Every day we see articles penned by experts claiming, variously, that the S&P 500 will hit unheard of highs in the next 10 years, followed by an equal number of articles claiming that we are in a bubble which is about to burst. So, do you put everything you’ve got into equities or sell everything and keep it liquid? The answer is that nobody really knows, and if someone says that they absolutely do know the future, get your advice from someone else.
Our best advice is to invest in yourself. Markets go up and down, but an investment in upgrading your skills and knowledge is always a safe bet. If you have a good job, skill and knowledge upgrades can solidify your position or quicken your ascent up the corporate ladder. You’re less likely to be a candidate for lay-off in case of a downturn and, if you are laid off, your chances for re-employment are better. If you have a job you don’t like, rather than feeling trapped and unhappy, take a few courses and get a better job in the same or another company.
Or, you may want to try something different, maybe something entrepreneurial. Your passion for skiing, photography or baking could lead, as it has for others, to a million dollar business and beyond. But, don’t quit your day job just yet. It takes a lot of work and knowledge to get an enterprise up and running. Do yourself a favor and educate yourself on marketing, distribution, setting up a website, legal questions and more. Luckily there are thousands of free courses you can take online, some of them from highly reputable colleges and universities (just Google a subject), or through your local Community College.
Are you single and anxious not to be? Courses are a great way of meeting like minded people. If you’re happily married, taking courses keeps you mentally alive and interesting to your significant other.
What we’re talking about is Life Long Learning. It can be the difference between an uninteresting, unchallenging job and a job you love; feeling bored, and being energized and fulfilled. As an investment, it’s a no-brainer.