Stock Market Newbies, This Guide Is For You : Planet Money The first class of Planet Money Summer School starts off with a field trip. With the help of a cow, two economists, and three cute animals, we learn what a stock is and how stocks are priced, and we begin to see the psychological forces that make prices move up and down on the stock market. Keep an eye out throughout for our big theme for the course this summer: risk and reward.

Planet Money Summer School 1: The Stock Market

Planet Money Summer School 1: The Stock Market

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Suharu Ogawa for NPR
Students learning about stocks. Suharu Ogawa for NPR
Suharu Ogawa for NPR

Find all episodes of Planet Money Summer School here.

Planet Money Summer School is back! It's the free economics class you can take from anywhere... for everyone!

This season, we help you understand the decisions behind investing. We revisit classic Planet Money episodes to learn the financial lessons hidden inside. And we consult with some world class professors. We learn what a stock is, how stocks are priced, and begin to see the psychological forces that make prices move up and down on the stock market.

For the first day of school, we find out where stock prices come from. Are prices determined by the wisdom of crowds, or is it more like a beauty contest? The answer involves two iconic figures in economics — John Maynard Keynes and a cow named Penelope.

Vocab words:

  • Wisdom of the Crowds
  • Keynesian Beauty Contest
  • Slow Loris

Music: "Lost Situation," "Heavy Load," "Disco Dollies," "Diamonds and Pearls," "Frothy Coffee," and "Space Oyster."

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