The right understanding about ownership truth

Financial stewardship is an interesting subject with many young adults who are interested in, especially at that stage in life where they starts to have families and trying to manage their life and their responsibilities.

We have a parable spoken by the Lord Jesus which would be useful as a guide to our understanding on what it means to be wise stewards:

“Matthew 25:15 And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey. 16 Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents. 17 And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two. 18 But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord’s money. 

“In truth, we actually do not owned anything in this life and whatever we do owned, these are only talents deposited with us by God. These are the resources given to us for use in our life, to generates godly returns in this temporal world, eventually, for an account given to God on our faithfulness in stewardship”

So what have I learned and gained?

As with most “average Joe on the street”, I have a family with responsibility to provide bread and butter, a roof over their heads and perhaps also those extra “finer things in life”.  And so I relates to many ordinary folks who are colleagues, friends and social acquaintances for which most things in life are fairly common denominator for us, except that I do have some success with financial independence apart from drawing an income from a regular job.

Many have asked me that one important question, ” How do I make it?”

I don’t speaks from a professional financial consultant standpoint but I would just share some basic thoughts and truths that will leads to success, and this is speaking from my experiences through the years.

Point #1 – Find  ways to get more bangs for your dollars.

I started off with a family, a wife who is a stay-at-home mum and a young daughter. And because I am the only person holding a job and drawing an income, I do have to consider ways to generate a second income. To generate that second income, I need to make my money works for me. That brings me to be very careful with how my money is being used. I could spend it and waste it to indulge myself or I could use it only when I am able to get value out of it being used.

An example would be I would rather buy the special tools that cost as much as getting someone to come fix some leak as that tools. Once acquired these tools would be used many more time, thus giving me value for money and so have saving by doing more DIYs, as well as saving time and convenience.

Another example: Under a program, I was given benefits to acquire a car, either purchase new in that country or import one from my country, for use and totally tax-free. I would not spend a couple of 100K to enjoy a new car but instead I imported a fairly new car to use for the cost of a scrap, around 40K due to being able to recovers all taxes and values from having it exported out.  The point is to get more value for my money, not trying to impress nor unnecessary indulgences.

Point #2 – Grow your money

Anyone who understands economics would knows what is inflation. One of the scheme in my country is a forced saving scheme where my money is deducted every month to goes into an account where I will not get to use except to buy my roof over my head or put into some investment “approved as safe”. So I decided that I would be better off if I “round-trip” my money out from the scheme through buying a house and getting rental. I max out the house installment to equal to all that I put in and having it back to me in cash through rental. That started my first property that is used to grow my money and making money works for me as then I was noticing that the property value was growing higher than the inflation rate or the currency shrinking rate.

Point #3 – Spend only your excess and maintain strong investment fund

Man by nature are self-indulgent creatures and have a tendencies to spend for that enjoyment and seeking pleasure. Many people spend freely on having a fanciful car, expensive renovation on a new home, expensive overseas holidays for an entire family. Such extravagances are mainly found with the rich people who have excess wealth to lose on these kind of spending.

For people to grow their money through prudent investments, it is all the more unwise to spend on indulgences unless one has the excess cash in abundance.

The point is once this money is spent, we will have less to invest whenever an opportunity arises. Also the x amount of money is easily spent but much difficult to earn back this x amount.

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Point #4 – Do not despise small beginnings

So now we have our own house and we have a spare room. We could maximizes the use of available resources or we could just let the opportunity to earn income slips away. By renting out that spare room and having a tenant that regularly gives you a small rental income, now I have my money working for me, minimum effort on my part. From this first rental, it grows to more rental revenue opportunities which is an important stream of income as the days, then the weeks, then the months, then the years gone by very quickly and we managed to tap the flow without losing it. That becomes my second income comparable to my first income in later times.

“Zechariah 4:10 For who hath despised the day of small things? for they shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel with those seven; they are the eyes of the LORD, which run to and fro through the whole earth.”

You may start small in whatever endeavors but never doubt that a small beginning can leads to bigger things. Believe in God and believe in yourself.

Point #5 – Passion

I have always been interested in property investment since I started working and so I followed news about property to know my subject of interest well. So after some time of staying in my first home, I decided to cash out with good profit as the price of property started to rise significantly with changes to government policy. I acquired another property, also through the forced saving scheme but now I have managed to get some cash to invest. With this cash, I make another property investment which would give me some significant profit after few years. These profits are put aside and used mainly to roll as I get into other property investments one after another. At the peak of my property investments, I was holding four properties and a mortgage loan of a million dollars, purely funded by rentals. The investment climate was favorable then and it was the right timing and I was there to catch the winds in my sails that I safely sail through to a safe harbor.

“Nehemiah 1:2 That Hanani, one of my brethren, came, he and certain men of Judah; and I asked them concerning the Jews that had escaped, which were left of the captivity, and concerning Jerusalem. 3 And they said unto me, The remnant that are left of the captivity there in the province are in great affliction and reproach: the wall of Jerusalem also is broken down, and the gates thereof are burned with fire. 4 And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days, and fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven,

Nehemiah 2:5 And I said unto the king, If it please the king, and if thy servant have found favour in thy sight, that thou wouldest send me unto Judah, unto the city of my fathers’ sepulchres, that I may build it.

 Nehemiah 4:17 They which builded on the wall, and they that bare burdens, with those that laded, every one with one of his hands wrought in the work, and with the other hand held a weapon. 18 For the builders, every one had his sword girded by his side, and so builded. And he that sounded the trumpet was by me.

Nehemiah 4:6 So built we the wall; and all the wall was joined together unto the half thereof: for the people had a mind to work.”

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Point #6 – Hard work

There is no such thing as easy money. Many who have spoken to me, looking for some kind of advice tends to see the whole journey of my experience as within a short time frame which is actually not the case. There are a series of major moves and happenings requiring lots of efforts and hard work to get it on an even keel before the success and the rewards came.

“Proverbs 13:11 Wealth gotten by vanity shall be diminished: but he that gathereth by labour shall increase.”

There is house moving from one house to another. There are renovations projects to take charge of. There is the search for suitable tenants and settling these tenants in. There is the maintenance and repairs during tenancies to work on, mainly DIY if possible. Unless I am willing to come out of my comfort zone so as to ensure that my chances of succeeding is higher, so I have to work more than my regular work hours and harder too.  Sadly, this is one area that many are not willing to work on so much so that even when success is within grasp, they lose it by giving up a winning position half way through.

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Point #7 – Recognizing opportunities and seizing opportunities

Opportunity #1:

One must constantly be on the lookout for opportunities such as scouring through advertisements for good investment products/properties. And one also has to be mindful of the saying: “the early bird catches the worm.” Once there was an advertisement that appears to be of such good value/low price as I has information about this project during their launching that I decided to check it out without losing time. Having seen the pristine condition and the asking price, I convince my partner to get on board and immediately we placed a deposit and secure the deal. Needless to say, it eventually turns out a good deal and eventually I dispose of it with a very good profit.

Opportunity #2:

Another time a good opportunity came by was when a colleague during coffee break talk, he was showing me his purchase of his property. As the price and the terms offered by the Developer was very attractive, considering that a major event has happened nearby the development, I was pretty sure that it was going to be a good deal. Very quickly I pulled my partner along and visited the showroom, convinced that it was a good value deal secured it without hesitation. The deal also is easy on my cash flow as only a one-time deposit and the rest by a defer interest bank loan, no payment till collecting keys. The timing was incredible as the defer interest incentive was removed after one months and it would be impossible for me to purchased this property without this incentive.

Opportunity #3:

In year 2009, I was sent by organization to help with a major project which sees me being seconded over to a sister plant in Johor for one year.Sensing that the property market in this new green field development has lots of potentials and considering the low price entry bar then would affords lots of opportunities, it is time to divest one property for the fund to move into this investment.So within a year of being posted in Johor, I am able to use the opportunity of being in Johor physically to work on the acquiring of a few houses at low price and eventually sold one for huge profit-taking, a 400% return over initial outlay.

“Ecclesiastes 3:6 A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

“Opportunity, once missed, is as good as gone and any further moves will not produce the optimum objectives”

Remembering also that He has His plan and purpose in our life for His glory, see: HIS RESOURCES PLACE TEMPORARILY WITH US

 Point #8 – Maintain low profile and avoids detractors

One of the factors for me having the success in financial management is keeping a low profile to avoid detractors. Holding a job with an organization and being highly involved in other activities outside of the organization scope is not something that most management would take kindly to. So for many a years, while earning that salary and a respectable job with a respectable organization, which I then use as tools  for my investment moves, it has been very helpful that no one knows about my such activities. Detractors, naysayers, negative and envious people can be an obstacles and sometimes can caused us problems to our success, should such people decides that you should not be more successful than them.

Whether we succeed or not, having a low key would at least lessen any pain if the investments failed.

And having been through a few economic cycles, we therefore also be mindful of these:

*We must be cautious with unknown investments

*Not all investments will be successful

*Invest only what you can afford to lose so your life will continue with less disruptions

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True success – spiritual financial success

Here are a few biblical principles that when we follows with regards to our earthly wealth, God will surely helps us to succeed to glorify His name:

*The way we treat wealth also shows our acts of repentance before God.Luke 19:8 And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold.
 
*We are vessels of blessings through which God’s blessings will flow through us to others for them to receive. so it is more blessed to give than to receive.“Acts 20:35 I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.”
*Whatever earthly wealth you are given you should freely gave for the kingdom’s and the gospel’s sake. For then you will in no way lose your blessings here on earth and also your eternal rewards in Heaven.“Ecclesiastes 11:1 Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days.”

“Ps 112:9 He hath dispersed, he hath given to the poor; his righteousness endureth for ever; his horn shall be exalted with honour.”

*It is wise to use mammon for the purpose of being friends to those who will receives you into everlasting habitations“Luke 16:8 And the lord commended the unjust steward, because he had done wisely: for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light. 9 And I say unto you, Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that, when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations.
*Correct values in handling earthly riches if it is bestows upon us. Do not be covetous or greedy:“1Titus 6:6 But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. 8 And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. 9 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. 10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”
*The love of money is the root of all evilLuke 16:13 No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.”
*Earthly wealth is given to us as the means for our living and not the ends to be accumulated and overly hoard:“Matthew 19:24 And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.”
*God allows a good man to leave an inheritance to our descendents:Pr 13:22 A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children’s children: and the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just.

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19 After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them. 20 And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more. 21 His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. 22 He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them. 23 His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.

24 Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed: 25 And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine. 26 His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed: 27 Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury. 28 Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents.

29 For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.”

However and most important of all is the Divine Interventions and Blessings that will guarantee true financial success as well as spiritual success.

“Psalms 127:1 A Song of degrees for Solomon. Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.”

“The Lord Jesus has a plan and purpose for all those who believes in Him according to the will of our Heavenly Father. It is His desires to help us to fulfils that plan and purpose in our lives.”

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