I graduated from college in 1996 and got an engineering job right away at a big technology corporation. I actually got my BS and MS in 5 years. If you are going to work for a big corporation, the MS is a good investment of your time and money. I started off one grade higher and usually it takes 2-3 years to get a promotion.
In any case, this is my starting point at zero. I was extremely fortunate that my parents paid for college so I did not have any debt to put me in a financial hole. I also did not have any credit card debt and was able to pay off the credit card at the end of every month from the beginning.
The company gave me a relocation package so actually I started off with some cash and a beat up Toyota Cressida. Wow, what an awesome beginning.
I know it is a lot tougher these days during the Great Recession, but you can see some resume tips here. The huge increase in tuition since the 90’s really applies additional financial pressure to new graduates.
My parent never had much money so we were always frugal. Thanks to them, I got my #2 and #3 investing fundamentals down before I started my career. I kept good control over my spending and never built up any credit card debt. I didn’t have a budget sheet yet, but I always kept positive cash flow and built my net worth a little at a time. I was very fortunate to not start out in a hole like so many young people today!
What about you? What was the starting point of your investment career?