After spending four years at University pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing and Finance, I had great plans. I was ready for the job market and I was set on climbing the corporate ladder.
I was already programmed to be an employee. The plan was simple; find a high paying job, start my Masters Degree and have that MBA by age 25; take out a car loan, a mortgage for the house and then I would be successful. I was on the path to follow the script of an average life but God had other ideas.
After completing my Degree I could not find a job. My hopes were crushed as my dreams stood still. I was made penniless. I had no job but I had time and I started using it to read books especially the Bible. I spent hours reading, devouring the word and God began to teach me. He changed my mindset. Everything suddenly became so clear like daylight. I began to understand the words and my life changed.
One Sunday while I was in church (broke), I listened to the pastor as he was preaching. He shouted, “No More Financial Problems!” A voice then said to me, “that’s the title of the book”. I said, “What!? How could someone write a book entitled [No More Financial Problems] and he’s broke? Who would listen to such person.” Nevertheless I took out my phone and began to type the title of the book in my memo pad. In less than three minutes I received nine titles which would serve as the nine chapters for the book.
Months later I got the shock of my life while reading the Book of Ecclesiastes. The Bible teaches us how to invest! The Bible teaches us how to become an investor! I couldn’t believe it! I had spent four years in University to learn these principles and they were right there in the Bible. I asked myself, “how could people spend years reading the Bible and miss these principles?”
The principles Solomon teaches us about investing are:
- Learning how to take calculated risks with our money – Ecclesiastes 11, “Cast your bread upon the waters, for after many days you will find it again”. Here Solomon is teaching that we should not always play it safe. Some people have their money sitting in the bank idling away while others are investing their capital wisely and are becoming wealthy. Solomon is saying be courageous, take some risks and in many days you will see a return on your investment. The word bread is an idiom in Hebrew, it means money or anything a person needs to sustain his life.
- Diversify your portfolio – What does the word portfolio mean in investment? It simply means, ‘a collection of investments.’ If you are only investing in real estate, find something else to invest in. Ecclesiastes 11:2 says, “Give portion to seven, yes to eight, for you do not know what disaster may come upon the land”. Here Solomon is encouraging us to invest in different ventures – diversify – because you do not know which one may fail. In other words, do not put all your eggs in one basket. If you should google any millionaire or billionaire you will see that they own several companies. Some invest in real estates, stocks, bonds, gold, you name it. They do not put all their eggs in one basket. Take Bill Gates for example, a lot of people know Bill Gates for the computer programme Microsoft but what they don’t know is that Gates owns a lot of other companies. What he has done is to diversify his portfolio.
- You will never have perfect knowledge of an investment before making a decision – Ecclesiastes 11:4 – “whoever watches the wind will not plant: who looks at the clouds will not reap”. You will never have perfect knowledge of any investment and if you are waiting on that perfect information, that perfect time to invest, that perfect business partner, guess what it may never happen. Whoever watches the wind will never plant! So do not wait on everything to be ‘perfect’ before you make a decision.
- Do not build your life around a job!! – A lot of people build their lives around their 9-5 though they may not even enjoy it. When they lose it they have no other source of income, so they end up losing everything. Ecclesiastes 11:6 says, “Sow your seed in the morning, and at evening let not your hands be idle, for you do not know which will succeed”. Whenever you leave your 9-5 please ensure that you are working on your dream when you get back home. Do not depend solely on a job to sustain your life; to pay your mortgage, car loan and to send your children to school. I have seen people lose their jobs and end up depressed because they had built their lives around it.
I urge you today to seek wisdom. Be sure to put aside money from your salary and buy books and do whatever it takes to develop yourself. Also do not neglect to read the Bible because it contains much. Finally, like Solomon, pray for wisdom because if you truly seek wisdom you will gain it.
I hope this article ministers to you.
[photo credit: covenantfinancial.org]