Starting a College Fund

My wife and I have three children, ages 11 years, eight years and 15 months. Our annual family income varies in the $65K to $70K range. Due to a lack of planning and general stupidity on my part, we have not started a college fund yet. What is your advice on how to start a college fund to ensure that all our children receive at least some help from us?

--A Parent Soup member

Bruce Hammond

Bruce Hammond is an expert on college prep, applications and cost, and author of Discounts and Deals at the Nation's 360 Best Colleges and... Read more

My first thought is to suggest that you talk to a financial advisor, perhaps someone who has worked with friends or relatives. Find someone you can trust. My second thought is to warn you against trying to make up for lost time by choosing an investment that has a potential for high reward but also carries high risk. You are at an intermediate stage in terms of your recommended tolerance for risk, at least for the first child. Most pros would recommend that you divide your saving between stock mutual funds and safer investments for your oldest. For the younger kids--and especially the youngest--mutual funds are probably where you should put most or all of the nest egg. But that is a matter to talk over with a professional who knows your financial situation.

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