Invest In People – The Greatest ROI

Vitruve Luc Viatour (Vitruvian Man)

Leonardo Da Vinci

Much of this blog is geared towards money and finances. I really like to just use money as the prism to see real value in life. As an individual you can invest in stocks, bonds, real estate, etc. The most powerful thing you can invest in is people. This can be yourself or your fellow human being.

The ROI on a human being is virtually infinite. Think of one person who educates himself, builds a business, has children get trained and run the business, and repeat the cycle. One person who invest in another can have a great ROI for themselves and the other person.

One example of this might be parents who gives money for the education of their child. The child is able to get work and be self-sufficient and help the family’s financial well being instead of adding burden. This is an overly simplistic view but, the concept remains the same.

What can happen if one person invest in another? How big does the initial investment have to be? How big is the return? Who is Thomas Alexander Scott?

Thomas A. Scott was born in Fort Loudoun, Pennsylvania in 1823 and worked his way to general superintendent of Pennsylvania Railroad. Thomas Scott mentored up and coming railroad men while he worked as a supervisor. One of the people he mentored was Andrew Carnegie, a recent immigrant from Scotland. Carnegie took what he learned from Scott and became an industrialist who created US Steel (the first billion dollar capitalized company in the world).

Impressive as Thomas A. Scott’s initial investment in Andrew Carnegie and the financial success of Carnegie in future years was the reinvestment in other people that really gets the greatest ROI. Andrew Carnegie was well known for being a philanthropist and one of his most enduring investment in his fellow man was the initial dollars spent on the Carnegie Library. This library was actually an investment to build 2,509 libraries in the United States and some other countries throughout the world. What is the impact of Andrew Carnegie on the United States and the world by him investing in people by donating libraries?

Luis Soriano Bohorquez

 Biblioburro Librarian / School Teacher

This begs the question what can one person do? Do they have to be a big tycoon like Carnegie to invest in other people to make a large impact and large ROI? I don’t think so.  Look at the Global Rich List and see what means you have to work with compared to the whole world. Chances are you are pretty well off if you are reading this from the western world. Colombia (third world country in South America) average income is $6,360 per year. The average person in Colombia is in the top third of the world (18.5 %) according to the global rich list. This is also the home of Luis Soriano Bohorquez an “average” teacher of  the very same Colombia. Yet with limited means he is still able to do what Andrew Carnegie did but, with a donkey. (The Biblioburro is not to scale of Carnegie yet but, who will know what seeds Mr. Soriano Bohorquez has planted in the hearts of the kids who now have access to books.)

98 Year Old Dobri Dobrey
Largest benefactor to largest cathedral in eastern Europe
Saint Alexander Nevyski Cathedral

One person can make a great investments in other people with little means. My example of this is Dobri Dobrev, he is a 98 year old man of Sofia, Bulgaria who donated thousands of dollars to restore monasteries, restore churches, and pay utility bills of orphanages. What is the impact to future generations this man who lives humbly and invested in churches and monasteries that comfort and console future generations or the parent-less children who have a more comfortable place to live?

The final two questions are Who can you invest in? and What is the return on investment?

*Final note: we invest in some kids in Puerto Tejada, Cauca, Colombia through Colombianitos. If you would like to do the same click here.

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