Think Like a Market Professional


Think Like a Market Professional will give you new tools for thinking that will help you see markets more clearly, make better forecasts, and make more money.



Think Like a Market Professional

Practical Frameworks for Financial Markets


“When I graduated with a four-year degree in economics and business, I immediately landed a job on a Wall Street trading floor. I quickly realized I was unprepared for the real world. I learned more about markets in my first four weeks on the trading floor than I had learned in my prior four years at university.”

– Brent Donnelly

Hello! Welcome to Think Like a Market Professional. The promise of this course is to give you new tools for thinking that will help you see markets more clearly, make better forecasts, and make more money.

On completion of this course, students and professionals alike will have a set of robust and practical frameworks that will help them understand markets in the real world. The course will show you how to combine logic, stories, and data to see the world and markets as they really are, not as they might be in a textbook. Theoretical finance and textbook economics are great. But to understand (and profit in) the real world, you need more.

This Course Includes:

  • 16 written lessons
  • 8 long-form “Learning from Legends” videos featuring well-known finance experts
  • 7 short-form “Behind the Screens” videos covering specific topics on markets and data analysis
  • 2 hours per month of live discussion / AMA / Q&A with Brent Donnelly and co-educator Justin Ross
  • Online exams and certificate of completion
  • Additional recommended reading / learning materials to go with the lessons

You may start and finish the course any time; there are no time restrictions on the course materials or quizzes.

A few words before we get started

The real world is not neat, orderly, or theoretical. The real world is driven by complex interconnections and fickle human behavior. It is driven by greed, excess, extreme leverage, fear, and panic. Not models. There are no perfectly rational human actors. There is no homo economicus.

Success in financial markets requires flexibility, adaptation, curiosity, and many other traits. It also requires intelligence, knowledge, humility, and the ability to tell the difference between what works in theory and what works in the real world. This quote from one of the great investors of all time, Stan Druckenmiller, reinforces this point:

“When I first started out, I did very thorough papers covering every aspect of a stock or industry. Before I could make the presentation to the stock selection committee, I first had to submit the paper to the research director. I particularly remember the time I gave him my paper on the banking industry. I felt very proud of my work. However, he read through it and said, “This is useless. What makes the stock go up and down?” That comment acted as a spur. Thereafter, I focused my analysis on seeking to identify the factors that were strongly correlated to a stock’s price movement as opposed to looking at all the fundamentals. Frankly, even today, many analysts still don’t know what makes their particular stocks go up and down.”

Think Like a Market Professional will give you the tools and practical frameworks you need to understand money, macroeconomics, and markets in the real world. It will teach you what makes markets go up and down and what to do about it. (And what not to do about it.)

Here are some of the major topics we’ll cover:

  • The cycles of nations and megatrends such as demographics
  • Financial cycles and human behavior
  • Market narratives, booms, bubbles, and crashes
  • The nature, history, and evolution of money, debt, and markets
  • How to analyze central banks, economic data, and market inefficiencies
  • How traders make money in the real world by understanding bias, edge, and market drivers
  • Volatility and options trading, liquidity, fat tails, and crashes
  • How to communicate and think like a market professional

The course starts with the 30,000-foot view of cycles, and zooms in fractal by fractal to show you the patterns, mechanisms, and behaviors that drive changes in the messy world of economics and markets. You’ll learn some history, you’ll learn about the pressures that face policymakers and central banks, you’ll learn the many theoretical frameworks used by economists, and then you’ll cross the bridge from financial theory over to the real world of markets. There, you’ll learn how to avoid making the same financial mistakes so many others made before you. And you will learn to profit from inefficiencies and bias in the markets.

If you have any questions, there is an AMA (ask me anything) session every month, so please send in your questions beforehand or have them ready to ask in chat at the AMA.

Otherwise, see you at school!


The course is divided into five blocks, each containing two to four lessons. Some, but not all, lessons contain longer form videos, and every lesson ends with a multiple-choice quiz of about 20 questions. You must score 70% or higher to advance past each quiz and move on to the next lesson. Again, there are no time restrictions—if you’re struggling with the quiz, you can go back to review the lesson before trying again.

The final exam is composed of 50 questions. You must score at least 70% to pass the final exam and earn your Certificate of Completion. Here is the structure of the course.

Block 1: Cycles

  • Big Cycles and Megatrends
  • Debt and Financial Cycles
  • Surfing the Narrative Cycle
  • Bubbles and the Madness of Crowds

Block 2: Money, Debt and Capitalism

  • The Evolution of Money
  • The Evolution of Economic Theory
  • How We Got Here: The Evolution of Financial Markets
  • Everything Has Changed: Dramatic and accelerating change in economic theory, policy, geopolitics, technology, and markets

Block 3: Central banks

  • A Brief History of Central Banking
  • Understand and Interpret Economic Data
  • Predict, Analyze, and Trade the Economic Data

Block 4: Non-linear markets

  • Volatility and Options
  • Liquidity, Fat Tails, and Crashes

Block 5: How to Be a Market Professional 

  • See the Bias, Don’t Be the Bias
  • Communicate Like a Market Professional
  • Think Like a Market Professional