Let’s start with a small story:
Kabir and Raunak were two college best friends. They used to live together as flatmates in the US and had specific monthly allowances for their expenses.
Now, both of them had a clear understanding of saving up from their monthly allowance. Kabir and Raunak both used to save around 300 Dollars per month. But, only Kabir used to invest a major chunk of his savings in different assets regularly while Raunak just left his savings in the account.
3 years down the line, one fine day, when both of them finished their college education, Kabir showed Raunak how he has substantially increased his total savings as compared to Kabir.
After dealing with the surprise, Raunak asked Kabir to explain the reason behind this disparity between Kabir and his own savings. On hearing this, Kabir put a wide smile on his face and just said – “It’s the magic of compounding my friend”
Okay, now let’s get started with the blog.
Saving money is just the first step in building a better financial future. Investing your savings is the real deal. Why? Because investing has the ability to grow your money exponentially over time. If you don’t invest your savings, you might end up missing out on substantial returns, while the others who invested regularly enjoy the benefits of compound interest (as we saw with Kabir and Raunak).
So, to ensure that you relate with the Raunaks of the world, here’s a complete guide to starting off with small-scale investing as a student.
What is small-scale investing?
Let’s just keep it simple. Small-scale investing is the practice of investing small amounts of money in various assets to build a diversified investment portfolio.
What’s the goal of small-scale investing?
It is to achieve substantial returns over time while minimizing risks.
What are the different assets you can invest in?
Now that the basic definition of small-scale investing is out of the way, let’s look at the different assets you can invest in as a part of your portfolio.
These are basically shares of ownership in a company. Investing in stocks technically makes you a shareholder in the company. As the company grows and generates profits, the value of your shares also increases.
Fixed-income security issued by governments and corporations to raise funds are known as bonds. To put it in grade terms, when you invest in bonds, you lend money to the issuer for a fixed period at a fixed interest rate.
Look at mutual funds as a group of different stocks from a particular industry.
These funds are managed by professionals and are excellent for small-scale investors.
Certificates of Deposit (CDs)
CDs are a type of savings account that pays a fixed interest rate for a fixed period. They offer guaranteed returns and don’t possess any major risk factors.
Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs)
ETFs are similar to mutual funds, but they trade on stock exchanges like individual stocks. ETFs offer diversification and low costs, making them an excellent option for students.
What Apps To Use To Start Investing?
Starting investing has become easier than ever now. All you need is an ISIC card and you can get started right away.
Here are some of the most common apps you can download instantly and get started with your investment journey:
Robinhood is a commission-free investing app that allows you to buy and sell stocks, options, ETFs, and cryptocurrencies. It is an excellent option for small-scale investors who want to start investing with small amounts.
Schwab is a full-service brokerage firm that offers a wide range of investment options, including stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and ETFs. The best part of Schwab is that it offers low fees and excellent customer service, making it a highly viable option for small-scale investors.
Lastly, Fidelity is a brokerage app offering minimal fees and prompt customer service, making it another great option for getting started with your investments.
Don’t Forget To Do This Before You Start Investing
Now you know why you should invest, where you should invest and how you should invest? Let us finish this by looking into the resources that will teach you to invest.
We’ll advise you to spend at least 1 month on research before you even invest a single penny. It’ll help you set yourself up for success and avoid some common mistakes.
Now, where do you do your research?
Read some simple finance-related books like the Psychology of Money or the famous Rich Dad poor dad book. It’ll help you understand the importance of investing and provide a simple roadmap on how to get started.
Other than reading books, watching finance-related Youtube content will help you stay up to date with recent trends and understand valuable concepts.
Here are some Youtube creators we’d recommend you to subscribe:
- Finance Josh
- The Humble Penny
- Making Money Simple
- The Penny Pal
- Thando & Lindie
Wrapping It Up
To conclude, small-scale investing can help international students build a better financial future. By investing small amounts regularly in a diversified portfolio, you can achieve substantial returns over time and reach your financial goals.
However, it’s essential to do your research and choose the right investment options that align with your goals and risk tolerance. With the right mindset, education, and resources, small-scale investing can be an effective way for international students to grow their wealth and achieve financial freedom.