Author: Brent Lemieux CFA® CPA
A few months ago we offered some advice to young people on how to get a good start in their financial lives. Today I’ll discuss more specifics on quite possibly one of the most important investments you can make. Lo and behold, the investment opportunity is you. Don’t get me wrong, learning how to invest in equities and bonds is very valuable and can certainly contribute a great deal towards your quest for financial freedom, but for many people (especially those with a lot of time left in their career) it’s trumped by investments you make in yourself accompanied with good savings habits.
Investing in yourself has a double benefit because it gives you the potential for even more savings to invest in your financial portfolio.
Investing in yourself is not only important if you want to enhance your current lifestyle, it may even be important to maintain it. With the inevitable economic forces of globalization and technological advances, more and more jobs will be moved overseas or automated. This does not just apply to manufacturers and farmers anymore, but knowledge workers too. To be successful in this new age, we need to be well adapted to learning new skills and taking on new challenges.
Many lucky people are able to gain valuable skills on the job. Even if this isn’t true for you, there are many free and inexpensive resources at your disposal. Even if you’re learning a lot in your present job, it never hurts to branch out and explore a new subject.
Three areas to focus on
- Knowledge. Technical know-how is one of the key building blocks to the global economy. Generally, the more you know how to do that is useful to other people, the more satisfied you’ll be and the better off you’ll be financially. Never before in history has it been so easy to learn a new skill. Several websites offer a world class education for absolutely no cost! All you need is a computer, an internet connection, and a little bit of persistence. Checkout Coursera for a wide range of college courses or Khan Academy for short videos on academic subjects.
- Communication. We all know that the best jobs don’t always go to the person with the highest IQ. You have to be able to communicate effectively as well. Luckily, there are international clubs like Toast Masters that help members work on verbal communication, and online classes at Coursera that teach effective business writing and creative writing.
- Network. Having a solid professional network can help you succeed in your current job or land a new one if you’re laid off or looking for a new opportunity. Good networking doesn’t involve going to those sleazy/cheesy “network events”. According to Keith Ferrazzi, author of New York Times Bestseller Never Eat Alone, successful networking involves getting involved in activities you actually care about and genuinely trying to help the people you meet. Check out meetup.com if you’re interested in meeting people with similar interests. You will be amazed at how many different types of groups there are in your city alone.
Investing in yourself isn’t always easy. It requires time and commitment, but is well worth it and has the potential to add a tremendous amount of personal and financial value to your life. These habits accompanied by a healthy level of savings and a sensible investment plan will go a long way towards a living a fulfilling life and finding financial freedom.
This blog is provided by Windward Private Wealth Management Inc. (“Windward” or the “Firm”) for informational purposes only. Investing involves the risk of loss and investors should be prepared to bear potential losses. No portion of this blog is to be construed as a solicitation to buy or sell a security or the provision of personalized investment, tax or legal advice. Certain information contained in the individual blog posts will be derived from sources that Windward believes to be reliable; however, the Firm does not guarantee the accuracy or timeliness of such information and assumes no liability for any resulting damages.
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