Chris Reining, 39, managed to build a seven-figure portfolio by age 35 and quit his corporate job shortly after. He did it by saving more than half his income and investing it in his employer sponsored 401(k) plan and a taxable account.
Needless to say, Reining, who has been retired for nearly three years and is "not really worried about ever running out of money," made some smart investments over his short career.
The very best investment he ever made, though, has nothing to do with the stock market or real estate or money in general: He invested in himself, he tells CNBC Make It, and that cost "little to nothing."
Investing in yourself can mean different things. For Reining, it meant getting mentors to guide him; surrounding himself with smart, driven people; reading self-help books; and practicing new skills like public speaking by joining Toastmasters.
"One of the best shortcuts to wealth is making yourself more valuable," the self-made millionaire writes on his blog. And, "when you invest in yourself you become more valuable."