Courses on the ins and outs of the stock market are all the rage in Vietnam but most people who complete the lessons seem only interested in the certificate that comes at the end and have little regard for the content.
As evidence of their popularity, the classes run by the State Securities Commission, the National Economics University and the Banking Academy are booked out months in advance.
Many of the learners work for stockbroking firms or are hoping to find employment in the securities industry; these are the ones whose only aim is to get the certificate to show to their employer.
Poorer students, on the other hand, are genuinely interested in learning about the stock market and are much keener learners than the calculating professionals.
The people that run these courses say they can make their students more confident about stock matters through teaching masses of theory.
One market professional we asked held a different view and said theory had its place but factors like skill, experience and an element of luck were far more important.
Ton Tich Quy from the Center for Securities Research and Training thinks the courses try to pack too much knowledge into too little time, and advises learners to get some practical training if they want to be successful. Above all, they shouldn’t just go for the certificate at the end.