Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Great Weath. Is it worth the costs?

Acquiring great wealth requires the strong desire to do so. The desire to have money can be the ruin of a happy life. I was just listening to a discussion about the corruption in the oil for food program at the UN. Those who have power over money are often tempted to steal it.

Nothing new here, one of the richest men to ever live was the King of an area presently known as Afghanistan; his name, Machmud of Ghazni. He lived from 971 until 1030 and made his money by stealing it. Machmud was ruthless. He paid huge sums to maintain a huge army. He raided neighboring countries and took all the gold, silver and valuables they had.

Ecclesiastes 5:10 reads, "Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income." Machmud never got enough. He would kill every man, women and child in a village to acquire their possessions. Ecclesiastes 5:11 " ...and what benefit are they (possessions) to the owner except to feast his eyes on them?" Finally the best verse of all, Ecclesiastes5:12 reads, "The sleep of the laborer is sweet, whether he eats little or much, but the abundance of a rich man permits him no sleep."

When I was about 10 years old, my Dad gave me a book titled something like The Richest Man in Babylon. It was the story of a man who taught a young boy to invested 10% of his income. Of course the boy became the richest man in Babylon and passed the book to others.

It is tough to give 10% to ones church and save another 10%. I am guilty of working too hard to acquire wealth. For a number of years, my wife and I found ourselves forced to invest considerably more than 10% of income. Our real estate mortgages had to be paid and the amounts going toward principle grew month after month. We were in debt too much to qualify for refinancing. We discovered that those who manage to make it a habit of putting the first 20% where it belongs find life to be good. Their families eat well, live in warm homes and have many friends.

Invest 10% of your income each month. Have the funds deducted automatically. Sleep well and get rich slowly. It does not take much time to manage your investments if you take the correct long-term approach. Live a rich life and receive your just rewards!