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Key investment principles

We are living in uncertain times. When it comes to your investments it is easy to worry when markets are turbulent. I want to challenge you not to panic during tough times, but rather, as we suggested last week, that you …

  • look to God, 
  • keep calm, and 
  • stick to your long-term plan. 

History shows that investors who remain calm and stick to the long-term plan, even when markets are extremely volatile and unpredictable over the short term, usually reap the rewards once the storm passes. 

Today I want to share 18 God Approved Key Investment Principles with you, that will help you to stick to a long-term wealth building strategy, while honoring God. 

1. Trust in God, not in money

Don’t get overly concerned with trying to build wealth …

“Do not wear yourself out to get rich; do not trust your own cleverness. Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle.” (Proverbs 23:4-5)

Put your hope in God …

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

2. Put God first

Don’t worry about anything. Rather pray to God for help and put him first.

Jesus said, “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and ALL these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:33)

3. Be generous 

Something powerful happens when you put God first with your money. He steps in and he provides an abundant overflow.

“Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the first fruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.” (Proverbs 3:9-10)

4. Invest over the long term

In other words, to generate real growth, you need to include growth assets like shares, bonds, and listed property in your investment portfolio. 

Unfortunately, growth assets can be volatile and unpredictable over the short term. However, you cannot avoid growth assets if you are looking to build wealth.

You should not leave your long-term investments in low-risk cash instruments as this will stunt your growth potential. Cash is safe, but will battle to even keep up with inflation. If you do not generate real returns on your growth investments, you will erode your purchasing power. 

Over the short-term markets can be uncertain and turbulent, but over the long-term, growth investments give you more consistent real returns.

Give your money time to grow.

Stay focused on your long-term goals.

“Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you.” (Proverbs 4:25)

5. Invest regularly 

Invest regularly over time, irrespective of market conditions. 

“Whoever gathers money little by little makes it grow.” (Proverbs 13:11)

It is difficult to time the market, so invest by building up your portfolio over time.

Investing regularly, little by little, often allows you a great opportunity to build up your investment portfolio. If you are looking to build a wealth portfolio over the longer term, it is good to disregard short-term performance fluctuations and to focus on your long-term goals. Wise investors continue to invest through dips in the market, knowing that when markets are down, there is great opportunity and a greater potential to generate good gain when the market recovers. 

6. Be patient 

The stock market often sees volatile swings in value, something up to 20% in any year. This often causes panic. However, investors who remain patient often see great growth if they remain invested.

“Whoever is patient has great understanding, but one who is quick-tempered displays folly.” (Proverbs 14:29)

During periods of turbulence, you need to stay calm. Ride out the storms. Hold on. Don’t cash in your investment during the downturn. 

“Investing should be more like watching paint dry or watching grass grow. If you want excitement, take $800 and go to Las Vegas.” — Paul Samuelson

History shows that it is near impossible to time the market. As the old saying goes, “time in the market is more important than timing the market.”

Be patient and keep calm.

7. Make use of the opportunities that arise when markets fall.

When the market is down, many investors often cash in their investments. All this does is lock-in losses. 

When markets are down there are often great opportunities to pick up bargains. When markets fall, it can be a good time to buy shares, but make sure that you get good advice. Managed funds use the opportunities that present themselves when markets fall to buy stocks at below market value “special” prices. When markets are down, it can be like buying shares as though they are on sale. 

8. Stick to your strategy

It is important to have a plan and stick to it. Make sure that your financial plan is tailored to meet your objectives and your future goals

“Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty.” (Proverbs 21:5)

If you remain focused on your investment strategy and ignore the noise, you can build up a wealth portfolio over time.

Be disciplined. Follow through. Continue to invest regularly. Make it a habit. 

Why not consider automating your monthly savings by setting up a regular monthly debit order. 

“The wise man saves for the future, but the foolish man spends whatever he gets.” (Proverbs 21:20)

Stick to your long-term strategy. Don’t deviate from your plan, even when short-term challenges occur. Be consistent. Don’t keep changing your plan. 

9. Diversification is an important risk manage tool 

Don’t keep all your eggs in one basket. A sound financial plan includes a good, diversified spread across …

  • Asset classes (shares, bonds, cash, and property)
  • Geographical regions (both local and offshore markets) 
  • Various investment vehicles (banks, unit trust mutual funds, ETF’s, shares etc.
  • Asset Managers and instruments
  • Your Life Cycle to meet your future dreams and objectives (short, medium and long-term)

King Solomon gave some good advice: “Ship your grain across the sea; after many days you may receive a return. Invest in seven ventures, yes, in eight; you do not know what disaster may come upon the land.” (Ecclesiastes 11:1-2)

Make sure that you have a well-balanced spread in your portfolio. In any diversified portfolio there will always be times when one asset class outperforms another. Financial shares may skyrocket while mining stocks plummet. At another time the reverse may happen. Sometimes shares soar, other times bonds rise. International investments may prosper when local markets fall. It’s the total return over the longer term that matters, so ensure that you have good diversification in your portfolio. 

Keep your portfolio well diversified. A balanced spread will help to reduce risk. 

10.  Be cautious

“The wise are cautious and avoid danger; fools plunge ahead with reckless confidence.” (Proverbs 14:16)

11. Set up a reserve fund

It’s vital that you have reserve funds that are easily accessible to tide you over during tough times. This will ensure that you do not need to withdraw funds from your growth investments in the event of an emergency.

You need to set enough funds aside in cash to take care of your short-term needs and emergencies. Investing in cash is a safe place to keep money that you need at short notice. 

“Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! Without having any chief, officer, or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest. (Proverbs 6:6-8)

Make sure that you build up your savings so that you have cash flow easily accessible should a storm arise.

12. Make sure that your investment portfolio is aligned to your specific goals and objectives.

There is no one size fits all strategy in investing. Everyone has different circumstances and different goals, so make sure that your portfolio can help you achieve your needs and dreams.

What are your dreams? What goals do you want to achieve? What is important to you? How much time do you have to achieve your goal? What is your appetite for risk like? 

“A wise person chooses the right road; a fool takes the wrong one.” (Ecclesiastes 10:2)

13. Get advice

“The way of fools seems right to them, but the wise listen to advice.” (Proverbs 12:15)

It is important to get advice on how best to construct your investment portfolio so that you can take care of your short-term needs while also setting up a solution to your unique long-term goals and dreams.   

“Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future.” (Proverbs 19:20)

14. Monitor your investment portfolio 

Although it can be counterproductive to review your portfolio too often, especially during crazy market conditions, it is prudent to review your plan annually or more regularly if you are approaching a specific life stage event. 

When you review your portfolio, it is also important to ensure that you make the needed changes to ensure that your portfolio remains aligned to your goals and objectives. 

“Getting wisdom is the wisest thing you can do! And whatever else you do, develop good judgment.” (Proverbs 4:7)

15. Don’t delay investing

The sooner you start investing, and the longer you invest, will give you the best opportunity of compounding your money. This occurs when you invest over time and you receive not only interest and growth, but interest on interest and growth on growth, which in turn gives you the ability to generate explosive growth over time. 

How many pay cheques do you have until retirement? 

Don’t waste time. Start investing today. Don’t delay.

16. Make God your Chief Investment Officer and Director of your life

Why don’t you consider inviting God to be the Director of your life and money management? Hand over the reins to him. Look to God.

Deuteronomy 8:18 … But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth.

God wants to be your source. Seek him. He wants the best for you.

Psalm 32:8… The LORD says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.

God promises to guide you on the BEST PATHWAY for your life, so wait on God. He wants to advise you and He is watching over you.

He knows what is happening. Look to him. He has your best interests at heart. He wants to see you prosper. And He wants to walk your life journey with you. 

17. Commit your plans to God

Don’t do life alone. Commit your plans to God.

“Commit your actions to the LORD, and your plans will succeed.” (Proverbs 16:3)

18. Remember there is more to life than money

I want to remind you to not put your hope in money. Rather put your hope in God.

“Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?” (Hebrews 13:5-6)

Be heavenly minded. There is more to life than money.

“For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, but loses his soul? Or what will a man give as an exchange for his soul?” (Matthew 16:26)

You can take none of your money or materials with you. Money can buy you lots of stuff, but it cannot buy you happiness. And you cannot buy your way into heaven. 

“Riches won’t help on the day of judgment, but right living can save you from death.” (Proverbs 11:4)

There is however a free-gift available from God that brings forgiveness and eternal life. While we cannot earn it and we surely do not deserve it, this gift was paid for by Jesus on the cross so that we can go free and spend eternity with God,  

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)

If Jesus is your Lord and Savior, you can rest in Him, knowing that He is your helper and that He will never abandon you. Isn’t it amazing to think that God wants to walk the journey with you? 

God saw that man was separated from Him, so He even sent His Son, Jesus, to pay the price for you and I on the cross, so that we can come into a relationship with Him. You can start a walk with God, not because of what you do, but because of what Jesus did. This relationship ensures that you and I do not need to face life alone, and this relationship continues into eternity.

Do you know Jesus as your Savior? If not, invite Jesus to be your Lord and Savior.    

If you want to start or restart your walk with God, click here to pray a simple prayer we have set up for you.

Conclusion:

Put your life in the hands of God. Invite Jesus to be your Savior. Surrender your life to God. Give Him your burdens and concerns. You can take refuge in Him. 

And, if you want to build up a wealth portfolio, consider applying a few of these God Approved Investment Principles to your money management. You can truly set yourself up for a blessed and fruitful future, while keeping God at the center of your life.

God bless you.

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