Adventures in Investing, Part 1: Undergraduate Days

Last week, I told you guys how terrible I am at sticking to decisions about where my primary checking account is. Can you guess that I also started out pretty indecisive about investing? Looking back, I think the root cause of the problem was not enough knowledge. This post is the beginning of a series on how I learned about investing and became more knowledgeable.

I’ve always been good at organizing and saving money, but my parents never taught me about investing. In fact, my parents recommended avoiding mutual funds and stocks because of how much they had lost over the last  few years. I made some retirement savings while I was in college and put all of this money into CDs. The average return on them is 5% per year, which isn’t bad for guaranteed income.

Some of my friends in college were into margins and day trading. They would constantly talk about how terrible of an investment CDs were with the paltry returns, compared to what they were getting on the stock market. Those discussions were really detrimental to my getting started in investing because rather than offering sage advice, my friends were telling me how what I was doing was very wrong.

I was pretty busy in college maintaining an ‘A’ GPA while doing a double major, so I made the executive decision to “figure out” investing once I graduated. I think that, overall, that was a good decision because I did manage to graduate with over $30,000 in assets and no debt.


One thought on “Adventures in Investing, Part 1: Undergraduate Days

  1. I wouldn’t say I am a particularly savvy investor, but I try to stick with what I know (low-cost index funds, maxing out retirement accounts to take advantage of tax-free compounding), and then later I hope to branch out into a couple of individual stocks. Those would not be a big portion of my portfolio, though.

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