A common question in the office surrounds investment choices and returns. Where the client wants to discuss stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and gold, I want to encourage clients to make the best investment on the planet: an investment in themselves. All investments have risks, except the investment in one's self. Even government bonds can lose value to inflation and opportunity cost, even if the bonds are held to maturity.
There are several ways to invest in yourself. Night classes at the local tech school and the numerous seminars on every subject imaginable are a good start. Employers need educated employees and demand it in the current economy. A large number of office jobs require proficiency in Microsoft Word and Excel, plus QuickBooks. The investment to learn these programs well is low; the payoff is huge. A small amount of time and money can lead to a long-term job with good wages and benefits.
You can also pay off debt and build a retirement account. But leads back to stocks, bonds...
A story for another day.