You’re interested in investing, but don’t have much (or any) money to start. Don’t worry, this is perfectly okay. This just means that you won’t invest in conventional vehicles like stocks, bonds, mutual funds, etc… Instead, you will be investing in the best asset you have–yourself.
Imagine that you hope to earn an extra $2,000 a year on your investments. You would need to invest at least $20,000 at an outstanding 10% return rate just to hit that number. Recognize that this is being incredibly optimistic. Since you’re reading this, it’s probably safe to bet that scrounging $20,000 out of your budget isn’t realistic.
Now imagine that you’re working a full-time job, which equals 2,000 hours worked in a year. With this in mind, how difficult would it be to increase your hourly wage by just $1? We need to determine this because $1 multiplied by 2,000 hours would be an extra $2,000–the yearly return on investment originally wanted.
If you don’t have a sizable amount of income to invest in conventional investment vehicles, it makes sense to focus on increasing your hourly rate instead of learning how to invest in other investment vehicles. This isn’t to say that investing in conventional vehicles isn’t significant. Quite the contrary. It just shouldn’t be your focus at this stage in your wealth building process.
Identify Why Others Are Worth More
To identify how to earn an additional $1 an hour, observe an individual in your field that earns approximately $1 an hour more than you. Why are they worth an extra $1 to their employer? Almost certainly they have a skill or knowledge that you have not yet obtained. Their employer recognizes and values this skill or knowledge enough to pay extra for it. It’s probably that you’re also worth the increased hourly rate if you obtain this skill or knowledge–if not for your current employer, then probably for another employer elsewhere.
Find Information To Fill The Gap
Now that you have identified the valued knowledge or skill to obtain, it’s time to learn it. However, first you need to find learning material. I suggest searching for five book titles to learn the specific knowledge or skill. Each field is different, so Google what are the “best books to learn X.” Browse forums, site, and blogs until you have five book titles to work with.
Next, navigate to Amazon and search for each book. Don’t worry about price at this time. You can probably borrow the book for free. We’re just on Amazon to read book reviews to validate the book’s credibility. Write notes of each book’s title, author, edition, and ISBN number. If you want to just pay for the books, purchase them.
If you decide not to pay for the books, it’s time to visit the library with your notes from Amazon in-hand. There’s a chance that your library has at least one of the five books on your list. If your library’s selection doesn’t have all the books you have on your list, that’s okay. You only need to read them one at a time anyways. Furthermore, several libraries have an interlibrary loan program. This means that if your local library doesn’t carry the book you’re searching for, they will borrow the book from another library and have it shipped to your library–allowing you to check it out at no charge. Check with your librarian to determine if they participate in an interlibrary loan program.
Start Learning – Open A Book (Or Five)
Now it’s time to start reading. Remember that reading these five books should increase your value by $2,000 a year! I encourage you to write notes as you read. Doing this will increase information retention.
You should be sufficiently knowledgeable about the skill or information after reading five books on the subject. You may need to practice outside of reading if this is not something one can fully grasp through solely reading.
Get Compensated For Your New Value
Once you’re confident that you’re worth that extra $1, it’s time to talk to your boss. Tell them that you have worked on X and that you seek compensation for the added value you plan to bring to the company. If your employer doesn’t comply, this means that you’re missing out on an extra $2,000 a year. At which point, it’s probably time to start searching for a different employer that will compensate you for the additional value you can bring.
Of course, recognize that every individual’s situation is different. However, if you’re searching for a way to invest without capital, this is an effective way to accomplish it. Furthermore, you can repeat this investment strategy. Lastly, after you have done this once, it’s easier to do again with related knowledge or skills because you have already given yourself a foundation or knowledge or skills to work with.
Have you tried this method or something similar? Or just have something you want to share? Tell us about it in the comments below.