The series also examines some of the biggest market moves of each week, looking at what those may signify from a technical analysis or trading perspective.
Cons: Many of the channels we list here are personality-driven and rotate around the trading philosophy or strategies of one person or one group of people. This series, in contrast, is more like a lecture than a conversation, which can sometimes result in pretty dry material. And the chicken-scratch visuals, where candlestick charts get endless notations of lines and arrows, can obfuscate the lesson as much as clarify them.
Pros: John Kicklighter, DailyFX’s chief currency strategist and the star in many of these videos, makes sensible and useful points in a mellow way. “I understand why it’s appealing to try to pick tops and bottoms, but they just don’t happen very often, and they are more prone to false starts,” he says in one recent video. Another plus is the channel will tackle moves in asset classes besides currencies, such as with its looks at gold’s breakout or the VIX’s gyrations. Charts are a big focus, and they’re presented clearly and with plenty of details. Some traders also will appreciate the videos with timeless advice, like the one covering when to hold a trade over a weekend.
Cons: If you have a short attention span, this might not be the channel for you, as many of the videos run around 30 minutes, and some even top an hour. If you’re not a fan of making bets based on charts, this also won’t be a good fit for you. And while some videos kick off with upbeat music, often there isn’t a lot of razzmatazz – just a focus on what the charts are showing and the day’s news and big moves.
Pros: This site’s tutorials, many of which are shot directly from its trading desk, provide an atmosphere of authentic market action. The frequency of its postings, including an “A.M. Meeting” post, options explainers, and options “trades of the week,” add to this sense of access. Its trio of primary vloggers brings a variety of trading styles to viewers; one is very active, in and out of trades several times intraday, another follows a strict “no touch” trading regiment, the third falls somewhere in between. Narrowed lesson focus is a plus, too, including: trade sizing; preparing for earnings season; how to attack a market dip; and the squeeze indicator.
Cons: Despite the professional setting, the lessons aren’t always as polished as viewers might hope. Tighter edits, especially for length, and slicker production could help, especially as some videos stretch well past an hour.
Pros: He gives some good insight into the ups and downs every day trader experiences. He shows his wins. And his losses. If taken with a huge grain of salt, there are some techniques he puts to work that might prove useful for somebody trying to get into the game.
Cons: Barak’s not afraid to advertise, so you’ll have to deal with that. And there’s always some major red flags with expensive trading programs. Also, if you’re at all skeptical of day trading, this channel certainly isn’t for you. It’s doubtful Barak will change your mind about that. His approach is a bit technical and might be lost on the casual market player.
Pros: This channel does weekly state-of-the-market-style videos from a technical perspective, but the real draw for most people is likely to be its live trading videos, which show you the “action” happening in real time. “Win, lose, or draw, the purpose is to highlight the process” — so says the channel description. It’s like gameplay videos… but with complicated trades and real money on the line (or so they say). The voice-overs on the videos are conversational but no-nonsense as they explain the setup of individual trades and thought process behind them.
Cons: Following the technical action of these videos is a challenge — there’s a lot going on, and fast, and they certainly aren’t for newer traders or anyone who doesn’t know their calls from their puts.
Pros: A variety of themed videos, such as Mike and his White Board, are pretty good at breaking down all aspects of options trading – strike prices, big lizard, skew. Closing the gap interviews pull out key action during the day.
Cons: Some of the videos drag on a bit too long, and if you’re looking for specific trading advice, there are a lot of videos to wade through. The interviews with business owners are probably of less interest to someone trading the market.
Pros: Baiynd describes herself as a “math nerd,” but is the kind of teacher you probably wish you had in high school. She very clearly and slowly explains things with helpful charts to boot. She hasn’t got a huge following, but probably should, given her grasp of a variety of topics. Some bellwethers can be found if you search via most popular videos, though others are looks at daily moves so clearly outdated.
Cons: It’s a shame Baiynd hasn’t kept up with the videos as she’s so clearly gifted with her explanations. She’s a bit more active on Twitter.
Cons: This channel dabbles in almost everything “money,” from personal goals to entrepreneurship and small-business operations. That can be aspirational, sure, but likely leaves viewers going elsewhere for in-depth technical expertise on the trading side.
Frequency: Peter Schiff Podcast appears weekly; other postings are periodic
Who’s it for: Conservative fans of media personality Schiff, who, like him, want to take aim at market shortcomings — or those looking to fuel their counter argument.
Pros: Noted permabear Schiff is a semiregular fixture on CNBC, Fox Business and the broader TV and radio talk-show circuit (he’s sat across the desk from John Stewart and Glenn Beck), so his media polish makes for focused, well-curated and usually high-production videos. However, podcasts of his Peter Schiff radio show and other media appearances make up much of this channel’s inventory. Topics span stocks, the economy, gold, tax reform and the debt ceiling. If you love to hate the Fed, you’ve got a kindred spirit in Schiff. And he doesn’t exactly spare President Trump’s so-far limited tenure. Spats with other commentators are a long-running thread across these videos.
Cons: Light on instruction compared with other financial channels – this truly is audio commentary. And, if you’re not looking for political commentary of a conservative bent mixed in with your markets news, this isn’t the channel for you.
Pros: Brian has been posting these videos for 11 years, an eternity in internet time. He clearly has a lot of knowledge to impart and does so in a seemingly sincere, chart-heavy approach that should resonate with those looking to be engaged in the minute-by-minute fluctuations of the market.
Cons: Unless these kind of visuals speak to you as a trader, it’s unlikely that they will draw you in. They can feel pretty dry at times. Technical analysis certainly isn’t for everybody, and the fact that there is a paid subscription model for the website will be off-putting for some.