Introduction

For many people, investing feels complicated and intimidating.

It can seem complicated because of the unique language used by investors, such as “bull markets” and “bear markets,” “asset allocation” and “exchange-traded funds.” What does it all mean?

It can seem intimidating because of how quickly—and how far—the stock market can fall.

This study is designed to put your fears at rest and to equip you with the knowledge, confidence, and biblical foundation you need to invest successfully. It will give you essential information along with specific steps to profitably manage the money that’s been entrusted to you.

Ultimately, you’ll be better equipped to provide for your family—now and in the future.

Throughout this study, you’ll hear many references to retirement. Our intent is not to support the cultural idea of retirement as an extended time of leisure. In the Bible, there’s just one reference to retirement and that pertained only to Levitical priests (Numbers 8:25)! Your entire life is to be lived in service to God, and your post-career days are when you may be able to have your greatest Kingdom impact. Our references to retirement are simply an acknowledgement that as you get older, your ability to earn income may decrease, so it’s good stewardship to prepare financially for such a time.

If you complete all of the steps in this study, you will end up with a written investment plan tailored to your unique circumstances and goals. While it is our deep desire that this study will improve your experience with investing in very practical, tangible ways, that isn’t our only objective.

Everything we do at Sound Mind Investing is motivated by a desire to glorify God and to encourage others to do likewise. After all, when

Jesus was asked directly what matters most, he said, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” (Matthew 22:37).

That’s why each of the four sessions in this study contains questions designed to help you explore and more fully embrace God’s teaching about money. The homework between sessions will encourage you to go deeper into God’s Word, pray about how each topic applies to you, and memorize Scripture.

All of these exercises will help you take a truly biblical approach to investing. All are essential, not only for becoming more effective in your money management, but for becoming more faithful as well.