The Emotional Side of Investing: Part III – Greed

by: Cassandra Laymon, CFP®, MBA

But people who long to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many foolish and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction. ~1 Timothy 6:9

A while ago I was invited to party where I met Mark, a very successful businessman. Mark is so wealthy, in fact, that even when I was a kid, fantasizing about what it would look like to be successful – I didn’t dream that big.

When Mark learned that I am a financial advisor, he wanted to talk about the markets and our investment strategy, which I was more than happy to do. We talked for over two hours, where I shared the principles of Biblically Responsible Investing, although I didn’t use that terminology. I knew Mark was not a believer, and I was interested in continuing the conversation and learning about Mark’s heart, not about making a sale.

At the end of our time together, where I had passionately shared about our view on not investing in companies that prey on the addictions of others, he said, “I think I should invest in those companies  because that is where I’ll make the most money!”

I was broken-hearted to hear those words. I realized that one conversation with me is not going change years and years of Mark’s striving to have and be more. I also became clear that while greed is defined as an excessive desire for wealth or possessions, greed and generosity are not mutually exclusive.

You see, Mark is also one of the most generous people I have ever met.  While the causes he supports are not necessarily in alignment with what I support, he donates millions of dollars each year to causes he considers to be worthy.

It made me think about the fact that when we are generous in our giving, we can overlook our driving nature and desire for more stuff or accolades that are bigger and better than what we have now.

I have discovered that money is one area that is very challenging to align with biblical principles. Even if you are spending within your means and you are a generous giver, the investing part of your financial picture is harder to give over to God. By nature, we only think of investing as a way to accumulating more, but we don’t necessarily consider the kinds of businesses practices that we are investing in to achieve our goals.

Consider this: As a Christian, how are you different than Mark? You may be financially very successful and you may be a generous giver. However, unless you have made a decision to invest according to biblical principles, the kinds of businesses you are investing in probably looks exactly like Mark’s.

We have a great opportunity to set ourselves apart as Christian investors by divesting our dollars from business we oppose and funding businesses that align with our values.  If you don’t know what businesses you are investing in, please go to https://www.beaconwealth.com/screen-your-portfolio/ and we will provide a report that you can use to discuss with your financial advisor. Now is the time to know what you own!

Financial Planning & Investment Advisory services offered through Beacon Wealth Consultants, Inc.