What’s the Best Investment Advice? – Invest in Yourself

invest in yourselfWhen my first child was born my Mother gave me some great advice: take good care of yourself so that you may take good care of others.  It makes perfect sense to take care of yourself however many people fall short in this area.  By investing in yourself you can increase the likely hood of a higher earning potential, enjoy a more productive lifestyle, and live a longer healthier life.

Some Great Ways to Invest in Yourself

Education – Education is probably the single most important factor in determining your earning potential. Not all colleges and degrees are the same however.  The top school based on return on investment is California Institute of Technology  while Georgia Institute of Technology ranks at the top for value, and Shaw University ranks at the bottom for return on investment. The top starting salary in 2011 goes to Chemical Engineering Graduates at $66,886 while Elementary Education ranks near the bottom at $32,400.

A Classic Outfit – Ever hear of the phrase “dress for success”? Or how about “you have to look the part to be the part”?  There is some truth to those cliches.  According to Kim Zoller of Image Dynamics, 55% of people's perception of you is based upon your appearance. When you feel good about your appearance you portray confidence and that can enhance your credibility.  For Men: Navy or Dark Grey Single Breasted Suit, white pinpoint shirt, solid color or simple pattern tie, black shoes.  For Women: Navy or Dark Grey Suit, light colored blouse, dark colored low to mid heeled shoe, minimal jewelry and makeup.

Dependable Transportation – Having dependable transportation is not only a requirement for employment but necessary for everyday tasks .  By investing in a reliable vehicle, maintenance costs can be minimized freeing funds for other uses.

According to JD Power and Associates 2011 Vehicle Dependability Study, the following vehicles are the most dependable for the 2012 model year:

  • Compact                          Toyota Corolla
  • Compact Sport                Scion tC
  • Midsize  Sport                 Chevy Camaro
  • Midsize                             Chevy Malibu
  • Full Size                           Buick Lacross
  • Compact Luxury SUV     Mercedes-Benz  GLK Class
  • Entry Luxury                     Lincoln MKZ
  • Midsize Luxury                 Mercedes Benz E Class
  • Large Light-Duty Pickup  GMC Sierra LD


Healthclub Membership – Physical Fitness has many benefits.  According to the Mayo Clinic, exercise controls weight, combats health conditions and diseases, improves mood, boosts energy, promotes better sleep, improves your sex life, and can be a fun way to connect with friends and family.  By joining a health club,  individuals are more likely to report longer workouts and adhere to a regular workout schedule.

Certified Organic Foods – According to the EPA, 90% of fungicides, 60% of pesticides, and 30% of insecticides used on crops in the U.S. are carcinogenic.   According to Greening Princeton,  IGF-1 a hormone produced by dairy cows given rBGH, has been linked to an increased risk of cancer in humans.  Eating a healthy diet lowers your risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, type II diabetes, and certain types of cancer.  There are many benefits to eating a healthy diet that includes chemical free fruits and vegetables.

A Good Mattress – A good mattress can lead to  better health. A good nights sleep can improve memory, increase life expectancy, curb inflammation, and lower stress.  Clete A. Kushida, MD, PhD, Director of the Stanford Center for Human Sleep Research and spokesman for the American Association of Sleep Medicine suggests this method of testing a mattress: “Lie on your side.  If your shoulders or hips are sinking, if you feel your spine is not aligned, it's probably too soft.  If you feel pain and discomfort, it's probably too firm.”  Expensive does not necessarily mean better.  Look for a well constructed mattress and then test it.

Technology – Technology can be a very good investment by allowing you to accomplish more in less time.  Some of the benefits of technology are: helps to organize files, photos, and finances, allows you to take your office with you, provides access to the latest information, and enables you to build relationships via social media.  While technology can simplify certain tasks there is a downside to technology.  There is a danger of getting lost in the sea of information and technology can cause stress caused by intruding into personal relationships.  When used properly, technology allows you to perform tasks better and provide value to your employer.

How do you invest in yourself?

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20 Responses to What’s the Best Investment Advice? – Invest in Yourself

  1. Maria@moneyprinciple 11/17/2011 at 2:34 pm #

    I have invested loads in education – let’s put it this way, I considered writing Masters and PhDs as a business (never did, too morally objectionable for my taste). Still go to different courses from time to time. Gym membership (and attendance) …so in the main ways you mention. Where I fail is the clothes – I am an academic and we maintain this myth that we can be scruffy and clever.

  2. Barbara Friedberg 11/16/2011 at 8:32 pm #

    I agree with all but the health club. I think if you have a bit of discipline there are so many ways to exercise without joining a club; walk, run, lift weights, pop in a dvd, play a sport etc.

    • Paul 11/16/2011 at 8:52 pm #

      I think why most people join health clubs is that it provides motivation for those that lack the discipline to work out at home. I agree with you that there are so many ways that you can incorporate exercise in your daily life.

  3. UltimateSmartMoney 11/15/2011 at 5:21 pm #

    Healthclub Membership is a great way to invest in yourself. However, you must be discipline to workout frequently, several times per week. If not, then you will just be wasting your money. Another way to investing in yourself is to eat well. Watch what you eat on daily basis. Stay away from desserts and anything fried.

  4. Kate @ CurbYourConsumerism 11/15/2011 at 1:06 pm #

    It’s such an important message to take care of ourselves. Not just on a health basis, but also in terms of education. I’m a big believer that you shouldn’t invest in anything until you understand it completely. So in theory, until a person has educated themselves, either at the cost of time or otherwise, no one should be investing in anything else.

  5. My University Money 11/14/2011 at 6:37 pm #

    I find that when we talk about investing in ourselves, we miss the biggest investment we can make, and that is simply time! Take the time to read a challenging book about a topic that can help you. Take the time to go to the gym or start a small business. When you begin to build your life this way, the opportunities are endless!

    • Paul 11/14/2011 at 9:54 pm #

      Great point MUM! I wrote a post about time management and in writing the post I really looked at all the ways I waste time. Time is money after all!

  6. PKamp3 11/12/2011 at 8:10 am #

    No one has ever accused me of going cheap on my wardrobe – even in lax California, it’s best to have sharp looking clothes. I guess you can add “Dress for the job you want” and “it’s impossible to be overdressed” to your list!

    I wouldn’t mix navy with black shoes though; I’d go dark brown with navy (although I have heard arguments to the contrary).

    • Paul 11/12/2011 at 10:11 am #

      Thanks for the fashion advice Paul! I think you should start a new column at DQYDJ – Where fashion and economics collide! 😉

      • PKamp3 11/12/2011 at 11:23 am #

        Haha – best dressed Personal Finance Writers Awards! I’ll keep hiding behind my avatar and dishing out the advice from afar.

  7. 20's Finances 11/12/2011 at 5:52 am #

    I absolutely agree about education and organic foods – these can’t be stressed enough in my book. 🙂

  8. Shaun @ Smart Family Finance 11/12/2011 at 5:41 am #

    With a masters degree becoming the white collar norm, I fear dual masters may be next. It seems investing in yourself can often be a necessity.

    • Paul 11/12/2011 at 7:03 am #

      I have always been an advocate for education, that’s my profession after all. I think there is a danger in becoming too specialized in your field however. Businesses want employees with good decision making skills and will train them with the specific skill sets needed for their job.

  9. Lisa @ Cents To Save 11/11/2011 at 1:28 pm #

    Great suggestions, especially a good bed. Knowing when to get a NEW bed is crucial too. Sometimes you just don’t want to go through the hassle of buying a new bed, kinda like buying a new car. Salespeople, What is the BEST price…..etc.


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