10 Engineers Who Are Self-Made Billionaires

When we think of billionaires, most of us automatically assume that the person must have a degree in Business Administration. Despite the common perception, there are quite a few engineers who are part of the exclusive billionaire club. Here is a list of engineers who used their passion and drive to make it to the top.

1. Carlos Slim


A Mexican business magnate, investor and philanthropist, Carlos Slim, has a Civil Engineering degree from Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico. From 2010 to 2013, Slim was ranked as the richest person in the world. His worth is $71.2 billion and he owns the conglomerate Grupo Carso, which has interests in the fields of communication, technology, retailing, and finance. Slim is also chief executive of the telecommunications companies Telmex and América Móvil.

2. Charles Koch


Koch is an American businessman and philanthropist. He has degrees in General Engineering, M.Sc Mechanical Engineering and M.Sc Chemical Engineering from the famous Massachusetts Institute of Technology. With a worth of $31 billion, Koch is co-owner, chairman of the board and CEO of Koch Industries (involved mainly in oil refining and chemicals).

3. David Koch


Brother of Charles Koch with a 42% share in Koch Industries, David Koch is an American businessman, philanthropist and political activist. He has Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Chemical Engineering and is worth $31 billion. He is co-owner and executive vice-president of Koch Industries. A major patron of the arts, Koch has also donated to several charities to promote arts.

4. Bernard Arnault


Arnault is a French businessman and art collector. The chairman and CEO of LVMH, a French multinational luxury goods conglomerate, Arnault is worth $29 billion. He has an engineering degree from École Polytechnique. Arnault is a noted art collector with pieces by Picasso, Yves Klein, Henry Moore and Andy Warhol. Arnault’s father was a manufacturer and owner of a civil engineering company.

5. Michael Bloomberg


Currently the Mayor of New York City, Bloomberg is also an American business magnate, politician and philanthropist. He has served three consecutive terms as mayor of one of the world’s largest cities since 2001. Bloomberg has a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the John Hopkins University and is currently worth $31 billion. He is founder and owns 88% of shares of Bloomberg L.P., which is a global financial data and media company. Bloomberg is the seventh richest person in the United States and thirteenth wealthiest in the world.

6. Jeff Bezos


Bezos is an American Internet entrepreneur and investor. As founder and CEO of Amazon.com, he has played a key role in the growth of e-commerce. Bezos has a Bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from Princeton University and is worth $28.9 billion. Under Bezos’ guidance, Amazon.com became a top model for Internet sales and the largest retailer in the World Wide Web.

7. Larry Page


An American Internet entrepreneur, Page is the co-founder and CEO of the Internet giant, Google. He owns sixteen percent of Google’s stock along with Sergey Brin. Page is also the inventor of PageRank, which is the base of Google’s search ranking algorithm. He has a Bachelor’s in Computer Engineering from the University of Michigan and a Master’s in Computer Science from Stanford University. Page is currently worth $24.9 billion and is the thirteenth richest American.

8. Sergey Brin


Brin is an American Internet entrepreneur and co-founder of Google. Brin immigrated from the Soviet Union to the United States with his family at the age of six. Brin’s father and grandfather were both involved in the field of mathematics. Brin has a degree in Computer Science from Stanford University and is currently worth $24.4 billion. Brin met Page during their PhD studies at Stanford, where they became friends and started the now famous Internet company, Google.

9. Mukesh Ambani


Ambani is an Indian business magnate with a current worth of $21 billion. He is the chairman, executive director and largest shareholder of Reliance Industries Limited, a Fortune Global 500 company  and also India’s second largest company by market value. RIL is involved in refining, petrochemicals and the oil & gas sector. Ambani has a Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Bombay. He led the creation of the world’s largest grassroots refinery at Jamnagar, India.

10. Thomas Kwok


Kwok is the joint chairman and managing director of Sun Hung Kai Properties, which is the largest property developer in Hong Kong. Together with his brothers, Walter and Raymond Kwok, he is worth $17 billion. Kwok gained his Bachelor’s in Civil Engineering from the Imperial College, University of London and also has a MBA degree from London Business School, University of London. The Kwok brothers are the third richest people in all of Hong Kong.

I’ve been writing about money for 15 years, and here are the 9 best pieces of financial advice I can give you

reading outside autumnJeff J Mitchell / Getty ImagesYears writing about money gives a unique perspective.

When my father encouraged me to study finance in college (because it seemingly offered the best return on investment), I had no idea how far that path would take me.

While I didn’t end up working behind a trading desk or managing portfolios, my career as a financial journalist and now speaker, author, and podcast host provides me with the most incredible experiences and relationships.

Along the way I’ve discovered several unshakable facts and words of wisdom that have helped carry me through my life with financial success.

Here are my favorite nine.

View As: One Page Slides

 Justin Sullivan/GettyAsk for what you want.

You don’t get what you deserve. You get what you negotiate.

I live by these words each time I strive to earn and save more. A story I often share is the one about doubling my salary when changing jobs back in 2006. I was up for the senior video correspondent role at TheStreet.com.

At the time, I was earning around $45,000 at my TV news job as a producer and sometimes-on-camera reporter. And, crazy as it sounds, I asked to more than double my salary with the new gig. I asked for $100,000.

My manager offered $85,000 (which would have been an incredible raise!). But I replied, “How about we agree to $90,000 right now and I don’t bother you in six months?”  Next thing I heard? “We’ve got a deal. Welcome to TheStreet!”

 Flickr / Bureau of Land ManagementIt’s up to you to see the big picture.

Nobody cares more about your money than you.

Not your financial planner. Not even your family. And it’s not because the world is against you. It’s not because they’re out to get you. It’s for the simple fact that money is personal. The depth of pain and excitement around your money is yours and yours only. The difference between making money and losing it is in your hands, which is pretty empowering.

This is a major financial philosophy of mine. It encourages me to speak up, ask questions, negotiate, and take responsible steps to protect and grow my hard-earned money.

 Flickr/Jake GuildNo one expects you to have all the answers.

Ask questions. Even the dumb ones.

I learned from life and business strategist Tony Robbins a vital key to success: staying curious. Embrace the fact that you don’t know everything and always seek answers,he told me.

Even as I surround myself with talented, smarter individuals who help me with decisions related to my investments, taxes, and real estate, I never trust they have all the right answers. In fact, their ability to give me sound advice depends on me constantly asking “Why is this like that?” “How come we can’t do this?” and “Can we save more money somehow?”

 Andrew Burton / Getty ImagesCross of your must-dos so you can get to your want-to-dos.

Take care of the boring stuff first.

My husband and I make sure that with every paycheck we address our basic obligations first. That stuff isn’t really fun or sexy, but without covering those bases we couldn’t go on to spend on or wants freely.

In fact, by taking care of our retirement, rainy day savings, college fund, insurance and bills at the top of the month, we know that whatever money is left in our accounts afterwards is more or less our “fun” money and we are free — with peace of mind — to spend it accordingly!

 Flickr/C x 2You don’t have to do everything yourself.

Do what matters to you. Outsource the rest.

“It is almost impossible to find anyone who has made millions of dollars who doesn’t delegate at least a handful of time-consuming things.” It’s no surprise that Tim Ferriss, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller “The Four Hour Workweek” shared this with me on my show.

I’ve always been a proponent of outsourcing tasks like laundry and toilet bowl cleaning.  But Tim really put it all in a new perspective for me.

In order to be financially successful you must stay focused and spend both time and money meaningfully. I dedicate a whole chapter to outsourcing in my latest book, “When She Makes More” because, crazy as it sounds, higher earning women do more housework than women earning as much or less than their spouses.

 Kris Connor / Stringer / Getty ImagesFarnoosh Torabi speaks during the 2013 Get Radical Women’s Conference at Hyatt Regency Reston on March 23, 2013 in Reston, Virginia.

The world needs more top-earning women.

I never really thought of myself as someone who was ‘destined’ to be wealthy or even worthy of being super rich. But why the heck not? As a woman I now see it as my responsibility to earn as much as I can and be a financial leader — not just in how I manage my money but how I earn it, as well.

The world needs more female financial leaders. Period. And the more women get on board this crusade, the better a world we shall have.

As Barbara Stanny, a bestselling author, friend, and financial mentor told me on my podcast, “For women, financial success is a spiritual journey … a rite of passage into our power.” She went on to share that women exercise power by building relationships — as opposed to gaining power over people and things. “The real goal is to help others,” she says.

And that was a true lightbulb moment for me. Whereas before I saw limits to my wealth because more money wasn’t what was going to make me happy, I now view it as limitless. I now see making more money as my duty and my part in helping others who have less and inspiring others to do the same.

 ShutterstockNo one’s job is guaranteed to last forever.

There’s no such thing as job security.

… says the girl who got laid off in 2009. The best job security is working for yourself. But it’s not to say that it’s easier to succeed as an entrepreneur than an employee. Because you’re only accountable to yourself, it’s easy to get complacent. You need to remain curious and motivated as your own boss.

That’s how I somehow wrote multiple books, hosted TV shows, started a podcast, and most recently launched a private coaching business. I’m always looking for ways to grow. And when things start to get too easy, that’s when I know you need to start experimenting again, get uncomfortable and take new risks. It’s the best way to ensure you stay gainfully employed.

 Matthew Eisman / Stringer / Getty ImagesIt’s better than a savings account.

You don’t need to be wealthy to invest, but you need to invest to be wealthy.

Compound interest is mathematical magic. Albert Einstein called it the eight wonder of the world for good reason. Use it or lose it.

Investing is something my guests on So Money often tell me they wish they’d known more about growing up. They wish they’d started investing sooner and didn’t buy into the mentality that you need lots of money to invest. You can start small. Even with the volatile swings in the market, investing when you’re young and for the long haul is more fruitful than letting it sit in a plain vanilla savings account.

 iStockIf you have an idea, give it a chance.

If you build it, they will come.

Nobody wanted to produce my little show about interviewing famous and accomplished people about money. So, I bought a microphone, signed up for Skype, and launched So Money from my Brooklyn apartment.

Since launching nine months ago, the show’s surpassed one million downloads. It’s been awarded thetop financial podcast of 2015. It’s been called a ‘top podcast to grow your business’ by Inc Magazine. It’s been featured in numerous publications from Money to Forbes.

And most recently I’ve partnered with AdLarge, the fastest-growing independent audio ad sales rep in the country for network radio, digital, and mobile content providers. The show is finally on its way to being profitable

78 years ago, a journalist studied 500 rich men and boiled down their success into 13 steps

At the peak of Andrew Carnegie’s career, he crossed paths with an impressive journalist named Napoleon Hill, who he trusted to document — and share with the world — the strategies that turned him into one of the wealthiest and most successful businessmen of all time.

“It was Mr. Carnegie’s idea that the magic formula, which gave him a stupendous fortune, ought to be placed within reach of people who do not have time to investigate how men make money,” Hill wrote in the preface of “Think and Grow Rich,” the result of his collaboration with Carnegie.

In addition to analyzing Carnegie, who became the richest man in the world after starting with little more than a penny upon arriving in the US from Scotland, Hill studied more than 500 self-made millionaires over a span of 20 years.

His interviews and research culminated in the 1937 bestseller, “Think and Grow Rich,” which shares what he calls the “money-making secret” in 13 principles.

There is no mention of “money,” “wealth,” “finances,” or “stocks” within Hill’s text; he takes a different approach, focusing on breaking down the psychological barriers that prevent many of us from attaining our own fortunes.

This approach is still relevant today, 78 years later. As personal finance expert Farnoosh Torabi said on episode one of her podcast, “Mastering your money has more to do with psychology and mindset than anything else.”

Here are Hill’s 13 steps, in his words and ours:

1. Desire: You have to want it.

All of the super wealthy started with a certain amount of dreaming, hoping, planning, and desiring before they became rich. They imagined riches before they saw them in their bank accounts, Hill explains:

Wishing will not bring riches. But desiring riches with a state of mind that becomes an obsession, then planning definite ways and means to acquire riches, and backing those plans with persistence which does not recognize failure, will bring riches.

This is not so different from the modern-day concept of visualizing a savings goal with a specific price tag.

2. Faith: Believe that you can achieve your goal.

Growing rich starts with your mindset — with the belief that you can accumulate wealth. Hill writes:

Riches begin in the form of thought! The amount is limited only by the person in whose mind the thought is put into motion. Faith removes limitations!

As self-made millionaire and author Steve Siebold writes, “Being rich isn’t a privilege. Being rich is a right. If you create massive value for others, you have the right to be as rich as you want.”

businessmen suits fancy trainJeff J Mitchell / Getty ImagesBuilding wealth all starts with your mindset.

3. Auto-suggestion: Use affirmations to reach your goal.

Turning desire for money or success into reality requires sending your subconscious mind phrases and mantras that support your goal. You have to repeat out loud what it is that you want, and how you plan to get it, so you become obsessed with your purpose, Hill explains:

Your ability to use the principle of auto-suggestion will depend, very largely, upon your capacity to concentrate upon a given desire until that desire becomes a burning obsession.

For example, if you aim to save $1 million for retirement by putting away money every week, you would repeat, “I will set aside money this week to have $1 million in retirement savings,” as many times as possible each day.

4. Specialized knowledge: Gain experiences and continue learning.

Knowledge is potential power. An education only becomes powerful and leads to great wealth when it is organized and applied to life. It also must be continually sought after. You’re never done learning, Hill emphasizes:

Successful men, in all callings, never stop acquiring specialized knowledge related to their major purpose, business, or profession. Those who are not successful usually make the mistake of believing that the knowledge-acquiring period ends when one finishes school.

Many modern-day successful and wealthy people are voracious readers; they never stop learning and challenging their minds.

andrew carnegieWikimedia Commons/IneuwNapoleon Hill studied hundreds of successful and wealthy individuals, including Andrew Carnegie, pictured above.

5. Imagination: Come up with ideas and visualize your success.

If you can imagine it, you can create it, says Hill:

Ideas are the beginning points of all fortunes. Ideas are products of the imagination …

Man’s only limitation, within reason, lies in his development and use of his imagination.

Don’t be afraid to come up with, and develop, ideas. “Whoever you are, wherever you may live, whatever occupation you may be engaged in, just remember in the future, every time you see the words ‘Coca-Cola,’ that its vast empire of wealth and influence grew out of a single idea,” Hill writes.

Consider Sara Blakely, whose small, disruptive idea — making an incision in a pair of pantyhose — amounted to her booming, billion-dollar business, Spanx, and rocketed her into the limelight.

6. Organized planning: Take action.

Once you’ve visualized your success, you need to take action and go after exactly what you want. You must act with persistence and enthusiasm. Hill explains:

Opportunity has spread its wares before you. Step up to the front, select what you want, create your plan, put the plan into action, and follow through with persistence …

Most of us are good “starters” but poor “finishers” of everything we begin. Moreover, people are prone to give up at the first signs of defeat. There is no substitute for persistence.

For instance, if you’re looking to build wealth, start with forming a financial plan, and determine exactly where you want your money to go.

tony robbinsCourtesy of Tony RobbinsSelf-made millionaire Tony Robbins delves into the psychology of wealth in his book, “Money: Master the Game.”

7. Decision: Defeat procrastination with decisiveness.

A key trait Hill recognized in all of the individuals he studied who acquired great wealth wasdecisiveness. Those who settle on decisions quickly know what they want, and they tend to get what they want. He writes:

People who fail to accumulate money, without exception, have the habit of reaching decisions, if at all, very slowly, and of changing these decisions quickly and often.

Decisiveness is not just a trait of the wealthy, but one of the most important qualities a leader needs to possess. At the end of the day, making a bad decision is better than making no decision at all.

8. Persistence: Don’t stop until you get what you want.

Persistence is crucial when trying to accumulate wealth, yet few people possess the willpower required to turn their desire for money into actual money. Hill writes:

Riches do not respond to wishes. They respond only to definite plans, backed by definite desires, through constant persistence.

The most successful people tend to have dealt with, and overcome, failure. “I’ve learned that it doesn’t matter how many times you failed,” Mark Cuban told Smart Business. “You only have to be right once. I tried to sell powdered milk. I was an idiot lots of times, and I learned from them all.”

mark cuban“Shark Tank”/ABCShark Tank investor Mark Cuban.

9. Power of the Master Mind: Surround yourself with the best.

The wealthiest people create a “Master Mind,” meaning they surround themselves with talented friends and colleagues who share their vision. The alignment of several smart and creative minds is exponentially more powerful than just one, Hill explains:

No individual may have great power without availing himself of the “Master Mind” …

A group of brains coordinated (or connected) in a spirit of harmony will provide more thought-energy than a single brain, just as a group of electric batteries will provide more energy than a single battery.

This may explain why rich people tend to make friends with other rich people. “Exposure to people who are more successful than you are has the potential to expand your thinking and catapult your income,” writes self-made millionaire Steve Siebold. “We become like the people we associate with, and that’s why winners are attracted to winners.”

10. The Mystery of Sex Transmutation: Choose a compatible partner.

Sexual energy is an incredibly powerful human energy — it creates physical life and develops emotional life, and when it is harnessed and redirected, it can enhance our creativity, passion, enthusiasm, and persistence, all which are crucial in accumulating wealth, Hill says:

Sex desire is the most powerful of human desires. When driven by this desire, men develop keenness of imagination, courage, willpower, persistence, and creative ability unknown to them at other times.

Love, romance, and sex are all emotions capable of driving men to heights of super achievement. When combined, these three emotions may lift one to an altitude of genius.

While this step may feel like a bit of a stretch, having a supportive partner is important to career success. Research also shows that having a conscientious spouse can boost your salary by $4,000 a year.

11. The Subconscious Mind: Master positivity and dismiss negative emotions.

If you truly want to be rich, you have to plant that desire, and then your plan, into your subconscious mind. Hill writes:

The subconscious mind will not remain idle! If you fail to plant desires in your subconscious mind, it will feed upon the thoughts which reach it as the result of your neglect.

Positive and negative emotions cannot occupy the mind at the same time. One or the other must dominate. It is your responsibility to make sure that positive emotions constitute the dominating influence of your mind.

If you want to be successful and grow rich, it is critical that the positive emotions dominate any negative ones that arise, Hill says. He was on to something: Today, research shows that positive, happier people are more likely to perform better at their jobs and are less likely to be unemployed.

Jimmy FallonTheo Wargo/Getty ImagesJimmy Fallon.

12. The Brain: Associate with other smart people and learn from them.

Our brain is a “transmitter and receiver of thought vibrations” — it absorbs thoughts from other individuals surrounding us, making it even more important to associate with intelligent, creative, and positive individuals. Hill writes:

Every human brain is capable of picking up vibrations of thought which are being released by other brains …

The Creative Imagination is the “receiving set” of the brain, which receives thoughts released by the brains of others.

This principle is simply application of the Master Mind principle. It takes it one step further — rather than just surrounding yourself with people who are smarter and better, use the members of your group to find solutions to problems or brainstorm ideas. Hill calls this “blending of several minds into one,” and suggests sitting down with a small group of people and diving deep into the problem at hand.

13. The Sixth Sense: Trust your gut.

The final principle — the “sixth sense” — occurs only after you’ve mastered the other 12 principles. You’ll experience a sort of mind-shift, Hill says: “Through the aid of the sixth sense, you will be warned of impending dangers in time to avoid them, and notified of opportunities in time to embrace them.”

While this principle isn’t the most straightforward — Hill admits it is generally not attained until age 40 — his basic claim is that your intuition will change. You’ll have achieved a level of wisdom that will allow you to start making smart financial and life decisions naturally.

Although it takes a while to master the final step, you can still get a lot out of the other 12 principles, Hill says:

No matter who you are, or what may have been your purpose in reading this book, you can profit by it without understanding the principle described in this chapter. This is especially true if your major purpose is that of accumulation of money or other material things.

The chapter on the sixth sense was included, because the book is designed for the purpose of presenting a complete philosophy by which individuals may unerringly guide themselves in attaining whatever they ask of life.

5 simple ways to invest $1,000 now

  The unemployment rate continues to drift steadily lower, gas prices remain cheap relative to years past and the stock market continues to bump up against all-time highs. And as a result, many Americans are finally getting their finances back in order.

But what should they do with that extra cash cushion?

The first place to look is at your savings account, which should have three to six months of your salary saved up for unexpected hardship. After all, if the financial crisis and Great Recession taught us anything, it’s the importance of a safety net.

But after you’ve covered yourself with a rainy day fund, where should you turn next to invest that money, putting it to work and making it grow?

If you’ve recently found your financial footing and have a small sum that you’re looking to invest, even if it’s only $1,000 or so, here are five simple ways to get started:

1. Increase your 401(k) contribution (or start contributing if you’re not already)

There are a host of reasons why you should make good use of your 401(k) if you have one through your employer — or if you’re not maxed out yet, increase your contribution to that plan.

For starters, many employers offer a “match” of some kind, where they put, say, 50 cents into your retirement account for every dollar that you put in. More generous companies even match you dollar-for-dollar.

That’s a big reward for saving, especially considering it’s something you should be doing anyway.

The maximum you can contribute to a 401(k) plan in 2015 is $18,000 if you’re under age 50 — so unless you’re making a ton of cash, chances are you have plenty of headroom to increase your contribution another $1,000 if you’re already making a contribution of some kind.

Also, because these are pre-tax dollars, you likely will see your take-home pay decrease by much less than that $1,000 over the course of the year. That’s because you’re reducing your taxable income by making this contribution to your 401(k) beforeUncle Sam takes his cut.

The tax man will get paid eventually, of course, and will even charge penalties if you withdraw funds from a 401(k) before age 59½. And admittedly, 401(k)s only offer a short list of investment options for your money.

But for the typical investor, putting your cash in a diversified mutual fund offered via your 401(k) and allowing it to grow steadily over many years is a powerful way to save and plan for retirement.

2. Buy an index fund

If you’re a bit more impatient and don’t want to wait until your 60s to access investment profits, consider opening up a taxable investing account and buying an index fund with your $1,000.

What is an index fund? Simply put, it’s a pool of investments aligned to a major stock market benchmark like the S&P 500 or the Nasdaq-100. And as such, these funds are extremely transparent because the list of stocks in the portfolio is fixed, and because of their immense popularity their providers can charge extremely low management fees and still turn a profit.

Research shows that while individual companies may vary widely in performance, the stock market as a whole marches steadily higher over time — to the tune of about 7% annual returns on average. Some years are better than others, obviously, but that’s what’s typical in the long term. And since you’re effectively buying the entire stock market this way, you can have confidence your performance will mirror this.

The SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY) is the most popular index fund out there. The SPY fund is tied to the S&P 500 index, meaning it’s comprised of 500 of the largest U.S. companies, such as Apple (AAPL), Walmart (WMT) and McDonald’s (MCD). This index fund charges a mere 0.945% in fees annually — or less than a measly dollar for each $1,000 you invest. That’s a small price to pay for a piece of the biggest names in Wall Street, and built-in diversification to boot.

And considering the fund has nearly $180 billion in assets, you’d be in good company if you invest in this index fund!

Now, you’ll have to pay taxes on any profits you make — and while the market does tend to go up long-term, there is no guarantee of any profits at all in the near future. However, the diversification and low-cost structure of index funds make them an attractive alternative for investors who don’t want to wait.

3. Tap a high-yield savings account or CD

With interest rates as low as they are, “high yield” is a matter of perspective. But one undeniable truth is that the rate of return you get from a typical checking account is effectively zilch, at just 0.03% at major banks right now.

That adds up to just 30 cents a year on $1,000.

The current return on so-called high-yield accounts isn’t dramatically better, with a 1% rate available via many financial institutions. That adds up to $10 annually on $1,000 — which is a lot better than 30 cents, but clearly not going to make you a millionaire.

But as the old saying goes, there’s a trade-off with risk and reward. If you don’t like the notion of stock market volatility, an FDIC-insured savings account or CD is almost as good as cash. You may have to tie up your money for the full 12 months to get the best rates, though, so read the fine print.

But at least with a savings account or CD, you’re guaranteed that the money will be there waiting for you at the end of the line … with a little bit of interest.

4. Pay down your debts

If you have a big bill on a credit card, it should go without saying that putting $1,000 toward those obligations is a good idea. But even if you don’t have a lot of consumer debt, sometimes paying off extra principal on a mortgage, student loan or car loan can also be a good idea.

That’s because the more principal you can pay off up front, the less interest you’re paying on the remaining balance each month. Think of it as a belated down-payment of sorts.

The only catch is that because of “amortization,” loan repayment schedules tend to put most of your interest up front — so the more time left on your loan, the more you save.

While the return on your investment comes in the form of lower payments instead of a windfall check, it may not seem like you’re “investing” anything — but consider that paying an extra $1,000 in principal on a 4% car loan could save you $100 to $200 depending on the details. That’s a 10% to 20% return on your $1,000, which is much better than the alternative.

Remember, even if you have a rock-bottom interest rate of just 4% on your home, over the life of your 30-year loan you will pay $1,200 for every $1,000 in principal. Paying down even a small amount of your loan early can drastically reduce what you’ll be paying down the road.

5. Invest in yourself

If you’re stuck in a dead-end job and are looking for a way out, then $1,000 could help buy you a change of scenery in the workplace.

Maybe you pay for a computer class or two at a local college. Maybe you buy that professional-grade camera and start a new career as a wedding a photographer. Maybe you simply spend a few-hundred bucks on a custom domain name and Web hosting to launch your own Web business.

Of course, when calculating costs, it’s important to note that your time is worth something. But $1,000 can go a long way for people willing to seize a new opportunity.

After all, building your own business could be the most profitable investment of all — and not just in real dollars, but also in the satisfaction and confidence that come with being your own boss.