This experiment began several years ago when I received a brochure in the mail advertising silver bullion coins as an investment vehicle. The “hook” was, “We will sell you two silver eagles for the price of one, if you agree to read our special report on silver.” When I saw this, I thought, “I could give one of these coins to a friend who was having money problems as a touch point for her prayers.” I sent her a coin and a notebook with instructions. Every day we prayed that the Lord would grant her wisdom in the area of finance. Every day she made an entry in her notebook.
The initial experiment was extremely successful. At the end of six months, her attitude towards money was radically different. She began to systematically eliminate her consumer debt. She changed some behaviors that were sabotaging her financial situation. Then towards the end of the six month experiment, she was able to move into her own home for the first time in her life.
Finally, when the participants are ready, they will give their coin with a blank notebook to a friend or a family member who is ready to change their relationship with money. In this way, friendship and blessings will keep flowing forward forever, even into eternity.
This morning with my coffee, I watched a video by Brian Tracey. I found the manner he presented one of his ten components of success interesting and a bit unusual. Early in the video Tracey distanced himself from the book and movie, The Secret. It turns out the author of this best seller attended one of Tracey’s seminars before she became famous. The Secret is based on what metaphysical teachers term the law of attraction, the notion that like attracts like. An example would be the old saying, “It takes money to make money.” Tracey’s problem with the book is the word work does not appear even one time in the entire text. The notion that one can just sit around and achieve success through positive thought is, nonsense.
Tracey, however, believes that money is an essential component to success because it allows one to take advantage of opportunities. That is certainly true in investment. In such cases it does take money to make money.
We live in a consumer society. We are constantly bombarded by sophisticated marketers attempting to convince us we need to live beyond our means. Consumer credit is widely available. In this society debt is encouraged. The most recent studies indicate that more than 62% of Americans do not have enough money on had to cover a $500 car repair with cash.
This is atrocious. We are not a nation of savers.
Tracey considers the ability to save money a spiritual disciple. He quotes W. Clement Stone, “If you cannot save money, the seeds of greatness are not in you.
Tracey relates a story from one of many financial disasters that occurred during the early years of his marriage. After they were forced to sell their home, his wife demanded in no uncertain terms that she would be allowed to put the proceeds from the sale, $10,000, into an account in her name where Brian could not get his hands on it. Since they had just been blessed with their first child, Tracey understood his wife’s need for security and did not argue the point. He believes that this decision was one of the turning points in his life. They never ran out of money again and they never had to touch that money. He believes that the presence of that money had some kind of metaphysical power to attract more money into their lives.
Is that true? Well? I am not so sure, but Tracey’s claim did make me think about my own life. In the early years of our marriage we managed to stay out of debt, but we got pretty close to broke a couple of times. In my mind, back in those days, it seems that if our cash reserves dropped below $1,000 I would take some kind of dramatic action to stabilize the situation. There was always at least $900 that didn’t get touched.
Once I graduated from engineering college, I had the Government equivalent of a 401(k). Money started flowing into that account. That money began to grow in my little tax favored greenhouse. Now that I have retired, no more money is flowing into that account, but what is there is still growing.
By the way, don’t be tempted to use the money in your 401 (k) or your Roth for any purpose other than your retirement. Even if facing bankruptcy leave it alone. Money in retirement accounts is generally protected from seizure, even in bankruptcy. Once that money is withdrawn, it can be confiscated by your creditors.
Many years later, I opened my taxable Schwab brokerage house account. Money started flowing into that account. So far, with few exceptions, the money that goes into that account stays in that account. I consciously moved one block of money into that account with the intent of using it to buy our retirement home. I seem to remember that at least once I moved some money from my Schwab account into my Vanguard account. At some point in the future, I expect some of that money will be used to finance some aspect of my retirement, but not yet.
What if you had a magical metaphysical jar for money that, like a piggy bank, had an in slot but no easy way of getting the money out? How could that change your life over the course of time? Imagine yourself establishing a spiritual disciple of saving rather than wasting your money on the foolishness of our consumer society. How could that practice make you a different person? How could that money ultimately change your life, the life of your children, and the life of your community?
Just asking; what if?
The Brian Tracey Video: