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Business // Thinking Smart
David S. Chang

The Best Investment You Can Make

Many people are always on the lookout for the best investment to make money. It may be a company stock, a mutual fund, a piece of real estate or maybe a business venture.

However, there is one investment that many people overlook, and it is the best investment you can make: yourself! You are your greatest asset. Becoming a valuable asset personally and professionally is much more important than your 401(k) account. Like any good portfolio, an investment in yourself can be diversified, carefully managed and meet all of your goals.

Here is how you can start investing in yourself to increase your human capital:

1) Your Education. Regardless of your age or current job status, consider furthering your education level. Studies show that those with a bachelor’s degree earn nearly twice as much as those without one. Continuing your education with an MBA, law degree or doctorate will potentially open more job opportunities with higher pay and benefits. With advancements in technology, more colleges offer online courses and flexible class schedules to fit your needs.

2) Your Expertise. Imagine if Bill Gates lost all his wealth. Do you think he can get a job and earn more money? Of course!

The expertise and knowledge he possesses are so valuable that people would gladly pay for them. Learn a valuable skill that makes you indispensable to any company. You also can focus on developing your human capital through professional certifications such as a real estate license, financial planning or even a general contractor. There are plenty of skills you can learn and develop to find new ways of making money. Expand your mind by taking time to read and gain more information, learn faster, and improve creativity and understanding.

3) Your Relationships. Take time to invest in people. Build connections that are truly personal, not just a social media account. Strong relationships with your family, co-workers and friends can give you the support needed to advance your personal and professional career. Your inner circle can hold you accountable to be your best. They can pull for you, against you and with you. Having the education and skill is important, but having the right connections can open up more opportunities that may otherwise not been available. Find a mentor in your field who has the expertise, education and skill you desire.

4) Your Health. Investing in your health through exercise, eating well and getting enough sleep will determine how effective and focused you are. Studies show that willpower, discipline and physical well-being are closely interrelated. Being healthy helps you deal better with stress, improves energy levels and reduces chances of illnesses. Money can be important, but without your health, it is worthless.

You are the greatest asset you own, so take care of it and make time to invest in yourself. The stock market or real estate values may plummet, but your skills are harder to take from you!

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