Students: DON’T PANIC! Forget CESB and Create Permanent Income

Free money from the government can seem pretty enticing, but how long will it last? Instead, it might be a better option to look into income stocks.

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Students were thrilled when the federal government announced there would be multiple measures to make sure students had cash coming in during the pandemic. First, there was the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB).

This benefit gave students $1,250 for every four weeks between May and August of this year. If you were a student with a dependent or a disability, that increased to $2,000 every four weeks.

Then there was the Canada Student Service Grant, a grant that would give students anywhere between $1,000 and $5,000 for volunteer work. As long as the volunteer work with shown to be either helping in the pandemic, or helping you receive skills for your future career, it looks like you would receive this cash. Unfortunately, this month that all came to a crashing halt.

Hot water

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been accused of giving the WE charity an unfair advantage when he chose them to help with the grant. Now, WE charity has left the deal and took it’s $900 million with it. Now, it looks like the grant is at least on hold, if not thrown out all together.

While you can still apply for the CESB, there are other ways that students can bring in cash during this downturn. If you’re one of the many millennials with some savings available, but I haven’t invested it yet, these are some great options to consider. Not only will you receive cash on a regular basis, it will keep coming in as long as you hold the stock.

Top Choice

If you’re looking for passive income, you’re going to want to look at real estate investment trusts (REITs). Of those, look for REITs that are large and in charge and should continue to do well even during economic downturns like the one we are suffering through today.

In that case, I would highly recommend Choice Properties REIT (TSX:CHP.UN), a top REIT for anyone looking for some passive income. The company has a $3.97 billion market capitalization as of writing, and a 5.79% dividend yield. The dividend has grown at a steady 14% in the last five years.

Shares are now at a bargain at $12.78 per share as of writing. Say you have the average $26,000 to invest for millennials, that would bring in 1,545.84 in annual dividend income! And both shares and dividends should continue to rise. Share prices rose 50% in the last five years, and the stock is already nearing pre-crash levels.

Foolish takeaway

I get it, everybody likes free money. When the government is offering you thousands of dollars, you’re going to want to take it. But when you start to count on that money, that’s where things can get tricky. Things change quickly, and the CESB could be the next item on the chopping block.

Canada has reached a deficit not witnessed since the second world war. All of that money is going to have to be paid back, so it’s going to be harder and harder to claim money like the CESB.

Rather than looking to the government for help, invest in a company like Choice Properties and you will continue to see passive income in your account for years and even decades to come.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium service or advisor. We’re Motley! Questioning an investing thesis — even one of our own — helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer, so we sometimes publish articles that may not be in line with recommendations, rankings or other content.

Fool contributor Amy Legate-Wolfe has no position in any of the stocks mentioned.

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