Can we simply put our disposable money wherever we can reap the greatest profit at the lowest risk, which seems to be the prevailing popular notion? Is it reasonable to use our money to make more money, without careful consideration of the goals and practices of the entities that use our money? Are there alternative ways to make our money available to movements, cooperatives, and projects that help rather than exploit or by-pass the poor, without necessarily losing what we may need in the future?
Lee Van Ham, Reading the Bible Economically
This is the first entry into exploring the seven practices that are a part of Sabbath Economics. We have based our Stewardship Coaching on the teaching of Sabbath Economics. The driving force behind the Stewardship Coaching process is to better align oneself with the will of God in His Kingdom. The investing of your surplus capital can be an acknowledgment of your love for God. Whether you invest all, or a small portion of your surplus capital in such a manner, your investment can be an attempt to walk more in the Heavenly Kingdom.
We have divided this surplus capital section based upon the investment time horizon.
Longer Term Investment Horizon-Biblically Responsible Investments
For long-term savings, such as retirement funds that you do not need immediately, Biblically Responsible Investing (BRI) is a consideration. Biblically responsible investment managers use predetermined screens to exclude (or include) companies under consideration for their investment portfolios. The screens are designed to identify those companies with activities antithetical to the Christian faith (such as abortion, alcohol, tobacco, pornography, homosexuality, etc.) and those companies more in line with the Christian faith (such as: support for quality products at fair prices and constructive stakeholder relations, support for a sustainable and healthy environment, charitable giving, etc.). Many money managers use this approach.
Proponents of BRI state that just because the screens are not perfect, just because investment is not the most influential change agent, just because returns might not be as high as elsewhere, does that mean one should not try? They quote Jesus’s command to “be faithful in the small things”. We feel positioning of at least a small percentage of your assets in BRI helps align oneself with God.
Short-Term Investment Horizon-Emergency Reserve
We have written of the importance of an emergency reserve on many occasions. By using a community development financial institution (CDFI), and the like, you can help those with little or no capital. You may not earn as much interest, or your money may not be a secure as with a federally insured institution, but this money can be as closely tied to our biblical vision as possible without actually giving money away.
Isaiah calls us to make our capital available to the poor. Moving our surplus into CDFI’s is another way to share our surplus, such that all – especially the poor and those presently without – might have enough.
Matthew Colwell, Sabbath Economics: Household Practices
Biblically Responsible Investing and the use of Community Development Financial Institutions is an exciting and growing discipline. It is a way that you can bring an eternal perspective to your financial planning, truly putting “treasures in heaven.” We do not think all of your money has to be invested this way, but hope God sees our heart in at least putting some of our resources to work in this manner. We can to help you adapt the investment of your surplus in a way to fit your values.
We like to keep a face-to-face connection with all of our clients and have the ability to do video sessions via the computer. If possibly more convenient, we think the video sessions are worth trying. Video sessions are easy to set up and we can walk you through the process. We would even be happy to help you buy the camera! Just let us know.
We can to help you adapt the investment of your surplus in a way to fit your values. Contact us to schedule your FREE consultation.