What do you think about when you see the word “investment”? The word conjures visions of money and wealth, and certainly sounds significant.
But what does it really mean to you? Does it make you think of putting money away in a savings account (we like the Sallie Mae savings account) instead of spending it, or is there more to it than that? The truth is, we probably all have different ideas about what investing means. But it is always wise to figure out how you feel about it so you can identify what your own investment goals are.
How are you investing your money?
At its base level, investing IS about how you use your money. But it isn’t always as simple as that. You can invest money in all kinds of things.
The simplest way to invest is through financial products offered by various financial institutions. The most obvious product here is a savings account from a bank but there are other forms of investments too, such as bonds and longer term investments that will bring us better returns over time. You can check your favorite online stock broker (check out optionsXpress or TradeKing) for access to these various investment products.
But of course, we can also invest our money in other things. Stocks and shares are the next most obvious thing, followed by property. Many people look to property as a long term investment for their future. Indeed, if you can invest in more than one property, you can rent some of them out and sell them for a profit further on down the road.
There are different ways to invest (it’s not all about money).
Can you invest in other things too? You certainly can, and the most important thing you can invest in is yourself. Some people are surprised when they learn this. They may have spent all their lives using credit cards on a regular basis and scraping their way from month to month on the last few dimes they have in their pocket.
But sometimes, it can give you a better long term view if you can invest in your own skills and abilities. For instance, it may cost you money to figure out how you can invest in property to get a good return. But if that money saves you from making a whole load of beginner’s mistakes, you will reap the rewards in the future.
There are other ways to invest in things as well. You could invest in antiques, paintings or even wine for example. It all depends on where your interests and knowledge lie.
The point is that you should never take the word “investment” at face value. It means different things to different people. The most important thing for you to remember is that you need to figure out what it means to you. If you can do this, you can plan for your financial future in a much more confident way.
What can you invest in?
If you invest money in learning better skills, you can probably make more money in the future. This cash can then be invested in more advanced things, such as stocks and bonds instead of just a plain old savings account.
Consider what you would be happy investing in and go from there. The more you learn about investments and what they mean to you, the more confident you will be in planning your own future.
Isn’t that the best investment of all?