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When it comes to investing, often people don’t know where to start. Should I buy an investment property (then I have to deal with tenants!)? Should I dabble in shares (but what if we have another GFC!)? Should I chase the highest interest rate banks will offer for savings accounts (effectively nothing at the moment)? It can be a bit overwhelming if you’re just getting into an investment mindset. However, most people fail to recognise their greatest asset—themselves.

Your capacity to earn is typically thesingle greatest asset in your investment arsenal. Consider which option involves more work: add an additional $2,000 per annum to your salary or build a $40,000 investment portfolio? Both will achieve the same outcome of $2,000 extra income per year, but one is probably far more achievable in the short-term than the other. Investing in yourself through personal development is the most effective way for most to increase their income in the short-term.It’s a no-brainer, with countless studies showing that those with a degree earn $1,000,000 more on average over their lifetime than those without. That’s not to say that you need a degree to succeed, the takeaway from that statistic is to invest in yourself, be it through University, TAFE or even spending time to grow in your current role. This is one of the best investments you can undertake with the long-term benefit of providing significantly more value than a high interest savings account!Investing in yourself doesn’t only include personal development. Do you know how franking credits work? Do you understand the mechanics of tax deductions? Do you know what your superannuation fund is invested in? These are all important questions, and seeking a greater understanding of these concepts will put you at a distinct advantage when it comes to growing your wealth. Yes, you can pay accountants or financial advisers to manage this, but knowing the concepts behind the advice is a must! Ask your accountant or adviser to explain these concepts to you, or do your own research.It’s these little things that count when it comes to investing. Going back to our $2,000 per year example: did you know that if you could save that $2,000 a year (be it through tax deductions, franking credit rebates, salary sacrifice or a salary increase) and if invested, then it could be worth $250,000 over 30 years? Now there’s a challenge for you!