This essay should be read together with the essay CAPITAL and its analysis of the dead hand of the state on consumerism... How the state with its infinite gut to be filled, recklessly encourages spending.
The UK state is one of the worst investors in INFRA of all advanced nations. See INFRA


Safest if you stay in charge -- even by learning to repair shoes using hired equipment in someone's garage.

Most risky if you hand regular sums over to "an investor", a "financial adviser" or worst of all the "state". See arrogance of Robert Shiller Financial Times September 27 2009 "In defence of financial innovation". His academic economic thesis should be consigned to your "danger", "handle with care", even if you become an actuarial specialist in charge of cosmonaut pensions.
For us earthlings, best stick to investments you can

See & measure & influence directly & read the timescale for

A buy to let "investor" discovers a dead cert new block on a Birmingham canal he buys with a 90% mortgage and buys new furniture with his credit card. He does not live in B'ham so asks an agent to let the flat and manage it. The agent charges 11% of rental plus fees for any extras. The agent collects the rent and always finds some extra costs to deduct, so our "investor" always finds the net rent lower than his outgoings on mortgage and credit repayments. After three years of negative cash flow, the flat dropped in value and our "investor" was now in negative equity. He sells at a big loss.

So invest first in personal skills --- and if you are blessed with children invest in their skills as deeply as you can.

Secondly get some equipment (and repetition) to work volumes for you.

Thirdly go for turnover --- always go for increasing the business base.
An American with 8 children was left some land between two good size towns. He figured he could build a motel more cheaply than of existing style but of good design and so his pricing could be very competitive.
He chose a design and building methods which was straightforward enough for even his youngest at 8 years to participate in.
They worked together and built a 40 bedroom motel in 8 months. There were no wages and all got shares in their business. Four years later they had 6 motels.
Still no wages but all were capital(ists)now. No wages meant no taxes!

Lesson to learn -


from 15 to 20 mum and dad like to see you around if you help out a bit and stay nice.
Almost free living whilst you and some mates syndicate
and build/lose/make again a capital stake
and above all Learn-learn-learn.