Developing a Strong ROI on the Greatest Investment of Your Life

Developing a Strong ROI on the Greatest Investment of Your Life

In my work with successful professionals, I notice a clear commonality to each of them:

They invest in their success, which means they invest in themselves.

But that’s not always easy for a lot of people. They don’t understand the value of the investment, and are often wary of spending time or money before they receive any returns, simply because they don’t see that the returns will be greater than what they invest.

Allow me to elaborate…

We all have the same amount of time; time being the most universal of currencies. Money is a secondary currency, given that some of us have more than others. A third component is connections. Without relationships, it's hard to build anything. Time, money and connections open a lot of doors. I’m sure you have found that in your own life.

Success is always a work in progress. I like to think of it as a construction site. You’re building for the future.

To be successful there are always investments required long before the anticipated success arrives and usually, well after. You have invested in your education to build your skill sets. You have invested in your business to create brand awareness. You have invested lots of time making the connections you need to build your clientele. But have you invested in yourself to discover how much more there is of you to bring to the world?

If you are having the following thoughts…

  • I'm committed to growth, and... something's blocking my success.
  • I work hard and.. I'm not getting the recognition I deserve in my career.
  • I'm ready to take the next big leap, and...I have fears about failing
  • I want greater balance between my work and personal life, and... I'm not sure what that looks like.

You are having a conversation with yourself about how to develop your potential, and you are looking for a way to invest your time, money and connections to make it happen. But are you taking action to remedy this?

Are you investing for future ROI?

None of us achieves our success alone. There are always people who helped make it happen. The investment we make in connecting with them, inviting them in as teachers, guides, mentors or otherwise, pays off in large currency at the end of the day. You build and achieve according to your strengths and weaknesses, and your ability to take risks.

For over thirty years, I have personally invested hundreds of thousands of dollars on my own growth and development. It wasn’t easy, and at times if was painful, challenging and very risky. But it was honest, and I was determined. With time, money and connections, I discovered an amazing woman hiding under all the garbage.

Related: What Consistent Actions Are You Taking to Reach Your Goals?

When you prevaricate, deny or refuse to invest in you, you are essentially shutting the door on the prospect of a successful future, and more important, a fulfilling life.

The fear of making a mistake, either with your time or money is so real that you may take no risk at all. When you don’t develop your network for success, you are missing out on thousands of dollars, and more importantly people who will become your champions.

Making an investment in me has paid off handsomely with a life of nomadic living around the globe, raising my children, writing books, making music, and enjoying the fruits of my success. But it didn’t stop there.

I invested more time, money and connections to build my leadership development practice, and have reaped enormous rewards from everyone I have the opportunity to work with. This chapter of my life is the most fulfilling, and I would not have had it if I had not invested in my future.

Investing in you is the greatest investment of your life. It opens doors to all kinds of opportunities that you don’t even know exist, or that you’re capable of fulfilling.

To get to the finish line, you have to run the race. So if you’re standing here, and wish to be over there, start moving your feet!

Begin investing in yourself today. Find an advisor, ask for help, build your network. If you want to develop a strong ROI on the greatest investment of your life, take the next step.

Jacqueline Wales
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Jacqueline Wales is the author of several books including The Fearless Factor, When The Crow Sings, and the upcoming InnerFluence. As a transformational leader, she blends pri ... Click for full bio

An Emerging Theme In Thematic Investing

An Emerging Theme In Thematic Investing

Exchange traded funds (ETFs) are popular vehicles for market participants looking to engage in thematic investing. Thematic investing looks to take advantage of future growth trends, including disruptive technologies. Given that forward-looking approach, stock-picking in the thematic universe is equally as hard, if not harder, than in traditional market segments.

Go back to the late 1990s, before the bursting of the Internet/technology bubble. Back then, investors stood an equal chance of selecting E-Toys over Amazon or some no longer in existence networking equipment maker over Cisco.

“History is littered with examples of prospering industries with no indication of which company will come to dominate the industry,” according to Nasdaq. “This suggests that successful thematic investing is more about selecting baskets of investments rather than single securities.”1

The ALPS Disruptive Technologies ETF (DTEC) provides basket exposure to a broad swath of thematic investments. DTEC features exposure to not just one or two emerging technologies, but 10 such themes on an equal-weight basis.

Disruptive Efficiency

The 10 themes represented in DTEC are as follows: 3D printing, clean energy, cloud computing, cybersecurity, data and analytics, fintech, healthcare innovation, Internet of Things (IoT), mobile payments and robotics and artificial intelligence (AI).

Generally speaking, fund issuers have been quick to respond to disruptive and transformative technologies, bringing products to market to tap these themes. Prior to DTEC coming to market late last year, there were ETFs devoted exclusively to cloud computing, cybersecurity, robotics and other themes featured in DTEC. However, few use the basket approach to themes employed by DTEC.

Related: Getting Paid to Play The Energy Patch

February, a rough month for U.S. stocks, highlighted the advantages of DTEC's multi-theme methodology. Seven of the 10 themes found in the fund finished the month lower, but DTEC was able to outperform the S&P 500 on a monthly basis.

Focusing on individual themes can be rewarding over the long-term, but not all investors have the risk tolerance for such a strategy. Consider this: the Indxx Global Robotics & Artificial Intelligence Thematic Index jumped more than 48% in 2017. That type of performance is enough to seduce many investors, but that same benchmark slipped 7.60% in February, generating monthly volatility of 34.10%.Said another way, that robotics and AI index's February slide was more than triple the loss experienced by DTEC during the month.

More Advantages

While it probably is not accurate to call the indexes devoted to individual disruptive themes “old,” many use old school weighting methodologies. For example, the two largest components in the ISE Cloud Computing Index are Netflix, Inc. (NFLX) and Inc. (AMZN). Only two members of the S&P 500 have larger market values than Amazon while Netflix currently has a larger market cap than Wal-Mart (WMT) and McDonald's (MCD).

Holdings subject ot change as of 12/31/17

For its part, DTEC not only equally weights its 10 disruptive themes, but its 100 components as well, potentially reducing single stock risk in the process. As the chart below confirms, equally weighting stocks is rewarding across sectors and market capitalization segments.

Past performance does not guarantee future results

Annualized returns for the past 10 years show seven of the 11 S&P 500 sectors, when equally weighted, outperform cap-weighted equivalents, according to S&P. Three of those seven sectors – financial services, healthcare and technology – are prominent parts of DTEC's roster.

1 Source: Nasdaq Dec. 28, 2015

2 Source: ETF Replay data


An investor should consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses carefully before investing. To obtain a prospectus which contain this and other information call 866.675.2639 or visit Read the prospectus carefully before investing.

An investment in the ALPS Disruptive Technologies ETF (DTEC) may be subject to substantially greater risk and volatility than investments in larger and more mature technology companies.

There is no assurance that the market developments and sector growth based upon the themes discussed in the article will come to pass.

ALPS Disruptive Technologies ETF shares are not individually redeemable. Investors buy and sell shares of the ALPS Disruptive Technologies ETF on a secondary market. Only market makers or “authorized participants” may trade directly with the Fund, typically in blocks of 50,000 shares.

ALPS Advisors, Inc. (AAI) has engaged IRIS Werks, LLC (IRIS) to produce analysis and commentary on ALPS-advised ETFs. IRIS currently has a compensated business relationship with AAI. AAI is not affiliated with IRIS.

The content and opinions expressed in this article are that of the author and not the views and opinions of AAI.  In addition, AAI assumes no responsibility to ensure the accuracy of the content written by the author.

There are risks involved with investing in ETFs including the loss of money. Additional information regarding the risks of this investment is available in the prospectus. Past Performance is not indicative of future results.

The fund is new and has limited operating history.

ALPS Portfolio Solutions Distributor, Inc. is the distributor for the ALPS Disruptive Technologies ETF. AAI is affiliated with ALPS Portfolio Solutions Distributor, Inc.

The author is not an investment professional and this article should not be considered investment advice. While the information and statistical data contained herein are based on sources believed to be reliable, the author takes no responsibility to ensure the accuracy of the content. Additionally, this article should not be relied on or be the basis for an investment decision. Information that is historical is not indicative of future results, and subject to change.

S&P 500®: A capitalization-weighted index of 500 stocks designed to measure performance of the broad domestic economy through changes in the aggregate market value of 500 stocks representing all major industries.

S&P SmallCap 600®: A capitalization-weighted index that measures the small-cap segment of the U.S. equity market.

S&P MidCap 400®: A capitalization-weighted index that measures the mid-cap segment of the U.S. equity market.

Indxx Global Robotics & Artifical Intelligence Thematic Index: The Indxx Global Robotics & Artificial Intelligence Thematic Index is designed to track the performance of companies listed in developed markets that are expected to benefit from the increased adoption and utilization of robotics and Artificial Intelligence ("AI"), including companies involved in Industrial Robotics and Automation, Non-Industrial Robots, Artificial Intelligence and Unmanned Vehicles.

Tom Lydon
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IRIS Co-Founder and Editor and proprietor of Tom is a frequent contributor to major print, radio and television media including Forbes, The Wall Street Jou ... Click for full bio