A new year brings with it new opportunities. This makes 2019 the perfect time to invest in the things that are most important in your life: health, wellbeing, finances, and happiness.

However, contrary to popular belief, investing isn’t just about money, it’s about utilizing your resources in the best way possible to make the most optimal decisions for your life. With that said, here are 5 ways you can invest in this new year.

5 ways you can invest

Invest to grow your money

The most obvious form of investing is done to grow the money you have already earned. Traditionally, financial investing is thought of being done in the stock market, where investors can see positive returns on their money over time. Yet, it is extremely difficult to invest successfully in the market without having vast financial knowledge, and leaving your investments to a professional can come with hefty fees. Instead, there are alternative methods of investing which may be perfect for you to look at in the coming year.

One of the fastest growing modes of investing is in peer-to-peer (P2P) lending. In this model, individual borrowers seeking loans obtain the money they need from other individuals, who provide funds in exchange for a return in the future. Even though P2P lending is relatively new, it is easy to get started. Take, for instance, the Bondora Go & Grow investment option. Go & Grow allows anyone to gain access to the investor lifestyle in a simple, efficient way. There is no minimum investment needed, and no minimum term to hold your investment, making it easy to get started and withdraw from your account at short notice. Additionally, Go & Grow provides a 6.75%* p. a. return, giving investors a solid way to help grow their money over time.

*As with any investment, your capital is at risk and the investments are not guaranteed. The yield is up to 6.75% p.a. Before deciding to invest, please review our risk statement or consult with a financial advisor if necessary.

Invest in a mentor

The best way to learn the ropes of a business, industry, or profession can be building a relationship with a mentor. Gaining a mentor will give you access to knowledge that you cannot learn in books or by taking courses, and help you better understand the most efficient ways to reach your goals. A mentor could immediately provide you with an insight into aspects of your work or interests which you may never have even thought of, as well as allowing you to learn from their previous mistakes.

The addition of a mentor will also likely yield in building new connections. Mentors come with networks of people who may, in turn, be able to provide you value sometime in the future. So, even if it doesn’t seem as though investing in a mentor will pay off right now, it is likely to pay off down the line. Just don’t forget to return the favor and mentor someone else once you’ve made it big!

Invest in a mentor

Invest to grow your own skills

It is often said that education is the best investment anyone can make. That is because the more education you have, the more marketable you are to employers, broadening your profile in the job market, and increasing the amount of income you stand to make in the future. These days, education doesn’t just come from a university or advanced degree but can take the form of other, less costly resources with which you can expand your skills to grow in new ways.

For those looking to expand into computing coding and other similar skills, online sites such as Codecademy and Khan Academy provide math, science, and computer skills training for people of all skills levels. Edx was founded by Harvard and MIT, and provides college-level coursework in a variety of areas. Udemy has over 80,000 courses to choose from, some for free, and others at a low, reasonable cost.

The internet isn’t the only place where you can find free or cheap ways to grow your skill set. There are often seminars and intensive courses offered by industry leaders or companies looking to build their exposure. Seminars from world-renowned leaders such as Tony Robbins will usually be quite expensive, so you should search for other, more cost-efficient seminars and intensive courses out there which might work for you.

Invest to grow your own skills

Invest to expand your network

The skill of growing your network can often start with the places and environments in which you put yourself in, and your mentality once you get there. Getting friendly with someone at the gym can lead to a new job opportunity, or striking up a conversation at a local coffee shop can yield a new partner in your business. These, however, do not happen often and are unlikely connections unless you find yourself in the exact right place at the right time.

This makes it all the more reason to invest in putting yourself in environments in which you are more likely to interact with high-quality connections. Think of these as “premium circles” in which you can position yourself for the future. Yes, that gala event you were invited to might cost you $100, but it could also lead to a meeting with that corporate executive you have been dying to meet. The same goes for a premium airport lounge, which will certainly add a cost to your travel, but also it’s where you have the potential to meet a new client or strike up a conversation with someone in your industry.

When thinking about how to expand your network, remember to consider investing in these premium circles in which you can participate. Although it will take money out of your pocket today, there is no telling who you might meet, and how that connection will pay off down the line.

Invest in your own time by outsourcing

One of the biggest mistakes working individuals can make is to not value their own time. Always remember, your time is precious, especially if you could be using it to be paid. This is why it often is more efficient, and a better investment, to outsource tasks to a third-party, freeing up your own time to continue building your own wealth.

This is especially true for freelancers and those who are self-employed. Imagine you earn €12 per hour at your freelance business. Yet, you have come across a boatload of administrative work which is not allowing you to bill hours and make money. If you could outsource this work for €6 per hour to someone else, you would be able to have your administrative work completed, while also freeing yourself up to bill more hours at a higher rate. That’s what we like to call a win-win!

This isn’t just for work situations. Think about how much you value spending time with your family, or playing your favorite sport. Paying someone to clean your home or wash your car, while costing you money, will be offset by the added time you get to spend doing the things you love. Always remember, money isn’t the only thing you should be investing in. Time is just as important.

Invest in your own time

Invest for the long haul

Investing isn’t just about growing your wealth right now, and oftentimes isn’t about money at all. Instead, think of investing as positioning yourself for a more successful future, no matter what that means to you. This might require shelling out money for things that seemingly don’t have an impact right now, but have the potential to grow your business, relationships, skills, and capital down the line.

Conventional thinking is being upended by new and better ways to invest. 2019 could be your year of personal and financial growth, it’s up to you to make it happen.