Recent college grads are known for the massive amounts of debt they’ve taken on. They go to school for four or more years, and they hopefully have a degree to go with their nice monthly bill. Investing is usually one of the last things on the minds of recent college grads. Yet, because of the ability of money to grow into massive amounts the longer it’s invested, immediately after college is the best time to start investing. Here are a couple of great ways new college graduates can get started investing.
It may seem like a smartphone app would be a strange place to start investing, but nothing could be further from the truth. Recent apps like Stash and Acorns allow investors to automatically save small amounts of money without much in the way of forethought. Stash allows for regular or periodic investments taken from a bank account. Both Stash and Acorns allow would-be investors to round up purchases and save the spare change in an investment account. Stash has a broader array of investments available while Acorns focuses on just a few funds that are intended to meet certain goals based upon a new grad’s risk profile.
Workplace Retirement Plans
Another great option that is open to many new grads who have jobs is a workplace retirement plan. These are great options because they offer tax-deferred savings. This means that new grads will pay less in taxes, which also means they will keep more of their money to pay off student loan debt while saving. Another great benefit of saving in a work-based retirement plan like a 401(k) is the matching funds that employers will frequently offer. Through workplace 401(k) matching funds, it’s possible to supercharge returns with no additional effort. Many employers will offer a dollar-for-dollar match up to a certain percentage of an employee’s pay. A common percentage is 6 percent. With a dollar-for-dollar match, an employee would effectively be savings 12 percent of his or her salary each year while only cutting their pay by 6 percent.
Even with student loan debt, it is not impossible to save for retirement. Through apps like Stash or Acorns and workplace retirement plans that allow for automatic savings, new grads can begin building their nest eggs. The perfect time to get started is the present.