What is a good way for me (I’m almost 18) to start investing?

This question and answer originally appeared at Quora.

I’ll also be starting college in the fall and helping my parents pay for tuition. They will be willing to pay for most of it, which means I will have some extra money to put towards investing, but only a couple hundred dollars. I just want to learn about investing now while I’m young.

Personally, you should make good use of the University or local library and spend this time reading and learning about investing.

There are many ways to invest and speculate; the right way for you is dependant on your own goals and personality traits.

If you want to use the money to gain practical experience of setting up accounts and buying shares for example, then you could use this as a learning experience.

From a financial perspective however, you would be better off keeping the money aside in the bank (you’ll probably need it soon – even if you don’t expect to).

Additionally there is likely to be ways to use this money to improve on your own education – additional books, courses to accompany your degree, which will provide a better payoff than investing in shares.

This answer first appeared here.

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Mark Underdown

Financial Planner, Small Acorn Money

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