It’s summer! Who wants to work? Not me! But imagine: Planning more, acting less, and yet ending up with better results. This is the first in series on improving personal productivity, based on the first chapter in the Bible. Why start there? Think about it; God gave us a whole chapter describing how He made everything. Most believe Genesis chapter one is a myth or merely poetry. Big mistake. Others get caught up in the young earth/old earth debate. Big distraction. Join me in learning from our Creator how we can improve our work habits by copying some aspects of His working style. Clearly we are not God; we cannot command things into existence. But we are made in His image as creative beings and therefore we enjoy creative activities. Let’s learn from our Creator, starting at the beginning.
Wisdom With Wealth News
What is true conservatism? This past year we have all witnessed some big political surprises in Europe and the USA. Some have called it a populist resurgence and a move away from globalism. I don't know. I really don't like following the gyrations in the political world. There are much more important things to do, personally, at home, and locally. But, during the past year, some thoughts have been in the back of my mind which are now on paper. Where are governments headed, especially in Alberta and in Canada?
This essay deals with the topic of true conservatism. It approaches the topic from a financial perspective. How can we tell if we are investing in a good cause or just wasting money? What are the two tests to see if government policies/practices resonate with reality? Why are some financial initiatives doomed to failure and others headed for success?
If you are interested in these questions then I invite you to download the attached in PDF form and read it online.
“What’s that? It must be a typo! You can’t have (8) eight of (7) seven. Impossible! Everyone knows that. You can’t make something out of nothing. You can’t feed thousands with just a few burgers. Nobody can work financial miracles; it would be like turning ordinary water into expensive wine! Face it, there are certain laws of the universe that no one can override. Besides that, everyone’s financial situation is different; it’s unique. It’s like a personal fingerprint. For God to help every person with a customized miracle, God would have to know not just their financial needs, but also their financial skills. Unbelievable! Such intimate personal knowledge would be like knowing how many hairs are on each and every head. Ridiculous!”
Money is strange. It disappears faster than it appears. As humorous, American poet, Ogden Nash, once said, “O, money, money, money, I’m not necessarily one of those who think thee holy, but I often stop to wonder how thou canst go out so fast when thou comest in so slowly.” It’s just plain hard to preserve wealth. Stock market “corrections,” inflation, and financial fees all destroy our wealth. What to do? Jesus tells us to “store our treasures in heaven.” I plan to deal with this in a future article, but what do we do with our vulnerable earthly treasures? Let’s take an indirect lesson from Abraham, whom God made “very rich in livestock, in silver and in gold,” Genesis 13:2. Note Abraham’s three categories of wealth: Livestock, silver, and gold. This is the first biblical mention of a diversified asset portfolio to safeguard earthly blessings. I see livestock representing dividend-paying stocks with growing dividends, plus the ability to reproduce via stock splits. Livestock falls within the asset sector of consumer staples, and might even be viewed as utilities/infrastructure. On the other end of this investment spectrum we have gold. It’s dead. It does nothing. It just sits there and looks pretty. Yet gold is internationally recognized as a primary store of value. It’s used as pavement in heaven, but on earth it will never lose all its value. Silver represents cash and highly-liquid, short-term bonds. Some of you may remember when silver was cash. Before 1967, Canadian dimes and quarters were mostly silver. It’s good to keep some of your portfolio as cash so that you can act fast. Why diversify your holdings? Ecclesiastes 11:2, as expressed in the God’s Word Translation, says it best. “Divide what you have into seven parts, or even into eight, because you don't know what disaster may happen on earth.”
Give to the poor. This is another secret ignored by the financial planning community, except perhaps as an afterthought or as a tax reduction strategy. Too bad! The Bible heralds it loudly and consistently: “He who gives to the poor will never want, but he who shuts his eyes will have many curses,” Prov. 28:27; “Happy is he who is gracious to the poor,” Prov. 14:21; “One who is gracious to a poor man lends to the LORD and He will repay him for his good deed,” Prov. 19:17; “The generous man will be prosperous and he who waters will himself be watered,” Prov. 11:25. Jesus himself said, “Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap,” Luke 6:38. I am not saying we should “give to get” in a motivational sense. I am saying that if we give properly, God will ensure that we are not net losers.