“Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you property of your own?” (Luke 16:10-12)
We’ve spoken before about the three major aspects of being successful financially in the course of your life and compared doing so to a Fruitful Tree. After making sure that you’ve securely protected your Fruitful Tree with strong Roots, you need to focus on a powerful Trunk. Because most people don’t take stewardship very seriously, or perhaps because they have simply not been educated in these things, many people skip over this important step and head straight for the flashy investments such as stocks or real estate.
Because of this foolishness, they are often dealt a serious blow when something unexpected happens. In investing, as in life, something unexpected always happens! Picture a hurricane blowing in off the Gulf. You’ve been growing a tree. You planted the roots deep and it sprung straight up – tall and skinny. What would happen? This tree would snap when the hurricane winds blow in. This is exactly what happens to so many people who don’t understand the potency of strong stewardship decisions in the area of savings.
With a well-grown tree, when a storm comes, leaves and branches might be damaged. But not the root and the truck. With these still in place, new branches and leave can grow up again. The ability of self- survival and self-protection are vested in this part of the tree. It is also the part which will transfer nourishment to other higher and smaller parts of the tree. (Psalm 1)
On the other hand, when you build a strong, thick Trunk, your tree will not falter. It will be the lone thing standing amidst the storm and actually be a place of safety and refuge amidst the storm. When your stewardship decisions are made soundly, this is exactly the financial situation that will result, as well. When others are fearful, you’ll be in a position of strength. When opportunities abound, you’ll be ready to capitalize.
In this series, we’ll discuss how to set up your Savings. Why do you need it? How much should you have? How should it be apportioned, and what ideal factors should you look for? We’ll discuss what I call the Wealth Coordination Account.
We’ll also discuss the advantages and disadvantages of a variety of different Retirement plans that are available, and how cash value life insurance compares with these. We’ll begin to discuss principles for growing wealth so that you can learn to incorporate this wisdom into your planning. And finally, we’ll talk about the ideal positioning that many of our clients incorporate after learning these things.
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This is _Part 1_ in the series titled The Trunk. To continue with this series, click on Pt 2.
Photo credit: SignFire