by Ron Bare
What could your future look like if you invested well? How could you bless your families, coworkers, or community? Over the years, I have gathered 20 principles that guide our investment strategy, and I’d love to share them with you!
- God is the owner and I am the steward. What do you own that God hasn’t blessed you with? He owns everything we have, which should encourage us to steward and invest it wisely and generously.
- Learn the secret of being content. Contentment drives away the continual need for more. See Phil. 4:12, Heb. 13:5
- Passing on wisdom is better than passing on wealth. Wealth doesn’t last. Wisdom does. Wisdom gets passed on and on, yet wealth vanishes with one decision or circumstance.
- Live generously. God blesses you so you can bless others. Plus, do you know any unhappy generous people? No? Me neither!
- Build margin into your time and money. Time margin allows you to serve, volunteer, and mentor. Financial margin allows you to invest, donate, and have enough when things go badly.
- Borrow cautiously and repay debts quickly. Repaying debts gives you financial freedom to invest, donate, or save for your kids and grandkids.
- Save 10-15% of your income. Saving helps you prepare for unexpected opportunities or crises. This is a practical way to build financial margin into your life!
- Own companies (mutual funds, ETF’s, and individual securities) and real estate. Once you’re an owner, hold these investments long-term.
- If it seems too good to be true, it is! If you’re skeptical or suspicious, seek wisdom from trusted advisors!
- Don’t blindly follow the crowd. Trends are temporary and will fade. The opposite of the crowd is often best!
- Don’t make financial decisions primarily to reduce taxes. Tax reduction is a great benefit. However, this shouldn’t be the driving force for financial decisions.
- Hold unwavering faith in the future. This is not for the faint of heart! Don’t become pessimistic in investing, rather trust companies will prosper and trends will continue upward in the long term.
- Diversify, diversify, diversify! Ecclesiastes 11 encourages us to invest in many different ventures, as we can not predict the future nor what will succeed.
- Invest within the context of your financial plan, goals, and values. Use your plan, goals, and values as a guide for where, when, and how much to invest.
- Be careful of the words “this time is different. ”The truth is, it’s probably not. Look for, study, and learn from patterns in the financial world!
- Build a trusted team of advisors. “Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed,” says Proverbs 15:22. Who are your advisors? Where do you go for wisdom?
- Don’t waste time predicting what the markets will do in the short term. No one knows what they will do in the short term! Not you, not the professionals, not internet opinion articles, no one! Don’t waste your time.
- The best time to start investing is today! Don’t wait for the perfect time.
- Be careful with gold (perhaps 3-5% of your portfolio). Usually gold is sold out of fear of potential catastrophes in the world. Personally, the gold I buy is jewelry for my wife so we can enjoy it while we hold it!
- Never make an emotional financial decision. Emotions are good, but when it comes to finances, lean on wisdom, experiences, and your advisors.
These principles can’t promise a life of perfection and wealth. But they can promise to be a good starting point when learning to invest well. If you’re interested in talking more about investing, give us a call!