8 Easy Investment Tips for College Students
BY LORRAINE McKINNEY
It is never too early to learn about and start investing for your future. Just because you are a college student without a lot of money, it doesn’t mean that you can’t start investing now. In fact, the sooner you learn about investing, the better off you are going to be in the long run. Before you start investing actual money, you need to learn as much as you can about the art of investing, so you have a good idea of how to best invest your money. Take a look at these easy investment tips for college students to get you started on the road to investing for your future.
- Hit the Books – One of the best ways to learn about investing is to read as much as you can on the subject. The more articles and books you read, the more you are going to learn. You can find many good books on investing at your local library, so it isn’t going to cost you a thing. They also offer many periodicals, and of course, the Internet is a wealth of information unto itself.
- Pay Down Your Debts – Before you begin investing, it is best to start out with a clean slate. If you have any outstanding debts, including student loan debt, it is a good idea to get these debts paid down before you invest money elsewhere. Paying off debts is a guaranteed return on your money. If you can get lower interest rates on your debts, use the difference to begin investing.
- Start with a Cash Account – One of the easiest ways to get started with investing is to open a basic cash account. This lets you invest in any security with the cash that is available to you right now, and your money isn’t going to be locked up until you are ready to retire. This is also a great option for experienced investors.
- Use an Investment App – One of the easiest ways to get into the world of investing is through an investment app. This makes buying and selling stocks easy, and you can also use your app to learn a lot more about investments so you can make the best choices for securing your own financial future.
- Learn about Margin Accounts – Another option is to have a margin account. This is a lot like a cash account, but you can also borrow money to invest instead of just using the cash you already have. There are also features that you won’t get with a cash account, such as selling uncovered options and shortening your investments.
- Learn about IRA’s – You should also consider purchasing IRA’s, which are traditional retirement savings accounts. A traditional IRA lets you invest money, but you can’t withdraw it until you are over 59. You get a tax benefit, but you are charged tax on the money you withdraw at retirement. A Roth IRA doesn’t provide tax benefits, but you can withdraw your money tax-free.
- Do Your Research – Once you get into investing, it is important to thoroughly research anything you are interested in investing in. Read up on these investments, talk to other investors, and talk to a broker to make sure that they are the best investments for you to make. Don’t jump on the first investment opportunity you see that looks good.
- Choose a Broker – If you want to really get into investing, you need to have a good investment broker on your side. You have the option to choose a traditional investment brokerage firm that offers personalized service, or an online firm, which is fast and easy. Beginner investors would do better to deal with a traditional broker, because they can be a wealth of information.
Lorraine McKinney is an academic tutor and elearning specialist.