7 financial principles of the richest people!
CHAPTER 5: “YOU NEED TO BE GENEROUS”
SUMMARY: There needs to be the right motivation for investment decisions.
Giving is the best investment with the least risk,
and has dividends biggest. – JOHN TEMPLETON
British-American financier Sir John Templeton knew a little about how to make and use money.
He also knows a little bit about giving.
Slightly upset that there was no Nobel Prize for religion,
he created one
Templeton Foundation Award for Religious Advancement.
Every year, a large monetary award will be given to someone
who has contributed to the advancement of religion in the world.
His foundation also supports the natural sciences.
He realized that giving is also a form of investment.
+What does giving have to do with personal investing?
I know you might be thinking,
this book is about learning immutable principles from one of the wisest
and richest people in the world,
and it’s about how to increase your wealth,
not how to increase your wealth.
Talk about giving money away.
Also, I can hear you saying,
“I’ll think about giving later,
but first I have to become really rich.”
Sorry, but this rule doesn’t work that way.
Now, I hear you saying again,
“Please stop preaching the doctrine that God will give health
and wealth to pious believers.”
I will not do that,
but will only rely on what King Solomon and the Bible wrote to say on the subject.
So, buckle up and fold your tray tightly and stand up straight.
We’re about to take off.
GET RICH BY KNOWING ABOUT GIVING
Let’s start with the words of Jesus. In a parable by
“The King will answer,
‘I will tell the truth, whatever you have done,
at least do it to one of the granted this statement can,
and does, imply both physical and material service,
and it also includes monetary support.
There are many ways to serve those around us who may have less money than we do.
In this chapter,
we will focus on financial sharing.
Sharing our money,
as well as our time and effort,
with those who need it is rewarding,
but I hope you will also know how important it is to your personal growth.
Make as much money as possible.
Save as much as possible.
Invest as much as possible.
Give as much as you can. – JOHN WESLEY
You’ve probably heard this phrase a thousand times:
“I’ve gotten more than I’ve given.”
That is the focus of this chapter.
I hope that,
with the help of King Solomon and some other wise people,
you will gradually realize:
how having a sharing heart will help you in achieving the dream
of success in your head private.
Let me clarify further.
We are not talking about a “name it and affirm it” doctrine;
nor are we getting too deep into the misleading scripture
that talks about how the nine heavens will be opened to you simply
because you have given so much.
What we’re going to look at is how giving helps you grow your wealth.
Seems counterintuitive, doesn’t it?
However, that’s not the case.
As you can see,
investing appropriately, saving for retirement,
and living below your means (as we’ll see in the next chapter)
all have something to do with it,
which is generally very important.
Similarity here is attitude and perspective.
My friend Larry, who is also my accountant,
tried to teach me this very principle.
“Why, even after being extremely rich,
people still never have enough?”
If a person has the right attitude toward money,
it will help solve almost every other area of life. – BILLY GRAHAM
Larry has a number of wealthy,
successful business clients who are always striving for more money.
Some of these people live in grand homes,
the kind that most of us only see in trendy magazines printed on high-end paper,
or on TV shows about extreme wealth.
Most of these people drive extremely expensive and lavish cars.
They join outdoor sports clubs,
eat delicious foods,
and take luxurious vacations.
How do I know these things?
I used to be one of those people.
Now it’s no longer like that,
but I’ll tell you more another time.
I think Larry’s point is simply this:
When you have more money than most people,
why torment yourself with hours of acute stress
and being away from what really matters?
important things in life,
such as your family,
just to make more money?
His thinking requires answers to questions such as:
“When will enough be enough?”
and “Why would you do that?”
Hopefully, you can find the answer to the first question in Chapter 1,
where we learned how to set reasonable goals.
If achieving those goals is our purpose,
wouldn’t that be a good place to retreat and perhaps reorient our energies?
This argument is only part of the answer to our two questions.
The rest is,
as St. Paul wrote:
“Work so that you may have something to give.” (Ephesians 4:28).
Think about that for a moment.
Work so you can have something to give.
Surely we must give it to our creditors.
Do these self-imposed costs assist us in making good investment decisions?
The money we spend to support our “quality of life”
and “standard of living” accomplishes nothing,
but only obscures our understanding of what the phrase “quality” means quality of life”.
As discussed in Chapter 1,
we should set goals not only for our own savings purposes
(i.e., for retirement, for our children’s college education),
but also for our savings goals to helps us evaluate our success.
When do you have enough money to live a comfortable life and to increase your giving?
(Please note that I said “increase”, not “start”.)
Giving must start very early
so that your future remains clear and adequate with your values.
Here are suggestions for how a clear value-based perspective will enhance your ability
to make quality investment decisions.
If “enough is never enough,”
or if you really don’t know how much money
you need to live at a reasonable level of comfort,
then you might be inclined to invest in uncertain stocks,
and take risks. risk in an effort to maximize investment returns.
As you can see,
your personal philosophy towards investing,
as well as financial giving,
can influence your investment decisions.
This book is not about me,
but a personal story of mine might make my point clearer.
In Chapter 2, when I discussed goal setting,
I mentioned using a picture book
that records my material desires
—to motivate me.
I recommend you do the same.
During that time of my life, my income and investment savings grew significantly
and I achieved 100% of those goals.
I can’t think about that book without feeling embarrassed by how immature it is.
The book was effective.
My net worth just keeps getting bigger and bigger.
I started making business and investment decisions that I could have avoided.
I was invited to invest in a startup with strong values and a great business plan.
The company’s mission is to help churches and other religious organizations,
such as Christian schools and health care facilities,
gain better access to financial resources to support them in meeting their goals.
The company’s business plan is solid,
the team of professionals
I’ve assembled is amazing,
and we’ve gotten some of the biggest banks
and investors in the world on board.
Anyone who learns about the joint venture is very excited.
Our launch day had arrived,
the day we would sign the necessary contracts generating hundreds of millions of dollars
in lines of credit that we could in turn extend to churches,
schools, and so on.
That was also the day the world learned of the impending mortgage crisis
in the United States and Europe.
That very day!
The morning started out great,
then went downhill very quickly
Needless to say, since this company was going to be a borrowing business,
even though we were going to lend to churches and schools,
our company had to completely shut down
before we could get the deal done.
Firstly. It’s not that we don’t have customers lining up at the door,
it’s because we were forced to close.
The problem is,
American and European banks have cut off our access to capital.
Why am I telling you this?
I invested over $1.5 million of my own money in this company and lost it all.
I’m going to stop for a minute so you can understand this.
Over $1.5 million of my own money was gone.
As you can imagine,
my dear wife couldn’t be happier
because of this.
A THINNER BUT WIDER PICTURE BOOK
Here’s the important part of the story:
I redesigned my goals “picture book.”
Losing all that money forced me to sell everything I had previously acquired.
The custom-designed house had to go.
The Mercedes also left.
The membership card of that “goofy” club is gone.
World tours disappeared.
It all disappeared.
All because I was focused on getting rich “easy”.
My new picture book is much thinner than the first,
but it has much more heft.
This time, I want to see how much money
I can give away.
Granted, my husband
and I want to be secure in our retirement
as well as help our son get his feet on the ground
as he begins his adult life,
but it all comes down to this: we want for ourselves.
Believe it or not,
we are living happier than ever.
I’m not saying that poverty is the goal,
but that you need to have an open mind
when considering how best to use your money.
My view, as I have matured,
is that all the things humans can individually accumulate are truly worthless.
However, seeing a smile on the face of a person or a congregation,
who is just trying to survive and serve in this world,
is the greatest investment
I could have ever made.
Giving is nothing new to me.
I have always tried to be generous.
Honestly, I’ve given a lot away,
but only when I’ve lived a life of complete luxury.
How much more could I have given
if I hadn’t been so greedy for my own comfort?
I hope you understand the power of this transformation.
I’m not trying to disparage your standards of accumulation and generosity,
I’m simply sharing what
I’ve found to be true.
Our teacher King Solomon taught us this long ago when he wrote,
“All day long he [the greedy man] desires to have more,
but the righteous man gives without hesitation.”
He also taught:
“A person gives freely,
but the benefit he receives is even greater;
The other person kept earning excessively,
but gradually became poor.
A generous person will become rich;
He has pleased others and will be pleased” (Proverbs 11:24-25).
Did God cause our new business to fail?
I dont know.
However, whether God did or not,
I thank Him every day for the lessons I have gradually learned,
and the happiness I have experienced.
Am I hoping to “gain even more” by giving freely and readjusting my focus?
Absolutely not! I only want to serve His children,
not my own desire to receive whatever gift He has chosen for me.
This newfound freedom was incredibly liberating.
There is nothing more dangerous than being blinded by prosperity.- JOHN CALVIN
I was looking for a different kind of wealth,
the kind that comes from doing something for others.
Trueblood’s quote rang out in my mind.
To plant trees for shade that I know I will never hide under is noble.
Trueblood tells us that it is valuable to do something to help others,
even if it does not directly benefit us.
I have heard financial “experts”
advise their clients not to give away
until they have accumulated and achieved all their desires.
“Take care of yourself first,” the counselor said.
“Make sure to achieve your retirement plan,
pay for your children’s education,
and invest your money to travel the world
and have fun to make up for all the hard work you’ve done.”
What the advisor doesn’t realize is that
he is depriving the client of one of the greatest gifts they will ever receive from God.
Additionally, the advisor is deceiving his client
of valuable insight into goal setting and financial investment management.
On a website called Generous Giving (www. generousgiving.com),
an anonymous author has done a good job of summarizing the theme of this chapter.
Essentially, the author is telling us that
God wants us to engage in giving as an act of response to the gift.
He gave it to us.
Therefore, our duty is to God and not to anyone else.
No one else has given us what we have,
other than God,
and we will certainly have to report to Him when we return to God’s side.
There are many verses in the Bible that guide us when it comes to giving.
Chances are, many times we have given for financial reasons
that will benefit us in some way;
Yet, it should be a secondary concern and not the primary motive of our gifts.
Our gifts should be a return of gratitude.
The author writes:
We should never completely turn off the faucet of God’s inspired generosity
(for tax purposes or to ensure we can meet certain financial goals)
for our comfort and safety.
For God can supply all our needs,
and he is especially pleased to do
so if his children seek first in his kingdom the riches
with which he has trusted them (see Luke 12:15-34).
If a financial advisor says otherwise,
sometimes the appropriate course of action is to politely decline
that financial advisor’s advice.
I will go even deeper.
I recommend that you work with a financial advisor
to understand that there is more to life than just money.
In my first book,
Wall Street Exposé,
I spent a lot of time discussing how to find a quality investment advisor.
Is it easier to give when you’ve built up a large portfolio?
The answer is yes.
Is it easier when you have a lot of money in your bank account?
Have. Does that mean you should wait
until you have some measure of financial comfort? Of course not.
It doesn’t matter where you are in terms of financial security,
you should give so that you can understand the benefits of sharing and understanding,
through the lessons that can only be learned by specifically,
how this will help you become a better caretaker of your money.
It is not unusual for a wealthy person
to spend large sums of money on special needs.
Joan B. Kroc, wife of late McDonald’s founder Ray Kroc,
spent $200 million on National Public Radio,
investor Warren Buffett contributed $37 billion to the Bill
and Melinda Gates Foundation,
an organization that supports the eradication of malaria and hydatid blindness
the famous 19th century industrialist,
gave away more than $350 million in his lifetime.
That amount is today worth $4 billion.
Money helped build universities,
“Beyond this hard-earned sum [$50,000,
a huge sum in the late 1800s],
make no effort to increase your wealth,
but use the annual interest for charitable purposes.”
I give away large amounts of money (it’s all relative),
but I never feel hurt by it.
there are gifts that may be large in amount,
but small in sacrifice.
Does that mean it’s possible to have a worthless gift?
It certainly wasn’t worthless or meaningless to the recipient,
but it never taught me the lessons that only sacrifice can teach.
You see, sacrificial giving,
the kind of giving that can truly teach,
nourish and bless,
was never within my purview
because my sights were set on achieving more money.
I will say something, for example
“I’ve given the most, isn’t that enough?”
As I said, anything given is appreciated by the recipient,
so why should less wealthy givers miss out on the extraordinary benefits of sharing?
I know this is a bit harsh to hear,
but I present it to you only out of sincere intentions.
As you can see,
I really want you to know how good you can feel,
and how it can make you a better manager of your own finances.
Here are a few thoughts that may help you understand the concept
Once again, I quote from St. Paul:
“Each person should give what he has decided in his heart to give,
not reluctantly or under compulsion,
for God loves a giver by walk freely” (2 Corinthians 9:07)
The great British writer, C.S. Lewis proposed the following
as a general rule for determining how much to give:
If it doesn’t hurt,
even a little,
it’s probably not enough.
I don’t believe anyone can answer the question:
How much should we give?
The only safe rule,
I’m afraid, is to give away more than is left over.
In other words,
if the amount of money we spend on comfort,
luxuries, pleasures, etc. increases to the standard prevailing among people
with similar incomes as ourselves,
then we can gave away too little.
If our charities did not affect or hinder us at all,
I would say they are too small.
There should be things we would enjoy doing and things we cannot do
because the costs of our charity work are not allowed.
It’s not a sin to be poor – but it’s just too inconvenient. – MARK TWAIN
Please remember, my intention is to help you learn to become a better investor.
Some lessons are harder to learn than others,
but I assure you,
the benefits far outweigh any effort we may have to make.
1. Do I have an idea of what is enough?
2. When was the last time I helped someone
without thinking about that person repaying the money or being indebted to me?
3. Can I be frugal and give at the same time? (The answer is yes
4. Do rich people give because they can
or because they care about others?
Things to do wisely
1. Sharing your time, effort and money
with others brings an emotional wealth that lasts a lifetime.
2. Everyone needs help.
Help others when you want to be helped.
3. A healthy and strong financial situation is a means to achieve higher goals.
Don’t forget the great ideals in life.
4. You can make a difference in the lives of others.
Why not do that?
5. Money is not the source of evil,
but love for money can be the source of evil.
Find a way to share a little of what you have.
ADVICE OF THE ANCIENT PEOPLE
MATTHEW 25:40 – “The King will answer:
I tell you the truth, whatever you did,
at least for one of my brothers, you did for me So’.”
EPHESIANS 4:28 – The person who is stealing must stop stealing and needs to work,
do something useful with his hands,
so that he can have something to share with those in need help.
PROVERBS 11:24 – A person who gives freely will receive even more;
People who tip excessively will gradually become poor.
A generous person will be rich;
He knows how to make others happy so I can be happy too.
PROVERBS 21:16 – All day long [people] crave more,
but the righteous give without reservation.
2 CORINTHIANS 9:7 – Each person should give what he or she has decided in his
or her heart to give, not reluctantly or under duress,
for God always loves those who give freely.