Still the best investmentBy Randell Tiongson on October 19th, 2010
In my many years in the financial services industry, the most frequent question I get is “what is the best investment” or “where is the best place to put your money?” These questions will ellicit many answers that would largely depend on the preference of the ones giving the answers. If you ask these questions from a stock broker, his answer would be the stock market; someone in the real-estate industry would probably recommend a piece of land, a house or a condominium; an insurance agent would pitch for an investment linked life insurance policy; a banker would go for one or two of their trust products; and an entrepreneur will say going into business is still the best way to invest your money.
While I don’t argue that what I mentioned are great ways to create and grow your wealth, I would say that the best investment you can even make is by investing in yourself.
There are many ways one can invest in oneself and it all starts with education. Education remains to be the best way for us to achieve our aspirations in life. Developing and enhancing our skills can be achieved through proper education, both formal and informal ways. I find it absurd that there are those who foolishly claim that education is not necessary to be successful in life and they will state a couple of individuals who became successful despite the lack of proper education.
The experience of a few notable exceptions does not mean it becomes the rule of the game. The same notable exceptions would spend so much money in ensuring their children will get a good education, something they really put value to. Further, the said exceptions may not have received proper formal education but they received some other forms of education—through other people, circumstances and their situation.
However, I do not subscribe to the belief that quality education is synonymous to cost: the bigger the cost is, the better the education. We have seen countless stories of very victorious individuals who rose up the corporate ladder or established successful businesses without going through the “expensive” educational institution. Quality is a function of dedication-—of the educational institution, the student and the parent. The student can learn the theoretical knowledge from the schools and the practical understanding from the parent, which the student must be able to apply by himself.
Education is also not limited to the acquisition and retention of knowledge. The mark of a good education is in the learning of knowledge and the subscription to proper values. Formation of values is also a function of education— in the school, in the home and in the streets.
Let us invest in good education: one that makes us improve our skills and live our values so we can be what God created us to be, with Christ as our model.