The stock market is one of the most lucrative sources of capital for those who consider themselves to be the masters of the game. However, in order to begin making good money in the market, you need some source of initial capital. In addition, even seasoned investors do at times inject more cash to their investment portfolios as they continue to grow their stock holdings.

Did you know that some investors actually take loans to invest money in stocks? Corporate investors do it, too. To illustrate this, I will take you back to a lesson in business finance, which clearly states that the most effective cost of capital is the one that is perfectly weighted with a mixture of debt and equity.

As you may already know, depending on a companys capital mix the cost of equity may actually be higher than the cost of debt? Why is this possible? Debt has other benefits such as being tax deductible. For instance, it is quite clear that Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), the worlds largest company by market capitalization, has a debt on its books yet it still holds massive cash.

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In fact, Apple enjoys the best operating cash flow margins in the market when compared to other companies of its size. So why does Apple use debt? Technically the company does not need it, but it uses it because it is more cost effective especially when it comes to taxation.

So if a company like Apple finds it more costly to fund its entire capital using equity, shouldnt the same apply to an individual investor? Indeed, it should, especially if you consider yourself to be a serious investor, which means that your involvement in investing in stocks is more like a business rather than a pastime hobby.

However, when it comes to accessing debt, there is the little problem of credit rating, which most lenders use to determine the levels of interest rate to apply to your loan, or worse still, to deny you the loan. If you fall under this category, then it could mean pursuing other means in order to access quick cash that could enable you to invest in that upcoming IPO.

When you look around your home you see a lot of assets that basically experience wear and tear without generating any cash. A smart investor would know how to utilize every opportunity that comes across. Consider a situation where you have an expensive car. You could easily approach a car title loans company to finance a stock investment that you believe would yield better returns in the near future.

Some investors prefer to finance lucrative stock investments by simply dallying with their portfolio of stocks. They identify the ones that are making losses and sell out their positions to finance the new opportunities. However, this sometimes could turn out to be an unwise move because you could keep on closing positions while they are still at a loss, which could eventually have a negative effect on your entire portfolio.

The notion of stock investing is always to buy when the prices are low and sell when they are higher for long-only investors. So if you keep selling out positions that are making losses while investing in new ones, things could end badly.

Yet, instead of dallying with your portfolio at the wrong time, you could always identify one of your valued assets like a car, some expensive jewelry or a piece of land to finance the lucrative investment you are looking to capitalize on.

Conclusion

While financing stock investments with debt may appeal to most investors, it may not be appropriate for others.

For instance, beginners with little experience in the market are likely to find it hard identifying undervalued stocks that have a better chance of delivering good returns. As such, they could end up in more debt or eventually struggle to pay the debt they already owe thereby losing the assets they used to secure the loans.

In addition, it is always good to compare the various loan providers for the best rates. These include those that prefer using your credit score to evaluate the amount and interest you are eligible for, as well as, those that prefer you to provide an asset as a security against the amount borrowed, like a car title or jewelry.

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Professor Keith Gamble gives a lecture to his Finance 330 students in DePaul's Finance Lab. Gamble teaches about investments and encourages students to invest early. (Jack Higgins / The DePaulia)

College students get a lot of experience spending money and building up debt while they learn and plan for their future. However, except for perhaps finance and accounting majors, many students aren't taught how to manage their money.

Saving and investing is an important skill to learn, especially when private college tuition costs have become three times more expensive than they were in 1971. When hearing the term investment, many tend to think of individual stocks, but there are numerous ways for students to begin investing and saving.

"Investing in your early 20s is important because starting investing early makes a huge difference in the growth of your money over the long run," Keith Gamble, a finance professor, said. "Also, habits are enduring, so establishing a habit of saving a little of each paycheck can grow into a sizeable sum over time."

Gamble teaches Finance 330 at DePaul, which covers investment. He also stresses the importance for graduates to invest in a retirement plan, if available, once they are at their first career-oriented positions.

"You should contribute to the retirement plan, particularly if (your employer) has any type of match," Gamble said. "It's literally free money, and you should immediately sign up."

When an employer offers a match, they will contribute a certain percentage of income into the employee's retirement account, called a 401k, every time the employee contributes a certain percentage of their own income. So, a one-to-one match where the employee contributes five percent, will become 10 percent once the employer matches the contribution."

Contributing to a 401k account is a relatively safe way to invest money for the future, but investing in individual stocks are a more "exciting" way to invest because they can merit much greater short-term yields. Juniors Phil Lullo and Brian Moy are students enrolled in DePaul's Driehaus College of Business and have invested in different kinds of stocks for years that have made money as well as failed.

"I started investing as a senior in high school," Lullo said. "My parents gave me $500 to invest with and I ended up tripling my money."

Lullo said he never buys stock in a market he doesn't understand. Before buying a stock, he recommends researching and picking a stock from a market of personal expertise. Once he finds a stock he believes has an upside, he buys it.

"This might sound weird, but I also go with my gut," Lullo said. "One of my most profitable stocks was Nvidia, who make semiconductors and GPUs. The only competitor they have is AMD, and anyone (in the PC gaming field) knows that Nvidia is the way to go. So, I thought that the stock was completely undervalued at $18 (per share). Sure enough, I bought it, and it ended up going to $35."

Although Lullo used his gut, he never invested in a stock without a plan. When he invested in Nvidia, he made a plan to sell when the stock hit $25. When it did hit his target, he sold half and sold the rest along the way up to $35. However, investing in stocks is still somewhat of a gamble even backed by research.

"My biggest loss was when I invested in penny stocks," Lullo said. "I had to sell them all for a loss, (but) I'm still up in total investments."

Penny stocks are stocks valued at less than one dollar, so investors bank on the hope that the company will take off, yielding early investors a high payoff.

Lullo began investing in individual stocks because he wanted to dip his feet into the world of investing so he could better understand the market before he began his career. While Lullo mostly dealt in more dangerous individual stocks, Moy began to put together a diverse portfolio with accounts for both day trading, like Lullo, as well as long-term investments.

"The best advice I can give an investor is stay diverse and do your analysis," Moy said. "Days of continued research is crucially important before investing in any stock. These days, leaving your money in a bank account for small interest return doesn't come close to meeting today's inflation rate."

Moy said he has invested in penny stocks, ETF funds, commodities and blue chip stocks.

Still another way to invest is by using mutual funds. They are one of the best ways to invest for the long term. Investors using mutual funds give their money to invest in a diverse combination of stocks, bonds and other securities. Mutual funds are a more secure solution than individual stocks because if one of the securities has a loss, it does not make as large of an impact because of the diversification of the fund.

"When you start investing, really pay attention to fees, especially when you have a small amount of money like a lot of students probably would," Gamble said. "There are certain brokers that are going to charge you monthly fees unless you are over a certain amount (of money). It doesn't make sense for a student investor that will get charged a $10 trade fee because it would swamp any returns that they could make."

The internet has made investment fees drop immensely. In the 1980s, investing was usually done only by the rich because broker fees were at their highest. Now, with sites like E-Trade that reduced trading fees to minimal fees, and up-and-coming apps like Robinhood, which allows users to trade stocks for free, high fees are mostly a thing of the past. When investing, make sure it is not done on a whim. Keen investing will help secure financial stability for the future.

"Historically, investing in well-diversified stocks or a mutual fund over a long period of time has outperformed all other types of investments," Gamble said. "Usually, people get too caught up in which mutual fund to invest with. The smartest things you can do is diversify and sign up for a retirement plan."



Plenty of reasons are available for people these days to invest their money on property in Thailand. It is a wonderful country to settle down or spend your vacations. In fact, Thailand is a country that has a few of the best beaches in the world. The climate of the country is amazing throughout the entire year as well.

Before you invest your money to purchase property in Thailand, you will need to get in touch with a reputed lawyer and seek assistance. They can offer in-depth information about property investment in Thailand. It is one of the most convenient options available out there for you to get honest and professional advice. You can ask all the questions and doubts that you have on your mind and get them clarified.

You can see a large number of fabulous developments throughout Thailand and you can think about investing your money in them as well. Before you purchase a one, you will need to consider about the exact location, such as country side, city and beach area. The popular options among Thai property investors include Phuket, Ko Samui, Chiang Mai, Cha Am and Rayong. You should also take necessary measures to deal with a reputed developer in the country. In fact, the reputed developers assist their clients as much as possible. You can also ask your lawyer to recommend a professional developer to you. You should always seek professional advice before making any payment to avoid hassle.

Building your own home in Thailand can be considered as an excellent idea. In fact, this method would give you the chance to experience all the benefits that are associated with reasonable prices that exist in Thailand. However, it can give life to some issues if you don't get in touch with a registered and professional construction company in Thailand. A large number of unqualified contractors can be seen across Thailand and you will need to stay away from them. In order to select a recommended company, you can look around for a service provider with experience. A registered construction company in Thailand can assist you in many different ways. For instance, they can offer recommendations on types, styles and prices of property to make life easy for you. They will also help you with your architectural plans as you proceed with the project.

People who are looking forward to constructing homes in Thailand are provided with many different options to consider as well. Therefore, you will need to analyze all the available options in detail and go for the best one. However, it is important to keep in mind that it is somewhat difficult to arrange mortgages within the country. Therefore, you will have to seek professional advice from the beginning. In fact, getting advice before you purchase Property in Thailand can assist you to stay away from trouble and keep peace of mind throughout.