The secret behind stocks: How to get rich slowly

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Teacher Craig Parker gives advice to students to begin investing in stocks as early as possible. He explains the easy way to become a millionaire by retirement age.

Preksha Kedilaya, News Editor

A common worry among students is the issue of financial stability in the future. The decisions made in high school in regards to the path or career chosen may drastically affect one’s economic future. And science teacher Craig Parker is passionate on advising students to get rich slowly through investments in hopes to make all of his students millionaires.

Parker goes by the strategy of getting rich slowly rather than quickly. “You should really get in the habit of investing early.” Parker continues, “The quick strategy doesn’t tend to work as well as the slow strategy. The market over the long term is a very reliable way to grow wealth.”

One way to invest is through the stock market. The earlier one invests, the more time the money has to compound and grow. If a student puts away 100 to 200 dollars to the stock market, earning an average of eight percent per year, that investment can easily turn into half a million dollars by retirement age.

Parker recommends students to invest in mutual funds for many reasons. According to Fidelity, mutual funds are investments that hold a basket of stocks or bonds. “I strongly recommend students to invest in S&P 500 index fund because it gives students diversification and a nice average rate of return long term,” Parker said. Index funds tend to be less risky and an extremely cheap way to invest and gain money over time. 

But recent news on the effect of COVID-19 on the stock market has students worrisome of a recession.

Parker assures students that the turmoil currently occuring is not something that will drastically affect future investing. “I do not believe that students should be concerned of the turbulence in the market due to the Coronavirus,” Parker said. For short term investors, this may be a different story but, “it presents an incredible opportunity to buy things cheaply. Get in at a low price, and watch yourself make money.”

In terms of the stock market as a whole, Parker said, “Whether or not this turns into a recession is beyond me, but the bottom line is young people today have 40-45 years ahead of them, and what’s happening right now is in the past.” In other words, the coronavirus only has temporary effects for the younger aged part of the US economy. 

Parker is keen on students using their young age as an advantage. “I believe people should start investing at a young age, because when you start young you can benefit from the time horizon ahead of you.” That is 40-45 years worth of investing by retirement, and as Parker likes to say, “Who wouldn’t want to be a millionaire?”