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 Post subject: 19 y/o College Student Seeking Help, Guidance, & Advice
PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2012 12:44 pm 

Joined: Sun Dec 16, 2012 12:27 pm
Posts: 5
Hi! My name is Jordan. I am currently an undecided student in his freshman year at Penn State University. Most likely I believe I will be majoring in economics. Just based off of my experiences in my first semester money & economics has really interested me. I've gone around picking the brains of some of the best financially set people I know to try to give myself an edge. Really what I am looking for is any advice whatsoever to get me started with investing and starting something that can work for me to set myself up after college (or even in it now if possible). I am currently in the stock market with a small amount of money on a dividend paying stock. With my dividends, I them set up to reinvest in the same stock. Recently I have also become interested in real estate as well. Not that I would like to be a real estate agent, but from what I have read and the people I know real estate has been good to them. In my mind, I would like to purchase a place and rent it out when I talk about real estate. I have also recently just browsed around looking at retirement plans and college funds for my kids. I really just want advice or guidance or help on any of those topics or anything that compliments those topics and ideas well. I literally am willing to soak up and study any information given. I am a blank slate. Thank you!


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 Post subject: Re: 19 y/o College Student Seeking Help, Guidance, & Advice
PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2012 8:17 am 

Joined: Fri May 04, 2012 2:23 pm
Posts: 810
While I think it is great you are looking towards your future and saving, I would suggest two things to focus on.

1) Ensure you are doing the right things to get a "good" job when you graduate. This not only means grades and extra curriculars, but networking.

2) While doing #1, do everything you can to graduate with as little debt as possible. If you have extra money, open a "high" yield savings account, park it there and focus back on #1.

Good luck.

PS, I am a fairly conservative individual. So, if you were looking for someone to tell you to start landlording while in college or to place your bets on red, then you may need to find advice from someone else by "doctor shopping" for advice. While my methods haven't made me "Mark Cuban" rich (and I've never owned a bar featuring wet T-shirt contests on Thursday nights), I am fairly happy and have more money than 98% of the world. But, it has been a long, slow and hard working journey.

_________________
Bichon Frise

"If you only have 1 year to live, move to Penn...as it will seem like an eternity."


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 Post subject: Re: 19 y/o College Student Seeking Help, Guidance, & Advice
PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2012 9:14 am 
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Bichon Frise wrote:
While I think it is great you are looking towards your future and saving, I would suggest two things to focus on.

1) Ensure you are doing the right things to get a "good" job when you graduate. This not only means grades and extra curriculars, but networking.

2) While doing #1, do everything you can to graduate with as little debt as possible. If you have extra money, open a "high" yield savings account, park it there and focus back on #1.

Good luck.


From another happy 2%er...

I would add to Focus #1 that you should enjoy whichever path you choose. There are plenty of people making tons of money doing what they hate. I'd rather do what I like for a little less money. I completely agree that you should pick a major/degree that actually makes you employable but among those that make you employable, pick something you can enjoy doing for 30+ years.

These kinds of discussions always make me think. We watched a movie "The Company Men" over the weekend. It was kind of slow so don't take this as a recommendation. But it's basically about a bunch of guys in Boston that get downsized out of a big corporation. One guy lives a fairly normal life for the role he has except he is portrayed as relatively rich - drives Porsche, belongs to a country club, lives in a nice big suburban home in the Boston area. Things there is no way I could afford...or would want. His salary is mentioned at one point in the movie. He made less than I do! Yes, it was only a movie - but there really are people like that, lots of them. I would far rather do what I enjoy (which I do) and make a good living but perhaps not as much as some others.

Bichon Frise wrote:
(and I've never owned a bar featuring wet T-shirt contests on Thursday nights), I am fairly happy and have more money than 98% of the world. But, it has been a long, slow and hard working journey.


There is still a chance to open that bar. Don't let your dreams die my friend!


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 Post subject: Re: 19 y/o College Student Seeking Help, Guidance, & Advice
PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2012 9:32 am 

Joined: Fri May 04, 2007 8:14 pm
Posts: 1952
Bichon Frise wrote:
I am fairly happy and have more money than 98% of the world.

Actually, it's likely to be 99.3% of the world or higher.

http://www.globalrichlist.com/


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 Post subject: Re: 19 y/o College Student Seeking Help, Guidance, & Advice
PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2012 11:00 am 

Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2009 9:44 pm
Posts: 309
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
VinTek wrote:
http://www.globalrichlist.com/

Wow, I was looking for that just the other day. It really is crazy. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Census Bureau, the median household income in 2011 was $50,054. From this link, that puts the U.S. median at the top 0.98% richest in the world! (I guess there's probably a disconnect between "household" and "person," but still...)


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 Post subject: Re: 19 y/o College Student Seeking Help, Guidance, & Advice
PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2012 3:31 pm 

Joined: Sun Dec 16, 2012 12:27 pm
Posts: 5
Thank you very much for all of the advice! Thankfully my parents are taking on my college payments. As of right now we have it planned out where they will be taking out parent loans until most likely my senior year and then during my senior year I will be pulling out student loans and my parents will be giving me the money to put into that loan. Personally what I have been thinking is why don't I pull out the student loan my sophomore year seeing as interest doesn't accumulate until after I graduate while parent loans have interest off the bat. This will give me two years to pay off the student loan before interest is added on at about 10-12% (vs. around 6%-7%). Am I possibly missing something or not taking something into account? As far as my job situation goes I am really interested in becoming a management consultant. I am starting to build my connections by applying for internships this summer at a couple different companies. Another question I wanted to talk about is possibly going to law school or going to get my MBA after college. Does anybody have any advice on that considering my major and possible job as far as which would be better? I would assume law because that's a whole other profession to fall back on but I'm not sure if I'm maybe missing something.


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 Post subject: Re: 19 y/o College Student Seeking Help, Guidance, & Advice
PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2012 3:53 pm 

Joined: Fri May 04, 2012 2:23 pm
Posts: 810
The plot thickens!

If you have subsidized loans you have turned down, you've probably not done things correctly.

I don't really know what a mgmt consultant does... What I do know, since I've worked for a company for many years in the "top 5" as far as S&P is concerned, that we definitely wouldn't hire a "wet behind the ears kid" to consult for us. You need another plan for what you are going to do to build 20-30 years experience. Lawyers are generally very poor business people and can't ever make a decision b/c they are risk adverse (generally) and have a million little reasons not to do something in fear of being sued.

My opinion is an MBA is worth the price you pay for it, and you want to go to a top school. Most schools worth anything won't take you unless you have 5 or so years of experience.

In terms of the economics of your education, do you plan to just bury your parents in debt? how will you finance a law and/or MBA degree? Does the amount of debt you are taking on/plan to take on reward you with a nice salary?

_________________
Bichon Frise

"If you only have 1 year to live, move to Penn...as it will seem like an eternity."


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 Post subject: Re: 19 y/o College Student Seeking Help, Guidance, & Advice
PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2012 3:53 pm 

Joined: Sun Dec 16, 2012 12:27 pm
Posts: 5
When I say take out student loans my sophomore year I mean for just that year. It is pretty much in the plans that I will have to take out student loans for one of my years.


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 Post subject: Re: 19 y/o College Student Seeking Help, Guidance, & Advice
PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2012 6:20 pm 

Joined: Sun Dec 16, 2012 12:27 pm
Posts: 5
As far as the MBA or law school would go that would be completely funded by myself. My parents have another child to pay for college and as much as I'd like to say I'm the best of the two (joking) they aren't going to put everything into me. When it comes to management consulting it's basically where companies come to you or you work for them and the ask you how they can become more efficient financially and other ways, As far as other plans to build I am planning on signing up for multiple internships for this coming summer over break. I am planning to talk my girlfriend's extremely extremely successful ($$$$$$) father who works for a very successful company over break to maybe see if there is any type of contact or opportunity I can build there. I also plan to my one family member who is successful as well in a good company to create connections or opportunities. As far as consulting goes it is an average starting salary of $55k-$60k (that's just salary not including benefits or bonuses). The MBA is said to really distinguish consultants and make it easier to ascend in the ranks from what I've heard.


Last edited by jws6076 on Mon Dec 17, 2012 6:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: 19 y/o College Student Seeking Help, Guidance, & Advice
PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2012 6:26 pm 

Joined: Sun Dec 16, 2012 12:27 pm
Posts: 5
Bichon Frise wrote:

2) While doing #1, do everything you can to graduate with as little debt as possible. If you have extra money, open a "high" yield savings account, park it there and focus back on #1.



Btw I would like to thank you on this. I have actually been doing my homework on this and plan to switch. Before I do though, do you see any problems in switching to an online bank like Ally? And advantages or disadvantages of a Money Market account vs. a Savings Account? To me it they look the same with just the advantage of a free debit card and checks (with ally).


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 Post subject: Re: 19 y/o College Student Seeking Help, Guidance, & Advice
PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2012 10:19 pm 

Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2009 9:44 pm
Posts: 309
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Regarding the potential post-graduate education you mentioned:

1) I am an attorney at a big firm and went to a T-10 school. Generally speaking, I have positive feelings about my experience, but I will tell you that most of my friends at other schools and even many at mine did not have so great a time. Most schools (even the "best") have a very competitive atmosphere at least in part. The schoolwork is pretty tough, as you are on a curve and pitted against the others in your classes for grades. Studying for final exams, especially the first year, is quite intense. Obviously, many of us found it incredibly rewarding, but it is certainly not a place to go just to get another degree. Those who weren't strongly committed ended up leaving. Also, it is a huge expense, so if you are not already wealthy or if you cannot get significant scholarships (actually, a lot of the best schools are great about giving these), then it would be a huge amount of debt, and you need to be willing to work very hard for awhile to pay it off. Finally, the legal market is still not good for new hires. We're seeing more lateral movement (among attorneys who already have some experience), but many firms are still not hiring first year associates. I don't know for sure, but would think this would lead to even more competitiveness within school, as entry-level jobs are even more scarce than when I graduated pre-downturn. (BTW, I think BF is being too critical of lawyers, though I would agree that many many of us could benefit from more general business, management, and leadership training. It generally is not a lawyer's job to make all of the decisions, but rather to explain the options/pros/cons and provide sound advice to enable their clients to make informed decisions. Obviously, part of that process is making recommendations, but the clients ultimately own the most important decisions.)

2) My brother does business management consulting for one of the best international firms, and he loves it. The big firms recruit straight out of undergraduate business programs, but it is very competitive because so few offers are given. (These are the settings where you would work in teams to consult, from very junior people to managers and up to partners.) Typically after two or three years working in the firm, the consultant then returns to school to get their MBA. I believe most big firms pay for their consultants to go get their MBA, with the expectation that they will then come back after graduating. (I think very little of what I've already written applies to smaller consulting outfits.) As Bichon Frise said, most (all?) good MBA programs require post-college work experience as a prerequisite for admission. My brother tells me that across the board, the very best graduate business programs require a minimum of two years' post-college business experience, though obviously many applicants have even more.

Regarding "high" yield savings / Ally Bank, I am a very happy customer of theirs and have been with them since they opened (they were formerly GMAC). I have both a savings account and a money market account with them. I park most of my cash in savings, but some in money market for check-writing purposes. You can instantaneously transfer between the two online. However, it's important to note that although the money market account allows checking, there is a limit on the number of withdrawing/checking transactions that you can make in each statement period (I believe it's 6), and every single transaction after that incurs a $10 fee.

By the way, you are very wise to connect with successful family and friends to benefit from their experiences and lessons learned. It's a great idea to interview people who work in fields/settings you are considering so that you get a better understanding of what the work actually involves. You will see as you get closer to making serious career decisions that even within the fields, there are varieties of specialties that can make the work very different.


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 Post subject: Re: 19 y/o College Student Seeking Help, Guidance, & Advice
PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 9:29 am 
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Bichon Frise wrote:
I don't really know what a mgmt consultant does...


No one does. From what I can tell based on my own experience, management consultants produce invoices to be paid.

On a serious note, I agree that no company hires a "wet behind the ears" management consultant. But many companies hire "management consulting firms" that have "wet behind the ears" kids do work under supervision of a seasoned professional. I've seen many WBTE kids get pretty decent jobs working for the big firms right out of school.


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