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What exactly is an investment? Although the term “investing” is widely used nowadays, its true meaning is often misguided and confused. Investing is the allocation of funds with the primary goal of achieving additional income and growth in value. It is ultimately committing to the resources which have been saved along with the aspirations that they will accrue even greater value in the future. There are a variety of assets possible which include both safe and risky investments, and one of the best approaches to mastering that distinction is through practical experience. 

Many college students are most likely skeptical of the idea of investing in real estate while still in school, but it actually could result in impactful financial rewards which would go a long way. Especially given the current situation in the world with the Covid-19 pandemic and the uncertain volatile economy where it may be difficult to earn money, real estate investment could prove to be worthwhile. Not only could a steady source of income from investing help alongside taking classes at university, but it is a solid way to build up your funds and credit score for after you graduate to ease the transition into the working world. 

As with any other task, it is crucial to have a concrete plan and informative knowledge about your goals for real estate investment. Most college students probably are just starting in this field, so it is imperative to use the variety of free online resources available as well as mentorships to set you on the right path. Platforms such as the Small Business Administration and Fundrise, for example, are just a couple of the resources which could provide advice on financing options and strategies for effective allocation of funds. For those who are accredited investors (which may not apply to most college students), there are companies such as Prosper which connect real estate developers to investors who are willing to finance certain projects through equity. 

One of the keys for students starting with investing in college is to start small and progressively work your way up the ladder. It simply doesn’t make sense to go into debt so early on by purchasing expensive and high-end property when your current assets do not allow for such deals. Instead, take a look at rental properties, specifically, those nearby your college campus. This is one of the most feasible ways to start off investing as most schools have off-campus housing such as duplexes, apartments, and condominiums which may qualify for certain loans from the SBA. A popular strategy is “house hacking,” in which real estate investors who own multi-family rental properties live in one of the units and have renters from the other units pay for the mortgage and expenses. This is an excellent way to generate a profit every month as well as guarantee a living option off-campus, which is a major struggle for college students. 

Ultimately, real estate investment along with other ventures is a considerable approach to not only generating a steady income while studying in college, but it is also a substantial way to gain meaningful experience for when you enter the workforce post-graduation and diversify your investment portfolio. It is also crucial to understand the balance between investment and your education as you do not want to lose out on both excellent opportunities.

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