Wednesday, November 12, 2014
In retirement, I have joined a local writers’ group. Over the last few meetings that I have been able to attend, they have been reviewing the chapter on investment I have written for The Silver Eagle Experiment (Exploring Pathways to Financial Freedom). I was hoping to have the completed draft ready by early November, but I spent most of the last five months dealing with our family emergency. Now that the crisis is over, hopefully, I can return to something approaching normalcy. I now know what I need to do with the chapter. It wasn’t really necessary to submit the last two segments for review but I really wanted to group to read the material because, I believe. The writers’ group is a perfect test set for my material. The members are intelligent, well educated folks without a whole lot of interest in financial questions or knowledge about investment strategies. That my material is getting a preliminary edit from published authors and a college professor is just a bonus. I really want them to read my chapter on investment. I really want them to, “Get it!” I am absolutely convinced that if they diligently apply themselves using only the material in that chapter they can revolutionize their financial lives. In ten years they could look back at how far they have traveled in complete disbelieve. I realized I really, really believe in the value of this ministry. I believe if you stay out of debt, you are already on the road to financial freedom. The debtor is slave to the lender. Debt is part of the curse. The ability to lend money is part of the blessing. I believe if you learn to live on a budget, simplified, detailed, or old school envelopes you can work your way out of just about any mess. The money equation is very simple: Money In = Money Stored + Money Spent However there is no way to escape the money equation. Not for individuals. Not for families. Not even for countries that can print their own money. I believe that once you break even you can learn to save for special purposes, a down payment on a home, college for the kids, and the 800 pound gorilla, RETIREMENT. I believe you can learn to turn your savings into investments, more than doubling your expected returns over a sufficiently long time period. It can be as simple as a single lifecycle fund. Your investments can become as complicated and sophisticated as you can stand. I believe that more divorces are caused by money problems than by any other single factor. There are simple effective strategies that can help to avoid divorce like no secrets and strict limits to the (my money, your money, our money) argument. Finally, I am a Christian. I believe that how you choose to earn, manage, and spend your money are intensely spiritual questions. Ultimately, all the silver and all the gold belong to our Creator. You and I are just passing through. What we hold in our hands today will pass into the hands of another tomorrow or even our most cherished investments can simply disappear – overnight. Consider the demise of Enron. As you walk your path to financial freedom. Be sure to check in with the Lord of the Universe who gives wisdom to all who ask and don’t forget to give something to God without expectation of return. It is good for your heart.