Your year to achieve security, wealth, and happiness.

In a few hours, it will be Chinese New Year, and many people hope this new year will bring to them luck and wealth. That’s why I want to share with you the biggest investment that I am banking on.

First, let me say that there’s no shortage of investment advice out there. There’s always a new algorithm or new formula for finding the best investments your money can buy. Personally, I’ve been to a handful of investment talks – from property to forex to overseas projects – and all proclaim that their method and investments are safe, low risk, high yield, and you’d be a fool not to buy them or use their strategies. But there is one outstanding and smart investment that finance folks and savvy investors rarely speak of, let alone invest in, and you will find this not in a get-rich-quick book, not with your broker/financial planner, and not in a seminar. You’ll find this by….

looking in a mirror. That’s right – it’s you. You are your biggest cash cow. You make money day in and day out, producing relatively steady income, despite ups and downs in the market. So invest in yourself. Make sure you do things that will sustain you – that means getting enough sleep, living a healthy lifestyle, making good choices about your diet and nutrition, exercising, taking care of your emotional needs, keeping your mind sharp, and holding yourself in high regard. Yes, investing in oneself means that you’ll safeguard the one income-producing thing that you generally have control over.

I once heard a story about a man who in mid-life, bought a Maserati and explained to his son that he needed it to feel young again. His son pointed to him and said,

You are the Maserati.”

He told his father that he could have used a mere fraction of that money to improve himself, which would have achieved his goal in a more real and lasting way. We are given just this one body. We can buy new cars (well, at least Anton Casey can), new furniture, and new appliances when they break down or get old, but we can’t buy a new brain or a new heart or new lungs. And replacement body parts, such as artificial hips and knees and even transplanted organs, are typically inferior or have a very limiting “shelf life”. Not to mention, replacing anything in our body comes with a lot of risks. We should protect and work to strengthen the body that will stay with us for the rest of our life.

Investing in oneself will not only allow more years of productivity, creativity, enjoyment or recreation, but also will allow for a higher quality of life. Major illnesses are not only expensive, but also may turn the income-producing asset (i.e., you) into a burdensome liability. If the primary breadwinner has a major illness or disability, the family not only loses his/her income, but now has to pay for his/her medical treatment and caregiving.

Remember that YOU are the Maserati. And keep that thought in mind the next time you’re standing in a crowded bus or train…

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