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Michael Gardon

  • ryan24391

The Ultimate Guide to Investing in Yourself — And Roadblocks to Avoid

Updated: Aug 23, 2022

Every decision we make in life is an investment with a cost and a payoff. We can invest money externally in the stock market or real estate, but choosing to invest in yourself arguably carries the highest return on investment — especially when you’re young.

That’s because, for most of us, our largest single asset is our ability to earn a living. After all, the average lifetime earnings for an American is around $2 million. Of course, that’s an average, but let’s use some investment math to illustrate my point.

If your lifetime earnings are $2 million, and you invest $5,000 in a course to learn a skill that helps you earn 5% more, your ROI is $100,000 or 20 TIMES your investment. Good luck getting that in the stock market right now.

Getting there means choosing to use your time and money to invest back into you!

Your education never stops.

Higher education used to be how people invested in their future. But with the high cost of tuition and student debt, young people are increasingly uncomfortable with the return on investment. The truth is you can learn anything today.

All it takes is an internet connection and a “beginner’s mind”. A beginner’s mind is a superpower that allows you to view everything as a learning experience instead of feeling like you have to be the expert, immediately.

If you want more money, more time or more freedom, it’s your responsibility to develop the skills you need to get what you want. No one else can do this for you.

I put together this guide to share how I think about investing in myself, and give some actionable ideas for you to build a roadmap of lifelong learning.

How I Learned the Lesson of Investing in Myself

In my early 20’s I was a prop trader — that means a company staked me to make buy and sell decisions in derivative financial markets for (hopefully) a profit. I loved the markets, but I wasn’t particularly good at doing this, and it was an extremely high-stress environment. This was in 2008 to 2009, right in the middle of the financial crisis. (Continue reading this article on

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