Learning about investing is like walking and running, young college students should learn how to save before learning to invest. Savings will work for your investing, for example it can be as simple as depositing your hard-earned savings in a high-interest bank account.
The main reasons for investing are to protect the purchasing power of your money over time, and to accumulate wealth. Many investors, especially retirees, also want to generate a regular income from assets.
The return on your investment can be, for example:
If bank account: interestIf property: rent and an increase (or fall) in the value of your investmentIf shares: dividends and an increase (or fall) in the share price (shares).
If the return on your investment is higher than the rate of inflation, then your investment has delivered a real return.