Beginner Investing: How to Start!

My goal when I started CollegeInvestr was to bring the financial world to my friends and peers.  Without the help and education from my parents and family I wouldn’t know a single thing about finance or investing and that’s a shame.  The education we receive in high schools now focuses primarily on specialization in certain fields and overlooks the basics of being an adult.  None of my teachers taught me how to budget my money, do a tax return, or balance a checkbook.  I want everyone to have the tools and education to take control of their financial future and create something they can be proud of.

Our array of education ranges from the basics of finance and budgeting, and goes all the way up to stock derivatives and the like.  We’ve noticed recently that there isn’t a lot of information out there to help college students actually get started investing from step one.  Because our whole goal is to provide education at all points in your investing career, having material covering the very beginning is vital.  Today we’re kicking off a new series: How to Get Started Investing.  This preliminary post is going to test the waters, see what people are interested in, and what they don’t understand.  We’ll go over most, if not all of these topics again in a later piece.  Enjoy!

Why You Should Invest

You’re a college student, you have a part time job that pays for beer and pizza, and you’re already stressed for time.  Why would you want to add investing to your list of things to do?  What’s the point and what happens if you don’t?

It does not take a lot of money or time to invest!  Both time and money are something that a college student, like myself, do not have a lot of.  Let me assure you it does not eat up a lot of time, and the actual financial requirement are very small to get started.  Some investing firms have accounts available for as low as $100, so there’s no excuse for waiting.

Most polls say only 29% of people have more than $1000 in their savings account.  That is simply not okay.  Some retirement analysts suggest over 2.5 MILLION dollars in order to have a comfortable retirement.  That is a terrifying reality.  Very few people are prepared to retire or are on the right track to be ready.  The key to becoming successful over the long-term is starting early, and letting your youth work for you.

When To Start

Now.  That is the simplest answer.  The power of compound interest can do great things.  Most of you are going for a 4 year degree, and afterwards you’ll be getting into your career field.  Once you start a family it’ll be much harder to start saving for retirement.  By the time you do have a family you WILL be looking toward your retirement and how you will support yourself then.

The beauty about starting in college is that you have so much time to watch your money grow.  If you invested only $1,000 at age 20 and got an 8% return (pretty average in today’s economy) you’d have around $40,000 by the time you retired at age 67.  Those numbers get exponentially larger if you save more over your lifetime.

Deciding Your Future

Having a stable financial future isn’t something that just happens to you.  It takes preparation, dedication, and a willingness to make sacrifices for your future.  We all make sacrifices on a daily basis.  Sacrificing sleep in order to study for that exam, or sacrificing time with our family to hangout with our friends.  The sacrifices needed in order to be financially successful are minuscule in comparison.

There’s a quote I try to live by.  “You didn’t wake up today to be mediocre.”  And don’t get me wrong, I’m not insulting anyone’s lifestyle.  However, wouldn’t you prefer being comfortable everyday knowing you have enough to live how you want and buy what you feel like?  I certainly would.  So why be mediocre, when you can be extraordinary, and stable, and provide your family with whatever they need.

In conclusion I’m not saying CollegeInvestr is the one-stop shop to financial success.  I’m asserting that this website, along with many other investment education websites provide the needed information to make yourself successful and comfortable.  Take control of your financial future and be extraordinary.


 

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Finance education for the millennial population!

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