Investing can be hugely helpful in achieving long-term savings goals, like buying your first car, saving up for tuition for post-secondary education and even purchasing your first house. The Alberta Securities Commission has great resources on educating youth on the power of Investing.
Here is some great information they provide on the different types of investments:
Cash and cash equivalents
Cash includes the money in your bank account and other “cash-like” investments that can earn you interest. These include savings bonds, treasury bills and guaranteed investment certificates. Cash investments are generally very safe, or “low risk,” and give you quick access to your money. However, they often have lower rates of return than other types of investments.
When you buy a bond, you are lending your money to a government or company for a certain period of time. In return, they promise to pay you a fixed rate of interest at certain times and to repay the “face value” at the end of the bond’s term (its maturity date). Bonds typically offer better rates of return than cash investments because you’re taking on more risk by lending out your money for a longer period. Many bonds come with a guarantee and are relatively safe. Others offer much higher rates of return, but can be very risky and have no guarantees.
When you buy stocks or “equities,” you become a part owner in a business. Depending on the size of the business, there could be hundreds or thousands of other part owners, or shareholders. You can make money on a stock in two ways: if the stock increases in value and or if the company pays a dividend. A dividends is a percentage of profits some companies may allocate to its shareholders. The share value of a stocks can go up or down— sometimes frequently and sometimes by a lot. Stocks can provide higher returns than other types of investments, but you also have a higher risk of losing some or all of your investment.
Mutual funds are a collection of investments from one or more categories. Each fund focuses on specific investments, like government bonds, stocks from large companies, stocks from certain countries, or a mix of stocks and bonds. The level of risk and return depends on what the fund invests in.
Alternative investments include more complicated types of investments like options, futures and forward contracts, income trusts, limited partnerships, hedge funds and foreign currency trading. These are typically meant for sophisticated investors who can afford to take more risks.
Risk and return
Risk means the possibility of losing money on your investment. Return is the amount of money that you earn on an investment. Usually, the higher the potential return, the higher the risk.” The Alberta Securities Commission also offers the Make it Count website for parents, to help teach money management to their children. For more resources, please visit the ASC page for Students!
“These are very basic descriptions of some of the investments available to investors and we will continue to provide you information on investing and investments. However, please take the time to learn about your investments before investing and always ask an investment professional or trusted family member before making an investment.”
-Darren Stewart CEO 80-20 Connect.
Alberta Securities Commission Resources
FSI: Fraud Scene Investigator (for high school), created by the North American Securities Administrators Association
Gazillionaire, Zapitalism, and Profitania – games by LavaMind
Hollywood Stock Exchange® – Buy and sell virtual shares of celebrities and movies.
Live “Stock” Adventure (Junior High) – created by the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA)
Stock Ticker – board game and online
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