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Money by the Book 3


King Solomon, the ancient king of Israel, wrote books and taught rulers and commoners from all over the world (I Kings 3, 9, and10). He transacted international business deals from modern southern Spain throughout the Middle East, and possibly as far away as modern China and Japan. Solomon was the wisest man in the world, and he was the richest. His income in modern amounts is not certain; one income source was 666 talents of gold a year, by weight that is estimated at $417 million. This income measurement does not include his silver, spice, ivory, and horse trade, or the agriculture deals that he made, or the clothing, the weapons and timber industry that he dealt in. One must take inflation into account, since he lived 3000 years ago. His wealth dwarfs that of Bill Gates or Warren Buffett. It is legendary to say the least. Books and movies have made him a modern day legend. However, explorers for centuries chased his hidden wealth all over the globe, i.e. his legendary diamond mines. Did these mines exist? No one knows for sure.
 Solomon was given a leg up in life. His father was King David, a man after God’s own heart, the great king of legend who slew the giant named Goliath and led armies to conquer countries. David was a fallible man, but always led and ruled under the Lord’s guidance. Solomon was taught at this great man’s feet and inherited his kingdom.
 Solomon, early in his own rule, was given a choice by God himself. He could have anything that he asked. What would it to be? Solomon could have selfishly chosen for unimaginable riches or to conquer his enemies. He could have asked for world peace or a utopian society. He could have asked, as we might have, to be debt free, own his car, pay the light bill, increase his credit limit, or to not repay his credit cards. He could have asked for anything imaginable, any normal everyday wish you would have desired. Solomon instead asked God for wisdom.
 Ship your grain across the sea; after many days you may receive a return, Ecclesiastes 11:1. This verse is from Solomon’s book of Ecclesiastes in the Bible. What relates to us today from Solomon’s writings?
 “To ship your grain across the sea” comes from an old Hebrew saying. This saying has two meanings: one is to be generous; the other is to invest your money in search of a return.
 From this text giving is the first step to a financial plan, investing for a return is the second. You must save and invest your money for the future, an old fashioned idea that seems lost today. Many types of investments can be used to produce multiple streams of income. In this article, let’s focus on the act of setting money aside for the future.
 If you are new to saving, first open a savings account. Do not worry at first about your return. Initially the habit of saving money is more important. Invest a percentage from each paycheck into this account. Saving money and investing a portion of your income is vital for your future. You may have to change your lifestyle to one a little less extravagant, but it will be worth it in the long run.
 This money can have many purposes. First, families often have unbudgeted minor expenses like tires for the car or regular doctor bills. Use this savings instead of using a credit card. Another purpose for this money could be a major emergency fund for life’s unexpected problems like loss of a job or hospitalization. We all know these can happen. A third use for this money (there can be more) is for investment opportunities in the future. Opportunities to invest money are plentiful; you should prepare for them. In future articles I will write about different types of investments. However, if you are not in a position to take advantage of these investments their return will not matter, because you will not be able to be involved. Begin today setting money aside for the future.
 Your goal is not to get rich overnight but should be financial security. God is interested most of all in your attitude towards money and he is interested in your success.

May 7, 2007

Investment advisory services offered through Sound Financial Strategies Group, Inc.("SFSG"), a Registered Investment Adviser.  Securities offered through Comprehensive Asset Management and Servicing, Inc., ("CAMAS") Member FINRA/SIPC.  SFSG and CAMAS are separate and unrelated companies.  The opinions voiced in this article are for general information only. They are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual and do not constitute an endorsement by CAMAS.

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