Learning about investing and personal finance are fundamentally important, but it can be hard for college students to get started. Here are some things you can do today, and an upcoming simulated trading competition that gives you a chance to test your knowledge.
If you had to guess what 60% of people said they wished they had done earlier in their lives, what do you think it would be? No, it wasn’t traveling the world or starting a new business. They wish they had learned more about investing.
Look at this way: you know you’re going to need money. And you might need lots of it depending on the life you want after college. With planning and effort, investing can help you get there. One way to get started learning some of the basic concepts is through the thinkorswim® Challenge.
I fell in love with investing thanks to my dad, who took the time to explain how the stock market works, that I could be an owner in any business that was publicly traded, and helped walk me through buying my first two stocks.
My first real-world investing lesson was that it’s important to understand what a company does and how it makes money. The second lesson I learned was one really big winner can make up for a huge loser. The third lesson I learned was that bigger returns typically take time thanks to compound interest.
There are many resources available and one of the easiest ways is to look and see if your university offers personal finance or investing classes. I learned an immense amount thanks to the classes I took on those subjects.
Many campuses also have investing clubs you can join, designed to help students learn how to analyze a company and think about what makes a good or bad investment. That might sound boring, but in reality it looks more like debating the merits of whether Tencent’s Fortnite is really going to steal market share from Activision Blizzard’s Call of Duty, or if Snapchat’s new features are going to be enough to attract more users to the company.
Like I mentioned before, you can also learn by signing up for the thinkorswim® Challenge. Registration starts on September 3 and runs until October 1, and the four-week competition goes from October 8 to November 3. Last year, 930 teams from 327 schools across 49 states got in on the action.
Yes, there are big prizes for you and your university if you win, but it’s about more than that. “The competition gives you the opportunity to go beyond textbook examples and theories and teaches you key concepts like managing risk, building a portfolio and diversification,” says Lee McAdoo, who heads up Education at TD Ameritrade.You don’t want to miss out, so there are a few things you need to do before the registration ends on October 1 to get ready:
Next, it’s time to brush up on your education. Whether your question is “what’s a stock?” or “how does vega impact options pricing?”, we’ve got resources to help:
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When you start learning more about investing, you’re building a fundamentally important skill that can potentially help you have a better life. What are you waiting for?
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