Financial Wisdom (part 3 of 3) “Investing”

Investment Principles from Apply Wisdom.com

Investment Principles from Apply Wisdom.com

 

The bible teaches that we should beware of the love of money[1].  We are supposed to love people and use things, not love things and use people.  If you love money you will never be satisfied[2].  You can’t serve both Yahweh and money[3]. Although we have heard it said a million times, not everyone knows that the phrase “it is more blessed to give than to receive,” is from the Bible (Acts 20:35).

Treasure God, not possessions.   Luke 12:34 tells us where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” 

Be Generous: Being generous is a great way to show God’s love.

Money is always a touchy subject. Most people assume they are making good financial decisions or at least doing the best they can.  But this is not true.  Most people are making terrible financial decisions and banks and credit card companies are exploiting them to the max. For those of you in this category, please pay attention to the next few pages.  The below listed financial principles are life changers. For those who are already making good financial decisions and for those who truly are doing the best they can, the next few pages will reinforce your good decisions and or give you insight how to better manage your money.

Just so you know… the below listed financial ideas are copyrighted text from an author who charges a lot of money for this expertise and financial wisdom.  He has agreed to release it to Apply Wisdom.com for free to help those who are seeking Yahweh and trying to make good financial decisions.  Please forward to other Christians who are trying to learn how to make good financial decisions.  It is illegal to reproduce this material to publish under your own name or to publish for a profit.

This is a 3 part series.  Put them together and you have life-changing financial advice which many pay hundreds or even thousands to get.

  • Part 1 is Money Management 101
  • Part 2 is Business Management
  • Part 3 is Investments

Investments

There are countless types of investments and ways to invest.  They can make you money, but also can rob you of your future. But if done correctly, in accordance with the below recommendations, investing in your future is never a bad idea.

How Much to Invest

This is an individual number.  Some finance experts say 10%, other 20% or 30%.  I’m not going to give you a hard a fast rule for investing percentages.  But I will recommend that you invest in things which you can touch.  Things which exist only on paper or in a computer can disappear more quickly than your rental property.

I used to invest a very large percentage of my income.  I did not make a lot of money, but I make a steady income.  In 2008, I had used my salary to build up $500,000 in “safe” investments.  Because of the greed of so many people and the evilness of banks and money lenders, my life’s investments were cut in half during the financial crisis and I was only worth $250,000. A few years later I put $50,000 into a mutual fund in which the Fund Manager stole from and bankrupted it.  I lost it all.  In a four-year period I lost $300,000 via bad investments, the equivalent of about eight years of salary.  Ouch. That hurt.  And the truth is I have never recovered that money.  It is gone. I don’t say this to discourage you, but to warn you to be careful.  

If You Don’t Understand What It Is, Then Don’t Invest in It

This is a great rule.  Invest only in products you understand. If you don’t understand how the fund or process works…then don’t put your money into it.  Do some research and come back later. I knew what I was investing in, but lost over 50%.  My heart goes out to the person who thought he was investing in something 100% safe and who lost his retirement and future.

There are a lot of investing options out there. Some of the most popular investments include cash or cash equivalents, bonds, CDs, your home, your pension, annuities, insurance, structured notes, equities, high-yield bonds, real estate, real estate investment trusts (REITs), commodities, currencies, collectibles…. If you don’t know what these are, then don’t gamble with your future.

Get a Fiduciary not a Financial Planner

Many financial planners are great people doing the best they can.  However, many are criminals and deceptive car salesmen. I recommend investing through a fiduciary rather than through a financial planner. A fiduciary is a financial planner who has agreed to provide more ethical and trustworthy investing assistance in the interest of making you money. Financial planners sell you funds and stocks which make them money.  Fiduciaries sell you what you need to be financially healthy.

Index Funds

You can’t beat the market. Tony Robbin’s “Money: Master the Game” reports that 96% of funds fail to outperform the market.  This is a key point of his book.  Rather than gamble with finding the perfect fund to invest in, people should simply invest in a low fee index fund which mirrors the market, i.e. an S&P 500 fund.

Automate Savings & Investments

Automate your savings account.  Ensure that you send a certain amount of your salary each month into your emergency savings account. Once you have decided to invest, set up your payments electronically so you don’t have to think about it.

Minimize Fees

Mutual Fund Fees vary from 1-3%.  Even a 1% fee can cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars over time. I recommend that you find an S&P market mirroring fund which has a 1% fee.

Roth IRA

A “Roth” Individual Retirement Account (IRA) allows you to pay taxes on the money you put into the investment, not the money you take out.  Since, in theory, investments go up over time, you will be paying taxes on the lower amount that you put in while enjoying tax free status on the larger amount that you pull out.   The only catch all is that you must be 59½ to begin pulling out your money tax free. So, if you can afford to invest and wait until you are 59½, then this is absolutely a great way to invest while minimizing taxes.

Roth 401(k)

Many employees invest in a 401(k) for retirement.  What is even better is when an employer matches the employee’s contribution, frequently up to 6% of their salary. For example, Jose makes $100,000 a year.  He invests 6% of his salary ($6,000) a year into his 401(k).  His employer matches that investment by also putting $6,000 a year into his 401(k).  Jose invest only $6,000 a year, but actually has $12,000 in his 401(k).  If your employee matches your 401(k) contributions then you must max out what they will match. This is a simple way to instantaneously double your money.

Just as some investment funds are better than others, you need to ensure that your 401(k) is invested into a good fund.  As I recommended earlier, I recommend a marketing mirroring (think S&P 500 fund) with a 1% maintenance fee.

When possible, invest in a Roth 401(k). This will allow you to pay taxes on the small amount you put in rather than the large amount you take out.

Many times, you don’t have any control over where your 401(k) is invested.  But if you do have control, or if you have a good employer who listens to good advice, then I recommend you ensure your 401(k) is a good one.

OK…this wraps up a 3 article series designed to help you make good financial decisions.  Money isn’t everything, but in practical ways it is very helpful.  Lets use our money wisely / invest our money wisely.

 

 

[1] 1 Timothy 6:10 that “the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”

[2] Ecclesiastes 5:10 that “whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income.”  

[3] Matthew 6:24 no one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money”.