I have been asked a lot of times over my career what the best investment is. Without hesitation, I have to say that the best investment anyone can make is in their own education! A George Washington University study published in December of 2016 found the following:

Average Level of Education                    Average Lifetime Earnings                       Earnings/yr (40 yr)

No High School diploma                         $973,000                                                  $24,325

High School Diploma                              $1,304,000                                               $32,600

Bachelor’s Degree                                  $2,268,000                                               $56,700

Professional Degree                               $3,252,000                                               $81,300

If that’s not compelling enough, think about this. The average annual salary of someone with no high school diploma is below the 2018 poverty level for a family of four, which is $25,100 (https://aspe.hhs.gov/poverty-guidelines).

But our learning cannot stop when we finish our degree. Anymore, with the rapid pace of change in technology, we need to be lifetime learners. We need to continue to invest in ourselves by improving our skills; keeping pace with technology and maybe even acquiring skills for an entirely new career. I know a person who is now in his mid-50’s, with a bachelor’s degree who has held mostly mid-level management positions in financial institutions. He hasn’t done any ongoing continuing education and suddenly finds himself unemployed and no real marketable skills.

The cost of higher education is significant, but the cost of no education is even more significant when measured over one’s lifetime.



Diversification and asset allocation strategies do not assure profit or protect against loss. Investing involves risk. Depending on the types of investments, there may be varying degrees of risk. Investors should be prepared to bear loss, including total loss of principal.

These are the opinions of Mike Berry and not necessarily those of Cambridge, are for informational purposes only, and should not be construed or acted upon as individualized investment advice.

Mike Berry is a Registered Representative offering securities through Cambridge Investment Research, Inc., a Broker/Dealer, Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment Advisor Representative, Cambridge Investment Research Advisors, Inc., a Registered Investment Advisor. Legacy Wealth Management, LLC and Cambridge are not affiliated. Cambridge does not offer tax advice.

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