or Connect
Styleforum › Forums › Culture › Business, Careers & Education › How can I start investing with a modest saving's account?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

How can I start investing with a modest saving's account?

post #1 of 58
Thread Starter 
I'm a senior in college about to graduate. Still looking for a job, interviewing here and there. I have a modest amount of savings I've accumulated throughout my tenure at college (less than $10k but more than $5K, which is unarguably laughable to some of the big timers out there lol) and I'm trying to figure out what I can do with this instead of it just letting it rot away in my account. I'm aware that small capital = small gains, but hey, gotta start somewhere, right? Should I just wait until I get a full-time job and accumulate more capital and then start investing? What should I invest in? I actually wouldn't mind investing in some riskier assets/equity for higher returns, but I wouldn't know where to begin. Also, another question I have concerns 401ks. My plan is to max out my 401k contribution each and every single time, but I'm starting to wonder whether that's worth it, considering that that money will be locked away until I can take it out decades later. I'm sort of thinking that maybe I should contribute a modest sum (say, a couple hundred each time) and invest the rest of the money that I would be contributing into something else. Does anyone have any insight? I love nice things and love money, but I've come to terms that I need to live with as small a budget as possible and invest as much money as possible so I can take advantage of compounding gains. I really have no idea where to start, and while I do realize there are a lot of investor guides and books out there, I'd rather hear some surface level tips from SFers. After getting an idea of what would be best, I will look further into it, whether it be by books or advisors or whatnot. So yeah, where the hell do I begin? Thanks to anyone who takes the time to give me some advice!
post #2 of 58
this is a very very good move on your part and I admire you for it, seriously. wish I did this when I was your age. anyways, there are many ways to invest, primarily depending on how much risk you're willing to take. if I were you I'd talk to an investment manager you like and trust to know what your options and goals are. good luck!
post #3 of 58
Max out your 401K, especially if your prospective employer will match part of the contribution. Also look into saving in either a Roth OR regular Individual Retirement Account. Whatever you do, learn something about investing, how to read corporate balance sheets, and annual reports. There is probably a good class at your college in the business department on personal investing, or maybe at a college near you after you get a job. Learn about bonds and how they work - e.g. the price of a bond goes in the opposite direction of the interest rate, and is also affected by the term of the bond. For instance, now is not a good time to get into bonds, with prevailing interest rates being relatively low, and the Fed pumping up the money supply, higher interest rates will occur at some point in the future, before they will go down. In this case, you would get killed on the price of the bonds when the interest rates do go up. Learn about portfolio diversification - "don't put all your eggs in one basket". If you do a search of the forums, you will find several books recommended on the subject. The best advice: educate yourself.
post #4 of 58
Thread Starter 
So I should max out my 401k, despite there possibly being other investment opportunities out there that could yield better returns? Not trying to argue, just trying to understand whether maxing out my contributions is always the best solution. One of the firms I'm waiting to hear back from said that they match 50% of their employee's contributions. I sure hope I get this job..!!! That being said, does anyone have any experience with mortgage REITs? How about bank loan funds?
post #5 of 58
Do you have any debts? Best investment for this kind of money is to pay of debts.
post #6 of 58
Thread Starter 
zero debt
post #7 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by GreenFrog View Post
So I should max out my 401k, despite there possibly being other investment opportunities out there that could yield better returns? Not trying to argue, just trying to understand whether maxing out my contributions is always the best solution. One of the firms I'm waiting to hear back from said that they match 50% of their employee's contributions. I sure hope I get this job..!!!

That being said, does anyone have any experience with mortgage REITs? How about bank loan funds?

Yes, if they match it's free money, and if they don't it's still worth the tax incentive. If you have money left over open a brokerage acct and play with options until a) you lose it all and you get the risk out of your system or b) you get rich. Win-win.
post #8 of 58
good thread kiddo. good luck. i wish i'd put a bit away at your age.
post #9 of 58
y wife and I started saving for y son's education around 2 onths after his birth. We have 7 accounts in 7 different utual funds and put 5000 INR in each every onth through s systeatic investent plan (SIP). So 35000 INR (~775 USD at todays rate) every onth. We dont intend to withdraw it before his 18th b'day. THinking was to put away enough to get hi through college even if y business / other savings etc went totally bust. the on y keyboard is not working. y suggestions 1. DOnt put all your dough in one place or at one tie, spread it over tie 2. Put it for the long ter so you are unaffected by the short ter swings of the arket
post #10 of 58
you may want to get your M key looked at there AJ
post #11 of 58
..
post #12 of 58
Unless you make a lot of money right out of school, I wouldn't suggest *maxing* your 401k (as in contributing up to the legal limit).

I would suggest contributing at least as much as your employer will match.

Take 5K of what you have now and open a roth IRA (doesn't even have to be all 5k). You can still count this as a 2010 contribution if you act fast. Since you probably paid very little to no taxes on this money as a student...the downside of the roth (having to pay taxes first) doesn't apply and you will be able to grow the money tax free forever.

Part of the magic of compounding interest is that if you get started with a large amount early (sadly, most people do not graduate college with 5k in an IRA and intentions to immediately contribute to a 401k and IRA when they start working) you will have to worry less about making large contributions later. this should release you your fears about locking up too much money...it will give you extra spending money 10-15 years from now when other people get an oh shit moment and start contributing on an accelerated schedule.
post #13 of 58
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by aj_del View Post
y wife and I started saving for y son's education around 2 onths after his birth. We have 7 accounts in 7 different utual funds and put 5000 INR in each every onth through s systeatic investent plan (SIP). So 35000 INR (~775 USD at todays rate) every onth. We dont intend to withdraw it before his 18th b'day.

THinking was to put away enough to get hi through college even if y business / other savings etc went totally bust.

the on y keyboard is not working.

y suggestions

1. DOnt put all your dough in one place or at one tie, spread it over tie
2. Put it for the long ter so you are unaffected by the short ter swings of the arket

What's your definition of long term? I want to take advantage of compounding returns by reinvesting returns.. so if I keep some equity locked up for the long term, then I wouldn't be able to do that necessarily. Of course, my/your definition of long term largely defines that outcome.

I wouldn't mind looking into riskier assets (i.e. mortgage REITs).

Also, if I were to start investing right now, at approximately what age will I start to see the fruits of my investments? In other words, how old will I be when the "I'm so fucking glad I invested at that age" statement comes out, considering I'm only 22 right now? I know that largely depends on what I invest in, but just to get a general feel. Five years from now? Ten?

Quote:
Originally Posted by otc View Post
Unless you make a lot of money right out of school, I wouldn't suggest


*maxing* your 401k (as in contributing up to the legal limit).

I would suggest contributing at least as much as your employer will match.

Take 5K of what you have now and open a roth IRA (doesn't even have to be all 5k). You can still count this as a 2010 contribution if you act fast. Since you probably paid very little to no taxes on this money as a student...the downside of the roth (having to pay taxes first) doesn't apply and you will be able to grow the money tax free forever.

Part of the magic of compounding interest is that if you get started with a large amount early (sadly, most people do not graduate college with 5k in an IRA and intentions to immediately contribute to a 401k and IRA when they start working) you will have to worry less about making large contributions later. this should release you your fears about locking up too much money...it will give you extra spending money 10-15 years from now when other people get an oh shit moment and start contributing on an accelerated schedule.

Cool. I will look into that. Did you do the same? I searched through some threads and saw that you invest in mortgage REITs. Did you start doing that once you got a job and started having income? Is it even worth it to look at REITs with my capital right now?

BTW, thanks again everyone for the tips!
post #14 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by GreenFrog View Post
What's your definition of long term? I want to take advantage of compounding returns by reinvesting returns.. so if I keep some equity locked up for the long term, then I wouldn't be able to do that necessarily. Of course, my/your definition of long term largely defines that outcome.

I wouldn't mind looking into riskier assets (i.e. mortgage REITs).

Also, if I were to start investing right now, at approximately what age will I start to see the fruits of my investments? In other words, how old will I be when the "I'm so fucking glad I invested at that age" statement comes out, considering I'm only 22 right now? I know that largely depends on what I invest in, but just to get a general feel. Five years from now? Ten?



Your perspective and mine will be very different. I was offering very general inputs on how I am trying to build a what I hope will be a very nice nest egg/ fallback for my son.

I am an Indian (dot, not feather) and a huge believer in India's future. Though the equity market here may be down for some short period of time, I believe that they are north bound over the longer period.

You mentioned 2 time periods, 5 years and 10. I think both are very good. Even 2 years is good IMO barring a fiasco.

Here is a comparison between India's National Stock Exchange and Dow Jones over the last 10 years. Though they may be 2 year period where a negative return is yielded, I dont think over a 5 year period there is a negative return.

However, it seems that the DJIA gave a 10% return over the last 10 years. Ouch

post #15 of 58
Read Dave Ramsey, he's great for starting out. Follow up with Richest Man in Babylon and Millionaire Next Door.

Ramsey's advice is not that exciting (pay off all your non-mortgage debt, hold 3-6 months expenses in cash, invest 15% into IRAs/pre-tax) but it is solid financial advice.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Business, Careers & Education
Styleforum › Forums › Culture › Business, Careers & Education › How can I start investing with a modest saving's account?