Wealthiest by Definition, Poorest by Default

How did the United States, the world’s richest and wealthiest nation, closed down its government and come to the brink of a catastrophic default on its debt that could send shockwaves through the fragile world economy? Relax. The worst is yet to come.

US DEBT shot up to reach more than 100 per cent of gross domestic, Treasury figures showed. The new borrowing took total public debt to US$17 trillion, and putting it in a league with highly indebted countries like Greece and Spain.

Public debt subject to the official debt limit – a slightly tighter definition – was US$17 trillion, rising from the previous official cap of US$14.29 trillion a year earlier. Treasury had used extraordinary measures to hold under the cap, while politicians battled over it and over   addressing the country’s bloating deficit. The official limit was hiked US$400 billion and will be increased in stages over the next 18 months.

Looking at these statistics, it is not hard to see why debt generates so much news and discussions. The average American family devotes at least 25 percent, some as much as 50 percent, of its spendable income to paying outstanding debts. And that’s during sound economic growth. In financially difficult times, indebtedness can imperil our survival. Unfortunately, indebtedness has become a pillar of America’s financial framework. Both nationally and domestically. Greed will bring about global financial disaster – on a Biblical scale.

Dire economic downturns — including the worst since the Great Depression of   the 1930s — giant tax cuts, costly wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and a pricey new health program all helped sour Washington’s fiscal picture. Or, as President Barack Obama put it literally in a speech  “For the last decade, we’ve spent more money than we took in.” Nervous Americans are bombarding their financial advisers with questions about what to   do if the U.S. government defaults on its debt. Although we do not expect the stalemate to result in a temporary default, we now see a more than 50% chance that US sovereign debt will be downgraded by the rating agencies in the coming months. How will America pay its debt? Eventually, the US government will shut down. It’s a matter of when, not if.

When this happens, it will send shock waves across the U.S. economy and the world that will hit consumers and businesses, both struggling through a weak global economic recovery. The debt ceiling debate already is weighing on the economy. The bankers says credit is an important part of your financial identity. the more credit you have, the better your lifestyle can be. “Anything is within your grasp if you can simply get the payments low enough.” Nothing can be further than the truth.

The Bible discourages debt, individually and nationally, because debt presumes upon the future – and on God. If you are concerned about economic uncertainty, the last thing you want to do is to take anything about the future for granted. In fact, debt is a curse. If you go into debt, you are obligated to repay – yet you take on that obligation without knowing for certain whether you will be able to repay or not. Second, debt may deny Him an opportunity to work.

If the financial forecast calls for difficult times ahead, you should work to get rid of all debt. To do otherwise is to presume on the future.

Can USA continue to meet its financial obligations. No way. Ratings agencies have warned the country to reduce its debt-to-GDP ratio quickly   or facing losing its coveted AAA debt rating. That is just the tip of the iceberg. The runaway debt is beyond hope. The entire nation will eventually go over the fiscal cliff. What matters now is: Can  you continue to meet your financial obligations – car payments, credit card bills, housing instalment loans, and the like – if you lost your job? If there is hyperinflation? If the dollar collapses? We now have to view debt through the window of possibly one of the greatest financial crisis since the Great Depression. We have to find answers that will enable you to approach debt with a proper perspective.

Debt is not something that seems to really bother buyers in good times. Yet borrowing money has its price – and it is a cost far greater than you realize. Anytime you use credit to borrow money, you pre-commit your future income. The effects of such obligations can range from simple inconvenience to financial devastation. Many are now paying that price today.

There are two simple principles to keep in mind if you want to work to strengthen your financial position. First, you must increase your financial flexibility, and second, you must reduce your financial constraints. If borrowing money limits financial flexibility, the absence of debt makes for a lifestyle of financial freedom and opportunity. With no, or even low, financial pre-commitments, you will be at liberty to pursue your goals and desires.

The freedom from the financial obligations of debt can spell all the difference in how effectively personal resources can be used by God. Getting rid of any debt, whether it is large home mortgage or a relatively small credit card balance, is a guaranteed profitable investment.

How to get out of debt? Whether your  debt is due to unwise overspending or an unexpected calamity, one thing is certain: Getting out of debt is always harder than getting in. The most effective way to get out of debt is to cut your spending. Establish a realistic repayment plan and discipline yourself to follow it. Beware of over-ambition. Once your strategy is in place, all you need is the  self-discipline to make it work.

Ultimately, it all boils down to 3 simple rules in financial planning: First, spend less than you earn. Second, avoid the use of debt. And lastly, save up for financial uncertainties.

The Bible does show many ways to overcome any financial crisis. Many of these principles are laid out in our successful course, the Scriptural Financial Freedom series. To learn more, you can  download the Small Groups kit from our Store.

Download the MYM Financial app for Android by Master Your Money

Master your money app

master your money app

People are more affluent than ever before. And yet the number one cause of discouragement today is money. Families are especially hard hit. As a result, personal debt is soaring, resulting in an increasing number of financial crises. This MYM app contains useful financial tools that support the overall Master Your Money objectives – no matter what your income is. Click here.

Additional information:

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For more information, go to the website. If you want more details about the Master Your Money app, please go to Auck-D. This MYM app was design and produced by benjaminportfolio.

Global Financial Crisis – Reloaded (video)

As sure as the sun rises, there will be another credit crisis. How do we know? It’s because the entire financial fiat system is based on credit! When is it coming? No doubt, there are plenty of warnings, both in the secular and Christian circles. If you were to read the book of Revelations, there’s one thing that you’ll realise: things are going to get worse. If you are a mother, you’ll understand the meaning of birth pangs mentioned in Matthew. It just gonna get meaner and faster.

For centuries, many investors have slept comfortably in the knowledge that if they diversify their assets wisely among stocks, bonds, commodities and cash, they will do well enough over the long term. But is this a universal principle, or a man-made strategy?

Bottom Line

According to a banker in the banking industry, a person who uses his or her credit card for convenience sake and pays the debt off each month is known as a “deadbeat”. So the first step is to get out of debt. Secondly, no matter how to budget your finances, remember to diversify. That because calamities and misfortunes can occur on the earth anytime.

The Bible does show many ways to overcome any financial crisis. Many of these principles are laid out in our successful course, the Scriptural Financial Freedom series. To learn more, you can  download the Small Groups kit.

Long term investment: Gold vs. property

Appearing on CNBC, former Congressman Ron Paul warned that if the US continues on its current course, the dollar will collapse, and gold will literally be priceless.

“Eventually, if we’re not careful, it will go to infinity, because the dollar will collapse totally,” Paul said on CNBC.com’s Futures Now.

“As long as we have excessive spending, and excessive computerized money, we are going to see gold go up,” Paul urged, noting that as the value of the dollar is destroyed, everything measured against dollars will increase in value.

Paul added that recent drops in gold prices do not factor into the long term outlook. Apparently, he is not alone. Peter Schiff is the icon of a gold bug.

Schiff, 50, isn’t fazed that gold is heading for its first annual price drop in 13 years, or that Goldman Sachs Group Inc. has called it a “slam-dunk sell.” He predicts bullion will reverse its 21 percent year-to-date decline and probably surge 52 percent to reach a record $2,000 an ounce within a year.

That’s just the beginning: Before President Barack Obama leaves office in 2017 the U.S. will default, the dollar will collapse, hyperinflation will strike and gold will skyrocket, he says.

“I’m waiting for the dollar crash, I’m waiting for the real crisis to hit that I know will benefit gold,” Schiff said Oct. 18 over lunch of spinach-and-beet salad and stewed rabbit in the sun room after the radio show. “The longer it takes, the longer I have to wait for that payday. But the longer it takes, the bigger that payday is going to be.”

To hold interest rates low, the Fed will have to keep buying bonds, which means printing more dollars, Schiff said. Foreign countries use them to buy U.S. bonds — in effect lending the U.S. more money to pay back what’s already owed. Governments such as China eventually will balk, Schiff said.

“The minute China tells America, ‘I want my money back, I don’t want to loan it you again, just give me the money,’ then we default,” Schiff said on the radio. “The sooner the Chinese do this the sooner we can start fixing our economy, because the longer they wait, the bigger our problems get.”

Renowned gold expert Jim Sinclair says financial calamity is just around the corner for America.  Sinclair contends, “We are facing the annihilation of currency.  We are facing the shift of America as the leading and most influential nation of the world to some form of banana republic. . . . If it wasn’t for food stamps, we would be facing long lines of people waiting for free food.”  For gold, everything hinges on the U.S. dollar, and Sinclair says, “I think the dollar gets hammered.  I believe we are headed for hyperinflation.”  One of the many black swans, according to Sinclair, is the possible abandonment of the U.S. dollar by Saudi Arabia.  If Saudi Arabia stopped selling oil only in U.S. dollars, what would that do to the buying power of the buck?  Sinclair says gasoline would be “$10 a gallon very soon, without a doubt.”

Sinclair predicts retirement funds and bank deposits are going to be taken by the government.  How much of your money could you lose?  Sinclair says, “In Cyprus, it was a total of 83%. . . . Cypress is the blueprint, and it’s what we are going to experience here in the United States.”  Jim Sinclair, who has just accepted the position as Chairman of the Advisory Board for the establishment of the Singapore Gold Exchange, says, “The exchange will trade physical gold only and not future gold. . . . You have to make delivery.”  Meaning, there will be no naked short selling or manipulation of this new market.  Sinclair says, “This will emancipate gold from the paper price.”  How high will gold go?  Sinclair predicts, by 2016, “Gold will be $3,200 to $3,500 an ounce.”  By 2020, Sinclair predicts, “Emancipated gold will be $50,000 per ounce.” 

Are these people right? Are they giving good advice? Maybe, but there’s just one problem. You can’t eat gold. In fact, gold is only used to hold the value that will be lost by the dollar.

What about property? Well, what about it? Perhaps, owning rural or agricultural producing property may be one of the best ways to survive and prosper during this period. Don’t forget, a total collapse will not just bring misery, it will bring anarchy, riots, and looting.

While such an event is bound to wreak havoc throughout the world and cause an economic depression that will be written about in future history books, there are a few things that people will still need to survive at the most basic level: water, energy and food.

In that sense, agriculture is depression proof… even for the type of super-depression the world is expecting.

To add to the bullish case for agriculture is pure demographics. The world population has gone up nearly 700% in the last century.  That is a lot of new mouths to feed, literally. That is really the only chart you need to see to make the case for rural or agriculture as a solid investment.

Farmland the world over is outpacing other real estate properties. For instance, in the United Kingdom, farmland is outpacing the price of prime central London property for the first time in 16 years.  Predictions submit that the average price of an acre could soon hit a new record soon there. And that is in the decaying United Kingdom.

But, all over the world, there is not much arable land on the market. People simply aren’t selling.  Owners hold onto arable land as a long-term investment, like precious metals.

After all, God did not promise Abraham gold. But He promised him land. For him and his descendants. The gold simply followed.

Collapse of the US dollar: myth or reality?

The gradual and systematic erosion of the U.S. dollar’s status as the world’s reserve currency has been greatly accelerated of late. America arrived at this condition because the US central bank has compelled the nation to rely on asset bubbles for growth and prevented the deleveraging of the economy by forcing down interest rates far below a market-based level. The real problems are government largess, money printing, artificial interest rates, asset bubbles and out-of-control debt. What is disturbing is that they have not been addressed at all.

So will the US Dollar finally and completely collapse? Before we get into that, let’s start from the beginning first.

The dollar became the  world’s reserve currency when US President Nixon abandoned the gold standard in the 1970s. The dollar is used for 43% of all cross-border transactions. The dollar’s value is strong as measured by central bank reserves — 61% of the these foreign currency reserves are in dollars. Today, America and the world is paying for that mistake.

A dollar collapse is when the value of the US dollar falls so fast that all those who hold dollars panic, and sell them at any cost. Sellers would include: foreign governments (like China and Japan) who hold large amounts of US Treasuries , traders in exchange rate futures who trade the dollar versus other currencies, and investors who will switch to assets like gold and silver. The collapse of the dollar means that everyone is trying to sell their US dollars and dollar-denominated assets, and no one wants to buy them, driving the value of the dollar down to near zero, hence a collapse.

What or who would cause the dollar to collapse? Would China and Japan ever really do this? Only if they saw their holdings declining in value too fast AND they had another market to sell their products to. Ironically, the economies of Japan and China are dependent on U.S. consumers. They know that if they sell their dollars, their products will cost more in the U.S., and their economies will eventually suffer. So right now, it’s still in their best interest to hold onto their dollar reserves.

However, China and Japan are selling more and more to other Asian countries, who are gradually becoming wealthier. However, the U.S. is still the best market in the world. Washington, on the other hand, has merely agreed to perpetually extend its lines of credit and to have the central bank purchase most of that new debt.

Instead of placating the fears of foreign creditors, the US government has done quite the opposite. Do they know something that the public don’t? Are they planning something in the near future? Something big?

So back to the question: Will the US Dollar collapse? There are many professional arguments from experts and analysts that are for and against the collapse of the US dollar. As Christians, how about listening to God’s prophets? Doesn’t it say in the Bible: Believe in His prophets and you will prosper?

If they are accurate, then the eventual and inevitable loss of confidence in the world system will ensure nothing less than surging prices and a complete collapse of not just the US dollar, but the US economy as a whole. And that is going to affect the global economy. What would you do if you knew what is going to happen?

US Debt Crisis (video)

How did the United States, the world’s richest and wealthiest nation, closed down its government and come to the brink of a catastrophic default on its debt that could send shockwaves through the fragile world economy? Relax. The worst is yet to come.

US DEBT shot up to reach more than 100 per cent of gross domestic, Treasury figures showed. The new borrowing took total public debt to US$17 trillion, and putting it in a league with highly indebted countries like Greece and Spain.

Public debt subject to the official debt limit – a slightly tighter definition – was US$17 trillion, rising from the previous official cap of US$14.29 trillion a year earlier. Treasury had used extraordinary measures to hold under the cap, while politicians battled over it and over   addressing the country’s bloating deficit. The official limit was hiked US$400 billion and will be increased in stages over the next 18 months.

How to get out of debt? Whether your  debt is due to unwise overspending or an unexpected calamity, one thing is certain: Getting out of debt is always harder than getting in. The most effective way to get out of debt is to cut your spending. Establish a realistic repayment plan and discipline yourself to follow it. Beware of over-ambition. Once your strategy is in place, all you need is the  self-discipline to make it work.

Ultimately, it all boils down to 3 simple rules in financial planning: First, spend less than you earn. Second, avoid the use of debt. And lastly, save up for financial uncertainties.

Many of these principles are laid out in our successful course, the Scriptural Financial Freedom series. To learn more, you can  download the Small Groups kit from our Store.

Stock markets will crash by 50%, really?

“We have no right to be surprised by a severe and imminent stock market crash,” explains Mark Spitznagel, a hedge fund manager who is notorious for his hugely profitable billion-dollar bet on the 2008 crisis. “In fact, we must absolutely expect it.”

“We are in a gigantic financial asset bubble,” warns Swiss adviser and fund manager Marc Faber. “It could burst any day.”

Even billion-dollar investor Warren Buffett is rumoured to be preparing for a crash as well. The “Warren Buffett Indicator,” also known as the “Total-Market-Cap to GDP Ratio,” is breaching sell-alert status and a collapse may happen at any moment.

Is there an inevitable crash coming soon? According to several reputable experts, it is only a matter of time before the stock market plunges by 50% or more. Yes, crashes will keep coming: History lesson: The 1929 crash led to the Great Depression. So the stock markets will crash by 50%.  Really? One thing is certain about the economy, there will always be uncertainties. As sure as the sun rises, there will be another credit crisis. How do we know? It’s because the entire financial fiat system is based on credit! When is it coming? No doubt, there are plenty of warnings, both in the secular and Christian circles. If you were to read the book of Revelations, there’s one thing that you’ll realise: things are going to get worse. If you are a mother, you’ll understand the meaning of birth pangs mentioned in Matthew. It just gonna get meaner and faster.

What can we do? Nothing much, actually. One option is to withdraw all stocks and convert to cash. Or property. Or… gold. But the main is issue here is not “if”, but “when”. Timing is everything. Isn’t it? But how are we going to know when to invest, and when to pull out? If you don’t know when to invest or pull out, then isn’t that… gambling?

The recent boom and bust of the global economy over the last decade, from which many portfolios are still creeping up, not only left investors questioning their strategy for risk, but helped shine the spotlight on the importance of diversifying. That’s one way to go. The principle of diversification. Emerging markets may offer excellent growth potential. And of course, there is gold. But be warned, all investments have risks.

A little known statement tucked away in a little known part of scripture unveils that this is indeed a universal strategy for long-term investing. “Divide   your portion to seven, or even eight, for you do not know what misfortune may   occur on the earth.” says Eccl  11:2.

Have you heard of stories about people earning millions and you thought they had it all made, when suddenly they are declared bankrupt? And you wonder to yourself   “what happen?”. A typical mistake is to dump all your money into an investment and then when it sours up, you lose everything. Failure to diversify.

There are those who mock diversification and almost treating this concept with contempt.   But what does the Bible say? Ecclesiastes 11:2. Diversify.

Diversification is spreading your money among many difference types of investment. When you do   this, you lower your overall risk. There are many ways to diversify. You can diversify by spreading your assets, diversify with different investment styles, diversify by geography, and so on and so forth.

Diversification by assets can be in the form of stocks, real estate, bonds, cash, and even precious metal like gold and silver. However, diversification does not mean you jump into it blindly. Do your research first. Diversification by investment styles can be in the form of value-driven investment, market orientated investment, and small capitalization investment.

Real estate represents an investment that can benefit from geographical diversification. International investments comprise another asset class that could and should be invested geographically. Perhaps we can learn something from history. After all, for centuries, many investors have slept comfortably in the knowledge that if they diversify their assets wisely among stocks, bonds, commodities and cash, they will do well enough over the long term.

That’s the key, “the long term”. Proverbs reminds us the dangers of “quick get rich schemes”.  So here are some basic but easily forgotten principles that gives wisdom: 1) Buy low, sell high. 2) The only investments that you can ”buy and hold” are those that provide an income stream with a return of principal function.

If you wish to learn more, many of these principles are laid out in our successful course, the Scriptural Financial Freedom series. You can  download the Small Groups kit.

Golden opportunity to buy gold?

Gold continues to fall, it’s taken a sharp turn lower and is now trading below at $US1300 an ounce. After years of gains, the price of gold is steadily dropping, and may continue to drop. It sank to $1,180 an ounce on June 27 — its lowest value in nearly three years — before rising again.

“We remain cautious on the outlook for gold, as the metal faces two strong headwinds,” says Michael Lewis, head of commodities research at Deutsche Bank. “The 1-month GOFO rate has moved into positive territory, suggesting an easing of physical tightness while the stronger-than-expected non-farm payroll data has strengthened the case for the Fed to begin QE tapering before year end, which we view as U.S. dollar bullish.”

People typically invest in gold  because of one reason. They fear inflation rates are eroding their spending power and they want an investment that they believe will hold its value better than cash.

But if such concerns have pushed people to buy gold since the global economic crisis started in 2008, recent events are giving them cause to reconsider. Chart-based selling pressure was featured amid a lack of bullish fundamental news for the metal.  Better-than-expected U.S. jobs and growth data fuelled demand for the dollar by fanning expectations for the Federal Reserve to begin scaling backs monetary stimulus programs in the near future. Notably, gold and the dollar trade inversely with one another.

Are there additional reasons why gold is falling?

Yes, and they concern the biggest investors of all — countries that buy gold.

During the global economic crisis, many countries have sought to increase their gold holdings so they would not be left with too much of their reserves in hard currency that could lose value.  In 2012, central banks’ gold purchases rose to a 48-year high and represented 12 percent of global demand, according to the World Gold Council.

But as the price of gold drops, buying gold looks like an increasingly unpredictable business. Russia, Turkey, Azerbaijan, and Kazakhstan all boosted their gold holdings in March 2013, only to see gold’s price slump by $270 an ounce by mid-April.  Now, with the U.S. economy looking set to gain strength, the dollar suddenly appears more attractive again. Central banks can choose whether to buy gold or to return to holding hard currency, and the previous upward pressure they put on gold prices is easing.

So what is the future of gold? Will it drop further? And is it a good time to buy gold?

Regarding how far it can drop, some analysts point out that gold was about $800 an ounce before the global economic crisis began in 2008, so there is little reason to expect it to fall beyond that. That would be quite a big drop – but not impossible.

Regarding the future of gold, unfortunately the signs are popping up everywhere that something very bad is about to unfold in the financial world on Wall Street and the global markets. There are some obvious and clear warning signals and when you put together this string of events over this time period, it should be clear that all something is about to happen on multiple fronts converging at the same time. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure this out.

From outrageous ammo, assault rifle, and armoured vehicle purchases by multiple governmental agencies, including the Social Security Administration and Department of Homeland Security, among others, to reports are that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is engaged in a massive, covert military build-up. Evidently, someone in the US government is expecting some serious civil unrest.

From the known derivative liability of the top five banks in the United States, to preparations for martial law. The latest temporary government shutdown that lasted 3 weeks can be seen as a test, and of things to come. Riots and unrest are not out of one’s imagination. Martial law was avoided during the last crisis when legislatures succumbed to pressure and bailed out the banks. But many pundits are saying that another collapse is imminent — and this time, governments may not be so willing to step up to the plate.

Just take a look at the recent data on states that have more people on welfare than are working. The unemployment situation (in the United States) is as bad as ever and grossly understated, the real unemployment rate is probably 25 per cent. The real inflation rate is closer to nine per cent and is kept low by government agencies keeping the official cost-of-living increases artificially low by changing the basket of goods to be measured.

Something is seriously wrong with America. And the world economy. Governments are engaged in a “race to debase” their currencies. Some, like Japan’s government, are trying to end decades of economic doldrums. Others are cranking up their printing presses to inflate their currencies and get away from mountains of debt.

It’s time to get ready. It’s time to prepare yourself for the “transfer of wealth” – if you know what to do. Is it gold? You decide.

 

 

Wealthiest by Definition, Poorest by Default

How did the United States, the world’s richest and wealthiest nation, closed down its government and come to the brink of a catastrophic default on its debt that could send shockwaves through the fragile world economy? Relax. The worst is yet to come.

US DEBT shot up to reach more than 100 per cent of gross domestic, Treasury figures showed. The new borrowing took total public debt to US$17 trillion, and putting it in a league with highly indebted countries like Greece and Spain.

Public debt subject to the official debt limit – a slightly tighter definition – was US$17 trillion, rising from the previous official cap of US$14.29 trillion a year earlier. Treasury had used extraordinary measures to hold under the cap, while politicians battled over it and over   addressing the country’s bloating deficit. The official limit was hiked US$400 billion and will be increased in stages over the next 18 months.

Looking at these statistics, it is not hard to see why debt generates so much news and discussions. The average American family devotes at least 25 percent, some as much as 50 percent, of its spendable income to paying outstanding debts. And that’s during sound economic growth. In financially difficult times, indebtedness can imperil our survival. Unfortunately, indebtedness has become a pillar of America’s financial framework. Both nationally and domestically. Greed will bring about global financial disaster – on a Biblical scale.

Dire economic downturns — including the worst since the Great Depression of   the 1930s — giant tax cuts, costly wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and a pricey new health program all helped sour Washington’s fiscal picture. Or, as President Barack Obama put it literally in a speech  “For the last decade, we’ve spent more money than we took in.” Nervous Americans are bombarding their financial advisers with questions about what to   do if the U.S. government defaults on its debt. Although we do not expect the stalemate to result in a temporary default, we now see a more than 50% chance that US sovereign debt will be downgraded by the rating agencies in the coming months. How will America pay its debt? Eventually, the US government will shut down. It’s a matter of when, not if.

When this happens, it will send shock waves across the U.S. economy and the world that will hit consumers and businesses, both struggling through a weak global economic recovery. The debt ceiling debate already is weighing on the economy. The bankers says credit is an important part of your financial identity. the more credit you have, the better your lifestyle can be. “Anything is within your grasp if you can simply get the payments low enough.” Nothing can be further than the truth.

The Bible discourages debt, individually and nationally, because debt presumes upon the future – and on God. If you are concerned about economic uncertainty, the last thing you want to do is to take anything about the future for granted. In fact, debt is a curse. If you go into debt, you are obligated to repay – yet you take on that obligation without knowing for certain whether you will be able to repay or not. Second, debt may deny Him an opportunity to work.

If the financial forecast calls for difficult times ahead, you should work to get rid of all debt. To do otherwise is to presume on the future.

Can USA continue to meet its financial obligations. No way. Ratings agencies have warned the country to reduce its debt-to-GDP ratio quickly   or facing losing its coveted AAA debt rating. That is just the tip of the iceberg. The runaway debt is beyond hope. The entire nation will eventually go over the fiscal cliff. What matters now is: Can  you continue to meet your financial obligations – car payments, credit card bills, housing instalment loans, and the like – if you lost your job? If there is hyperinflation? If the dollar collapses? We now have to view debt through the window of possibly one of the greatest financial crisis since the Great Depression. We have to find answers that will enable you to approach debt with a proper perspective.

Debt is not something that seems to really bother buyers in good times. Yet borrowing money has its price – and it is a cost far greater than you realize. Anytime you use credit to borrow money, you pre-commit your future income. The effects of such obligations can range from simple inconvenience to financial devastation. Many are now paying that price today.

There are two simple principles to keep in mind if you want to work to strengthen your financial position. First, you must increase your financial flexibility, and second, you must reduce your financial constraints. If borrowing money limits financial flexibility, the absence of debt makes for a lifestyle of financial freedom and opportunity. With no, or even low, financial pre-commitments, you will be at liberty to pursue your goals and desires.

The freedom from the financial obligations of debt can spell all the difference in how effectively personal resources can be used by God. Getting rid of any debt, whether it is large home mortgage or a relatively small credit card balance, is a guaranteed profitable investment.

How to get out of debt? Whether your  debt is due to unwise overspending or an unexpected calamity, one thing is certain: Getting out of debt is always harder than getting in. The most effective way to get out of debt is to cut your spending. Establish a realistic repayment plan and discipline yourself to follow it. Beware of over-ambition. Once your strategy is in place, all you need is the  self-discipline to make it work.

Ultimately, it all boils down to 3 simple rules in financial planning: First, spend less than you earn. Second, avoid the use of debt. And lastly, save up for financial uncertainties.

The Bible does show many ways to overcome any financial crisis. Many of these principles are laid out in our successful course, the Scriptural Financial Freedom series. To learn more, you can  download the Small Groups kit from our Store.

Getting ready for yet another worldwide financial meltdown

Housing crisis. Credit-rating cuts. Sequestration. Debt ceiling. Government shutdown. Is the  worst over? Or is there a BIG one coming? Seems like financial recessions are becoming like birth pangs. Mass layoffs, inflation, savings wiped out, homes lost. People around the world, traders or not, are certainly wondering about what the future holds. One thing is certain about the economy, there will always be uncertainties. Here are a few financial principles that helps to ease the pain – and maybe beat it.

First thing you got to do is get out of debt. Debt and lifestyle go hand in hand in American society. When you use debt to fund a consumptive lifestyle, not only do you have the consumptive lifestyle   working against you financially, but you also have the additional burden of debt   working against you financially. A passage in Deuteronomy actually implies that getting into debt is a curse. Whereas to be blessed is to be free from debt. Read chapter 28:12, and you’ll get the picture.

Avoiding the use of debt is incredibly difficult because the promotion of credit card use has made credit so easy to obtain and the temptation to use credit or debt so overwhelmingly difficult to resist. Credit card companies are spending hundreds of billions of dollars to entice each of us to spend and to use credit with cards that make spending “easier”, and those amounts are a pittance when compared to additional advertising dollars of retailers. Lending institutions do not want people to pay their credit card debts each month   because of the 18% to 24% interest that is earned on that credit card debt.

As sure as the sun rises, there will be another credit crisis. How do we know? It’s because the entire financial fiat system is based on credit! When is it coming? No doubt, there are plenty of warnings, both in the secular and Christian circles. If you were to read the book of Revelations, there’s one thing that you’ll realise: things are going to get worse. If you are a mother, you’ll understand the meaning of birth pangs mentioned in Matthew. It just gonna get meaner and faster.

For centuries, many investors have slept comfortably in the knowledge that if they diversify their assets wisely among stocks, bonds, commodities and cash, they will do well enough over the long term. But is this a universal principle, or a man-made strategy?

The recent boom and bust of the global economy over the last decade, from which many portfolios are still creeping up, not   only left investors questioning their strategy for risk, but helped shine  the   spotlight on the importance of diversifying.

A little known statement tucked away in a little known part of scripture unveils that this is indeed a universal strategy for long-term investing. “Divide   your portion to seven, or even eight, for you do not know what misfortune may   occur on the earth.” says Eccl   11:2.

Have you heard of stories about people earning millions and you thought they had it all made, when suddenly they are declared bankrupt? And you wonder to yourself   “what happen?”. A typical mistake is to dump all your money into an investment and then when it sours up, you lose everything. Failure to diversify.

There are those who mock diversification and almost treating this concept with contempt.   But what does the Bible say? Ecclesiastes 11:2. Diversify.

Diversification is spreading your money among many difference types of investment. When you do   this, you lower your overall risk. There are many ways to diversify. You can diversify   by spreading your assets, diversify with different investment styles, diversify   by geography, and so on and so forth. I will go into some details.

Diversification by assets can be in the form of stocks, real estate, bonds, cash, and even precious   metal like gold and silver. However, diversification does not mean you jump into   it blindly. Do your research first. Diversification by investment styles can be in the form of value-driven investment, market orientated   investment, and small capitalization investment.

Real estate represents an investment that can benefit from geographical diversification.   International investments comprise another asset class that could and should be   invested geographically. Emerging markets may offer excellent growth potential.

Bottom Line

According to a banker in the banking industry, a person who uses his or her credit card for convenience sake and pays the debt off each month is known as a “deadbeat”. So the first step is the get out of debt. Secondly, no matter how to budget your finances, remember to diversify. That because calamities and misfortunes can occur on the earth anytime.

The Bible does show many ways to overcome any financial crisis. Many of these principles are laid out in our successful course, the Scriptural Financial Freedom series. To learn more, you can  download the Small Groups kit.