Investing in Yourself
While we often think about the rate of return we might get from investing in a mutual fund, it's less common to think of investing in yourself in the same way.
Rather than just setting money aside for your future, investing in yourself by increasing your ability to earn an income in the future can have a huge payoff. This could take the form of adding a certification or designation that can increase your earnings in your current field of work. Or maybe it's a bigger project like heading back to school to get a degree or finish one that you'd started in the past. Perhaps you might take time away from your usual work to partner with an established professional in your field to build expertise and contacts.
Speaking for myself, becoming a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER© professional took an investment of time and money but I've already see the benefits in my financial planning practice.
That said, it's important to be realistic about what sort of return you might see from investing in yourself in this way. Do research about the costs of your program of study. Will you have to take time off work or can you study part-time? Will you be able to self-fund your studies or will you have to take out a loan? What are the long-term earnings and employment prospects like in your planned field? How long will it take for your investment in yourself to pay off?
If you're planning on getting your PhD in basket weaving, it might take you a lot longer to earn enough to make a return on your investment. Here are some useful links to research job prospects:
Drop me a line if you're interested in hearing about ways to leverage your existing savings to fund your education or on planning other ways to fund a course of study.