Learning to save money and invest early on, will enable students to carry on good habits that will lead to accumulating wealth at an earlier age. The habits developed while in college can carry on into adulthood and the first job.
The key to saving is not how much, it’s being consistent. Though some students may not have a job in college, strong habits could be developed by managing any allowance money from family members or even saving a portion of any gifts received. As students begin to make money, the habit of saving should follow along with their future earnings.
The Financial Wellness Center helps students to identify savings opportunities and establish goals that fit each individual’s unique situation.
Investing is one of the ways in which money can begin to work for you and offer an additional stream of income. Students are often times curious about investing, but have little to no understanding about how or where to start. Working with the financial wellness center, students can learn about types of investments, tips on where to get started, and even best practices when searching for a financial adviser post-graduation.
Types of Investments
- Mutual funds (which provide a mechanism to invest in a combination of stocks, bonds, and/or other types of investments)
How to Get Started
Finding a Financial Advisor
Finding a trusted advisor to help you reach short- and long-term financial goals can be challenging. Here are a few tips offered by FINRA:
- Understand that you first need to have a budgeting process in place so that you walk into all meetings with a basic understanding of your situation.
- Check with family members and close friends where you can potentially get a reference.
- Be sure you do your own research about the background of the advisor you are looking to work with. It’s okay to ask questions such as who have they worked with in the past that may potentially provide a reference.
- Ask about fee structures and how the advisor will make money while being your trusted advisor.
- Check out Nerdwallet’s tips.
- Research the background and experience of financial brokers, advisers, and firms.
Apps and Brokers
- Merrill Edge
- Twine (app for collaborative goals/saving)
- Charles Schwab
Top 10 Tips for Getting Started
- Build a budget to find out if you have money to invest
- If you have money to invest, make investments a fixed cost every month for consistency and discipline
- Start early
- Identify your risk tolerance
- Identify your needs, goals, and timeline
- Educate yourself on the different types of investments
- Do the research to find what brokerage platform works best for you
- Stay informed to understand what you are investing in (where your money is going)
- Diversify your portfolio
- Be patient; think long-term strategies
Books and Podcasts Recommended by Other Students
- The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham
- Broke Millennial by Erin Lowry
- Broke Millennial Takes on Investing by Erin Lowry
- The Essays of Warren Buffet
- The Smartest Portfolio You’ll Ever Own by Daniel R. Solin
- "Money Tree Investing" podcast
- "Invest Like the Best" podcast
- The Investors Podcast Network
- "We Study Billionaires"
- "Bitcoin Fundamentals"
- "Millennial Investing"
- "Real Estate 101"