Best investments are the ones that bring you fulfilled life. When I decided to make a list, I knew that it might not apply to all, and not everyone can achieve all of them in a lifetime. But I know that achieving some of them will bring a sense of pride and happiness to anyone.
Life is unpredictable; no matter how you plan your future, life has a different trajectory for you. But, living fulfilled life means that you do not have regrets. Although life has its setbacks, you must find it in yourself to push toward your goals.
As we grow, our perspective in life changes, and we might gain new goals and lose others. Therefore, I put this list together that can be suitable for all ages. You may not achieve all the nine investments, which is okay because not everything is for everyone.
1- Run after your passion
No matter who you are, you must have at least one passion in your life that you want to pursue or stay invested in. If your passion can bring value to others, you can turn your passion into a career. However, not every passion can become a career, but that does not mean you have to abandon it. You do not want to be miserable because you have not found a way to make your passion a significant part of your life.
If your passion is something like religion, a hobby, or a sport, you have to find a way to integrate that into your life. Even if you are busy, investing in your passion can significantly shift your mode and make you happy.
2- Invest in People Skills
People skills are an essential requirement no matter what career path or investment you are pursuing. People skills involve effective communication, negotiation skills, and sales skills where you create value for yourself and others which can bring business to you or your company.
It is not surprising that the secret to improve your communication skills and make long-lasting relationships is to act and talk in terms of others’ interests. Dale Carnegie, the author of How to win friends and influence people, highlights the significance of making others feel important. This means that you have to learn about people interests and become genuinely interested in them. If you want to learn more, I made a summary of the key communication principles of Dale Carnegie How To Win Friends And Influence people; you can check here.
Negotiation and sales skills are essential in almost any industry. If you can not negotiate, you will make bad deals, and you will lose customers if you can not make a sale. You can improve your salesperson skills by working in retail, taking a sales course, or becoming more involved with clients in your industry. Sales skills can be a lifelong learning skill, which you are constantly trying to get the best deal for yourself. You can check an article I wrote here to improve your negotiation and sales skills.
3- Seek knowledge and higher education
Investing in yourself enable you to be successful in what you do. Seeking higher education is one thing you can do to distinguish yourself from others and open a better career path for yourself. If you want to finish a university degree, choose a profession that represents you the most, not what others think you should do. This can motivate you to work harder on yourself to finish this degree.
Even if you end up not working in your profession and not using everything you learned in the workplace, the sheer amount of knowledge you gained puts you in high regard compared to others. It gives you favour in work, life, and relationships with others.
Not everyone can afford to finish a degree, depending on your circumstances and where you live. But the truth is you do not learn everything from university. In fact, people skills and personal finance are among the most critical subjects in life that you are not taught in-depth at university. It is essential to become financially literate to handle your finances and become financially free. Learn more about financial literacy here.
The most effective way to seek knowledge is to read books; that is why I put together a helpful guide to find books that can impact your life.
4- Invest in a property
Everyone needs a home to live in; you become independent by owning a piece of land. You might mortgage a home that takes 30-20 years to pay, but that property is almost always worth more than when you initially bought it if you take good care of it.
The property market makes for suitable investments because it always appreciates. Even though their appreciation grows in an unsteady trend and has had its recessions and ups and downs throughout history, still, if you invest in a property for the long term, it can give you more than what you originally paid for.
If we look at the housing market crash in 2008 and now, we can see that the market not only recovered, but properties are now worth way more than what they were before 2007. Therefore, properties are profitable investments whether you buy them for yourself or as a rental property.
5- Grow your retirement account
A retirement account is usually mandatory if you work in a country like the US or Australia. Your employer has to pay a percentage of your income to a nominated retirement account. Governments enforce a retirement account so that you do not impose a burden on their system by the time you retire. However, growing your retirement account ensure a good and comfortable retirement.
There are three ways to grow your retirement account:
- Minimise your fees: retirement accounts are usually expensive, and more than usual, you might be paying for huge annual fees and extra insurance that you rarely need. Try to find the lowest annual fee account that guarantees the highest return on your investments you can transfer to.
- Chose high return investments: Check your account regularly, and see what investment plan you are in and how much your return on investment. Do not have a high percentage of your plan in cash, especially if you are young, because that cash can produce more cash if it is fully invested.
- Make extra contributions early: Making an extra contribution early in your career can help boost your account quickly.
If you live in Australia, check your super fund annual fees and compare them to other funds. Use Finder.com.au or other websites to compare super funds. If you are paying more in fees, you can transfer to another fund by:
- Opening an account in a low fee fund and chose a high return investment plan.
- Notify your employer so your next contribution will go to your new account.
- Through my gov, you can transfer your funds to the new account and close your old super.
6- Passive Investing in ETFs
Investing in market tracking ETFs are the most accessible type of investments vehicles. When you buy an ETF, you immediately diversity your investment portfolio by purchasing a small slice of all the companies tracked by that index; this gives you great exposure into the stock market without the need to buy individual stocks.
The Top ETFs providers worldwide are Vanguard and iShare Blackrock. ETFs are usually low cost and low maintenance. The S&P 500 is the most common and widely known ETF that track the top 500 performing companies in the US has low annual management fees, as shown below:
|S&P 500 ETF||Annual Management Fees|
|VOO – Vanguard S&P 500 ETF||0.03%|
|iShares S&P 500 ETF | IVV||0.04%|
This type of investment is completely passive and would not require much attention. Most people implement a Dollar Cost Averaging (DCA) strategy by systematically investing the same amount of money, such as investing every four months. Even if the market is overpriced when you invest, still, you are averaging your return; the market will give a high return in the long run.
For example, if you invest $5,000 a year for the next 20 years in an ETF that average around 9% a year, in 20 years, you would have invested $100,000 but made $178,822.65 in interests earned on your investment. This means that in 20 years, you have doubled your money by almost 1.8 times. Although it is a hypothetical example, dollar-cost averaging has proven to bring a consistent return over a long period.
7- Individual stocks
Although this type might not be for everyone, many successful investors such as Warren Buffett could obtain an average return of 15% and above by picking individual stocks. This type of investing is quite risky. Therefore, it is crucial to understand how to value and pick successful companies with impressive historical returns.
In general, for successful active stock market investing, you have to be a long time investor. This means that you have to stay invested for a long time in companies you understand, and you are confident that it will increase its earnings for the next 5 to 10 years. If you want to learn more about picking individual stocks, I wrote an article that can give you a perspective on why the stock market is volatile and how to value stocks.
8- Start a company
Starting your own company is one of the most challenging yet proudest types of investments you can make. The percentage of failure in this type of investment is relatively high; almost 60% of new start-ups stop their operations within the first three years. If you start a company, you will enter into a type of competition which other companies. It takes a while to escape the start-up phase. However, once you establish yourself as a company, the growing up phase is where you see the most growth in revenue and customers on a large scale.
There is no better than Ellon Musk to explain what it feels like to start a company.
The company you start does not have to be a big company at first. Almost all big companies such as Apple or Amazon started small and slowly grew to accommodate market demand. Therefore, your market determines your operations’ size and how quickly you can grow most of the time. Success in this area comes from developing your product, listening to feedback from your consumer and improve back on your service. Therefore understanding your consumer demographics play a significant part in your company success.
9- Make a legacy
Finally, Invest in creating a legacy for yourself that the next generation of your family can take you as their role model. Your legacy can be anything from possessions to knowledge. You do not have to be the richest man or the most successful in a particular area to make a legacy for yourself.
If you work hard on yourself, you will eventually become full of knowledge and wisdom that you can transfer to others by slowly teaching them your way of thinking. Think of making a legacy as planting an apple tree. In your lifetime, you may not be able to eat from it, but your children will be.
The Bottom Line
In conclusion, not everything on this list can bring you wealth or fame, but any of them will make you happy and ensure a life without regret. At least one will apply to you, so make sure you invest in what you love and keep it close to your heart.