Investments For College Students

Investments For College Students

The best investments for college students (and young adults) might be the ones you’ve never heard of…

 

Recently I was asked to write for a large financial website as a guest contributor.  Now, I’m just going to keep it real. I have pretty much zero finance knowledge beyond the basic basics. 

However, after writing for them, I started thinking about the importance of finance. 

Especially when you’re trying to live your best life.  

While I’m not a genius investor I do personally have investments and I’ve looked into the world of finance enough that I feel like I can write some basic pieces for you guys.

So, without further ado, here are 4 investment opportunities for college students (or young adults).

1. Invest In Yourself

 

Okay, so this one is sort of cliché, however if you’re in college there’s a good chance statistically speaking that you’re taking out student loans. 

If this is the case, consider your education an investment into your future.  In other words, don’t think about investing until your loans are paid off. 

Trust me, I took out $28,000 in federal student loans and if I had stayed on track to pay them off, I would have paid back $500,000.  Yes kids…. $500,000.

So, while investing while in college might seem like a great idea, it could actually end up backfiring. 

If you want to do something with the extra cash you have before you spend it, create a federal financial aid account online so you can login and pay off small amounts as you can.

But always abide by one of the core rules of investing:  DON’T INVEST WHAT YOU DON’T HAVE.

 

 

If you’re in a position where you’re paying for college as you go, or you have a parent’s help, then keep reading to find out the best investments for your cash.

 

2. Peer-To-Peer Lending

 

One of my favorite options for college students is peer-to-peer lending platforms such as Prosper or Lending Club. I use both Prosper and Lending Club.

With Lending Club after 5 years my rate of return is 13.7%, but with Prosper it’s 22% Both platforms advertise the average return to be around 7%.

So I just think it depends on the loans you end up with. An average of 7% is a decent return either way.

If you’ve never heard of peer-to-peer lending, essentially people request a loan for whatever they need a loan for, and you invest a small chunk into their loan.  Then, instead of a bank making money on interest, you’ll make that money.

If you’re wondering what makes peer-to-peer lending a good alternative to traditional stocks, the key reason (in my opinion) is that anyone can lend money using a peer-to-peer platform. 

Whichever platform you decide to go with will screen the applicants, and then you simply decide how much risk you’re willing to take on based on a score that’s given (A-F).  

Stocks, on the other hand, take a lot of time to learn and are fairly risky.  When you can get 7% interest with little effort and minimal risk, it makes sense to do. Especially since you can start with only $25.

3. Real Estate

Now obviously if you’re in college you’re probably not in a financial position to run out and buy houses, to rent.  Frankly renting houses can be a nightmare (I have a friend who does this full time).  However, there are ways you can invest in real estate without buying property.  Similarly to peer-to-peer lending, there are now platforms that allow for crowd funded real estate.  One of the most popular is a company called Fundrise.  This platform (and many others) allow investors an opportunity to purchase small pieces of a commercial real estate project.

Unlike peer-to-peer lending, the minimum investment with Fundrise is around $1,000.  However, the average rate of return is supposedly a lot higher (somewhere around 10%).  Most of these crowd funding websites haven’t been around for too horribly long, so there’s risk just in the newness.  But the potential is definitely there!

I’m fairly new to crowd funding real estate, but so far it’s done well for me.

4. The Stock Market

Let’s just be honest, the stock market is scary.  There’s so much to learn and understand that a lot of people choose to stay out of the stock market all together. But, just like all things, there are options for investing even for those of us who don’t care to spend every second of our day watching the stock market.

One of the easiest ways to invest is to choose EFTs (Electronic Funds Transfers). While I’ve personally never used Betterment or Wealthfront, I know people who have and but I’ve heard great things about them. These types of platforms make it easy to invest in stocks by asking you a series of questions and then automatically investing your money for you.

Update:  As of writing this, I have created an account with Betterment.  I went with them over Wealthfront because they do have a premium version that allows you to speak to a human.  Eventually I figured I might need that. However, if you’re looking between the two, there aren’t many differences and Wealthfront does have a better app so it’s a matter of personal preference. 

Hopefully if you’re in a place where you’re considering investing this post gave you some insight into some useful alternatives to traditional stocks and a way to use traditional stocks without needing to be an expert!

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Eva Peron’s Body

Eva Peron’s Body

“Her body was such a powerful symbol that everybody tried to control it, I believe that this points to this country’s tendency toward necrophilia.”– Mr Martinez chairman of Latin American studies department at Rutgers University.

                   

       Eva Peron

If you’re a young’n like I am, there’s a chance you’ve never heard of Eva Peron, or perhaps you’ve heard of her, but don’t really know who she is. Unlike most corpses I’ve written about, Eva Peron was famous in life.  Though she was married to Argentinian President Juan Peron, Eva was an iconic symbol in her own right. An actress by trade, Eva is perhaps best remember for a song she never sang-Don’t Cry ForMe Argentina. After marrying her husband, Eva (also known as Evita) became a strong political and cultural ally with the poor and an advocate for women’s rights. After her death, at the young age of 33, Eva became the subject of the Andrew Lloyd Webber Broadway musical Evita and the 1996 film Evita which stared Madonna. In short, she was a well-known figure in the world of entertainment, politics and human rights and had a dedicated and large following at the time of her death. Which is where we’ll begin.

Embalming

Just hours after dying, Eva was taken to the Spanish pathologist and famous embalmer Dr. Pedro Ara- who was commonly referred to as “an artist of death”. His methodology of preserving bodies included draining the blood from the dead, and replacing it with alcohol, glycerin, and other preservatives. Running this through the body allowed for preservation of the organs.

A similar mummifying procedure was used on the famous corpse of Rosalia Lombardo.

Click Here To Read The Story Of Rosalia Lombardo

While Ara was working on preserving Eva, she was attended by her manicurist and hairstylist who made the outside of her body as perfect as possible. Dying her hair to freshen the blonde, and painting her nails, they styled her the best they could before presenting her to the public.

For 13 days, Eva’s beloved followers lined up to see her.  Millions of them filled through and as they did they would touch her, kiss, and sometimes collapse in grief on her corpse.  After the 13 days, Ara declared that it was time to end the public viewing as he was afraid of the damage being done to the corpse. After this viewing her body was moved back to complete the preservation processes.

The complete embalming process took a year and $100,000- at which time her body was returned to her husband.

Although time consuming and costly, Eva was so well preserved that those who touched her reported that she “felt alive”.

The idea of having Eva embalmed was to have her displayed much in same tradition of Lenin’s corpse. As a political icon to the people, her memorial would include a statue representing the “Shirtless Ones” (the lower-class whom she advocated for) taller than the Statue of Liberty.  Her body would be displayed at the bottom where the public could visit her and she would remain a political figurehead and hope for the hopeless.

While this monument was being built, Evita’s body was on public display in her former office.  She remained there for two years, until her husband Juan Peron was overthrown in the Revolucion Libertadora military coup led by General Pedro Eugenion Aramburu in 1955.   Juan fled the country to Spain, leaving Eva’s body in control of the new government powers who despised the Perons.

Evita was such a strong political symbol with such a strong cult following that the new government leaders feared that Eva’s body in the wrong hands could be used to rally against them.

 

It was this fear that lead to her body’s disappearance for 20 years.

 

At first, the new government leaders banned the public from even speaking the name “Peron” and then attempted to hide her in locations around Argentina. Every time they attempted to hide the body, crowds, candles and flowers would appear outside of the new hiding place.  Eventually, desperate to rid themselves of this problem, they contacted the Vatican who helped to bury Eva in a cemetery in Milan Italy under the name María Maggi.

 

In 1970 a new guerrilla group (a Peronist one this time) kidnapped and killed the president General Aramburu.  It’s said that the Peronist group targeted him in part because he ordered the removal of Eva’s body. After executing Aramburu, the group help onto the body refusing to return it unless the body of Eva was also returned-which didn’t work. Argentina’s new President, General Alejandro Lanusse, later demanded the return of Eva’s body to Juan Peron in exchange for his blessing.

 

Jaun was still living in Spain at the time, so Eva was exhumed and taken to Milan in a silver casket. While still wonderfully preserved, Eva’s body had suffered damage.  Her face had several dents, and one foot was nearly destroyed- probably from being displayed in an upright position for twenty-some years. Juan was said to have cleaned Eva up and displayed her in his home until his return to Argentina in 1973, where he was once again elected President. Only a few short months after his election, Juan had a heart attack and died.

After his death, Isabel, Juan’s third wife and widow, took over as President and brought Eva back to Argentina. Isabel wanted Eva to be restored and for her monument to be completed.  For this, she hired Domingo Tellechea.  He worked tiresly to restore the body, yet it never was displayed and the monument was never completed.

Why?  No one really knows.

What Happened To Eva?

Eva today rests in a traditional grave shoulder to shoulder with the aristocrats she spent her life fighting against.

Other Theories And Thoughts About Eva’s Body

The Lobotomy

While the theory of Eva’s death has long been contributed to cancer, Daniel Nijensohn, a neurosurgeon at Yale University came out with a new gruesome possibility as to why Eva died. Supposedly, in 2011 Xrays were released of Eva’s brain which suggested that she had undergone a lobotomy.  Nijensohn has further suggested that Eva underwent this procedure a few weeks prior to her death under the order of her husband.

A lobotomy involves cutting the connectors between the entire brain and the prefrontal lobes.  While this procedure was done for pain management, it also is famous for being used to numb inappropriate emotions.

Since Eva had cancer, it’s possible the lobotomy was performed as a way to manage her pain. However, there are also theories that this behavior might have been her husband’s attempt to curb her increasingly erratic behavior before it resulted in a civil war.  Reports are that as Eva grew sicker, she had begun to call on the people to fight the oligarchy and there are even allegations that she even placed an order for 5,000 automatic pistols and 1,500 machine guns to give to the people.  This mixed with the allies of Argentina progressively growing unsettled in Eva’s role in the government could have easily led to a civil war.

The surgeon who performed the lobotomy is said to have been James Poppen who used a nurse named Manena Riquelme.  Nijensohn says that he contacted this nurse who allegedly admitted that the surgery took place in the palace without Eva’s consent.

It’s said that after the lobotomy, Eva stopped eating leading to her death only a couple weeks later.

Stories, Legends, and Unverifiable Facts That Make Eva’s Story More Interesting

Perhaps one day I’ll write in detail about all of the myths and stories of the body’s travels, but for today I’ll give you just a taste of some of the crazy myths surrounding the strange journey of Eva’s body.

 

  1. Eva was kept on the dining room table after being returned to her husband.
  2. Every night Juan’s third wife would brush Eva’s hair.
  3. There were dozens of wax body decoys made of Eva distributed throughout the world to keep people guessing as to her location.
  4. Eva was stored with a farmer in Argentina who kept her in his attic. She was moved when he shot his wife (supposedly to be with Eva?).
  5. Eva’s finger was cut off to prove she was human and not one of the wax decoys.
  6. Eva’s corpse was hung up and beat because the military believed her spirit was against them.
  7. Eva’s body came to the attention of neuropils and this led to some of the damage (if you catch my drift).

Regardless of whether any of these are true, if you think about the fact that someone as influential as Eva Peron could be embalmed, transported throughout the world, and hid by the Vatican for fear of causing a war… all of those strange facts don’t need to be true because the real story is unbelievable enough on its own.

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