Your Turn: What’s the Best Investment You Ever Made?

by RJ

in Investing

This post is your chance to contribute to Gen Y Wealth. All you have to do is leave a comment below.

In the comments, please share the best investment you ever made.

Even though common investment terms such as stocks, IRA’s, and 401K’s might come to your mind, I encourage you to think outside the box. Think of something you have bought (invested in) that has paid itself back many times over.

I will go first….

I spent $2 one a tea diffuser a few years ago. Sort of like the one pictured here.

With the tea diffuser, I can now purchase loose leaf tea. For the non-tea drinkers out there, per oz., loose leaf tea is about a 25% of the price as bagged tea. Since I drink about 2 cups of tea per day, I would estimate that this $2 purchase saves me $250 a year.

Another example of a great investment is the $19 I spent on the book, The Boglehead’s Guide to Investing. The immediate return from reading this book was about a $500 savings. The long-term return from following the investment advice, is somewhere around $1,000,000. Not a bad return, for just $19 spent.

Your Turn

What’s is the best investment you ever made? Please share in the comments.

Thank you!


Photo by: Borman818

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Matt SFNo Gravatar September 29, 2010 at 9:38 am

I would probably have to say buying my first home a year after I graduated. In the early 2000s, it was fairly easy to buy a property considering the lax lending standards, and realizing that everyone and their mother was investing in real estate at the time, I thought it would be an easy way to make money.

But, the best decision I made was to capitalize on those paper profits by *selling* into strength (not being greedy) because the property had appreciated by 60k in just 2 short years (I moved after 1 year due to a new job, but kept the property and rented it out) and I realized that the party couldn’t last much longer.

It’s worth noting I didn’t time it exactly right by selling at the top of the bubble (the property appreciated another 50k or so before peaking out) but that 60k in profits really got me started as I invested it well in other areas.

Brian PlainNo Gravatar September 29, 2010 at 9:44 am

The best investment I ever made was when I made a conscious decision in my life to start focusing on the things I could control and not worrying about what I can’t.

While it is hard quantify the impact of that decision in dollars, the emotional peace of mind I’ve achieved so far and continued to achieve by making that decision is enormous.

The hard part is continuing to make that decision day in and day out….

Similar to RJ’s example, getting a high quality home coffeemaker has been a great investment for me. Rather than spending $2 or $3 everyday, I grind and brew my own coffee. It adds up pretty quickly over the years.

NLNo Gravatar September 29, 2010 at 2:45 pm

The best investment I have made was buying cloth napkins and handkerchiefs. I bought a pack of six hankies from Target in the men’s formal clothes section for I think $12 (can’t remember exactly) and a six pack of sturdy white cloth napkins, also from Target, for about $8.

Before my investment, I would go through a box of tissues about every 2 weeks (about $1.50 per box) and a dollar store package of napkins every month, bringing my monthly total to about $4 per month on tissues and napkins. So after 5 months, my $20 investment in cloth napkins and handkerchiefs has been paid off and I haven’t purchased disposable napkins or tissues since.

I do spend about $1.50 per month now on bleach to keep my hankies and napkins sparkly white but that’s still cheaper than $4 per month. And, I’m creating less waste from tissues, napkins, plastic packaging, and tissue boxes, which has reduced my environmental impact.

SunNo Gravatar September 29, 2010 at 4:01 pm

I bought some 300+ shares of LVS in early 2009 at $3.9/share. The stock is now traded at $34.00+.

PatrickNo Gravatar September 29, 2010 at 7:47 pm

By far the best investment I ever made was by enlisting in the Army. I joined the Army at 19 as the husband and father to a young son. Ten years later I was a mature young man with a beautiful family consisting of a wife and three kids along with a great appreciation for my country and a work ethic built upon strong morale values.

I wouldn’t have the job I have today without my Army experience and status as a Veteran. I have a home that I was able to put 25% down in cash by following the simplest rule of investing, pay yourself first. I think anytime you can get a young person to invest in themselves; whether through joining one of the Armed Services, attending a trade school or junior college, or a four year university society wins in the end.

RJNo Gravatar September 30, 2010 at 10:53 am

Thanks everyone so far for the contributions. I love them all.

Adam ZuercherNo Gravatar September 30, 2010 at 11:22 am

The best investment I have made is my education. I wouldn’t be where I am today without it. It took four years of time and a lot of money to get my college degree. Without my college education I would have never got my CPA designation. Without my CPA designation I would have never got my first job. With the opportunities I was given by the CPA firm I gained experience working with clients and solving their problems. It was also at the CPA firm that I got my start in financial planning and investments. My experience there led me to get the CFP designation.

Eventually, with my college degree, my CPA and CFP designations, and my experience at the CPA firm, I was able to start my own business (which was a lifelong dream). I was going to say that starting my own business was the best investment I’ve made, but then I realized I wouldn’t be here today without first investing in myself by getting a college degree. I thought I was going to be done studying when I finished college, but I quickly realized that if I want to move forward professionally I must never stop learning. I continue to educate myself by reading books, blogs, and going to conferences.

So, just as Patrick mentioned, investing in myself was the best investment I’ve made. I appreciated your post on “How to create your own MBA” …it gave me lots of ideas on the different ways I can continue to invest in myself.

TuanNo Gravatar October 1, 2010 at 11:00 pm

The best investment I ever made was probably was spending time with my mentor at work. He offered me advice on the company 401k and told me to read Dr. Stanley’s The Millionaire Mind. Ever since then, I’ve been proactive with my finances. I even learn to spend a bit as I write this post on a 55” HDTV that I use as a computer monitor…

Financial SamuraiNo Gravatar October 2, 2010 at 7:30 pm

Property actually… even despite the downturn, there’s at least a a million bucks in them still. One property is super cash flow positive.

The other is a stock that went from $3,000 to $160,000 back in the dot com days… oh how I wish I invested $20,000 in it! lol.

What are you doing with you $1,000,000 from the Boglehead guide? That’s great stuff. I truly believe a lot of people have a lot more money than people think, and you’re another excellent example.

RJNo Gravatar October 4, 2010 at 9:57 am

@Financial Samurai

Wow. I’m pretty impressed with turning $3,000 into $160,000. The question is, did you sell at $160,000 or was that the peak? Personally, I haven’t had much luck investing in individual stocks.

The estimated lifetime value of reading the Boglehead’s Guide I would average out to be over $1,000,000 over the next 40 years, not currently. They were the first to teach me about tax efficient investing and the impact of expenses.

Financial SamuraiNo Gravatar October 4, 2010 at 7:48 pm

@RJ – AHHH, gotcha. I thought you meant you banked the $1,000,000 already after you employed the Boglehead wisdom. My bad. Hard to extrapolate that figure, but good confidence on you!

The stock peaked out about $188,000, so I didn’t sell at the top.


RJNo Gravatar October 5, 2010 at 10:32 am

@Financial Samurai – Still, that’s pretty close to the top. Congrats!

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