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The Bible on Personal Finance

The Bible on Personal Finance

Inspired by an article of Randell Tiongson in MoneySense July-August 2011 edition, entitled “Money By the Book,” and select verses quoted by Bo Sanchez in his personal finance books, I’m sharing with you some biblical verses on personal finance. The Bible is also one of the 10 personal finance books with great influence to MoneySense editor-in-chief Heinz Bulos.

Here are the three of the many biblical verses you can find on the Bible about personal finance:


Biblical Verse #1
“Some who are poor pretend to be rich; Others who are rich pretend to be poor.” Proverbs 13:7 NLT

I’m guilty of this. When my family was very poor, (during those tough times when we need to borrow from a nearby carinderia to be able to eat, or when I cried when the only free dinner I brought home from my OJT work was burnt out of a minor accident), I tried to look “rich.” It was very hard to attend an all-girls school during grade school and high school, and a premier university in the Philippines, when I knew back home we needed to go through a miniscule eye of a needle to be able to eat. 

So I needed to look presentable. My first day in college I wore a “pambahay” (a home clothing). All I cared for is that I smell okay and I think smart. It was hard to go through comparison across relatives, your self-esteem hitting rock bottom, and real financial pressures. 

Now that my finances are far from the lean past, I would say it’s now that I think and act like a poor person. I consciously don’t dress up like a rich person. I don’t bring lots of cash, and if I have too, I would be very scared because I commute. Though a lot of people, including my family would tell me to buy a car, I wouldn’t want too because of high parking costs in Makati (where I work) and depreciating cost of a car (though nowadays, private vehicles seem to be a necessity due to increasing mobility in social locations such as malls, churches and hospitals). 

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Biblical Verse # 2
“But divide your investments among many places, for you do not know what risks might lie ahead.” Ecclesiastes 11:2 NLT

This verse surprised me. I never thought I could find a biblical verse on risk diversification! If you notice, whenever you open a mutual fund, there is a Client Suitability Assessment document that a customer needs to fill out. When I opened a BPI UITF (for the future kids), I filled out an online assessment form. Normally, a client will be classified under the following categories, depending on the scores in the assessment:

Conservative
Moderately Conservative
Moderately Aggressive
Aggressive

Obviously, I was classified as Aggressive (it was also the same comment I got from a rich old owner of a vast land in Antipolo – I bought some little lots there at the mountaintop, together with my brother, and my boyfriend.

The riskiest investment I’ve had is forex trading. When I tried trading (without any knowledge, without any mentor, without any system or technical knowhow, only my big guts and pride), there I was staring at the computer screen with my Php5,000 (about $119) wiped out in seconds. Good thing it was just bonus money (money that was from my performance bonus, which I cared less to lose). Still, it was Php5,000. Php5,000 worth of groceries it must have been. Php5,000 worth of shoes and clothes it must have been. If not for my silly act. 

(On FX trading, I would recommend the micro account of FXCM. This I think is a cheap start to learn forex trading. You can also do credit card transfers to your FXCM account. But please, please trade at your own risk). 

My second big loss (so far and I guess the last) was in stock trading. I lost about Php13,000 all in all, from cutting losses, accepting stock trade defeats, and out of learning the lessons (which I needed to then). Again, it was the amount of money I could afford to lose. My stock earnings now are far greater, enough for my down payment to the house, and enough for me to buy properties (even down payments to cover) will do. I’m happy that my losses in the past have inspired me to take greater risks, now calculated and now covered.

(On stock trading, I would recommend local online brokerage houses like Citiseconline, Philstocks, Wealth Securities, BPITrade and First Metro Securities. The guy from a brokerage house I did not mention here made me so annoyed. I hope brokerage firms staff get trained in customer service. Unless they really want to lose potential clients).

Never again did I and will I lose money, on zero knowledge.
Only on something percent knowledge. LOL

Biblical Verse #3
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:33

I confess that I went through an “addiction.” That is, money addiction. Material addiction. Food addiction. It was a seemingly unstoppable hunger for money, for sources of money, for good trades, for winning and no-loss trades. It was a stage of pride, envy, power, hunger and exploitation. It was a fierce, sleepless nights! Aggression was feeding into my system. It was like I was free then from the slavery of poverty, and never again will I ever be poor (materially).  

Then after some time, I realized that I was cash rich, but spiritually poor. I realized that there was no God in this money, no God in materialism, no God in despair and sorrow. It was because I longed to be right. I longed to be accepted, due to a dark childhood past that I wanted to let go. 

Then I saw my family member getting ill. The moment I realized the darkness, I realized the light in the desert experience. I saw his physical suffering, I wanted to earn money to buy medicines. I wanted to be rich to send him to a good hospital. I wanted money to be able to support the health needs of my other family members. It was the time I prayed to God and seek His healing for my father, that money cannot buy. It was the time I understood that I was healed too from the money addiction. That money can make me holy, not worse, if the purpose is for a greater good.

All these three biblical verses inspired me to become a better advocate of personal finance. Though my inclination is in stock trading, I want to share the love of service through money making schemes. My ultimate dream is to establish a zoo for lonely cats and dogs in the street. ^^

The Holy Bible
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