Category Archives: Investing

How Do I Diversify My Investments?

Congratulations to those of you who are ready to consider investing as part of actively managing your finances. Now… a common question is “How do I know how much to invest in what assets?”

Truly it can be overwhelming at first. To start, it is important to assess your personal risk tolerance. Are you wanting to take more risk for more potential gain or minimize risk and accept more modest returns?

There are lots of good tools online if you look for them. For example, Charles Schwab provides good information to get started investing on their How To Invest page. Vanguard also has a similar investor page to help you assess your risk tolerance to guide your investments as well as information on asset allocation. Fidelity.com also provides a lot of information for those getting started. There are many sites you can research, and you probably want to look around for more than one. Another example may be the Motley Fool, a funny name to be sure, but a good site.

There are also investment advisory firms like TradeSmith and Stansberry Research.  These last two will try to sell you investing tools or research. You can consider carefully and decide if or what you want to buy. For a few hundred dollars a year you can get good investment advice without a big financial commitment. If you are interested in managing your own investing more actively, some of their tools are worth considering.

Information on sites like these is available to a large extent even if you don’t invest with them. Of course, each website will have contact information for you to contact them and get more information.

It is important to get a feel for how you may want to invest and diversify your money. How aggressive or conservative do you want to be? Always consider that the highest returns generally bring the highest risk, meaning that you could lose money chasing high returns.

I encourage you to pray and take time to assess your comfort with the various risk/reward balance associated with different asset allocation approaches. Do not rush into investing. It is a long-term activity not to be hurried and decided in 30 minutes or even a single day. That said, you will never get there if you don’t get started.

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Remember that all you have belongs to God. Manage your money God’s way. Visit GrowGodsMoney.org .

Are Fear and Greed Really an Investment Strategy?

Warren Buffet is a well-known and well-respected long-term value investor. He invests in companies when he sees the cost is low relative to the value of the company and then sells later after the stock value has increased. He is not a day trader and typically invests with a long-term horizon. When Buffet speaks, many who want to make money investing will listen closely.

We should take caution whenever we put someone on a pedestal as a role model or guide for our lives. We should test what they say against what God teaches in the Bible to ensure we are not following a “false prophet” who appears to lead to prosperity but in reality leads to destruction or separation from God.

Whatever I may think of Mr. Buffet’s political opinions, he certainly has some real credibility with regard to investing.  One of his well-known quotes can actually be quite helpful in establishing a certain mindset for us to consider when we are investing.

“Be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful.” Warren Buffet

I could certainly do a study on the words “fearful” and “greedy” and make a case that we should not literally let fear and greed make our investing decisions, but that would truly be missing Mr. Buffet’s point. What he is suggesting is that the average investor, and many professionals as well, have a tendency to allow emotions to guide their investing and not for the better.

When the market is priced very high, people get greedy and forget about the danger of a market pullback. The same investors who were too fearful of buying when stocks were low now jump in when stocks are high.  Then when difficulties around the world cause the same stocks to tumble in value, people become fearful and sell while stock values are low. This represents “buying high” and “selling low”, which is not a robust strategy.

Of course, Buffet is not suggesting we blindly buy when people are fearful, as we could easily buy stocks that are still going lower. He is simply suggesting that we take note of when people are widely fearful about stocks plunging down and look for bargains that we are confident will increase in value over a several-year time frame as market forces settle out. On the flip side when the market seems “unstoppable” and we are tempted to keep putting more money in… consider selling some of what you bought and taking profits. Then you are once again ready with cash in the account to buy the next time people panic and the stock values fall.

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Remember that all you have belongs to God. Manage your money God’s way. Visit GrowGodsMoney.org

Contentment Is Essential for Financial Success

Financial success is not to be measured against an absolute standard of money earned or by comparison of net worth to others. There is always someone with more money. Financial success is achieved by matching our resources to our needs and desires while we humbly live for God and serve others. Finding contentment rather than coveting what others have is essential for finding this success. Then we are free to find our joy through relationship with Jesus Christ, who promises never to desert us.

Ecclesiastes 3:12 I know that there is nothing better for them than to rejoice and to do good in one’s lifetime;

Hebrews 13:5 Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, “I WILL NEVER DESERT YOU, NOR WILL I EVER FORSAKE YOU,”

The United States of America is a wealthy nation. By global standards even many considered to have low income in the USA are relatively wealthy. Despite this relative wealth, most consider themselves to be living day-to-day or month-to-month. They genuinely feel that they are barely getting by. There is insufficient planning for the future, insufficient savings and little investment. There is much coveting and little contentment.

We could double the money everyone is earning, and I dare say the broad results would be largely unchanged. Many people would have more stuff they want (and do not need) but would be no better prepared for the future and still be unsatisfied because they don’t know how to be content.

For those who cannot find contentment with what they have, they may never have enough. There is always the potential to have more. The ability or willingness to be content provides a foundation for satisfaction in achieving personal success.

Of course, contentment should not be confused as an endorsement to be lazy. Instead, in proper context, contentment provides important balance in managing your work hours required to generate income, controlling spending and debt, in how you select your investing strategies… and opens wide the door toward giving to others and serving God.

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Remember that all you have belongs to God. Manage your money God’s way. Visit

Diversify Your Investments

All of us inherently already know that we should diversify our investments. We grow up as children hearing such phrases as “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” If we recognize risk to any significant degree and act with some amount of humility that a decision, we make may actually not work out… we know already that we should spread out our risk when we manage our money. Solomon highlights this principle in Ecclesiastes.

Ecclesiastes 11:2  Divide your portion to seven, or even to eight, for you do not know what misfortune may occur on the earth.

There are many asset classes to consider in order to diversify your investments. You are not limited to the stock market, though it can be an important part of a diversified investment plan.

  • Cash Equivalents include savings accounts, certificates of deposit, and other similar investments which offer a fixed rate of return. Most are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and are considered low risk.
  • Fixed Income includes investments like bonds in which you loan money to a government or business, and they agree to pay it back at a specified time with a specified interest, or return, on the loan.
  • Stocks represent investment in specific companies or across many companies. When investing in stocks it is important to actively do your homework. Those who do not have a lot of time to invest personally should consider diversifying within stocks through use of mutual funds or exchange traded funds (ETFs).
  • Real Estate includes any home or property you have purchased to live in/on, as these also go up or down in value over time.
  • Precious Metals / Commodities include physical assets like gold or silver or copper. They inherently have value that has been demonstrated consistently over time, though it may fluctuate up and down like other investments.

Even within a particular asset class you can diversify. For example, let’s assume you have $10,000 to invest in certificates of deposit (CDs). Instead of investing all of it in one CD with a duration of 2 years, you may consider separating it across multiple CDs perhaps with a “ladder” structure that has one maturing in 1 year, a second maturing in 3 years, and a third maturing in 5 years. You may even diversify further by getting CDs at different banks, though it may not be necessary if they are FDIC insured.

For a similar example with bonds, you would consider not putting all your funds in the same bond. You may consider getting some government and some corporate bonds… or invest in a bond fund or across two bond funds to diversify further. You could invest in bonds with different maturity dates.

Diversification helps to manage your risk and return. A diversified portfolio will not always get the highest returns, but neither does it get the lowest returns or carry as much risk toward losing your initial investment. Diversification is important across multiple asset classes but is also important within any one asset class.

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Remember that all you have belongs to God. Manage your money God’s way. Visit GrowGodsMoney.org .

Start Investing In 5 Steps

For those of you who have established consistent income, a budget to control spending, gotten debt under control, established at least an emergency savings fund that is easily available to you in case you need it, and have money available in addition to that… you may be ready to consider investing.

Now you find yourself asking a common question:

“How do I get started investing my money?”

1- Establish your personal goals.

Before you start investing you should spend time clearly defining (and writing down) the objectives you are trying to accomplish.  Are you planning for college expenses for your children? a house?  retirement?

Defining your goals and writing them down helps to clarify for yourself what you are trying to accomplish with any investment, and it will help you make reasonable choices in investing to accomplish your goals.

2- Decide if you prefer to work with a professional investment advisor or go it alone.

If you work with an advisor, remember that they have other motives besides just your best interest (e.g. getting paid) and not all look out for you the way they should.  On the other hand, many of us are not prepared to invest effectively and wisely without a professional to help give us input and guidance. You are your own chief investment advisor. They provide helpful counsel, but you make the decisions. Consider verifying by researching online or meeting with more than one professional advisor separately and comparing notes.

With or without an advisor, you really need to do some homework to understand how to make good decisions.

3- Diversify your portfolio to manage risk and potential gain.

For example, let’s consider two cases:

Jack wants to invest and prepare for retirement. He is starting early and has time on his side. Jack wants to limit his risk exposure for his investment losing value and will be satisfied with a moderate return on investment.

Joe has a higher risk tolerance and is willing to consider more risk to achieve higher return on investment.

Diversify your portfolio consistent with your personal goals and personality. You need to be comfortable with your investment decisions. If you are nervous or lacking in confidence you may make poor decisions when unexpected events happen (e.g. 2008/09 stock market crash) and may make poor decisions. If you had a lot of your portfolio in U.S. stocks and then sold when the market bottomed instead of riding it out… you are really hurting.

4- Get Started.

Do not wait until you have perfect clarity on exactly what you will need to spend 20 years from now or more.  Do not be discouraged from starting because you think you do not have enough to make it worthwhile. Even if you are starting small, you are going to gain knowledge and experience along the way.

Set aside some designated funds to start investing toward your objectives. Open an account at a reputable broker or financial institution. Begin the investing journey.

5- Steward your investments regularly.

Verify your portfolio is on track to deliver your objectives. Make adjustments as needed consistent with changes in your plans or the performance of the investments. Continue on a schedule of investing additional funds consistent with your long-term goals.

Do not be afraid to admit you made a mistake and get out of an investment, if warranted. Establish conditions ahead of time that would indicate when you should exit an investment if it does not go well. Our human tendency is to hold on to our bad investment decisions too long hoping for them to turn around.

If you are uncomfortable getting started, begin with a small investment that you are not afraid to lose. Invest wisely and you will soon see a return on investment that will encourage you and give you more confidence.

Remember, choosing not to invest is also a decision… and it may cost you a lot of lost opportunity to grow your money over time.

Bring your finances and investments before God and ask for wisdom and blessing. Seek Him in all you do, and He will make straight your path.

Proverbs 3:5-10

5Trust in the LORD with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding.

6In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight.

7Do not be wise in your own eyes;
Fear the LORD and turn away from evil.

8It will be healing to your body
And refreshment to your bones.

9Honor the LORD from your wealth
And from the first of all your produce;

10So your barns will be filled with plenty
And your vats will overflow with new wine.

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Remember that all you have belongs to God. Manage your money God’s way. Visit GrowGodsMoney.org .

 

Do You Prefer a Roller Coaster or a Carousel?

Do you prefer a roller coaster or a carousel? This seems an unlikely question to be asked in an article about managing finances, but let’s consider it a bit further. Do not worry, we will come back and tie it in to financial investing in a short while.

Both a roller coaster and carousel provide the same basic concept… provide an enjoyable ride for those who choose to get onboard.  One is predictable and steady, relaxed pace and still enjoyable… delivering a pleasant experience and fulfilling its purpose for those who ride it. The other can be exhilarating, bringing forth strong emotions ranging from joy from an adrenaline rush to fear about what comes next. There are unexpected turns, it goes up and down sharply, and sometimes it seems as if the bottom may just fall out. It is important to know which ride you prefer for your personality and for both rides it is important to get on and off at the right times. (For a literal example here, I suggest when the ride stops moving.)

We have a similar choice to make as investors while we manage the money and other resources that God has provided to us. We have to decide where to invest… in bank accounts paying sometimes low interest or in stock markets… how much in each if we properly diversify to match our specific investing goals? For the money we invest in stock markets, are we investing in a long-term horizon of several years and satisfied with low risk and perhaps lower returns? or are we trying to trade in and out of stocks on a short-term horizon to embellish our returns?

For most of us, we would be well served to invest for longer term based on market and specific business fundamentals. That is a bit more like the carousel. Yes, it is important to know when to get in and when to get out, but you can sit back patiently and try to enjoy the ride… hopefully collecting dividends along the way.

For those who decide to trade… “please hold onto the bar”. The market may make sudden and inexplicable moves that you do not anticipate. It can be a real rush and it can be frightening. You must be disciplined and specific about your goals… about why you trade in a particular stock and re-evaluate your thesis if the situation changes. You must avoid the emotions of holding onto a losing position hoping it will become a winning one, but also avoid just getting out at the first sign of trouble. Many who are not ready for this step, and many even professionals who think they are, end up selling low when fear kicks in and buying higher when everything seems to be going well. This is most certainly not the strategy anyone would devise ahead of time… buy high, sell low.

The moral of the story… understand which ride is better suited for your personality… and with what percentage of your diversified portfolio. If you want to invest or trade… do your homework and set up specific investing or trading theses, or why you are getting in and why you would get out of a particular investment. What would change your mind? If you choose frequent trading… please hold on to the bar and try to calm your emotions… or you may just try to get off the ride at the bottom, while it is still moving.

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Remember that all you have belongs to God. Manage your money God’s way. Visit GrowGodsMoney.org .

Who’s Financial Advice Can I Trust?

There are at least three common pitfalls associated with seeking advice…

  • Some do not seek wise advice from anyone but rely solely on themselves and then fail to do adequate research.
  • Some take advice from friends or people they know, but regardless of even the best of intentions… these people may not actually have financial wisdom and can lead them astray.
  • Others seek professional advice from strangers they do not know because they have a degree, a certification, or work at an investing company and say they are here to help. But take care, for not all who say they have your best interest at heart really do.

It is important to diligently do your homework when seeking financial advice and weighing alternatives. Do not be lazy or hasty.

Proverbs 21:5 The plans of the diligent lead surely to advantage, but everyone who is hasty comes surely to poverty.

Seeking wise advice is a good idea, but you must use discernment in whom you trust and in which advice you follow.

Proverbs 15:22 Without consultation, plans are frustrated, but with many counselors they succeed.

Advice from friends and family may be very good sometimes… and sometimes not. It is ok to seek it, but you will do well to verify by consulting other sources or doing research on your own.

When seeking advice from professionals, many are genuinely there to help you and some are wolves just trying to collect their fees . It is important to evaluate each on a case by case basis. Know how they get paid, or if they do not get paid. It may influence their behavior.

2 Timothy 3:1-5  But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these.

Keep in mind… those who are wolves in sheep’s clothing… will not wear a sign as such. They will appear to be friendly and helpful… they likely hold to a form of godliness, but deny its power. Avoid men such as these.  Discernment is important.

I have heard of many issues with honest people seeking advice from professionals. In one example, when the fee structure was a percentage of the money at time of opening account the client could not get meaningful support later to help with investments… the professional had already had been paid and lost incentive to help.

Another example includes someone giving advice that was paid by fees or incentives based on selling certain “recommended” financial instruments. He tried to lock his client in on a long term annuity while interest rates were the lowest in 30 years! That is when you get a mortgage, not when you get a long term annuity. (If you don’t know what an annuity is, think of it like loaning money to someone else and they pay you interest.)  When the client did not buy it… the professional tried to pressure him… “Don’t let me down again.” Who is working for whom?

The answer is to seek advice from multiple sources and to do personal research to confirm. In other words, get a second opinion.  By taking shortcuts in deciding whom to trust with your money you may be taking unnecessary risk without even realizing it. People do not have to break the law to take advantage of you.

Don’t be paranoid either… most professionals are actually trying to help you… you just need to verify your decisions by doing your homework to understand the investments they recommend.

Remember too, you can always trust God’s word to be true and careful study of His word combined with obedience to His commands and a consistent pray life can lead you through all things and bring you much peace.

Proverbs 3:5-8  Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your body and refreshment to your bones.

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Remember that all you have belongs to God. Manage your money God’s way and use it for His glory rather than your own. Visit GrowGodsMoney.org .

The Way of a Fool Is Right In His Own Eyes

We should be careful to listen to God’s advice. Those who wish to become wise, who love knowledge, must accept discipline and correction… must recognize that others may have more wisdom in some areas than ourselves. That is how we learn and get better.

Proverbs 12:1 and 15

1Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge,
But he who hates reproof is stupid.

 15The way of a fool is right in his own eyes,
But a wise man is he who listens to counsel.

If you are not humble enough to acknowledge that others may have wise input worthy to consider, that you may have made or be making mistakes than you will continue to make mistakes.

Be humble. Seek wisdom. Accept correction from God and from others. Learn from it. Grow in wisdom.

These fundamentals apply to all aspects of life… and certainly to all aspects of managing your finances. There are great examples of public organizations or private advisors that can help. Most people even have others around them that may have good input.

For a few examples, please visit our resources section of our website.

Resources

Our mission is to help you. We provide the Resources section of GrowGodsMoney.org to help provide you with greater depth of resources by referring you to high quality organizations that have a lot of great content or provide a financial service (e.g. broker for investments).

We do not get paid by these organizations for referrals. We do not “compete” with these institutions, but rather see ourselves as part of the body of Christ in connecting you with helpful resources they already provide.

If there are resources you would like to recommend or give us feedback on, please send us information from the Contact Us page.

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Remember that all you have belongs to God. Manage your money God’s way. Visit GrowGodsMoney.org .

A Truly Profitable Investment with Long Term Payout

We are all looking for profitable long-term investments to help us manage our personal finances. This is a very good goal. However, let’s pause long enough to put life in a slightly different perspective with regards to what is profitable. The greatest asset we have, one which we did not earn and we can not replace, is the life which our Father in heaven as gifted to us. In a way, we could think of ourselves as an asset in God’s hands. What “profit” is He seeking from us in how we use our lives? How will we invest this one time gift for His glory and our benefit? They are not mutually exclusive, though the world (and Satan) will try to convince you to pick one or the other.

After meeting Jesus Christ on the road to Damascus, Paul lived a life that serves as a good portrait of one who lived submitted completely to Jesus Christ. Paul truly died to self and took up his cross to follow after Christ. He turned His life into a fantastic investment for the Lord. I am confident he is even now enjoying the fruits personally of his choices. Eternity in the presence of the Lord. What Joy! But it was not without choices and trade-offs in his own earthly life. Paul had strong convictions and lived for God. He was focused on being truly profitable rather than just getting money and comfort for himself.

Matthew 16:24-27

      24Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. 25“For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. 26“For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? 27“For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and WILL THEN REPAY EVERY MAN ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS.

As he prepared to leave for Jerusalem, Paul met with local elders of the church to remind them about his personal life lived as example as one submitted to Christ. It was filled with hardship and uncertainty, but also hope and joy in all circumstances. Paul provides a good summary of how we should approach our lives submitted to Christ. We do well to read carefully as if Paul were writing this to us and try to apply it in our lives today.

Acts 20:17-38

Farewell to Ephesus

      17From Miletus he sent to Ephesus and called to him the elders of the church. 18And when they had come to him, he said to them,
“You yourselves know, from the first day that I set foot in Asia, how I was with you the whole time, 19serving the Lord with all humility and with tears and with trials which came upon me through the plots of the Jews; 20how I did not shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable, and teaching you publicly and from house to house, 21solemnly testifying to both Jews and Greeks of repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. 22“And now, behold, bound by the Spirit, I am on my way to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there, 23except that the Holy Spirit solemnly testifies to me in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions await me. 24“But I do not consider my life of any account as dear to myself, so that I may finish my course and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify solemnly of the gospel of the grace of God.

      25“And now, behold, I know that all of you, among whom I went about preaching the kingdom, will no longer see my face. 26“Therefore, I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all men. 27“For I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole purpose of God. 28“Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. 29“I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; 30and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them. 31“Therefore be on the alert, remembering that night and day for a period of three years I did not cease to admonish each one with tears. 32“And now I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified. 33“I have coveted no one’s silver or gold or clothes. 34“You yourselves know that these hands ministered to my own needs and to the men who were with me. 35“In everything I showed you that by working hard in this manner you must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”

      36When he had said these things, he knelt down and prayed with them all. 37And they began to weep aloud and embraced Paul, and repeatedly kissed him, 38grieving especially over the word which he had spoken, that they would not see his face again. And they were accompanying him to the ship.

As we consider this portrait of living for Christ, Paul reveals several key elements we should carefully consider and apply in our own lives, not matter what our work or ministry.

  • Serve God with humility, even through trials and tears.
  • Do not shrink from teaching truth and repentance, regardless of consequences to you personally.
  • Remember that our life’s purpose is not our own when we are submitted to Christ. Our purpose is to wholeheartedly seek after the work God assigns us to further His kingdom.
  • Be on guard for false teaching and those who would draw you away from Christ. The threat comes both from those outside the church as well as from among the church. People will pervert God’s word to draw disciples after themselves.
  • Do not cease to admonish one another so that we help one another to remain in Christ and in His truth.
  • In testing for false teaching, admonishing, and living for Christ we must look to God and to the word of God as our unchanging source of truth.
  • Work hard to provide for yourself and do not covet someone else’s wealth.
  • Help the weak.
  • Pray for one another in genuine love and concern. Create a community of brothers and sisters in Christ that truly love and care for each other.

Ask yourself… “How does this teaching from Paul apply to my life today?” and then take action to make any course corrections you need to live fully submitted to Christ.

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Remember that all you have belongs to God. Manage your money God’s way. Visit GrowGodsMoney.org .

This Decision Could Impact Your Income By 10-20% Or More – Vote Wisely

What if I told you that a single decision could impact all of your earning potential, savings, and investing by 10-20% or more? A wrong decision moves toward reducing  your income, and a good decision moves toward increasing your income. You would immediately want to know what it was and how to learn more about it.

In the United States of America, we have the honor of voting in elections to select who takes many of our public offices at local, state, and national level. Elections have consequences and voting matters… a lot!

Our country was founded by Christians who were seeking freedom to worship God freely and Biblically, out from under any tyrannical rule of a king. Freedom was important… and so often not truly achieved. It was so important that the USA was not founded as a democracy in which a majority of people can vote for whatever they want, including taking the wealth and possessions of the minority. Instead, God guided our founding fathers to establish a wonderful form of government known as a constitutional republic. We do in fact participate in voting to elect representatives to the national government, but just as important is the US Constitution, which is in place to limit the power of the national government. The intent was to have a small national government doing the bare minimum (such as providing for common defense… that’s the military) needed and not getting involved in impinging on freedom of the states and the people.

Now we have a huge, stifling, mass of national government bureaucracy that tells us even how much water our toilet can flush and what kind of light bulbs we must use or cannot use.  We have fallen a long way and given up much freedom. The Constitution is constantly under attack from those who wish to redefine it and consider it a “living document”, which means essentially… “as long as we can get judges to say it means something else, then it does”. This approach is wrong.  The founders put in place a management of change process for the Constitution… and it is not simply getting people in black robes to say it means something else today than it did a few hundred years ago. It is called constitutional amendments. The process has been used many times, but not recently. The Constitution means what it says until we follow the process to change it. That is the only way to protect the individual rights of the people and the founding fathers knew it! It is supposed to be hard to change!

Not only does the national government continue to grow and impinge on personal liberty, but it continues to spend money it does not have at an increasingly alarming rate… on things it should not be involved in managing and does not manage well. To pay for this, the national government always says we need to spend more money on more government programs and raise taxes or go so far into debt we will never get out. Even if they print enough money to pay off the debt some day, the money we have will fall in value because of the extra money printed. Our purchasing power plummets! If a business was run this way, the same government would probably throw the leader in jail.

America was founded as a land of opportunity! Those who work hard can improve their family’s standard of living over multiple generations or sometimes even in a single generation. This is harder and harder to do as the government gets bigger and taxes more and puts in place more regulations and more burdens like healthcare programs they have no constitutional authority to be involved it, despite the incorrect ruling of the Supreme Court.

Elections have consequences.   It all ends up affecting your ability to earn income with liberty, to keep what you earned rather than giving it to a government to waste, to save and invest freely and rely on God and the talents He gave you rather than relying always on the national government.

For those who want to get everything for free with someone else’s money… there is not enough of “someone else’s money” to pay for everything you want you will always be beholden to the national government to get by, basically a voluntary dependent of the government. On the other hand, many of us want to keep our freedom and the fruits of our labor. We want small national government and a return to protection of our personal liberty provided by the US Constitution. We trust in God and ourselves to work hard and get ahead. If we fail, we own it, and we get back up and try again. We don’t expect someone else to always pay our bills or cover our mistakes. We are accountable to God for how we use what He has given us in this life, whether time, talent or treasure.

I encourage active participation in elections, not only by voting but also by influencing those around you. Research the truth. Do not trust what politicians say, but rather judge by the fruit of their lives as the Bible instructs us. Do not be lazy and believe what TV network news shows tell you, for they are decidedly leaning toward big national government and less individual freedom. The same is true for most social media sites today. Instead, seek out the truth diligently on the internet. Search out confirmation from multiple time-tested, reliable news sources. (You can’t trust everyone’s blog, either.) We are to test everything and discern truth from lies. If someone is constantly changing positions when it suits them, then you know they have no principle. They are political chameleons, and you cannot trust them except to look out for their own best interests. If they are honest but their plans will bankrupt our country worse than today… you may be able to trust them, but you are voting for disaster and loss of freedom. Look for those whose past actions and accomplishments line up with what they say and line up with what God’s word says. Seek those who strongly support the protection of individual rights provided by the Constitution… for ultimately it is your rights they protect!

How much harder it is to manage your personal finances when the government always takes more and more from what you earn, what you spend, what you invest, and even what you own when you die! What good is it to earn and save and invest if the government can just come and take what they want from whom they want?

Elections have consequences. Get involved today and don’t stop trying to influence your elected officials once they get into office. Remain engaged!

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Remember that all you have belongs to God. Manage your money God’s way. Visit GrowGodsMoney.org .