As someone who works directly with clients on helping them with their financial plans and investment decisions, it wouldn’t be too far off to think that I might not do too bad on my own personal investments. Well, truth be told, I have indeed made some high-return investments over the years. The funny thing about that is when I think about “the best investments I ever made”, they are not stocks, bonds, mutual funds, real estate, venture funds, or the like. The best investments that I have ever made came from investing in myself and/or my practice. The returns may be harder to quantify, but I would venture to guess that it has been exponential. Below are my top three “best investments I ever made”:
Going Back To School For An MBA
I’ve always been someone who wants to constantly improve, both as a person and as a professional. In an article that I had previously written, I discuss how an MBA prepared me for my career as a financial advisor. This was a both a huge gamble and a big-time winning investment for me, especially since I initially entered business school without a clear roadmap of where the advanced degree would take me. After going through the MBA program at USC’s Marshall School of Business, the greatest value I gained came from improving my qualitative skills, such as working with people, networking, effective communication, work ethic, and time management. While I already had these skills at a basic level, it wasn’t until after obtaining my MBA that I realized a deeper level of utilizing those qualitative skills in my career.
Hiring A Personal Trainer
Without our health, we will not be able to enjoy all of the great opportunities at our disposal today or in the future. Because of this fact, I strongly believe that hiring a personal trainer was one of my best investments. In this article, I draw several parallels between personal trainers and financial advisors, ultimately discussing the value that both can bring, respectively, to your health and finances.
Investing in my health by hiring a personal trainer is one of my best investments for several reasons:
For most, it may not make sense to have a personal trainer for their entire life. However, the knowledge and education around the body, nutrition, exercises, etc. that you will gain from hiring a personal trainer will reap returns for the rest of your life. By being more aware and knowledgeable than you were before, you may miss out on potential future injuries or poor food choices that can lead to debilitating diseases.
We are more likely to stick to certain regimens when we are simply told what to do. By being on a plan and schedule with my personal trainer, I did not have to worry about anything except for showing up and working hard. We were on a consistent regimen, and I saw results; in fact, I lost more than 15 pounds over the course of several months when I compared my heaviest to my lightest weight!
Decreased Future Medical Costs
By being consistently active and doing exercises that I would not normally do on my own, my personal trainer made sure that my comprehensive training program would benefit me in the realm of longevity. Because of that, I decrease my chances of needing to undergo major surgeries that someone who lives a sedentary life may have to undergo. This means less money spent on future medical needs and long-term care.
Spending Time To Imagine And Dream About The Future
Sometimes work, family, and social events take up all of our time. However, if we never stop and take time to plan, strategize, and dream, we will never accomplish our goals, let alone have something to work towards. While it may not seem like an investment, “spending time to imagine and dream about the future” may be the lowest-cost, highest-yielding investment there is.
In this article, I talk about planning ahead and setting financial goals. It is important to be proactive in planning for the future that you want. The key here is to write your goals down, break them into smaller goals, and find someone (or a community) that will hold you accountable. Your success lies heavily in setting “meaningful” goals. When you set goals that are meaningful, you will be much more likely to reach them.
For me personally, I’ve found that in those times that I dedicate to imagining and dreaming about the future, I’m able to create a reinvigorated excitement for what’s ahead. The return from spending time planning for your future should not be discounted. The yield is immeasurable, and all it costs is your time, creativity, and dedication.