Dave Ramsey: Here's when it's better to pile up cash than invest

Here's when you'll get a better return mathematically than a mutual fund

Editor's note: Money expert Dave Ramsey is CEO of Ramsey Solutions. He has authored seven best-selling books, including "The Total Money Makeover." His radio show "The Dave Ramsey Show" is heard by more than 16 million listeners each week on 600 radio stations and multiple digital platforms. Each week he answers a question about personal finance in his "Dave Says" column. 

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Dear Dave,

What advice do you have for college students who want to plan for the future and start building wealth? I’ll finish my master’s degree in marketing in less than two years, and I’ve been pretty lucky so far because my parents have paid for school. I bring in about $2,200 a month at my job, and I have $24,000 in savings.

Alex

Dear Alex,

If I were you, I’d get really good at the whole marketing thing. At this stage of the game, you are your best investment. You’re a go-getter, so just keep on going and getting it.

If you continue on this path, and by that I mean working, going to school, and piling up cash, you’re going to be able to put that marketing know-how to work in a big way.

You’ll be able to use some of the cash you’ve got stored away to set yourself up in your new life.

What you’re doing right now, in your situation, will give you a better return mathematically than a mutual fund.

Do you get what I’m saying?

An education that is usable is more valuable to you at this stage of the game than investing.

Now, when you finish school and start living life in your new career, good growth stock mutual funds are what I’d recommend for retirement. And at that point, if you’ve got an extra $30,000 or $40,000 sitting there, that’s even better.

Great start, Alex. Well done!

—Dave