Investing as a student can be a great way to start building wealth and financial security for the future. It has become increasingly clear that carving out a place for oneself starts from within school. Many innovative and successful ideas were birthed while in the four walls of an educational institution, also with the huge number of graduates being released every year there are fewer job opportunities for youths in government institutions and Big private instititions. What then is the solution? More Youths have taken to investing in various opportunities which they came across while in school.
It could be business plans, courses, or skills. The aim of this article is not to point out what you should invest in, but rather give tips on how to recognize opportunities, steps to go about your investment and in the end maybe you’ll be a little more confident about your choice to invest in that new business opportunities your friend pitched to you.
Lets start by defining Investment. Oxford languages defines investment as the action or process of investing money for profit. Thus to invest is to put your capital into some venture or Business or skill for some profit.
As students money is the one thing lacking in abundance, while it may not hold true generally most students are still under their parents and thus do not have as much money to invest. However the aim of this article is to guide students to make the best choices with their limited capital.
How To Invest Your Money As A Student While In School
1. Find an Idea worth Investing in: Before money is thrown into a project or business, it must be clear that such an idea or venture is worth investing in. Before putting money into a project one should always ask himself, What is my goal? What is the goal of this business? What need is it going solve?
Every idea that succeeds changes the world. It either bring something new has a positive effect in an already established industry. Thus before investing you limited capital think and make sure that your project is worth investing in.
2. Research: You successfully find the project you wish you to invest in congrats, now the real work begins. There are many pitfalls surrounding lucrative ventures, due to impatience and lack on in-depth knowledge most of this pitfalls doom most ideas and the investment of the investors.
Ask around, use social media to check the veracity of some claims, familiarize yourself with the industry if possible ask professionals who have been in such fields longer than you have, Benjamin Franklin said “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.”
3. Invest in skills; There is a quote that goes “Schooling doesn’t assure employment but skill does. No matter what you choose to invest in, investing in yourself is the most important investment of all. A person’s worth is often determined by what he/she can do.
The more proficient you are in your chosen skills the more opportunities are open to you. There are skills that are relevant in every field such as programming, Data management etc. You can never go wrong investing in yourself.
4. Savings: This is a habit every student should cultivate regardless of whether he invests while in school or not. Saving does not have to be something big or grand, a proverb says little drops of water make a makes a mighty ocean. While you might not be making a mighty ocean anytime soon saving allows you to pool together a sizeable sum after a considerable length of time.
Start with what ever you can spare like 3000 naira a month. In a year that would make it 36,000. Make a budget containing your needs and expenses. Find an expense that you can comfortably live without and save that amount accordingly.
5. Prepare for long term investments: For most school island reflection of real life. While preparing to invest avoid the temptation of risking it all for immediate high rewards, be it from advice from friends or personality traits.
Long term investments might not look exciting but it is an assured form of wealth creation that minimizes loss that new investors would suffer due to their unfamiliarity in the market they chose to invest in. Thus avoid letting your emotion or “false friends” drag you into making risky investments early on.
6. Willingness to Learn: Most high profit markets like Stock trading and Crypto are unpredictable. Thus a new investor must be willing to learn, be it from the older hands in the industry or from courses learning material and most unadvisedly from experience.
However it is imperative to show a willingness to learn. Mistakes will be made, the market will prove tour decisions wrong sometimes. Accept your mistakes, learn from it and move on. The investment journey is a long one and you are just starting it.
7. Maintain a Work-School balance: Investment is all well and good but your priorities must never be misplaced. There must be a balance between your business and your school life. The truth is that many African countries place undue emphasis on certificates. A formal education opens doors and opportunities for you. Besides schools beside being a platform for learning serve as a platform for business connections.
Many ingenious inventions that kick started great business started from friendships in school. This is because there is no better place to find people who have common interests in a particular field than school. Your biggest customers might turn out to be your classmates. A proper balance should be made at all times.
8. Invest With Cheaper Or Free Brokers: This is an available option for investors who do not want to invest through a robo-advisor or an app. So, you may consider working with a stockbroker through a brokerage firm. However, the websites for investment can only offer limited options but a live broker can help you determine the best places to invest based on your goals. Also, they can advise you on the best types of investments for you. They help you keep track of those investments and advise you about trading stocks.
However, this service comes at a price. Stockbrokers make commission on the transactions of their clients. So, you have to ask about the commission percentage and profit model of Stockbrokers before hiring them for investment. This will help you estimate how much you will pay for their services.
Again, if you want to jump into investing, it is not cheap. So, you can invest through cheap online brokers (such as Charles Schwab and Fidelity Investments and who offer free ETF trades and stock while also providing educational tools and great research so as to help you start your investment).
However, if you want free investment (without any cost at all), then you can invest through Webull and Robinhood Gold. Today, these brokers are free platforms where students can trade and invest. They have crypto and options for customer support. Also, they provide Morningstar research which cost as cheap as $5 on monthly basis.
However, Webull offers retirement accounts while Robinhood Gold does not.
9. Crowd funding: This investment for students includes: buying shares in start-ups, real estate programmes, loans to SMEs and businesses (crowd lending), projects for renewable energy. etc.
So, you can invest into any of these options if investing in the capital of a start-up is so risky and involves waiting for several years. Today, you can diversify by selecting several operations as the entry ticket is low.
In conclusion there are no hard and fast rules to investing properly as a student or as an adult in the world. However this will make sure that you invest carefully and safely while still in school. The world is always waiting for fresh ideas.