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I am a 21 year old just-graduated-from-college-girl who will very shortly be receiving $400k from a legal settlement. Needless to say, I can relate.

I think that the best advice that I can give you is this: #1- educate yourself-- maybe buy a few books from the Motley Fool if you need to understand financial issues (I did, because until the settlement, I had no need to understand all of those terms and options, because I had no $$$). The books can help a lot. Just reading the Motley Fool 13 Steps to Investing can help a lot.

and #2- proceed VERY cautiously!!!

Here are some things I've learned from TMF in my lengthy 3-month tenure here:

1st- Don't go and spend it when you get it. Put it away until you have a well-thought-out plan for it, and don't allow yourself to touch it until that plan is in place. Once you have a plan, stick to it. You will be tempted to splurge, but don' only get a shot at doing this once. Take full advantage of the opportunity you've been given.

2nd- People you know may approach you and hit you up for money. Don't allow their short-term "needs" to take a chunk out of this money.

3rd- This money will be a very nice sum that you can retire early with, travel the world with, or just be able to say "I quit" when you're fed up with a job, rather than having to be miserable while hunting for another one. This can be your "buy a house free & clear of loans" fund, if that's how you want to spend it. This can be a cushion for you to have throughout your life; it can be your start-up money to own that coffee shop that you always have dreamed about running. Or it can be something you put away and rarely (if ever) touch, so that you can leave something for your family one day. The point is: it can be whatever you want it to be, but it may take you a while to determine what that is.

Sheila: Be VERY CAREFUL with this money. We are very blessed in that we are being given something that most people never get, and certainly something that even fewer 20-somethings get, and that is a financial head-start. Relish it. Enjoy the fact that you & I are able to delve into the ins and outs of investing. It's actually a LOT of fun once you start reading and learning more about it.

You've done the most important thing, which is asking for advice from people who know what they're talking about. Keep reading on the Motley Fool website; it's a WEALTH of good honest information. Poke around, read messages, and learn all you can. Best of luck to you!


p.s.- feel free to e-mail me privately if you want to talk furthur.

sheilac wrote:

Hey I am a 20 year old girl in college who never really paid much attention to investing until now...I am going through a
settlement currently and soon will be receiving more money than I thought I would ever see at my age (around 200,000) I
have been trying to read up on books and figure out what to do with it all...I have thought about mutual funds until I started to
read the first book the Motley Fool's have out. My dad is against mutual funds and he has been previously screwed over by a
broker and does not want me to put the money into a mutual fund at all. I just don't know the best way to go about it yet and
was wondering if anyone out there has any advice that might help me out a bit. Thanks! I hope to hear from some of you.
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