Q: When should I begin saving for my child’s college?

A: Interested in starting a college savings plan? That’s a smart move because college costs are on the rise.

The best time to begin saving for college is as soon as your child is born. With time on your side, you can begin investing early, save regularly and increase the amount as your income grows. Consider investing in stocks or growth-stock mutual funds. Over the long run, stocks have provided the highest return. Be prepared to accept the rise and fall of the market. You have the time to wait for prices to rise if the stock market drops.

A growth-stock mutual fund can be a safe and easy way to obtain aggressive growth. A mutual fund is a company that invests the pooled money of its shareholders in various types of investments. The funds often accept small sums of money and have an experienced fund manager who buys and sells giving you maximum returns.

July 26, 2005.