Anyone that’s been reading this blog for a while will have noticed that a significant proportion of my articles are about investments; the ones I love, the ones I hate and how my readers can help to improve their finances through strategies like building a passive income. Consequently, when I talk about investments, most readers will think of things like the stock market, mutual funds, real estate and private investments. Whilst these are important parts of a portfolio, it’s crucial that we remember to invest in our most important asset; our minds.
For me, investing in my financial education has been an essential process for developing my wealth. Whilst it doesn’t necessarily generate an immediate financial return in the same way that a dividend-paying stock might, some of my best opportunities have come to me because of investing in my education. This makes it difficult to calculate an ROI or indicative yield on my ‘investment’, but suffice it to say that I view it as being worth the cost and having repaid itself many times over.
Having worked for several companies, I’ve seen the importance of spending money on things which have a long-term return, rather than an immediate impact on the bottom line. It’s all about mentality and for me, seeking value is key to my investment philosophy. For example, in 2015, I was invited to take part in a business planning session by two contacts – justifying the cost and time was hard to do, as I couldn’t initially see the thinking behind their business and considered it a poor proposition. Despite this, building a relationship with them was important to me; a relationship which later paid dividends through a referral.
Again, in 2015, I spent hundreds of pounds on investments that wouldn’t produce a return in the immediate future. Everything from travel expenses, web developers, coffees; you name it! A significant portion of the funds I spent were invested the pursuit of developing my skills and knowledge.
- This website began to attract global readership in late 2015, early 2016. When it initially launched, it simply sat on the internet attracting bots and spam. For several hundred pounds, I invested in a developer and graphic designer to help improve the site and later this year will invest further funds in developing the marketing and layout further.
- I also invested significant time and money in Toastmasters International, acting as Club President of Oxford Orators and later Area Director for Oxfordshire. These roles required significant investment of my time (and also a little cash), but provided a wealth of contacts and skills which I still use to this day.
- Alongside these, I also invested in subscriptions to The Economist, The FT and the Investor’s Chronicle. Knowledge is power, and for a few hundred pounds a year, it’s well worth investing in high quality news, commentary and analysis.
Investing in yourself is one of the most important things you can do. If you can see the value, then spend the money! I’ve reaped the financial dividends of earlier investments, so when considering where to put your money – don’t overlook the value in investing in your financial education!