Saturday, March 2, 2024

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葡萄樹傳媒

關於財務值得知道的事──THINGS WORTH KNOWING ABOUT FINANCES

作為一位多年的投資顧問,我常常聽到這個問題:「許多投資者犯的首要錯誤是什麼?」我的答案總是一樣:他們在管理金錢時,忽視聖經的智慧,而只是追隨世俗的聰明。

你是否相信這樣的觀點呢 ? 你曾否思考過,當你使用上帝那保護性的聖經原則作為指南時,你會更明智、更謹慎地管理你的財務資源,同時也榮耀上帝呢?我相信這一點,因為我親身經歷過。我從1970年代初到80年代中期,主要是依賴自己的技術和聰明,做出財務決策。我的成功不少,但我的失敗更多。

在1980年代末,我正視了自己的「有限」,並轉向了賴瑞‧巴克 (Larry Burkett)的教導,他是一位提醒基督徒應用聖經原則,來管理財務這個領域非常重要的聲音。與「神的方式」保持同步,而不是我自己的方式,為未來的財務成功奠定了基礎。以下是我發現的一些原則,無論你有多大或多小的信心,它們都適用:

我們做決策應以上帝的智慧為首要。神的原則是實用且相關的,常常與傳統的「智慧」相悖。如提摩太後書3章16節所說:聖經都是神所默示的,於教訓、督責、使人歸正、教導人學義都是有益的。」

我們必須對自己的決定承擔責任。我們不能依賴他人為我們做艱難的選擇。做出有見識且符合聖經原則的財務決策,是我們自己的責任。所求於管家的,是要他有忠心。」(哥林多前書 4章2節)

欠債可能會讓人陷入奴役,因此應該盡可能避免。不論你是個人、公司或國家,債務都有可能摧毀自由和豐盛,甚至剝奪獨立性,並減少對未來財務資源的運用選擇。「富戶管轄窮人;欠債的是債主的僕人。」(箴言22章7節)

在當前開銷和長期儲蓄之間,保持適當的平衡是明智的。我們的開銷決策,應該始終考慮到未來可能需要使用這些資源。如果我們現在花掉所有,就沒有東西可以應對未來的需求和緊急情況了。「智慧人家中積蓄寶物膏油;愚昧人隨得來隨吞下。」(箴言21章20節)

我們應運用經過慎重考慮的策略,持續地進行投資。有些人僅以追逐個案的基礎做衝動的投資,而不是有意識地制定一個明智的策略堅持下去。「殷勤籌劃的,足致豐裕;行事急躁的,都必缺乏。」(箴言21章5節)

在我們的投資中應傾向多元化。太多投資者常常過於關注市場的週期變化,而在不可預測的變動中陷入困境。多元化是控制風險和保護資本的好方法。「你要分給七人,或分給八人,因為你不知道將來有什麼災禍臨到地上。」(傳道書11章2節)

當我們根據這些經文,和其他經過驗證的聖經原則,正如羅馬書12章2節所說「心意更新而變化」,並且始終如一地遵循它們,我們就可以對於,做出明智的開銷、儲蓄和投資選擇更有信心。

奧斯汀·普萊爾(Austin Pryor)擁有超過40年的投資顧問經驗,是《理智投資(Sound Mind Investing)》通訊和網站的創始人。他是《理智投資手冊(The Sound Mind Investing Handbook)》一書的作者,該書獲得了受人尊敬的基督教教師的支持,已售出超過10萬本。奧斯汀和他的妻子蘇西居住在肯塔基州的路易斯維爾

備註:如果你有聖經,想閱讀更多相關的內容,請參考下面的經文:

箴言3章27-28節
3:27 你手若有行善的力量,不可推辭,就當向那應得的人施行。
3:28 你那裡若有現成的,不可對鄰舍說:去吧,明天再來,我必給你。
箴言11章24-25節
11:24 心驕氣傲的人名叫褻慢;他行事狂妄,都出於驕傲。
11:25懶惰人的心願將他殺害,因為他手不肯做工。
箴言14章31節
14:31 欺壓貧寒的,是辱沒造他的主;憐憫窮乏的,乃是尊敬主。
箴言15章16節
15:16 少有財寶,敬畏耶和華,強如多有財寶,煩亂不安。
箴言22章2節、26-27節
22:2 富戶窮人在世相遇,都為耶和華所造。
22:26 不要與人擊掌,不要為欠債的作保。
22:27你若沒有什麼償還,何必使人奪去你睡臥的床呢?
馬太福音6章19-21節、33節
6:19 「不要為自己積儹財寶在地上;地上有蟲子咬,能銹壞,也有賊挖窟窿來偷。
6:20  只要積儹財寶在天上;天上沒有蟲子咬,不能銹壞,也沒有賊挖窟窿來偷。
6:21  因為你的財寶在那裡,你的心也在那裡。」
6:33 你們要先求他的國和他的義,這些東西都要加給你們了。
提摩太前書6章6節
6:6 然而,敬虔加上知足的心便是大利了;

反省問題與討論

  1. 即使你不是一位金融專業人士,在閱讀這篇週一嗎哪提醒之前,你對於投資者,最常犯的首要財務錯誤,有何看法?為什麼你這麼說呢?
  2. 談到你自己的開銷、儲蓄和投資方式,你遵循了什麼樣的方法或策略?你認為你的方法有效嗎?請解釋你的答案。
  3. 將聖經原則應用於財務管理和金融決策的建議,你對此有何看法?你是否同意聖經原則是實際且相關的,可以為未來的財務成功打下基礎?為什麼?
  4. 在文中提到的原則中,哪一個對你來說最重要或最有意義?為什麼你認為很多人對於遵循這些財務管理觀念持抗拒的態度?


THINGS WORTH KNOWING ABOUT FINANCES

By  Austin Pryor

Having been an investment advisor for many years, I often hear the question, “What is the number one financial mistake many investors make?” My answer is always the same: They ignore biblical wisdom when managing their money and follow secular wisdom instead.

Do you believe that? Have you ever considered that when you use God’s protective biblical principles as a guide, you will manage your financial resources more wisely, more prudently – and glorify God at the same time? I do because I have lived it. From the early 1970s through the mid-80’s, I relied primarily on my skills and intellect for making financial decisions. My successes were many, but my failures were more.

In the late 1980s I faced up to my limitations and turned to the teachings of Larry Burkett, who had become a leading voice on the importance of Christians applying precents found in the Bible to managing finances. Getting in sync with God’s ways, rather than mine, laid a foundation for future financial success. Here are some of those principles that I have found work regardless of how much faith you have – or how little:

We should look primarily to God’s wisdom for decision-making. The principles God has given are practical and relevant, often running counter to conventional “wisdom.” “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16).

We must accept personal responsibility for our decisions. We cannot look to others to make the tough choices for us. It is our responsibility to make knowledgeable, biblically consistent financial decisions. “Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful” (1 Corinthians 4:2).

Debt can be enslaving and should be avoided if possible. Whether you are an individual, a company, or a nation, debt can destroy freedom and prosperity, take away independence, and reduce options for what can be done with financial resources earned in the future. “The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is a servant to the lender” (Proverbs 22:7).

Maintaining a proper balance between current spending and long-term saving is wise. Our spending decisions should always be tempered by awareness that some of those resources might be needed in the future. If we spend everything now, we will have nothing for future needs and emergencies. “In the house of the wise are stores of choice food and oil, but a foolish man devours all he has” (Proverbs 21:20).

We should invest consistently using a carefully considered strategy. Some people invest impulsively on a case-by-case basis, rather than intentionally formulating a wise strategy and holding to it. “The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty” (Proverbs 21:5).

In our investing, we should rely on diversification. Too often investors become preoccupied with market cycles and become ensnared by unpredictable shifts. Diversification is a good means for controlling risk and protecting capital. “Divide your portion to seven, or even to eight, for you do not know what misfortune may occur on the earth” (Ecclesiastes 11:2).

As we “renew our minds,” as Romans 12:2 says, with the use of these and other proven biblical precepts, following them consistently, we can be confident of making wise spending, saving and investment choices.

Austin Pryor has more than 40 years of experience advising investors and is the founder of the Sound Mind Investing. He is the author of The Sound Mind Investing Handbook, endorsed by many respected Christian teachers, with more than 100,000 copies sold. Austin lives in Louisville, Kentucky, with his wife Susie.

Reflection/Discussion Questions

  1. Even if you are not a financial professional, prior to reading this Monday Manna, what would be your opinion as to the number one financial mistake that investors make? Why do you say that?
  2. Looking at your own spending, saving, and investing practices, what approach or strategy have you followed? Do you think your methodology has been effective? Explain your answer.
  3. .What do you think of the recommendation to apply precepts from the Bible to manage money and make financial decisions? Do you agree with the assertion that biblical principles are practical and relevant, and can lay a foundation for future financial success? Why or why not?
  4. Which of the principles cited seems of greatest importance or significance to you? Why do you think many people are resistant to following these concepts for managing their finances?       

NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to read more, consider the following passages: Proverbs 3:27-28, 11:24-25, 14:31, 15:16, 22:2,26-27; Matthew 6:19-21,33; 1 Timothy 6:6



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