Most people have to prioritize and can’t accomplish that. Paying down debt is a sure thing. Once it’s gone you don’t have the downside. Investing is not a sure thing. Market dips or poor investment selection/diversification and you’re behind the eight ball. If an individual is trying to get themselves right financially they should first do the sure thing and then move to the calculated gamble. My just-out-of-law-school self is a great cautionary tale. I was earning more than expected and hadn’t really had experience with managing it or credit cards. I allowed credit cards to get up $45,000 (yup, young ouchie-z-clown was idiot-z-clown). But I had money in two investments that were going gangbusters. Both had earnings in excess of the interest rates on my credit cards. So on paper I was ahead. Until both investments cratered, almost overnight. Then all I was left with was the debt. Took me more than a few years to pay that down to zip. So not only did I lose the money I invested, I also lost all the interest that was accruing on my debt that wasn’t being paid down because in my head it was offset by my investments. It was a valuable lesson learned. And glad it happened early in life to recover and reform my actions.