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What’s the best investment you’ve ever made?

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As you know, I think people who try to save money on everything are fools. I’ve previously written about how this woman should spend $2,000 on a computer course, and how you should stop being a loser and pay money to save money. I’ve also written about the best $20 you can spend.

Today I want to know this: What’s the best investment you’ve ever made? Not a specific fund or stock, but a personal investment (a course, a book, a trip, etc) that helped propel you beyond everyone else.

Some examples of investments

  • My friend Paul Singh puts aside $3,000 per year to travel and meet interesting people. Any time he needs consulting work, he makes a phone call and he has a new job.
  • Charlie Hoehn invested his time into working for me for free — as well as Tim Ferriss, Tucker Max, and many other people — and has done work that none of his peers can match. (He then wrote an ebook about how he did it.)
  • In college, I flew across the country to meet Seth Godin, which led to an internship, which led to 2 published books, TV exposure, and much more.

So, 2 questions:

What’s the best personal investment you’ve ever made?

And why are people so obsessed with cutting their spending instead of investing in themselves for a potentially much larger reward?

* * *

What is the I Will Teach You To Be Rich Boot Camp?

Stay tuned…

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  1. Haha, your book definitely ranks up there! Not in terms of money, but I’ve made a commitment to invest 1-2 hours everyday working on side projects I’ve always been interested in.

  2. Hmmm….well a recent one was to enroll in and complete a CFP(R) course. Even if it doesn’t lead to a successful career change, I am MUCH more informed about finances and estate planning and retirement than I was before. And related…joining a related organization and attending meetings. Great networking, getting to know more about the biz and people. Thinking this will all reap great dividends (and now my face/name has been in front of potential employers more than my classmates).

  3. Hard to say, but off the top of my head:

    $80/year for web hosting (plus $10/domain). I have a variety of projects, some successful, some not, but together they make more than enough money to pay for the hosting, and then some! So totally worth it, and I roll my eyes at people who want to start blogs or websites for money, and then use a free service like Blogger or whatever. Yeah, maybe you can make it work on Blogger… but it’s so worth it to pony up the money and strike out on your own!

    $1000 or so to move out on my own and get started in a new city. I could have stayed in the city where I was born and raised, and there would have been advantages to that (family support structure, local network, etc.), but there’s something to be said for building a new life from scratch and expanding my network. Already, after two months, I’ve found rewarding work that is expanding my skills and paying the bills.

  4. You nailed it. Invest in yourself.

    My best financial investment was a class I took to receive a particular computer certification. I was one year out of college and making $36k at the time. After completing the class and passing the test, within one month I had a job for $75k. That was ten years ago. Since then Ive received numerous other certs but none made such an impact on my financial life as that first one.

  5. I’m not suprised that the three examples you gave were essentially investments in relationships. You, Paul, and Charlie all wanted to get to know certain people and were willing to fly out and offer your time.

    As you know, I just spent a week in SF getting to know some people better. And while the trip wasn’t specifically “the best of all of them,” it was another wise investment of my time in relationships. And to this day that sort of investment seems to be the most valuable I’ve made and will continue to make.

  6. Surely your best personal investment hasn’t been related to business relationships or your career…or is it?

    One would hope your friendship and family “investments” have outweighed your business/career investments.

    Personally, my time and energy investments in my friends and family have made me a far better person than any career investments I’ve made.

  7. Saved $20,000, took a year off, traveled the world, and offshored myself. Now making $6,000 a month as an independent contractor while living on $500 or so a month, and paying minimal taxes. I can pick up and leave any time I want.

  8. Joe Vitale talks about this; he calls it “prosperous purchasing.” I like that term.

    The best investment I ever made was taking a $15,000 inheritance and rolling it into my web hosting business. I turned that into over a million dollars.

    When most people get a windfall, they put it toward debt or buy a house — both low-ROI investments. I will never regret using mine to grow my business.