For many college students, investing may seem like a task best put off for the future. While it’s always good to not rush into decisions, the truth is that starting to invest while still in college can be an amazing way to kickstart your investing journey. 

However, before jumping into college investing, it’s important to be aware of some safe options to ensure that you aren’t gambling away your hard-earned finances. Having some guidance about what some of the safest and most reliable investments can make the process easier and less intimidating to begin. 

Here are some low-risk investment options for college students. 

Savings Account

Though it’s not as flashy or exciting as investing in stocks, investing in a high-yield savings account can be a fantastic way to start investing as a college student. These investments are extremely safe and can also help you get used to the idea of investing while you’re still pursuing a degree. 

To begin, it can be helpful to start shopping around different financial institutions and finding the accounts that best suit your needs. In addition, advisors at banks can be great free resources that help you learn more about investing your money and letting it grow over time. 

While savings accounts are a great place to start, they don’t necessarily offer the highest returns in the long run. With this in mind, getting your feet wet with investing in a savings account as a college student is a great low-risk place to start investing. 

Index-Fund Stocks

While you’re still in college, it’s best to put your finances into safer investments that have a reputation of being reliable. When it comes to reliability, it’s hard to find more reliable stock investments than popular index funds. 

Put simply, an index fund is basically a collection of investments that you are able to invest in. For example, one of the most popular index funds is the S&P 500 index fund. By investing in the S&P 500 index fund, you’re basically investing in stock from each one of the companies in the S&P 500. 

The biggest benefit to investing in index funds is the fact that reputable ones have a very low chance of dropping significantly. Though it will change from day to day and will drop sometimes, history has shown that index funds typically rise over the course of years. 

The biggest downside to investing in index funds, however, is the fact that these funds have a low chance of skyrocketing during a short period of time. This means that if you decide to invest in an index fund, you should be prepared to wait several years to a decade before thinking about selling your shares if you want to see significant returns. 

Bonds

Bonds can be a great low-risk investing option for college students looking to grow their savings and hedge their finances against inflation. While bonds aren’t going to be the highest-yielding investments, their low risk levels make them a great place to start investing for beginner investors in college. 

Basically, a bond is a sort of loan with a fixed return rate and time frame. For instance, if you were to buy a $100 dollar bond with a 5% rate and a one-year term, you would receive $105 at the end of one year. 

The most common places you can buy bonds from are governments and corporations. While these are safe investments, they won’t give you extremely high-returns. This being the case, bonds are best held onto for long periods of time with the intention of receiving a little bit of passive income rather than comprising your entire investment portfolio. 

Roth IRA Retirement Fund

Although, as a college student, you’re likely more concerned with finding a career than retiring, investing in a retirement fund while you’re still in college can potentially set you up for an early retirement in the future. In particular, Roth IRA retirement funds help you passively grow your income in a significant way. 

Put simply, a Roth IRA is a specific retirement account that allows you to invest your earnings in things like stocks and bonds without them being taxed. After waiting a certain amount of time and reaching a certain age, you may also be qualified to cash out your earnings tax-free as well. 

The benefit of the Roth IRA retirement account is the fact that you have the chance to earn more money as a result of depositing income that isn’t taxed. This means that your earnings will accrue higher returns over time, as you are depositing more money. 

This form of investing can be extremely advantageous to college students because it allows you to get the most value for your finances. In addition, the earlier you start investing for retirement, the better off you’ll be and the more luxuries you’ll be able to afford once you retire. 

Real Estate

One of the most reliable places to invest your money is in real estate. By investing in real estate, you’ll typically be investing in an appreciating asset that has the potential to significantly grow in value over the course of many years. 

In addition to potentially offering you high returns, being able to get on the property ladder while still in college has the potential to put you at an advantage later in life. Unfortunately, investing in real estate while still in college is difficult and your ability to do so will depend on a number of factors. 

One of the main reasons that most college students don’t invest in real estate is due to cost barriers. If one doesn’t have enough money saved, securing a loan can be virtually impossible for a college student. 

Given the difficulty of getting a loan from a financial institution, investing in real estate will probably only be possible for you as a college student if you’re able to get a parent or family member to cosign for you. In addition, the price of real estate varies wildly across the country and some cheaper areas will make investing in real estate more conducive for college students than other more expensive areas. 

Investing Is for Everyone

Just like universities have evolved over the last century, so have the college students who attend them. As a college student, you’re likely far more financially inclined than many past generations of students. This being the case, you’re in an amazing position to start investing your hard-earned finances and building a stable future with a reliable savings account full of returns from your investments.