Serving the Fullerton Community Since 1922

The Hornet

  • The Hornet and Inside Fullerton are on summer break and will return on August 26, 2024. Please send any tips or inquiries to Jessica Langlois at [email protected].

The Hornet

Serving the Fullerton Community Since 1922

The Hornet

‘Adulting’ 101: Investing

By Annette Valderrama

Investing can be easy! Reporter Annette Valderrama breaks it down in our adulating series. Photo courtesy of

If you think investing is only for rich people, think again.

Years from now, most people will not have a pension or social security, according to Courtney Jane, a professor of business management at Fullerton College.

“You have to save for retirement starting now, or else you will never have money to retire,” she said in an email.

A pension is income one gets after retiring from a company and social security is retirement money provided by the government after you turn 62.

However, social security “may be reduced or eliminated, which means you will receive no money from the government when you are too old to work,” Jane said.


“You have to save for retirement starting now, or else you will never have money to retire.” -Courtney Jane (Professor of Business Management at Fullerton College)

Investment types

When thinking about investing, consider different options including real estate, stocks and bonds, mutual funds and 401k plans, a retirement investment offered by employers usually including a matching contribution option.

When it comes to a 401k,  “always invest the max you can with the employer match,” said Jane.

Doing your homework is key to finding the right investment for you, according to Gwendolyn Earle, a professor of business management at Fullerton College.

“Research and seek advice from an expert, licensed stock broker, financial planner, reputable banking institution or credit union,” she said.

Investment scams

Earle also warns consumers to watch out for investment scams in which companies try to make a quick profit from people new to investing.

“The basic version of the con is the scammer convinces the consumer to make a financial investment in a project, company, loan, stock or other initiative,” said Earle.

Earle added that “regular reports may be sent indicating the investment is producing great returns. When the consumer attempts to withdraw their money, they discover the investments never existed.”

Investment goals

Earle advises new investors to establish short- and long-term goals.  

For example, it can be “saving for college expenses, saving to purchase a home, planning long-term for retirement”.

Investment class

If you want to learn more about investing or just refreshing your memory, think about taking a business or finance class.

“Every single person should take a class, and take responsibility for investing as saving for the future by re-assessing their savings plan at least quarterly,” Jane said.

The good news, according to Earle, is that with education and some practical knowledge, everyone has a chance to become a great investor.

Capitalize on Some Investment Resources

Fullerton College:

Business courses: Bus 101 (Personal Financial Management) and Bus 201 (Financial Investments)

Better Business Bureau:

Finding an Accredited Business in the Investment Services Industry

Reporting a Scam to the Better Business Bureau

Smart Investing: Better Business Bureau and the FINRA Investor Education Foundation

Governmental and other resources:

Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA)

Federal Trade Commission

Securities and Exchange Commission