Investment Basics teaches base patrons how to build wealth

25 Jan 2012 | Cpl. Miranda Blackburn

For many people, the idea of investing their money seems like a complicated process. With so many different places to put their money to good us from money market accounts, stocks and bonds to mutual funds and precious metals, service members aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune should look no further than Marine Corps Community Services' Resilience Education courses.

With the Investment basics class, base personnel learn how to take the first steps in investing and preparing themselves for an enjoyable retirement.

Marine should always be looking to the future when it comes to their finances and preparing fore retirement, whether they plan to make the military a career or if they plan to leave the service, according to Roy Ells, Jr. a financial education specialist for the Resources Branch for Personal and Professional Programs, MCCS.

"A lot of people come to me and ask how they can invest their money for their children's education, but the first thing I always ask is what kind of retirement plan they have," said Ells. "Retirement should be foremost in your mind when talking about investing. If you don't think about your retirement before paying for your kid's education, you may just end up living with those kids in the future."

The class is not designed to tell people what they should do wit their money, but to show them the options they have available for investing their money.

Students learn how to budget their money and invest it without putting a burden on them and how to use money normally for paying debts.

The class also goes over the importance of investing early so money can be built up for retirement rather than starting too late and trying to catch up as well as different kinds of investments that can be made.

There are many different ways of investing money and any one of them can be a benefit or a detriment if a service member doesn't take the time to learn the process well, said Ells.

There are small, large, risky and safe investments, long term, short term and medium term investments. Each one requires enough knowledge and a good strategy to walk away from the investment with a profit instead of a loss.

But, is it really so easy that a "talking baby" can do it? Ells said it comes down to each individual person.

"It really just depends on what your goal is as far as investing," said Ells. "That should determine the risk factor you are willing to associate with your investment."

The class also teaches students how to find reputable financial planners and investment companies to help with their investment goals.

During the class, Ells also goes into detail about the benefits of taking advantage of the Thrift Savings Plan and similar programs.

"Honestly, I was worried that (the class) was going to repeat a lot of stuff that I had already read online but it really helped me set goals as far as saving and investing in the future," said Cristina Rioja, an Investment Basics class attendant.

Investment Basics is held once a month at the Resilience Education office. For more information or to sign up, call 451-2865.