Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Investing as a College Student

A seasoned investment professional with more than a decade of experience, Barrett Wragg functions as a divisional sales manager at T. Rowe Price in Maryland. Throughout his career, Barrett Wragg has taught several investment workshops, including a workshop on investing while in college that he conducted for members of the Black Business Association at the University of Maryland.

When it comes to college, students are generally more concerned about getting good grades and balancing academics with a job and extracurriculars than investing. However, the sooner you start investing, the more money you can potentially save by retirement. Before you start, take the time to think about why you want to invest. Investing is often a long-term process that requires patience and hard work. While it is possible to invest and maintain both good grades and an active social life, not every student will have the desire to do it.

As with most things, investing requires some preparation and knowledge. During your free time, read as many books and articles about investing as your can. Your school library will likely have plenty of books on the subject, and many articles can be found online. Beyond basic investing information, make sure you understand investor psychology. Most investors doubt themselves at some point, and as a college student, you may doubt yourself more than the norm. Unfortunately, this can lead to poor investment decisions, so it’s important not to underestimate the tendency.

Once you’ve prepared, you can choose a brokerage and start making your first investments. Do plenty of research into the brokerage account that is best for your situation and investment goals. It is not a good idea to borrow money to invest, and some professionals even suggest paying off some debt beforehand. When picking your investments, avoid focusing on just one area. Instead, diversify across different investment choices. Further, create a strategy that fits your schedule to ensure you have the time to complete any necessary analyses.

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