The bible gives a lot of guidance for how to best live your life, but what does the bible say about wealth — and how should you let your religious beliefs affect yourinvesting practices?
In the late 1920s, Irving Fisher was one of the most trusted names in the investment world. America listened as he offered bold investment advice on October 16, 1929: “Stock prices have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau… And I expect to see the stock market a good deal higher within a few months.” If you’re a history buff, then you know that Black Monday and Tuesday occurred less than two weeks later, as the stock market dropped 13% and 12% on two consecutive days. This is just one example of what we know to be true: any human investment advice can be wrong.
Bible Verses About Investing
Certain bible verses about investing and the accumulation of wealth can help guide your practices when it comes to your financial planning strategy. Let’s review three pieces of bible investment principles from the book of Proverbs:
1. Gain your wealth slowly
“Wealth gained hastily will dwindle, but whoever gathers little by little will increase it.” – Proverbs 13:11
We all know the classic fable where the slow, steady turtle crosses the finish line before the quick and careless hare. The moral of that story is that you can be more successful by doing something slowly and carefully than by doing it quickly and recklessly.
Proverbs 13:11 is true in the investment world as well and is one of the best bible verses on saving money. Because while it’s tempting to follow a desire to get rich quick, often by reckless means that result in loss, God intends for us to grow our wealth slowly and patiently.
Discipline is so important when it comes to investing. Avoid focusing on immediate gains and focus instead on steady,long-term wealth accumulation. Consider setting aside a percentage of your income to be invested at regular monthly intervals. This will allow you to keep your emotions in check and grow your wealth responsibly. The longer you invest in the stock market, the greater the probability of good returns. While the year by year ups and downs (volatility) can be significant, these swings have historically just become noise after 10+ years.
Remember the Rule of 72: Take your expected rate of return and divide that number into 72. That’s how long it takes to double your money. So, if you were to achieve a 7% annual return, you would double your money in 7.2 years.
2. Gain your wealth justly:
“Better is a little with righteousness than great revenues with injustice.” – Proverbs 16:8
This is one of many verses in the Bible that emphasizes an important principle: God wants us to gain our wealth justly or not at all. There are warnings throughout the book of Proverbs that warn against profiting via bribes, deceit and theft. While avoiding those practices may seem like a no-brainer, it’s important that we see the bigger picture: God doesn’t want us to compromise our morals to grow our wealth.
Unfortunately, you may be invested in a way that compromises your morals without even knowing it. The average investor has 40% of their money invested in companies engaged in abortion, 21% in companies who promote sinful media and 18% invested in companies who are engaged in pornography.*
While the culture of most financial advisors will tell you that this isn’t something to be worried about, the book of Proverbs indicates that Christians should avoid growing their wealth in this way. If you’re interested in aninvesting option that excludes non-biblical companies without necessarily compromising diversification or return, the ‘Demand Christian’ Portfolio might be the answer.
3. Gain your wealth, but don’t trust in it:
“Whoever trusts in his riches will fall, but the righteous will flourish like a green leaf.” – Proverbs 11:28
This advice from Proverbs is the most important and most counter cultural: wealth-building must never be seen as something that will bring us satisfaction. We were created to treasure and enjoy Jesus above all else. The moment that wealth becomes the main driving force in your life is the moment that it becomes dangerous. Do you know anyone who gained more satisfaction from a Gucci purse or fancy car than a deep and meaningful relationship with friends and family?
The only thing in this universe that can completely satisfy us is Jesus Christ. All other blessings in this life are meant to be enjoyed, not worshipped. If we place our worth, identity or affection in anything other than Christ, then it’s only a matter of time before we fall.
Taken altogether, Proverbs paints a clear picture ofhow God wants Christians to view investing. God wants us to grow our wealth slowly and wisely, but not in a way that compromises our morals or captures our affections.
* Data taken from eVALUEator at https://www.christianinvestingtool.com and is based on an average of the two largest Total Market Index ETFs.
This report is a publication of Demand Wealth. Information presented is believed to be factual and up-to-date, but we do not guarantee its accuracy and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the author as of the date of publication and are subject to change.
Past performance may not be indicative of future results. Therefore, no current or prospective client should assume that the future performance of any specific investment, investment strategy (including the investments and/or investment strategies recommended by the adviser), or product made reference to directly or indirectly, will be profitable or equal to past performance levels.