The Place to Invest Now

The markets are on a roller coaster ride - still. Each day brings more up-and-down news that make us look hard at our battered financial portfolios and ask ourselves "where should I invest today?"
Here's my tip. The hottest place to invest now is in you.
It's time to invest in your knowledge, your confidence, your talents, and your character. No matter what lies ahead for our economy and our world, no one can take those assets from you. The investments you make in you create returns much larger than any spreadsheet can ever hold.
Creating your investment strategy is easy. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Do an expertise exchange.
What does someone else know or do well that you want to do, too? An expertise exchange is an easy (and fun!) way to put that person's knowledge into your toolbox. Are they a great cook? Successful negotiator? Savvy speaker? Ask for a specific block of time where you can pick their brain about their talent. Or, better yet, shadow them while they're actually doing it.
Sign up for a class.
Brain expert Dr. Daniel G. Amen says one of the best ways to take care of your brain is to keep learning and challenging yourself. We're so lucky today that almost every town has an adult education segment of its local college or university. Think classes are too expensive? What's your brain worth? Seriously, I just signed up for a two-day glassblowing class (something that fascinates me yet I've never done) for the price of what I have typically spent on a Saturday at Target. If money is really nonexistent, search YouTube and ITunes U--both have free classes available on all kinds of topics.
Read a little more.
I've mentioned to clients how I fell in love this summer--with my local library. I'd written the institution off as a 20th century dinosaur, but after discovering my library's online services, I can request the latest hot book online and it's delivered to my local branch. It's allowed me to feed the whims of "hey, that sounds interesting" without draining my pocketbook. Cut out one episode of "Entertainment Tonight" this week and read instead.
Read a little more (the periodical version).
If you never get through a complete book (one friend I know called the pile of half-read best-sellers her "guilt stack"), think magazines. Many magazines are offering great deals on annual subscriptions today since they need a healthy subscriber base to keep attracting advertisers. is one place to start for ideas and discounts (they also have several free business magazines available), but Google the title you like to find more deals. When you treat yourself to a periodical you might not read otherwise, you'll generate new insights and ideas--and maybe enjoy yourself, too.
Hire a coach.
Okay, okay, this one sounds a bit self-serving, but I wouldn't be in this field if I didn't believe in the value you can gain from working with a professional coach. Each of us has an issue or three that holds us back from reaching all our goals, having the most fun, leading the most successful career, etc. What's holding you back? Investing a little time and money with a great coach can help you learn more, do more, and achieve more, faster than you can on your own.

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