Because of my past endeavors in the corporate world and the various projects I’ve been part of, I’ve been asked this question quite some times:
“I have <insert any amount of money here>. What should you invest in?”
I’ve always tried to help these people by giving the best options I could think of… but this was before I started consciously investing in personal and professional development.
I say consciously because I’ve also done this before, but it was never a goal. It was a desire to keep learning more, an urge to feed my curiosity or just the intense feeling of competition, thanks to my personality :).
What to invest in?
Well, let’s think about that for a second. Why do people invest in the first place? You’ve guessed it! To become richer than they were before investing.
To be a successful investor, one of the numbers you need to focus on is what is called ROI or Return on Investment. This is basically what defines an investment as being poor, good or even excellent!
Now, let’s see some traditional ROI examples:
a) You can invest in a safe savings account in any bank and get a 5-7% yearly increase. This is a good option if you have no experience in investing. Saving money is much better than spending everything you earn.
b) You can give your money to a portfolio manager and maybe get a nice yearly increase of 8% or more. Doing this means you trust the person or entity to use your hard-earned money as they see fit.
c) You can buy an apartment/house and then rent it. Depending on the location, properties can grow in value at an exponential rate.
Quick note here, Robert Kiyosaki recommends to NEVER buy real estate because you think it will go up in value. He suggests investing a lot of time to research and find the best deals out there. His exact words are: “You make money when you BUY and not when you sell.”
d) You can acquire shares of a company on the stock market. There is one single word that can make you rich when it comes to the stock market, and that is research! Warren Buffett, the wealthiest investor on Earth today, is said to study an industry for a minimum of 3 years (!) before deciding if he is going to invest in it or not.
There are, of course, many more ways to increase your wealth, but, when it comes to choosing the highest ROI of them all, EACH and every successful person is going to give you the same reply:
Investing in yourself is the safest and fastest way to riches. Any successful person can confirm this and, to explain, allow me to dissect the two words:
As you can notice from the above list, the bigger the ROI, the bigger the risk. The only way to diminish the risk is by doing intense research in the field/industry you desire to invest in.
On the other hand, investing in yourself comes with close to no risk and it can have an exponential ROI. The only risk is in learning something obsolete or just plain incompatible with how the world works today.
This usually comes from academic personalities. These people usually talk from theory rather than experience. Successful people suggest learning from the “doers” and avoid the rest.
At this point, most people usually say: “Well that sounds nice, but you cannot measure the ROI on personal development.” A phrase that, to my ears, just means: “But I don’t know how to measure the ROI.”
Allow me to give you some of the advice I’ve heard over the years.
First of all, to “measure” something, you need standards. In what state is the subject now (you) and what happens to it (still you :).
Before you start any activity — learning included, set clear written goals and try to attain them. For example, if you want to read a book on goal setting from Brian Tracy, your goal could be something like: “I want to know a system that helps me set and achieve goals!” If you go to one of Robert Kiyosaki‘s seminars on investing, you can say: “I want to leave that seminar with 1 step by step investment strategy!”
And the examples are limitless.
Investing in yourself has a lifetime ROI! As the old saying goes: “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime!”
Investing in yourself can double your productivity from one day to another. You can add twice as much value to your current company and be promoted in no time or, if you feel under-appreciated, find a job in another company or even start your own!
You can learn time management techniques so you finish everything you start, learn a new language and work and travel abroad, learn how to be the best boyfriend/husband or girlfriend/wife you can be and enjoy the benefits of a loving and harmonious relationship.
That’s about all, for now. I hope this has been helpful for you and it has helped you see that every dollar invested in yourself can return tenfold into your life through new opportunities, people, and experiences that will get you closer and closer to reaching your goals!
Creating a better tomorrow,