We’d all like to have more money, and there’s nothing wrong with that — if we have the right motivation. We’ll talk about that today on Faith and Finance. Every few weeks on our Monday program, we revisit the five things you can do with money. Here they are: You can earn it, live on it, give it away, owe it to someone, or save/invest it. Earn, live, give, owe, and grow. On this episode, our focus is on the last of those: growing your money for the future by investing
- Motivation. If your reason for investing is to “get rich quick,” we have a warning for you. Actually, Jesus has a warning for you. He said — in Luke 12:15 — to “be on guard against every form of greed.”
- Greed takes our eyes off God and puts them on ourselves, which is spiritually dangerous. And it’s a recipe for unhappiness.
- Ecclesiastes 5:10 says, “Anyone who loves money never has enough. Anyone who loves wealth is never satisfied with what he gets.”
- That said, investing for the future — if you have the right motivation — is commended in Scripture.
- Proverbs 21:20 says, “There is precious treasure and oil in the home of the wise, but a foolish person swallows it up” — or as The Living Bible puts it: “The wise man saves for the future, but the foolish man spends whatever he gets.”
- So this is the right motivation — the desire to be a good steward, preparing today — as best you can — for the needs of days and years to come.
- So, how do you prepare? Well, you could stash money in a savings account — and you should, for shorter-term needs and for an emergency fund. But savings accounts, even the highest-paying ones, will not keep up with inflation. Money put in a savings account will lose value over time.
- To keep pace with inflation, or to outdistance it, requires putting your money in things that tend to grow as the economy grows. For most of us, that means investing in the stock market, and you can do that in a way that is balanced, not reckless.
- That brings us to learning …
- WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT INVESTING
- We have guests on this program regularly who talk about wise approaches to investing, so we won’t go into detail about that now, except to say that it’s essential that you have a long-term plan and a set of guidelines that inform your decision-making. In other words, think long-term, not get-rich-quick, and don’t make decisions based on “hot tips” or financial talk shows.
- Now, to be a good steward, you also need to understand the various investment vehicles that may be available to you, such as a tax-advantaged 401(k) or 403(b) at your workplace. You also should learn about Individual Retirement Accounts and how those can help you save for the future in a tax-smart way.
- A great resource that explains such accounts — and many other things about being a good steward as an investor — is The Sound Mind Investing Handbook by Austin Pryor.
- One more thing: Making your money grow for the future will involve some risk — that is the nature of investing. So the actual investments you choose should be appropriate for someone of your age and overall financial situation.
- Younger people can afford to take higher levels of risk than older people because younger folks have a lot of time to recover from market downturns.
- So to sum it up: invest with the motivation of being a good steward — and take the time to learn what you need to know to invest wisely for the years to come.
On this program, Rob also answers listener questions:
- How do minimum required distributions work?
- When does it make sense to adjust payroll withholdings to cover expenses?
- How do you determine if you need life insurance?
- How much can you contribute to a 401k account and a Roth IRA without tax penalties?
- When is a Medicare Advantage plan a wise purchase?
- How are assets distributed upon the death of a parent without a will?
Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Also, visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community, and even download the free FaithFi app.