Good Morning Green Panda Friends.  Today we are helping you start your financial life by helping you choose the right investment options for you. Our banks offer many different investment options, our personal banker may suggest different investment strategies, but it is always a smart financial idea to know our investment options before we make an appointment at the bank.

College Students may not always have the luxury of saving money.  Very often college students live on a very tight budget because they don’t work a lot due to their school schedule; but they have a lot of expenses with the cost of tuition, books, as well as living expenses. Even though student budgets are tight, it would be a smart financial strategy to get in the habit of saving regularly…even if it’s only $25 per month in a High Interest Savings Account.  Every little bit of savings adds up to a lot of money over time.

If you are able to save a little bit of money during your four years of college it will be very comforting to graduate college with some money in the bank.  After graduation college students will have a variety of options on how they want to start their lives; and having money saved gives us the freedom to choose how we want to start our lives.

Once recent college graduates start to work full time the amount of money that they can save increases, therefore their investment options will also increase.

Here are some different investment options for recent graduates:

– Term Deposits are a very common investment option for new investors.  Term Deposits are a fixed rate investment which locks in our money for a certain period of time in exchange for a guaranteed interest rate.  There is no risk when investing in Term Deposits since they are not linked to the Stock Market. In some cases Term Deposits can be cashed prior to the maturity date (aka the term) with a penalty and possibly the forfeit of our interest.

– Mutual Funds are an excellent investment option to diversity your investment or retirement portfolio. Mutual Funds are a pooled investment which means that people invest their money and the mutual fund manager invests the lump sum of money based on the mutual funds investment objectives and strategies.  The Mutual Fund Manager will purchase a variety of Stocks and Bonds in order to create a well balanced and diversified investment.  Mutual Funds are offered with a variety of risks from very low risk such as Money Market Mutual Funds to very high risk such as Sector Mutual Funds (i.e. Energy, Technology, and Precious Metals etc.)

– Precious Metals seem to be a hot investment trend right now.  Unfortunately people don’t seem to understand that if you are hearing about the investment trend in the news it is probably after the spike in the value.  Investing in one particular sector or type of investment can be very high risk; however it can be a profitable addition (in moderation maximum 20%) to a well balanced investment portfolio.  Investing in one sector is a high risk investment and therefore investors may experience fluctuations in the short term, but we always have to keep in mind that it is a long term investment.

Photo by David Paul