Horizons West Capital Partners, LLC

Money Management For College Students

You hear about it all the time, college students have no money. They can’t go anywhere, or do anything because they either have little or no money at all. Coming out ahead while in college is possible, it’s not about spending, it’s about spending wisely.
Become a smart shopper. Stop being so brand loyal when you go shopping. Sometimes, I understand that you must have one certain brand of a certain product, but that doesn’t mean you have to buy brand name products all across the board. You’ll save several dollars a month by eliminating brand name products. Secondly, compare prices and shop ahead of time by checking out those weekly sales papers if possible. Decide where the best prices are and do most of your shopping there, head to another store if you have to finish as long as the prices are cheaper. Secondly, don’t buy things that are used once only to be thrown away later. Stay away from buying paper plates, cups, and forks. Stick with the washable stuff. Buy a cheap bottle of dish washing liquid and wash your dishes when you use them. You won’t be out money for paper items that you use only to throw away, or dishes that sit around taking up space because they’re not used.

Clip Coupons. The saying says that to make money, you have to spend money, so spend a little extra money each Sunday and buy the Sunday Paper. The Sunday paper is usually loaded with coupons of all kinds, from grocery items to personal care products. Take about a half hour or longer to look through them all and cut out the ones that you can use. Organize them into expiration dates if you want too that way you can keep track of what you must use first. Then, before going shopping, make a shopping list and lay out all the coupons that you can use during your shopping trip. Now, you can watch your savings grow.

Avoid long shopping trips. Longer amounts of time spent in the store almost guarantee you’ll end up buying what you do not intend to. If you go out and think you may be tempted, take only a few dollars with you, and leave the bulk in your room. That way, you won’t be able to spend as much money while out. You’ll be limited to what you have in your pocket.

Avoid shopping when you are hungry. This really goes without saying. When you’re hungry, you’ll just end up buying way more food than you intended. If food wasn’t the reason why you went shopping, you’ll end up coming home with food anyway, and in reality, the food wasn’t really needed. Only go shopping after you’ve had a good meal.

Avoid shopping with ‘big spenders’. These people may try and tempt you into large purchases, or purchases you didn’t intend to buy. You may only go shopping to browse, but once you see the others buying products, you may feel the need to buy something yourself. You could lose a lot of your paycheck this way.

Save all of your change. After every purchase, come back and put your lose change into a container of some sort. This can be a butter container or any spare container you have around. Eventually, this change will begin to add up. Only cash this in once your container is full. This could take weeks, or months depending on what you buy and how often you make purchases. More than likely, once you do cash this in, you’ll have a good $50 or more in your pocket! I know this will definitely come in handy.

Use your school meal plan. Your school meal plan is there for a reason, so you might as well use it. You will save a lot of money this way. Refuse to eat out more than a few times a month. In fact, schedule regular ‘eat out’ days and stick to them monthly. Refuse to eat out other than those days unless you really have too. Only allow for a few flex days a month. This may be hard, depending on how often you normally eat out. It will get easier the longer you stick to your original plan.

Use your resources wisely. When you go to college, relatives are often willing to help. When your birthday comes around, or whenever a major holiday appears, ask them for gift cards to places you normally shop or for care packages. These two items will ensure less spending on your behalf. However, if you receive gift cards, you’ll still have to spend these wisely. Since gift card money isn’t technically your money, you’ll feel more inclined to spend these rashly. Don’t. Use them for what you need, but feel free to splurge on a major item that you’ve always wanted. Care packages are nice because these often come filled with your favorite food which means you won’t have to food shop so often. Secondly, whenever you get a chance to go home, ask mom if you can bring some homemade food with you, I’m sure she won’t say no.

Pick up a job. Now when I say a job, I don’t necessarily mean you have to pick up a regular part time job. I’m talking about doing something on the side, anything to help you earn a little extra cash. You could offer to clean dorm rooms for a flat fee. Most dorm rooms are pretty small so it wouldn’t take more than an hour of your time. You could charge about $10 and have each roommate pay half of the cost. If you clean three of four rooms a week, you’ll have plenty of extra cash around to help pay for expenses. You could also opt to do some babysitting one or two nights a week. Most kids are pretty independent and you wouldn’t have to do more than cook a meal and maybe help a bit with homework. You could provide college essay writing services to roommates or other students. You could still have time to do some of your own work if needed. Any little bit helps.

Set aside a certain amount of money each week. If you receive a steady paycheck, either weekly or bi weekly, you can choose how much money you set aside. You can either place this money into a savings account or purchase a lock box and keep it under your bed. The point here is not to touch the money you set aside. That money will be considered your emergency fund and can only be dipped into when you absolutely need it. You never know what will arise, and having money set aside is nice to have in case you need it.

I know it will be hard to follow these money saving guidelines at first because you’ll want to do things your way, especially depending on how long you’ve been doing the same thing over and over again. I hope these tips help you save some money in the long run. With those student loan payments beginning to add up, and all of those books that you have to buy, you’re going to need some extra cash!

Recommended Reading

Bernstein, Peter L. Against The Gods. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons, 1998.

MacKay, Charles. Extraordinary Popular Delusions & The Madness Of Crowds. Radford, VA: Wilder Publications, 2008.

Taleb, Nassim Nicholas. Fooled By Randomness. New York, NY: Random House, 2004.

Swensen, David F. Pioneering Portfolio Management. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster, 2009.

Mandelbroit, Benoit & Hudson, Richard L. The (Mis)Behavior Of Markets: A Fractal View Of Financial Turbulence. New York, NY: Basic Books, 2004.

Graham, Benjamin. The Intelligent Investor. New York, NY: HarperCollins, 1973.

Fox, Justin. The Myth Of The Rational Market. New York, NY: HarperCollins, 2009.

Lowenstein, Roger. When Genius Failed. New York, NY: Random House, 2000.

El-Erian, Mohamed. When Markets Collide:Investment Strategies For The Age Of Global Economic Change. New York, NY: McGraw Hill, 2008.

Ellis, Charles D. Winning The Loser’s Game. New York, NY: McGraw Hill, 2002.

Sites of Interest

The following are a collection of websites considered to be excellent resources for independent financial advisors, wealth managers, and their clientele. These sites provide a unique blend of information, insight, and context on a wide variety of topics relevant to the investment advisory and wealth management marketplace.



Business Week Magazine

CFA Institute

Financial Advisor Magazine

Financial Times

Fortune Magazine

Institutional Investor Magazine

Investment Company Institute

Investment News

Seeking Alpha Magazine

Smart Money Magazine

The Dismal Scientist

The Economist

The Wall Street Journal

The Washington Post

U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission

Yahoo Finance

Model Portfolio Performance

The performance of the HWCP Model Portfolios is calculated daily and published monthly to a restricted section of the Horizons West Capital Partners website. The performance is provided to and verified by leading RIA custodians as well as several nationally recognized separate account manager platforms.

To request access to the performance of the HWCP Model Portfolios, please click the link below. Please note that this performance document is not for public distribution and will only be sent via email to financial advisory professionals with a business email address.

HWCP Model Portfolio Performance

HWCP Multi-Strategy Hedged Income Model Portfolios

HWCP has partnered with a leading third-party overlay portfolio manager to launch a highly differentiated series of ETF-based Model Portfolios that are now available to Financial Advisors on a number of the major independent RIA custodian platforms. These Models are based on several of the HWCP consulting oriented Target Portfolios (discussed elsewhere on the HWCP website) that have been provided to advisors since 2008 and have an almost 5-year investment performance track record.

The HWCP Multi-Strategy Hedged Income Model Portfolios (click for Presentation)

HWCP Multi-Strategy Hedged Income : Conservative Model
HWCP Multi-Strategy Hedged Income : Balanced Model
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These Models will invest exclusively in Exchange Traded Vehicles (ETN’s and leveraged ETF’s excluded) and have been designed to generate market leading levels of current income while still retaining varying degrees of capital appreciation potential. The Models have been assembled utilizing a highly evolved multi-strategy form of portfolio construction and will be strategically managed toward a specific volatility target over time in the attempt to minimize excess, unnecessary, and/or uncompensated risk.

HWCP is a leading national proponent of the “All-Weather” style of portfolio management, a system of managing assets best characterized by the flexible utilization of multiple asset classes and investing strategies through time in order to create a well-rounded, focused, and optimally diversified portfolio. The style of portfolio management as practiced by HWCP as evidenced through the HWCP Model Portfolios has a foremost regard for protecting against the unknown, and willingly gives up some portion of any future positive market return potential in order to rigorously protect against loss.

The HWCP Model Portfolios are designed using a highly flexible Core/Satellite methodology, which allows for the inclusion of both strategic and more tactical portfolio rebalancing adjustments. The preservation of capital is at all times considered a primary objective of all HWCP investment strategies.


Emerging Manager Focus List

Through its ongoing manager search efforts, HWCP has identified a growing number of investment managers that possess the range of characteristics typically required for formal inclusion on the HWCP Recommended List of managers, with the notable exceptions of not being a current beneficiary of a substantial asset base and/or a long-term performance track record.
HWCP has thus decided to publish an Emerging Manager Focus List to provide the opportunity for Advisors and their clients to benefit from exposure to these potentially outstanding investment vehicles while they are still relatively anonymous and well below the radar screen of the greater financial advisory community. This Focus List will be comprised of a limited number of specialized investment managers deemed to be the most highly regarded undiscovered entities operating within each asset class as identified and utilized by HWCP.

The research methodology undertaken by HWCP in the identification of all Emerging Managers is identical to that previously described in the Manager Search tab of this menu.

HWCP Target Portfolio Performance

The performance of the five HWCP Target Portfolios is calculated daily and published weekly to a restricted section of the Horizons West Capital Partners website.

To request access to the performance of the HWCP Target Portfolios, please click the link below. Please note that this performance document is not for public distribution and will only be sent via email to financial advisory professionals with a business email address.

HWCP Target Portfolio Performance

HWCP Target Portfolios

To allow for current and prospective advisor clients to assess the efficacy of all HWCP consulting related risk tolerance profiling, asset allocation modeling, and manager search activities, a series of Target Portfolios have been created that correspond to each of the five investor risk Profiles referenced in the Risk Profiling section of this website. Each Target Portfolio will be comprised of specific suggested portfolio exposures to each of the investment managers on the HWCP Recommended List operating within each of the fourteen distinct asset classes utilized in the HWCP portfolio construction process.

The HWCP Target Portfolios are designed to accurately reflect the complete intellectual property of the underlying HWCP consulting methodologies (Risk Profiling, Asset Allocation Modeling, and Manager Search). The performance of each Target Portfolio is tracked on a daily basis and is published weekly on the HWCP website for clients and potential clients considering HWCP consulting services.

HWCP Target Portfolios are not actively managed live investment portfolios, and are not associated with or related to any HWCP sub-advised or direct investment advisory services. The Target Portfolio performance is calculated and maintained for illustrative purposes only and is specifically applicable only for those prospects and clients considering HWCP consulting services.

Manager Search

The task of identifying investment managers likely to produce market leading investment returns on a prospective basis is an exceedingly difficult undertaking requiring a rigorous combination of quantitative and qualitative evaluation. However, the typical industry practice of assessing investment managers by utilizing historical returns or style box adherence as the principal forms of analysis is quite likely to result in imprecise if not materially erroneous conclusions. To further complicate the matter, most investment manager “research” is performed by relatively junior personnel who very often have never had any actual portfolio management experience. Given these circumstances, it should not be considered a surprise that the latest academic research definitively shows that far too many investment manager “hiring/firing” decisions are essentially poor decisions, with the fired manager typically outperforming the hired manager by a very considerable margin over the succeeding years. Something is very clearly wrong with the manager search business as it is currently practiced by the investment advisory and consulting industry today.

The HWCP Approach

HWCP believes that superior investment managers distinguish themselves predominantly along the following five factors: philosophy of risk control, process of decision making, cultural orientation, ownership structure & rewards system, and excellence of personnel. These factors are universally qualitative in nature, and require a differentiated and non-traditional thought process in order to properly measure. At the same time, HWCP believes that it is critically important for those purporting to provide manager search capabilities to actually have a history of successfully investing assets across multiple investment styles, strategies, and market cycles. There is simply no substitute for the knowledge, judgement, and healthy regard for risk that can only be acquired after many years of practical investment management experience.

Manager Selection

To populate the major asset class exposures derived from the Dynamic Asset Allocation Model described elsewhere, HWCP will utilize the multi-decade, hands-on portfolio management experience of its Founder/Managing Member to identify, compile, and make available to clients a Recommended List of investment managers operating within each asset class that are deemed to be the most attractive and worthy candidates for timely ownership. The HWCP Recommended List of investment managers will consist of managers and/or vehicles across the universe of available investment styles and/or strategies, and will be continually assessed and amended as necessary. All managers on the HWCP Recommended List must have a highly refined and documented approach to the management of risk and must have a demonstrated history of being responsible and ethical stewards of investment capital.

The HWCP Recommended List of investment managers should not be considered merely an “All Star” team of recently top performing managers as other investment consulting services typically provide. The managers on the HWCP Recommended List are selected specifically for their ability to consistently generate attractive levels of risk adjusted investment return through time, regardless of the overall market environment, while at all times protecting against the illogical forced exposure to investment styles and unproductive benchmark hugging that is unfortunately so prevalent across the investment management industry today.

All investment vehicles on the HWCP Recommended List must offer daily pricing, and may employ long only, short only, or long/short investment strategies regardless of asset class or investment style.