learning to invest

Q. 1. What is the chief end of man?
A. Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.

Q. 2. What rule hath God given to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy him?
A. The word of God, which is contained in the scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, is the only rule to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy him.

~ Questions 1 & 2 of the Westminster shorter Catechism.

As a Christian, I happen to believe that the Bible holds the answers to all of life’s circumstances.

One of the things Joe and I believe strongly about is stewardship. We believe that one of God’s first charges to mankind was to take charge of the earth and care for it wisely (Gen 2:15) . We believe that as wise stewards we need to tend to the earth, and so our first desire is to homestead.

We also believe it is unwise to be in debt, and that it is poor stewardship of money. We believe that being in debt makes us a slave to [paying back] money (Matt 6:24 & Luke 16:13; Rom 13:8; Heb 13:5; 1 Tim 6:10) which is against God’s plan for mankind. Unfortunately in this present economy it seems like we can do nothing without borrowing money unless we are a celebrity, or part of the Gates/Trump empire.

Before our wedding in October, Joe and I wanted to take out a housing loan with a construction loan rolled in for a total of $60,000, which is not a lot, but we found out that since we have ZERO credit (not bad, just not existent) we couldn’t get one. However, if we would take out a few credit cards and pay them off faithfully we could try back in a few months. We just couldn’t justify this means of building credit. So we decided taking out a loan shouldn’t be done. Both credit cards and loans are avenues of debt, and we didn’t have a clear conscience about walking down either of these paths.

We chose the road less travelled. We moved in with my grandfather as a temporary arrangement. This arrangement requires a minimum monthly fee, and shared groceries. All the rest of our earned income goes into savings.

Shortly after our honeymoon, we discovered that Joe and I are expecting a baby! Not planned, but not unwanted (this may be covered in a later post). So now Joe and I don’t have a home, but we are starting a family. We are uninsured because Joe is self employed and we can’t afford it. Did I mention we are poor? How in the world are we going to afford to live? We can’t live with my grandfather while raising our child.

If we aren’t supposed to go into debt, and we aren’t supposed to be slaves to money, what are we supposed to do? The answer is A) Trust God to take care of your needs (Matt 6:25-34), and B) Invest.

Off and on over the last couple of years I have been meditating on the Parable of the Talents. (Go ahead and skip over the story if you already know it.)

Matthew 25:14-30

“Forit will be like a mangoing on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property. To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money. Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here I have made five talents more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here I have made two talents more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’ But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents.  For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

Without over spiritualizing this, it is a parable based on the stewardship of money. Yes, there is a more abstract meaning behind it, but Jesus used the practical things of life to illustrate the Kingdom because they are related. In this parable the foolish steward was the man who buried his coin and didn’t invest it so that it would produce more. The wise stewards invested their money and turned a profit, and as a result the master gave them even more.

How do poor homeless kids invest what little money they have in a wise way? A CD? Stocks? Savings account?

  • A savings account makes us maybe a couple of dollars a year on our savings. Not really anything to talk about.
  • Stocks are completely unstable. Either they make money or they ruin you. We’d have just as much success taking our money to Vegas.

In 2007, my parents started investing in silver. My dad started studying economics, and found out that the value of silver was starting to increase in value very quickly. We actually thought he was being completely crazy.

But the thing about gold and silver and other precious metals is that their value is constant. The value of the US dollar, however, continues little by little to become inflated and depreciate. Just as the dollar decreases, the value of gold and silver do not. In fact, the more our US currency becomes inflated, the more the value of our precious metals increases. It won’t decrease.

My dad received a 25% appreciation in the silver he bought over the course of a year. When my parents were out of work all winter this year, they first used up all their savings, then sold their silver month by month (which had gained 25% in value since being bought) to make their mortgage payments all winter long until my dad was able to go back to work in the spring doing construction. They had made (and needfully spent) thousands, and are back to buying back silver once more in preparation for the next crisis or just as an inheritance for their children.

In November 2010, Joe and I made our first silver investment through www.silversaver.com. We bought silver for $25 per ounce, and now 4 months later, silver is worth $37 per ounce! The rate of silver is continuing to increase. If you aren’t fluent in money lingo and don’t have money to play with, but are looking for a risk-free way to invest and actually make some serious interest, I highly recommend joining.

You don’t have to take my word for it. Look up the value of gold and silver. Ask a jeweler about how quickly the value of silver and gold jewelery are rising. Gold and silver have been constant valuable commodities throughout history, both industrial and as currency.

Are you being wise with your money? How are you investing? Are you investing at all?

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