Successful investing for the faithful steward is attainable!
Unfortunately, when it comes to accumulating money, we tend to put up roadblocks for ourselves because we’re Christian. Investing isn’t something to shy away from, because it is, in fact, biblical. There’s a wealth of Scripture on the subject. (Pardon the pun!)
It’s time to take that first step. As you put one investing foot in front of the other, you’ll soon come to understand how to make your adventure a profitable one.
From a biblical perspective, there are only THREE legitimate reasons to invest:
#1 Grow it to Give. God entrusts some faithful stewards with wealth to multiply it so that it will be available to further His kingdom. Also, not having to depend upon a salary can afford you the freedom to volunteer more time to ministry as the Lord leads.
#2 To Provide for the Future. This includes setting aside for retirement, education, a downpayment on a house or to start a business. Providing for the future is prudent, especially in today’s culture where people live for today and will be in deep trouble tomorrow.
#3 To Fund Special Needs. Oftentimes, needs come up that must be met. Creating a surplus to cover these necessary expenses will save a great deal of money by avoiding the need to take on debt to cover them.
#1 Greed. This term conjures up pictures of a manipulative weasel, but it really means that we want more than we need. Sound like anyone you know? The desire to get rich is a trap. Stay away from this temptation.
#2 Sloth. This happens when people neglect for years to plan for the future, and suddenly feel the need to catch up. Proverbs 20:4 says, “The sluggard does not plow after autumn, so he begs during the harvest and has nothing.” If you’ve waited too long, don’t be in a hurry to catch up. One step at a time. Know what you’re doing.
#3 Ego. In this case, investing is done to bolster one’s pride. These people want to “hit the big one” so they have something to talk about, or because they’re jealous of the success of others.
#4 For the Game. Some people have no particular goal for the money, it’s the winning that’s important. This can become an addiction, and the danger lies in using people, and even cheating. Unfortunately, oftentimes these people don’t even see that they have a problem here and refuse to take responsibility for their actions. Don’t seek investing at the expense of your relationships. Ever.
Begin with your attitude.
#1 Examine your motives – are you doing it because you want to be rich, or to provide the resources to put where God leads you? Chances are that if you’re trying to be rich, God will not grant you true prosperity. Biblical wealth is a by-product of faithful stewardship as God wills.
#2 Set your investment goals – and understand that it will take time to fulfill all your savings and investment goals.
#3 Pray about your goals – if you don’t truly have peace about your direction, stop and re-examine your motives and your goals.
#4 Educate yourself about investing so that you know what you’re doing.
#5 Take that first step, and keep plugging away!
There is one fundamental principle that underscores all
the other investing principles you will learn:
Steady plodding wins the race.
Proverbs 21:5 says, “Steady plodding brings prosperity; hasty speculation brings poverty.” (TLB) Another translation says, “The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty.” (NIV) Diligence, consistency, and patience will get you to your goal.
#1 Spend less than you earn, and save the difference.
#2 Invest a portion of that savings regularly over a long period of time. Gradually build up a stock portfolio by adding a little more each month. This is steady plodding.
#3 Let compounding work for you. See the power of compounding in investing basics .
#4 Avoid risky investments. These include investments where a decision must be made quickly, a large profit is “virtually guaranteed”, and it requires little to no effort on your part. Stick to steady plodding. Patience is your friend.
#5 Diversify. No investment comes without risk. No investment is perfect. Invest in a number of sectors and investment types to spread out your risk.
#6 Don’t let small losses become large ones. Have an exit strategy for your individual investments.
#7 Have patience. It will seem painfully slow at first, but hang in there. The rewards will come if you don’t give up.
Steady plodding wins the race.
Ready to begin? Start with Investing Basics to become familiar with beginning terms and concepts.