As I said in my post Why Invest, investing can be rewarding in many ways which are just as, if not more, important than monetary gains. Through stock and property investments it is possible to learn many valuable skills which can improve not just your financial position in life.
The first reason I started investing in stocks was to learn about how companies operate. In order to pick good stocks you need to understand how the business makes money. This means you need to research the industry the company operates in, its products or services, and most importantly its financial position. If you are interested in setting your own business in the future then where better to learn than from successful companies. Equally you may find failing companies which could show you industries in recline or poor business practices. Understanding these failures could be just as useful when starting your own company.
Similarly, for those looking to grow their business the general trends in the stock market may show where new opportunities are. Even for those not interested in starting or running a business, learning how companies operate will teach loads about how the world works. You might learn about supply chains, new products, which industries pay the best salaries etc.
After deciding to invest in stocks or property you will inevitably realise how much fun it can be. As a competitive person when I noticed that my first investment in a mining company was performing much better than the professionally managed funds I was particularly happy. Here was a 14 year old getting a better return than many very highly paid fund managers could achieve for their funds. Obviously not all my investments have been as good but when you hit a good stock there is a great sense of achievement. I believe that if you want capital gains then you have to educate yourself, do your own research and then you can outperform the professionals.
Investing in property is much more hands on than stocks. If you buy a run down property to redevelop or redecorate then you have the opportunity to learn new trade skills which could lead to a new career or be very handy in your own home. If you decide the DIY route is not for you then employing builders etc would give you chance to learn project management skills, something many companies regard as important. You may also need to negotiate with sellers, suppliers, buyers and tenants. These negotiations will likely give you more confidence for other situations in life such as interviews for example.
On top of all the skills you can acquire, renovating property can be a lot of fun. Seeing a property turned from an uninhabitable dump into a lovely home can be a very rewarding experience.
Interested in Investing?
I hope this brief overview of what investing has to offer has inspired you . As I say, there is more to investing than simply making money. If that is all you want then it is probably best to go for managed funds or saving accounts. If, however, you like a challenge and are prepared to research investments then stocks and/or property can offer far greater rewards for your time and effort.