headshot of Marguerita M. Cheng, CFP
  • Written By
    Marguerita M. Cheng, CFP®, CRPC®, RICP®

    Marguerita M. Cheng, CFP®, CRPC®, RICP®

    Expert Contributor

    Marguerita M. Cheng, CFP®, CRPC®, RICP®, is the chief executive officer at Blue Ocean Global Wealth. As a CFP Board of Standards Ambassador, Marguerita educates the public, policymakers and media about the benefits of competent and ethical financial planning. She is a past spokesperson for the AARP Financial Freedom campaign.

    Read More
  • Edited By
    Lamia Chowdhury
    Lamia Chowdhury

    Lamia Chowdhury

    Financial Editor

    Lamia Chowdhury is a financial editor at Annuity.org. Lamia carries an extensive skillset in the content marketing field, and her work as a copywriter spans industries as diverse as finance, health care, travel and restaurants.

    Read More
  • Published: February 21, 2022
  • 3 min read time
Fact Checked
Fact Checked

Annuity.org content is meticulously reviewed to ensure it meets our high standards for readability, accuracy, fairness and transparency.

Annuity.org articles are spellchecked, grammatically correct and typo-free. Annuity.org editors may revise content for clarity, logic, flow and meaning. Annuity.org only uses credible sources of information.

This includes reputable industry sources, select financial publications, credible nonprofits, official government reports, court records and interviews with qualified experts.

Cite Us
How to Cite Annuity.org's Article

APA Cheng, M. M. (2023, January 3). From the Experts: 4 Things to Invest in That Aren’t the Market. Annuity.org. Retrieved June 8, 2023, from https://www.annuity.org/2022/02/21/from-the-experts-4-things-to-invest-in-that-arent-the-market/

MLA Cheng, Marguerita M. "From the Experts: 4 Things to Invest in That Aren’t the Market." Annuity.org, 3 Jan 2023, https://www.annuity.org/2022/02/21/from-the-experts-4-things-to-invest-in-that-arent-the-market/.

Chicago Cheng, Marguerita M. "From the Experts: 4 Things to Invest in That Aren’t the Market." Annuity.org. Last modified January 3, 2023. https://www.annuity.org/2022/02/21/from-the-experts-4-things-to-invest-in-that-arent-the-market/.

When people think of investing, they oftentimes assume it involves stocks. However, there are plenty of other ways to invest your time, money and efforts without touching the market. Whether you’re looking to invest in yourself or grow your savings, here are four ways to yield great return on investment.

1. Professional Skills

It’s prudent to invest in one’s career by earning certifications and designations. It not only gives you a competitive edge, but it also positions you as a flexible and adaptable professional in your field.

For example, I know an event planner whose primary role is to work with vendors to coordinate social gatherings for various occasions. But following the pandemic, they had to rethink their business plan to accommodate lockdowns and social distancing protocols.

In times like these, an extensive skillset can allow you to be agile during unprecedented times. In this case, the event planner earned certifications as a digital event strategist and certified virtual events producer to help them grow in the digital realm.

It’s important to ask your employer if they offer professional development benefits or if they’re willing to help with tuition remission. If not, you should still document your expenses so you can list it as unreimbursed employee expenses when you file your taxes. You may also be eligible for the lifetime learning credit.

2. Real Estate

Real estate can open the door to a new stream of revenue, but it doesn’t always take investing in new property to reap these rewards. Sometimes, all it takes is a little bit of creativity and a few hours of your time.

For example, a spare bedroom in your home may be eligible for third-party lodging websites like Airbnb if you take the proper steps to revamp your space.

On the other hand, your property might be more suitable to support a small business. I know of a family who owns an agriculture reserve and uses it to grow fresh lavender and produce local honey to sell.

3. Relationships

Another investment that’s worth considering are strong relationships. As a professional, never underestimate the value of building good connections. Great ideas are never accomplished alone, and with the help of like-minded people, you can reach new heights and pave the way for you and others.

It’s important to ask yourself:

  • Who do I want to do business with?
  • Who supports my goals and ideas?
  • Who has a skillset that complements mine?

The answers to these questions can help guide you toward the right relationships, and the right relationships can help spearhead your goals and set new ambitions.

4. Online Presence

A strong online presence not only offers great value, but it’s also needed to remain top of mind to prospective clients, customers and connections. The internet has become a digital home to young and veteran professionals alike. Whether you use it to promote your business or to build a name for yourself, a strong online presence can give you the exposure you need to soar.

It’s never too early or too late to get started. In other words, building an online presence is an investment in time. A little bit of research can go a long way. Find what works for you and regularly test new tactics to help expand your reach.


Connect With a Financial Advisor Instantly

Our free tool can help you find an advisor who serves your needs. Get matched with a financial advisor who fits your unique criteria. Once you’ve been matched, consult for free with no obligation.

Please seek the advice of a qualified professional before making financial decisions.
Last Modified: January 3, 2023