The Richest Man in Babylon should be required reading

There’s something mystical and thrilling about books – the excitement of choosing which new book you will get to sample, the smell of the paper, the feel of the pages in your hand, the new characters that become almost friends. If you are a Nook reader, it remains just as stimulating – an awakening  where you can gather knowledge and be transported to another world, all through the power of words!  Books are my thing.  In general, I have approximately four books going at once: For the spirit Straight fiction (allowed only at the gym as motivation) Some sort of self-help To better my working financial knowledge. In all honesty, I have not been held particularly rapt by the last book category, not for lack of interest but because many of the books are simply difficult to digest.  For that exact reason, I am writing a series on financial books, to help you pick some easy-to-read and really informative financial literature.  If you have already read the book I suggest, then GREAT.  Maybe even read it again?!  If you have not read it, I hope you’ll give it a try. I believe that almost everyone age 14 or older will absorb a great deal out of The Richest Man In Babylon by George S. Clason ©1926.  In fact, I feel it should be required reading in both high schools and universities.  My copy has large print and only 158 pages.  It is a quick read, with easy to understand suggestions and practical applications.  Additionally, it is entertaining in an almost cinematic way. Overview It is a book of parables set in ancient Babylon.  It focuses on two best friends (Bansir and Kobbi) who have worked hard but have nothing to show for it.  They ask a third friend (Arkad), who has accumulated much wealth and is a happy man, how he did it.   Arkad wisely instructs his friends, “no man… | Read More »

A three-step process to generous giving

An ancient, Biblical concept, the art of joyful giving has enjoyed a resurgence in recent years as investors work toward the twin goals of defining success today, and establishing a lasting legacy for tomorrow. “To be a generous giver is not only noble in the altruistic sense, but for practical reasons as well. It’s a critical component of a well-devised financial plan,” said Christina Winch, CFP®. “If you’re making money, you have to learn to give back. That’s the secret to a fulfilling life.” As a founding member of Kingdom Advisors, Christina has helped guide this group of independent Christian financial advisors to enormous growth, based on the concept of Biblically sound investing. What began as a concept in 1981 has become an international force. Larry Burkett initially asked a group of 16 advisors, including Christina, to form the board of directors for what was then known as the Christian Financial Planning Institute. Today, Kingdom Advisors includes 1,360 advisors from 72 communities around the world. A recurring theme for Kingdom Advisors has been the art of generous giving. “A large part of the reward that you get from your finances, and the way you get the most contentment and fulfilment in life, is by sharing what you have with others,” Christina said. “It’s exciting to give; it’s gratifying to make a difference in the world.” At Winch Financial, the wealth management and financial planning company Christina founded in 1981, we advocate a three-step approach to charitable giving to ensure your plan is both effective and joyful. We call it the Giving Three. This is a critical step and should be discussed with your financial advisor. Evaluate your finances and determine how much you intend to contribute to charitable causes annually. As important as choosing the amount you will donate, is determining the direction your funds will go. Take time to choose charities that speak to your heart. The key to… | Read More »

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, we salute a generous man

During this beautiful season of giving, we’d like to take a moment to salute a most generous man. Pastor Ron Vignec, founder of the Eastside/Salishan Lutheran Mission in Tacoma, Washington and brother of Winch Financial CEO Christina Winch, devoted his life to ministering to the poor and disenfranchised. He created a mission congregation in Tacoma’s low-income public housing development and championed the idea of building communities from within, a movement called Asset Based Community Development. When he died on November 17, Pastor Ron left behind a legacy of hope among a diverse group of people, many of whom wrote moving tributes to a man they saw as a father figure. Fittingly, Pastor Ron played Santa Claus each year for the mission’s children. He served as pastor of the mission he founded from 1985 until his retirement in 2009, but remained actively involved in the community until his death. He received numerous awards for his work, including the PLU President’s Award in 2002, the City of Tacoma Martin Luther King Achievement Award in 2009, the Associated Ministry’s Ecumenical Award in 2005, the Greater Tacoma Peace Prize in 2007 and the Lutheran Community Services Briehl Award in 2009. Though he appreciated these acknowledgements, Pastor Ron found his real reward in his work, supporting, defending, advocating and listening to those in need, including refugees, recovering addicts and victims of violence. In honor of Pastor Ron, we ask each of you to be a little extra kind to each other, to define your generosity a little more broadly and to celebrate the cultural diversity our proud country offers. Happy Thanksgiving and may God bless you all.

What the Bible really says about money

With roughly  2,350 references to money, the Bible has plenty to say about a subject many people struggle to understand. Does God plan to bar rich people from heaven? Is money the root of all evil? Does God want people to be poor? According to recent Green Bay Packer Hall of Fame Inductee Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila, an interpretation of what God says about money requires careful study, because a missed word or two dramatically changes the message. “God wants you to be a good steward of what He has given you,” he said. “People say that money is the root of all evil, but the Bible says it is the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. There is a big difference. You can see that in the NFL. Players who set out to pursue money end up losing their soul.  The money itself is not the problem, it’s how you look at it.” Gbaja-Biamila cites a commonly misquoted verse in Bible as a source for this belief. The King James Version says: Children, how hard is it for them that TRUST in riches to enter into the kingdom of God! 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. And they were astonished out of measure, saying among themselves, Who then can be saved? And Jesus looking upon them saying, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible. (Mark 10 24-27) “God is not saying in this verse that rich people will not be accepted into heaven,” Kabeer said. “He’s warning those that trust in riches. Unfortunately, there are some translations that don’t have the word “trust” in it. That makes all the difference in the world. So it’s not a wealth issue, it’s a trust issue. Looking to riches and… | Read More »