Investing—Develop and Implement a Biblically Based Investment Strategy
A biblically based investment strategy should meet the following two criteria:
1. be consistent with God’s principles
2. reflect God’s specific will for your life
To develop and implement an investment plan that is consistent with God’s principles, it is essential that you understand God’s investment principles. God’s Word, the Bible, provides us with a wealth of knowledge on investing. Authors such as Austin Pryor and Ron Blue have written entire books on what God has to say about investing.
In my experience, the majority of bad investments can be avoided if you understand and apply God’s investment principles. Here are some actions the Bible warns against, which can lead to potentially bad investments.
A. investing in something that you do not understand (see Proverbs 19:2)
B. using of a lot of debt (see Proverbs 22:7)
C. making hasty decisions (see Proverbs 21:5)
D. having a lack of biblical diversification (see Ecclesiastes 11:1, 2)
Remember, God has admonished us to keep his Word at the forefront of our minds at all times. Joshua 1:8 states, “Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.”
In respect of the second component—that is, an investment plan that reflects God’s specific will for your life—there is no substitute for spending quality time in prayer with God at least three or four times per year, seeking the Lord’s specific direction for your life. God has promised that he will direct us if we ask in faith and trust him. Psalms 32:8 states, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you.”
I recommend that you document what God has instructed you to do, and carefully follow up. In the area of investing, most people tend to be “responders”; that is, they respond to sales calls, hot tips, good ideas, etc. Frequently people make decisions on a case-by-case basis rather than by developing and implementing a biblically based investment strategy that God has personally revealed to them.
Although God’s investment principles (i.e., guidelines) are the same for everyone, God’s specific will for each individual will not be the same. For example, it is possible that God will direct an entrepreneur to have a significant portion (but not all) of her or his portfolio invested in the business that the person owns and operates. Nevertheless, for these entrepreneurs, it is important to obtain some element of biblical diversification, which will require that a significant portion of the balance of the portfolio be invested in relatively safe items, such as government bonds.
In summary, it is critical to develop and implement a biblically based investment strategy that reflects God’s specific will for your life.
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