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Wayne State University

Aim Higher

Nov 17 / Adam Bauer

Investing Myths to Ignore

 

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According to a recent survey, about 40% of Wayne State students are not planning to invest a portion of their income when they start their career. Because investing is a primary way of boosting our retirement savings, this may be a big problem as we get older. Apprehension is understandable, though. Investing can seem really complicated. There are a lot of ways to invest, a lot of accounts to consider, and a lot of rules to follow. We can’t address all of those right now, but maybe we can clear up a few common myths about investing to help pique your interest.

Myth 1: It’s too early to think about investing

It’s never too early to think about investing or saving for long-term goals. We know you’re exited to be advancing towards your career and start working in a profession you are passionate about- now you’re supposed to be thinking about retiring from the job you haven’t even started? Well, why not? There may likely be a time when you don’t want to work anymore. Creating a savings plan early will ensure you can retire on your own terms. Of course, investing needs to fit into your financial plan. We’re not saying take all the money you have and put it in a retirement account. You may need to pay down debt, create an emergency savings account, or accomplish other short-term obligations first, but that shouldn’t stop you from creating a long-term goals.

Myth 2: It’s too expensive to get started

Investing isn’t just for the super wealthy. We’re not exactly writing this on our Fin Lit team private yacht or anything. In fact, depending on the account and investment type, it can cost very little to get started. There are a few accounts that can be opened with a $0 minimum balance. Some require minimum deposits each month, some don’t. It’s important to acknowledge any and all account fees and requirements before jumping in, but it’s possible to be a market participant with $1000 or less, which is the important thing.

Myth 3: The market is scary!

We certainly understand that thought. We still aren’t far removed from the recession. What’s important to note is that despite the ups and downs of the market from day to day, month to month, and year to year, is that over the long-term, the market continues to go up. No one knows exactly when the market will go up or down or when a recession may hit. What we do know, though, is that if we can stay in it for the long haul, investing can be a great way to put our money to work for us.

There are a lot of things to consider when it comes to investing managing our money. What are our personal goals? How long do we have to achieve these goals? What is our tolerance for risk? The Fin Lit team is here to help you make sense of personal finance. If you have questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to participate in any of the Financial Literacy Program services. We are here to help you. Best of all, our services are FREE!

The information provided is for general educational purposes only and should not be construed as trading, investment, tax, or debt consolidation advice.

May 19 / Adam Bauer

Saving Money on Text Books

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The Fin Lit team here at Wayne State is all about saving money and cutting unnecessary expenditures. With the cost of textbooks rising year over year, it may seem tempting to cut them out of our budget altogether. In fact, a recent survey indicates that over 60% of WSU students have, at one point in their academic career, not purchased a particular textbook because it was too expensive. We wouldn’t classify textbooks as an unnecessary expenditure. They’re a must have if we want to do our best in class. But that doesn’t mean we can’t still save money. Here are a few tips to get the most bang for your book bucks:

 

Buy Used

It’s common advice for good reason. If your class doesn’t require any special book related technology or special access codes, buying used is typically cheaper. You can find plenty of discounted options if you simply…

Shop Around

Many university book stores offer used copies for purchase. You can also find a number of online retailers. Be sure to include shipping costs, if there are any, when doing your price comparison. Also, stick with trusted sellers or retailers. Find a deal that seems too good to be true? It may very well be.

Rent

The ability to rent textbooks is a somewhat recent but welcome phenomenon. Publishers and retailers alike are getting into the renting game. If you rent a physical copy, try to keep it in great condition and be mindful of the return date. Otherwise, you may be charged an additional fee. For some books, you have the option rent access to a digital copy only, which can be the cheapest option around. This takes a lot of discipline, though. We all know how many distractions can be found on our computers!

Buy a Previous Edition

This suggestion comes with a big disclaimer. *Only do this after getting permission from your professor!* Some classes require textbooks that contain access codes to online, course specific content. If that’s the case, you have no choice. Some professors may recommend a particular book for class, but may endorse a previous edition if the content is largely unchanged. This all depends on the nature of your class assignments and how the book is used in class. Ever have a class in which the professor said the book is “optional”? Consider this strategy for a class like that if you’re cash strapped. Again, ask the professor before buying a textbook that does not match the specific ISBN# listed on your course syllabus!

 

Have any other tips we may have missed? We would love to hear them!