· An Asset is anything that generates income. Many people feel their house is their greatest asset. However, for most of us this is not the case. If you are paying a mortgage or rent on a home it can only be an asset if your expenses for that home are outweighed by money created by it. For example, your total monthly house expenses (including taxes, maintenance, etc.) are $1,500/mo and you rent out part of the home & also charge a local farmer for using some of your land to grow some of her crops. The money generated is $1,700/mo. In this case your house is an asset because all your expenses are covered & you have excess cash. In this case the excess is $200 a month of profit- this house is an asset because it generated $200 in income.
Matthew 25:14- 30 is one of my favorite verses concerning money and being responsible with the gifts God gives us. It tells of a man who was about to leave for a long trip. He called his three servants to him and entrusted each with a portion of his funds. When this man returned, both the first and second servants had doubled the money untrusted to them. However, the third- out of fear of monetary loss- buried the cash so that he would be sure to still have all his master had entrusted to him. Upon returning the master was not pleased! He rewarded his first two servants for their shrewdness saying, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’ However, to the third he said, “‘You wicked and lazy servant,… you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest.” When I read this story I think to myself, “What did those first two servants do to multiply their money? Did they start businesses, buy some sort of primitive stocks or did they invest in some sort of agricultural venture?” One thing is for sure, whatever the venture was, they created an asset- something that helped yield added funds. They didn’t squander it, spend money on a lottery ticket or just put it in a safe place. They made a wise decision on how to multiply what they were entrusted with and were able to look their master in the eye with confidence that they had done the right thing. Can you say that about your money habits? Would the Lord look down on you with pleasure and say, “Well done!?” (which should be a Christians ultimate goal) Or will you be punished like the third servant who was stripped of his blessings?
So, Taz, how do I create assets?
Actually there are many avenues. Recently I have been investigating Common Stocks, (aka Penny Stocks). I have to say I am not upset at the results. The stock market is full of opportunity for those with limited funds or those blessed with excess cash. I know, I know, ”Investing in stocks too risky!”, right? Keep in mind the third servant- who was stripped of all he was given- thought that risk was not worth the possible gains and his master was not pleased when he returned. Out of “fear” he did nothing and as a result he did not please his Master.
However, those first two servants did not cower to the spirit of fear; instead they looked for smart, wise, profitable, Godly opportunities and moved forward with their investing. We have the same opportunity. Dive into the Word, pray to God for help in making the right investment decision in order to create assets which lead to financial freedom. The internet is full of opportunities to learn about the stock market and a lot of them are FREE! Yes, you can learn the basics and even the more technical/complex lessons needed to make wise investments and you pay zero, zip, zilch, nada, nothin’ for this education! So your excuses for not knowing have just run out.
Owning a small, part time business is another smart way to build an asset. Consider what you love to do. As the great Mary Kay Ashe said, “Find something you love to do and someone will pay you a lot of money to do it.” God has blessed you with talents and passion. I believe these can be great indicators as to what type of business you should start. If you are a natural born teacher and talker, motivational speaking may be your avenue. If you love to paint, see if the local small businesses need an artist to paint logos or scenes in their business windows. If you happen to be a whiz at personal finance, look into teaching others to be better with money.
Phillipians 4:13 says, “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” God didn’t say
“I have power to help you with everything, except creating assets, when it comes to that… you’re on your own, sorry”.
In fact when I read the passage about the three servants it seems to me that the master expected a return on His investment. It would stand to reason that God expects the same of us. (Note: I am not saying God commands us to be rich, only smart with the funds He has entrusted us with.)
To all those who insist that it just “seems too risky”; keep in mind there is risk in your current traditional job also. You take a risk each day that you won’t get fired tomorrow. You take a risk by trusting your car or public transportation to get you to your job on time each day. You are taking a risk that your boss doesn’t go bankrupt and have no money to pay you. Also, you may want to google “layoffs in 2012” The results may surprise you. It comes down to this: Would you rather be taking a risk while building your boss’ dream or while building your own?
Assets can be created while you are working your nine-to-five. I started with a certain network marketing company a while back. A lot of folks have said to me, “I just don’t have the time to do that”. I ask them, “If your boss offered over time right now, would you take it?” Of course, they say “Yes”. I reply, “If you have time to work extra hours for your boss, you have time to work a few hours for yourself, do you not?”
I am not a millionaire by any means but I can honestly say that my part time business gives me the opportunity to be on in the near future. Can you say that about your traditional job?
Here’s something to consider: If you were the Michael Jordon at your job would it lead you to a prosperous lifestyle? Would your current job lead to the ability to give money to the poor, tithe a massive amount to your Church, or take yearly family vacations in order to build lasting memories with those you love?
Savings accounts, bonds, bank CDs, Money Market Accounts, etc. Your options are varied and many when it comes to creating assets. The only real question is: Are you going to choose to be disciplined enough to start creating these assets or will you settle for your current lack of financial freedom?
The Choice is yours!
1. Stocks for Dummies: A really good book you can get on amazon.com or audible.com
2. The four of the following sites allow you to
· Sign up for a free accounts
· Watch free educational webinars & videos or read free articles (I suggest you start with the first one listed)
Starting a business:
1. Small Business For Dummies
2. The Business of the 21st Century by Robert Kiyosaki
3. Network Marketing for Dummies by Zig Ziglar
So far, in this 6-part series- we have discussed the dangers of Over-Spending and tackled the idea of Creating Assets with the money you’ve saved. Next topic- Getting out and Staying out Of Debt. Not overspending and Creating assets are ways to deal with debt but we will dive a bit deeper into the debt problem in Part 3. Pray, take a deep breath and prepare to be totally honest with yourself. It’s gonna be….interesting.