Select Your Best Investment

Investment opportunities are fascinating. There are so many opportunities — in stocks, oil, real estate, antiques or gold. I’ve had friends invest in pork bellies, cocoa, matches, bottles and guns.

The fact of the matter is, in the minds of most people, investments like these are considered to be rather commonplace, yet worthy of the thoughtful consideration of any prudent investor. Many people are always searching for some magical thing to invest in.

The shocking thing is, however, most people never really think about investing in themselves, when the truth is, investing in yourself is the safest of all investments, and it pays the highest return.

Putting something valuable in your brain is safer than putting something valuable in a vault. Mastering new skills can be greater protection than purchasing life insurance.

Exploring new territories of thought can be more rewarding than searching for a gold mine. Tuition paid for significant learning can be a better bargain than dividends earned as a result of other peoples efforts.

The first investment that anyone should ever consider is the fundamental and basic investment in oneself. Monies used for personal growth and development are not expenditures; they are investments. Invest in yourself first.

I don’t think that there is a law against giving investment advice in this area… yet. So let’s use a few minutes to consider some sterling advice on investing in yourself.

Invest in learning.

Remain a student all of your life. Start out with a good basic education but never, never graduate from learning, Take courses, attend lectures, establish reading programs, ask questions. Learn new things, at home, at work, or at play. Well-directed learning is one of the fastest elevators to the top. Learning is an escalator that can help you rise faster and farther than you could with just common experience.

Learning need not be formal or confined to certain buildings. It need not take place by a schedule. A teacher is not a necessity. No matter who you are or where you live, learning is abundantly available Seize it where you are.

Buy books.

Books are doors that open up and permit your passage into great and exciting worlds of ideas and experiences. Of course, there are doors that lead to the bedroom, doors that lead to heaven, and doors that lead to hell.

Choose your doors wisely, because they are entrances that will take you somewhere. Before you choose a door, make sure that you really want to visit the place it will take you to. Want to take a trip to possibility land? Then buy Bob Schuller’s book You Can Become the Person You Want to Be.

Want to take a trip to new zest in living? Then read Human Life Styling. Want to take a trip to reality? Then read The Screwing of the Average Man. Want to take a trip to abundant life? Then read Extraordinary Living for Ordinary Men. It’s true. You can go nearly anywhere if you pick the right door. Buy books.

Invest in Travel.

See the world, or at least see your world. A trip to Europe or Mexico or Canada can do more for you than owning a second car or buying a boat.

The United States offers some sights of breath-taking beauty and some experiences of history. In the alleys and avenues of American you will find written the story of human triumph and travail — of hope and helplessness — of opportunity and of oppression. While still a young man, I counted up that I visited more than 60 countries of the world. Based on that experience, I have no trepidation to spread the advice to travel — see — grow!

Dress for Distinction.

Yes, clothes are an investment. Indeed, they are one of your most important investments. “Clothes make the man?” You bet, and the woman too. You will earn more if you dress better. It’s true. Clothes pay for themselves over and over again.

I knew a man who lost a $125,000 commission because of his shoes. Here’s the story.

I was vice president of a college that was considering hiring a fund raiser to raise millions of dollars from local institutions and wealthy individuals. We had nearly decided to hire a particular candidate who was well credentialed, persuasive and experienced, when one of the committee members asked:

“I wonder if we should choose a man who wears $10 shoes and white socks? Can he really communicate and elicit confidence from large donors?”

The committee, on second thought, decided that he probably couldn’t. So the man lost $125,000 because he didn’t know how to dress. The pity is that he left not knowing why he lost the contract.

People are passed over for promotion every day because their clothes and general demeanor suggest to those who make the decisions that the person is not “aware, alert, or with it.” Clothes not only make the man, they can destroy him too.

What to do about it? Buy two books on dress and grooming. Study them well — like you would a blueprint for a house. Use their directions, and invest in appropriate clothes. Don’t cut corners. You are not spending money — you are investing in something that will return your investment and pay dividends besides.

Learn to talk and write.

Learning to communicate is a major investment in your future. Learning to express ideas and issues clearly and succinctly can be more valuable than having a rich uncle who is a slightly-ninety years old invalid. The rich uncle may let you down, but the ability to set fourth ideas lucidly and persuasively will never let you down.

Don’t give the excuse that it’s too late because you didn’t get it in school. It’s not too late to learn the abc’s of speaking and writing. Somewhere near you is a tutor who can help you. There is a group that will let you practice on it.

There are courses available or at least there are books that can be bought that will help you develop this most valuable tool. Success may well dodge your grasp unless you get down to it and learn to communicate with tongue or pen.

Much more could be added, but the point of all of this is: Invest In Yourself. If you have to rob someone, rob your savings account. Don’t rob yourself. If you have to choose between investments, choose yourself. Let the stock broker wait. Don’t send all your money to Washington if you can help it; send some to yourself. Invest In yourself first.



A GILDED geezer....OKIE-PHILOSOPHER....MASTER MENTOR....STORY TELLER....Educator, M.A.,Th.D., Ed.D......eMail,

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Kenneth Shelby Armstrong_

A GILDED geezer....OKIE-PHILOSOPHER....MASTER MENTOR....STORY TELLER....Educator, M.A.,Th.D., Ed.D......eMail,