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For 2 years I am alternating between 4 months of work and 4 months of school, so for the first time in my life, I have a lot more money than I need. I will be graduating in 15 months and am looking to take responsibility for my future financially.

In 3 months, I should have around $13k-15k that I know I won't need for those last 12 months. I was doing some research and I think doing a 1 year term deposit at 2% is a good option. What are some alternatives?

I also don't know if it's too early for me to start investing in Mutual Funds and the like. After graduating I'll be purchasing a car and saving a little afterwards to buy a house. Is it better to start investing say 10% of my salary now, or should I wait until I've paid off my car and mortgage? From the amount of reading I've done, I think it is better to have the money invested in mutual funds instead of paying off more of the mortgage for liquidity. Should I also look at starting an Emergency Fund? What else do I need to consider?

Where can I look and compare at various Mutual Funds? I live in Canada. Do I have to go through banks?

Is it normal to find investments that yield a higher or very close rate to that of your mortgage interest rate? I am young and willing to take more risk - I don't have anyone depending on my money. Which investment type would you recommend and why?

Also, what is a good reference for all this information? The more I read, the more unanswered questions I have. Is there a good book that isn't out of date that I could read?

I don't know yet what I want in terms of my financial goals, but I know that I want to be comfortable and I have a pay now play later attitude. I would rather invest my money than spend it going out or on things like that. I'm currently reading the Wealthy Barber, which says to invest 10% if your salary in mutual funds or real estate to start. The book is 14 years old however, is this still good advice?

What are the advantages and disadvantages of mutual funds vs etfs?

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Although the amounts of money are different, you might find two of the answers (and the comments) to this recent question helpful. –  Dilip Sarwate Oct 1 '12 at 3:50

1 Answer 1

up vote 4 down vote accepted

You've asked eleven different questions here. Therefore, The first thing I'd recommend is this:

Don't panic.

Seek answers to your questions systematically, one at a time. Search this site (and others) to see if there are answers to some of them. You're in good shape if for no other reason than you're asking these when you're young.

Investing and saving are great things to do, but you also have time going for you. I recommend that you use your "other eight hours per day" to build up other income streams. That potentially will get you far more than a 2% deposit.

Any investment can be risky or safe. It depends on both your personal context and that of the larger economy. The best answers will come from your own research and from your advisors (since they will be able to see where you are financially, and in life).

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