What Investing Advice Would You Give?

I saw this question come up on a Kiplinger Forum and thought it would be great to have students craft their own advice to this college student (check out NGPF’s Investing Basics to build foundational knowledge in this topic):

Turning 20 this year, currently pursuing a degree in engineering and being funded by my parents. Any advice on how to take realistic risks and learn the ropes of investments with the end goal of at least maintaining the same value of my inheritance in say, 30 years time, or if the possibility of making it larger with time?

Themes from investment professionals:

  • Only invest money you don’t need for 3-5 years given cycles in the stock market
  • Take a course in college and get familiar with the jargon.
  • Invest in stock and bond mutual funds (I would argue index funds are a better place to start given lower fees and that their returns beat most active mutual fund managers).
  • Read some introductory investment books

A great way for students to apply their knowledge is to give them scenarios like this and ask them to make recommendations.  See what your students can come up with.