Where do I park my money for long term investing?

I am currently a student in college and have some money (around 10k) that I would like to put somewhere that can earn money over time. I am not experienced with investing, but I have looked into some of the following ways and would like a little more guidance. I have looked into stocks (maybe a few blue chip), mutual funds, ETF's etc. What would be the best option for someone who isn't as experienced and is looking for low risk?

Financial Planning, Investing, Stocks
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January 2016

Congratulations on getting started with investing.  Due to the way your question is phrased, I am assuming that you already have some money in a savings account or a money market account to serve as an emergency fund, that you have little or no credit card debt, do not have any large purchases planned in the near future, and student loans are not an issue.  All of these concerns would take priority over long term investing at your stage.  If you are looking to start a long term investment, I would recommend researching broad-based index funds either in mutual fund or ETF form.  Take a look at U.S index funds as well as international index funds.  Because you are just getting started, I would steer clear of individual stocks at this point as you wouldn't be able to create much diversification in your new portfolio and you are still learning the basics of investing.  By buying and holding index funds you will have quite a bit of diversification, even if you don’t hold many funds.

Another option would be to choose a low cost allocation portfolio, or target-based portfolio that would automatically create a well diversified portfolio for you with representation from most of the major asset classes.  Good luck!

January 2016
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