As Barren Ground Gets So Goes Lackadaisical Investing


by Dave Miller

The bare ground of the empty garden was being overrun by weeds in a short few weeks. So I tilled the ground last night and scattered the Jerry oats. With the dirt knocked loose and the weeds stunned the oat seeds I spread can find a hold and quickly overpower the weeds.

  The seed is planted and has a good chance to grow. No weeds to hinder the growth. Fertile ground to root into. At the sight of the greenness we will see the fruits of the labor, our toil combined with productive soil coming to fruition.

Is neutrality possible? The first law of motion says: The velocity of a body remains constant unless the body is acted upon by an external force. So something at rest stays at rest. Unless an outside force affects it. It stays at rest if nothing affects it, but something is always affecting something.

To invest or not to invest. That is the question.

When I say invest I mean good investing, not the I’m-too-uncertain-so-I-will-stick-it-in-bank flavor of investing.

Good Investing; By making good investments of time, money and knowledge you will grow in confidence and intellect. When you see your seeds multiply, your heart will be happy and content. This is not always easy, it’s work, but it’s rewarding.

Bad Investing; When investments go bad they deflate the morale, they squash and humiliate. Your attitude and life will be affected, like it or not, it just will.

Neutrality; By not investing your money, holding it in cash or putting it in a savings account for ½% interest a year, you are not moving. As Isaac Newton said, a body at rest stays at rest unless affected by an external force. The external force is never at rest. If you are not investing wisely you can go backwards, but if you do not invest, you will also go backwards. Neutrality is not an option. The outside force is in motion and if it is going faster than you then you are going backwards.  

Here a few reasons why “neutral” money holding doesn’t exist.

  • If you invest at a ½% in the bank you are (1) not keeping up with inflation (2) your reward sucks so the incentive to save more is squashed.
  • When sitting on cash you (1) are not keeping up with inflation (2) are prone to spend more than needed because it’s visible and accessible. Money in your pocket has a way of disappearing.
  • Did I mention inflation? According to our government inflation has been around 2% to 3% but has jumped to around 3.75% last month. Now we could spend a whole paper on the inaccuracy of these government statistics but we will let it go for now. Nevertheless, they may be inaccurate but the experts agree they are pushed down, meaning in reality they are higher. So if you are not making in excess of 4% to 5% you are floating backwards. Your money will buy less in the future.

The ground does not like to be barren. It will cover itself. Its default is weeds. So if you choose to sit by idly it will cover itself with weeds. Do I want weeds?  No. I will work, till, and plant to create an environment that allows the ground the produce. Today it’s raining steadily. I smile because I planned and prepared.

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Good and Bad Run on Parallel Tracks and Usually Arrive About the Same Time


By Dave Miller

Today there is a gigantic sucking sound heard throughout the United States of America.  April 15th, Tax Day.  Massive amounts of money left the hands of honest hard working citizens. It landed in the hands of the federal government, a place we would not regard a worthy investment. We would advise any good friend to avoid buying into a company so dreadfully run. Steer clear. Make extra effort to maneuver around it.

  • The Bad: My hard-earned money funding activities considered corrupt and morally wrong. Behavior a Christian would view as sinful to be funding or directly involved in.
  • The Good: I take a good hard look at my blessings. I reflect, questioning my expenses and activities. Every year I ask the same questions; where did it all go? Did I take for granted the plenty? Did I count my blessings enough? Then I start to recollect expenses that accumulated, good and bad. I adjust and plan for the better. I learn and vow to be a better steward.

Am I advocating not paying taxes? Au contraire.

Rather I view it as both good and bad. The wasted funds are gone but I identified them as such. Now that they are acknowledged I adjust accordingly; a renewed effort to make frugality prevail. Wiser investments will be made. Less money wasted on frivolous consumables. If I had not looked at the bad I would not be considering making improvements for the better.

Do not dilute the bad with the good to smooth things out. Look at evil as evil, and good as good. Nevertheless, I focus on the good to maintain my sanity. Still at all times believing that good will overcome the bad. Focusing on the good doesn’t mean I turn a blind eye to the bad and pretend it absent. It is present. It is bad. View it as bad and the good as good.

Tragedies happen, people get hurt, some die. We see school shootings, molestations, vehicle accidents and the like, as heartrending times. They are. When a heart is rending, it does hurt, it is not a false prognosis. Even casual bystanders’ heartstrings are tugged. The pain is real.

But can we survive if we focus only on the negative elements? Do we believe that only bad comes from these events? If the world is such an awful place then why does good come from these appalling trials? Timelessly we are reminded God has a bigger scope, but still they are just that; appalling, awful and bad.

Then out of the blue we see daffodil sprouts peeking through the barren ground. Moments ago it appeared so bleak, now it is emitting cheer in a desolate time. Soon the entire garden is flaunting its splendor. A rainbow materializes showing a promise of hope.  We stand in awe. Just when we thought there was no hope and all was lost, that barren dirt transformed into a peacock of color. Beautiful it is, yet only eight inches below the delicate flower is soil. Brown dirt; a substance easily changed to mud with a sprinkle of rain or to dust with the lack thereof. But, nevertheless, the flower blooms. The dirt remains, however it is overwhelmed with an array of grandeur. Hope is renewed, bringing forth confidence in God’s paradoxical plan. A rainbow at the end of the tunnel. In believing that the rainbow existed from the start, we can see optimism in the drear, feel love during the ugliness and have faith in the grip of trepidation.

The fact that good came from the bad doesn’t discount the bad. Flowers grew out of the dirt. That doesn’t make the dirt less dirty nor the flowers less beautiful. Good remains good and flowers are still appealing. Dirt is still dirt and evil is evil yet.

Quotable Quote: “Good and bad run on parallel tracks and usually arrive about the same time.” – Dr. Ron Dunn

Published in: on April 15, 2010 at 4:05 am  Comments (1)  
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