I know I've made this point before, but I think it's worth reiterating.
I know a lot of you must read some of my posts and think I'm just insane. "401(k)? Sure, I would allocate my funds if I had any in there!" I know. And I know this sounds corny right off the bat, but your greatest asset is yourself. Now, follow me here. A lot of financial gurus will say your greatest asset is your income. I don't think so because you can easily lose your income in our current economy with no warning. So you're left with yourself.
Your greatest asset is yourself because you can spend your time gaining knowledge. No one can take that knowledge away from you. Even if the markets crash and burn, you still have your knowledge. So make it count. Don't spend your time reading about celebrity gossip. Instead read about what a sideways market is. Learn about annuities. Better your knowledge base in your current career. The more you know, the more valuable you are. Learn about how to make your home more energy efficient. Learn how to garden.
The key to investing in knowledge is to follow through with action. Make your home more energy efficient. Make a garden in your yard. Sell your services on the weekends, whether your area of expertise is dog bathing, fixing cars, or what have you. Use your knowledge to make yourself some money to pad your emergency fund.