Learning Finance without a Degree

I'll be a Freshman this Fall and I'm currently making a general outline of my college plan. Nothing super in depth, just generally what I plan on doing each year and when I need to start certain projects. I'll be attending a small state college to double major in Comp Sci and Applied Math. I'm looking to build up a strong research portfolio in order to up my chances of admission to a top-tier MFE program. (My goal is to be a quantitative trader one day.)


So, in order to be accepted to an MFE program I know that I'll need 1. strong math skills 2. good computer science & programming skills & 3. a good background in research.

In order to up my chances of getting into a strong MFE program, I hope to conduct at least some research regarding financial markets. The problem is, I have absolutely no education regarding finance, and, in order to conduct actually useful research in this field, I will obviously need a good base of knowledge.

I looked up how one can gain financial knowledge without a formal college education and on forum posts I found 1. People ignoring the question and simply telling others to get a finance degree and 2. People suggesting very basic intro to personal finance courses.

But I'd like a general outline of how I can bring myself from someone who knows very little to someone who has a strong fundamental knowledge of finance. I'm willing to put in the work and prepare myself for the load of difficulty in front of me, but I want to ensure that I'm actually studying useful information and preparing myself most efficiently for the future.

So, my question is, if you were in my situation, which courses or books would you use to carry yourself from beginner to someone who is advanced enough to carry out useful research on quantitative finance?
 
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