They say that great investors start early, and the data certainly seems to back it up. Legendary stock investor Warren Buffet began his career selling bubble gum and postage stamps as a child, and then operated a pinball machine business as an early teen. Virgin billionaire Richard Branson also took an interest in investing in his early years, importing records to resell at higher rates in Britain.
Of course, you needn’t start in your early teens to become a successful businessperson. Many of the world’s top investors and entrepreneurs didn’t find their business drive until later in life, falling into standard jobs and ordinary positions in their earlier years. However, it’s always a great idea to start investing early, and for many well-educated young people, the best time to start is in college.
College is a time of relative freedom – from family, from responsibility, and from obligations – and with that freedom comes the opportunity to make lucrative investment decisions. Many college kids leave school with a stock portfolio, small business, or other ‘passive’ investment working for them into adulthood, bringing in stable income and lucrative returns while they hone their own skills.
Many more invest heavily in college, earning a full-time income while also studying and working hard in their classes. This short guide is intended to help you do either this or that, building small investments or major capital properties that earn for you while you’re studying. Read on to find a range of practical investment examples, along with investment mindset advice for college students.
While there are many exceptions to the rule, the vast majority of college students lack a lucrative income, instead getting by on part-time job earnings, money from their families, or a fund that is developed to assist them during their education. While this may seem like a poor situation for an investment career, it’s actually the opposite, as limited assets gives the ability to take more risks.
With fewer assets, big risks, such as putting the majority of your net worth into a high-growth company, are no longer the burden they may be for other investors. While many tout the value found in stable investments to college students, it’s generally those that ‘swing for the fences’ in college that end up with the most lucrative – or the least lucrative – long-term investments.
There’s one major strategy to keep in in mind when investing in a company, whether a high-risk stock or a more stable investment – the information advantage. Simply put, the best investors in college or in the ‘real world’ tend to be those with the most information at their disposal. Take an active approach to researching companies you plan to invest in by reading information online.
It’s also worth looking at the financial reports of smaller, ‘undiscovered’ stocks, as these can have lucrative short-term gains in the market. Companies that are never even considered by high-yield investors due to their small size are often lucrative opportunities for college students with smaller budgets, as their small size allows them to rapidly increase earnings and relative investment value.
These stocks are often referred to as ‘penny stocks’ – low-value stocks that, while of limited interest to bigger investors, have the potential to generate massive return-on-investment for those with less capital. Consider searching online for further information on penny stocks and how they could help you turn a small investment into a potentially stable, frequent, and lucrative income earner.
Outside of the stock market, there’s also the opportunity to invest in your own venture. Many of the world’s college students find their calling as an entrepreneur during their college years, building an army of products and innovating their way to success. With product development now an affordable process due to the internet, developing your own company is no longer the challenge it once was.
Online investments, whether in informational products; an opportunity to ‘cash in’ on your special knowledge, or hard goods; a chance to import products and develop a business, are abound for the nation’s college student population. Use networks that can be established in college to meet others interested in business, and consider partnering with them to gain an understanding of the market.
Keep in mind, however, that these ventures are decidedly high-risk, and may not be ideal for those that prefer stable long-term gains. Despite having smaller budgets than most professional investors, it’s far from impossible for a college student to invest in ‘blue chip‘ stable stocks with success. As lucrative as high-risk stocks can be, many students prefer to opt for much more stable investments.
Even bank accounts, term deposits, and savings bonds can present opportunities for gains, many of which are ideal for college students that would like to earn passively. While the rate of return that’s offered by these investments tends to be fairly low, it’s also very limited risk. If actively monitoring your investments isn’t appealing, consider speaking with a bank about low-volume investments.
As a college student, you’re in a unique position; you have limited assets, and are able to take risks that many older investors couldn’t manage. Play into these advantages. Invest with knowledge, but don’t be afraid to take risks. Many of the world’s wealthiest investors started during college – with the right mindset, strategy and actions, you could very well become one of them.