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Financial and Relational Investing: Where Do I Start?

Dear CMR,

As a young adult, I have been curious about what I could do to start investing money for my future, but it seems overwhelming. Where would you suggest I get started, and how can I keep things in perspective as I do, keeping my faith in God in perspective?


Financially Curious Christian

Dear Curious,

That is a great question. Never forget that on your investing journey that investments are not solely equities, bonds, and real estate: those are earthly investments, but there are eternal investments that have the greatest returns. The beginning of your investing journey starts with understanding that we are stewards of the wealth God has entrusted us.

“Honor the Lord from your wealth, and from the first fruits of your produce; so that your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will overflow with new wine.” –Proverbs 3:9-10

Investing in "Social Capital"

There are only three categories where we can invest our resources: financial, social, or spiritual instruments. I recently heard a financial advisor who was counseling a couple and the husband refused to spend any money on travel with his spouse (who was in tears) because he was afraid of not having enough. The advisor asked the husband, “What are you going to say at the throne of Christ when He asks you why you didn’t use His resources to build memories of love with your wife?” What a powerful question! As Christians, every spending decision is a spiritual decision, so if you are tithing or going on vacation with your spouse, God is glorified if we are doing it with a cheerful heart. One of the greatest opportunities to invest the resources from God is in memories with the people around us. Investing in our children through trips, investing in our spouses through dates, investing in our neighbors through BBQs, or investing in the youth through sports, all of these are opportunities to show the love of Christ. These opportunities are worth more than any stock. No stock will bring you joy, but investment in others will!

Ten Principles of Successful Investing

When thinking about how to invest your finances, there are a lot of resources available that can become overwhelming. Here are 10 simple principles that can be traced back to scripture and help focus your investment strategies.

  1. Establish written financial goals. (Proverbs 21:5)
  2. Seek wise financial and investment counsel (Proverbs 19:20)
  3. Cultivate a long-term perspective (Proverbs 13:11)
  4. Diversify your portfolio (Ecclesiastes 11:2)
  5. Consistency is crucial, don’t make haste to “get rich quick” (Proverbs 28:20-22)
  6. Avoid risky investments if you can’t afford a loss (Ecclesiastes 5:13-15)
  7. Avoid high leverage (Proverbs 22:7)
  8. Monitor your anxiety (Psalm 131:1, Matthew 6:25-33)
  9. Establish limits on the amount you invest (Proverbs 15:16, 30:8)
  10. Share and discuss decisions with your spouse. (Genesis 2:24)

What do you make of these ideas? What would you add to this list? Let us know!