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Hi. I got my bachelor's degree last year and am heading off to law school in a month. Reading all these messages has helped me understand that I should be investing ASAP. (I do have a cute little $600 IRA in a (gasp!) mutual fund, but it's earned over 20% last year so I'm not complaining.)

But this whole graduate-school thing is getting in the way. (I'll be paying tuition, not getting any sort of stipend.) Every dollar I'm earning now or will potentially earn over the next two summers and three academic years can either go to tuition (i.e. taking out fewer student loans -- a substantial amount of loans is a necessity no matter what) or can go to investments.

(And while I'm going to law school, I have no interest in the sort of legal work that will bring in six-figure salaries upon graduation. I won't be starving (I hope) but I will be the "poor one" at alumni gatherings.)

Am I better off putting, say, $500 or $750 in the IRA and letting it grow that extra few years while I'm in school or should every available dime go toward lowering my need for student loans? (Luckily I don't have any undergraduate debt and have been trained well in regards to credit-card debt and have always paid my bill off each month.)

With all the emphasis on the importance of starting early, I don't particularly like the idea of waiting to start investing until I'm 27 or 28, but I also want to minimize my debt burden as much as possible.

A New Fool
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