Listen to anyone talk about their experience during college and you’ll enjoy stories of drunken nights, surviving on Ramen noodles after the meal plan has ended, and barely scraping together enough change to make it through each week. The 4-6 years spent in college is a formative time in a young person’s life as they are on the cusp of real adulthood. Although the struggle is incredibly real, the transformation into independence is emerging as well. While putting your phone bill in your name and paying your own car insurance is a good place to start when claiming your independence, college is also an ideal time to begin investing.
It can seem like a far fetched idea, understandably. After a week of eating hot dogs without the bun, topped with old ketchup packets; it can be difficult to wrap your brain around how it can be possible to invest money into startups for a maybe financial gain. The idea of dabbling in investments has been one wrought with intimidation and complication in the past. Investments seem like a privilege for the financial secure, older crowd. However, even if you are in college and aren’t anywhere near starting a solid career, investing is still an option for you. In fact, it is something you should seriously consider and here’s why.
Why Invest During College?
Investing while in college as opposed to years afterwards gives you the opportunity to make mistakes, fumble, and learn while your stakes are still low. It is an invaluable precursor to adulthood and real world financial experience. A decade ago, investing in college was more difficult, though still financially and personally beneficial. However, over the last several years, the investment industry has evolved to make it accessible to those seasoned in the financial industry as well as novice investors starting out while in college.
What Is Republic Co?
Republic Co is a platform that marries the crowdfunding outline and the ability invest into startups. The company created the startup investment platform on the heels of a major change in law. In May 2016, the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s enacted Title III which allowed for non-accredited investors, that’s you, to invest into startups. The law changed which opened the door for new, inexperienced investors to dabble in the startup industry however, the laws were still complicated and entangled making it intimidating and uninviting for the average person. Republic acts as the middleman in ironing out the confusion and making investing possible for everyone. The platform is SEC-registered, FINRA-licensed, and has an impressive history of experience within the startup realm.
How Does Republic Co Work?
The platform is set up to be user friendly and simple enough for everyone to use without spending a lifetime dedicated to learning the ins and outs of investing. Republic works with a pool of startup companies that are put through a detailed vetting process. After creating a profile as an angel investor, you choose the startup you want to invest in. You can invest as little as $10, which is less than a large pepperoni pizza, or more if you feel comfortable. When you invest, you have a financial stake in the startup in the form of a Crowd Safe. Essentially, a Crowd Safe is an investments contracts that outlines all of the details of the deal for future equity. While a monetary return is always appreciated when investing, putting your money in a company that has values that align with your own is an equally rewarding part of investing. With that being said, you can also receive a financial return from your investments as well if the company is successful. This can happen is the startup is successful and acquired by another company or IPO at valuation higher than it was at the time you invested your money. Some startups may also choose to provide Shadow Shares. Outside of that, there are other perks and benefits that are available depending on the particular startup.
Investing during your college years is possible and recommended. You don’t have to sell your laptop or donate plasma for 6 months to make it happen. Redirecting your beer fund to a startup you believe in can be financially and personally rewarding. It is important to note that all investments are risky. Many startups do fail but, many succeed every year as well. Do your research and reach out to the Republic Co staff for advice if you are unsure or need clarity. Republic offers investing that can work for you and you don’t have to break the piggy bank to make it happen.