#5: Invest in Yourself
This is a touchy-feely notion, and one that might be very risky to Americans who are simply concerned with getting by and keeping their job after the Great Recession. But the bottom line is that one of the most powerful economic tools you have at your disposal is your ability to work — particularly during your peak earnings years.
If you have a knack for writing, just a few hundred bucks can get you a domain name and several months of server space for a website while you try to turn that talent into a business. If you have a knack for home improvement, take out a few ads and buy some tools, then see what happens. If you want to do wedding photography, buy $1,000 worth of gear.
The downside, of course, is that these avenues are most profitable if you don’t consider your time to be very valuable, so folks with busy schedules may find them downright impossible. And, of course, there’s the risk that you may fail.
But aside from the satisfaction of being your own boss — even on a part-time or occasional basis — you might find this is the most profitable long-term investment you’ve ever made. That new camera could result in tens of thousands of dollars from photo gigs over the next few years if things go well!
If you build a successful business from scratch, nobody is there standing between you and the profits. And as the economy begins to improve broadly, now may be the perfect time to take a chance and invest in yourself.
Jeff Reeves is the editor of InvestorPlace.com and the author of The Frugal Investor’s Guide to Finding Great Stocks. As of this writing, he did not own a position in any of the stocks named here. Write him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter via @JeffReevesIP.