I had to speak at a Church (Parish) in Mumbai on the topic of Investing. In a religious gathering it was necessary to keep in mind what the scriptures said about investing. So the topic I chose was ‘Scriptures and investing’.

The Christian community is quite conspicuous in its absence in the financial services field – especially in the investing areas like equity. Of course they are there in large numbers in operations, sales, HR, in the BFSI space, but generally not much visible in the fund management space.  They are largely INVESTED  in the bank deposits, company fixed deposits and in certain pockets in real estate.

I had to reassure them that investing was not against the scriptures.

I hope Agnel Victor and Anil D’souza are reading this blog!

The first topic that needs to be considered is whether investing is or  is not scriptural as in many cases, the answer depends on the situation.

The question to ask is  ‘Why are you investing’?

Anyone investing because of
•    Greed (Luke 12:15),
•    To get rich quick (Proverbs 23:4-5),
•    Or to massage his ego (Proverbs 29:23)

Is not participating in biblically-based investing. Today whether you are a Christian or not, largely the sales person is selling to you on the basis of these three ‘appeals’. When a sales person tells you

“See you missed the opportunity of a 80% jump in the market – in the year 2009” he/she is appealing to your a) Greed – will I get the same / similar kind of return in 2010 and going forward? and b) Fear – If I do not invest I will miss the opportunity to earn…such extraordinary returns.

When he/she tells you “Give me Rs. 500 a month for 2 years, and this scheme will give you Rs. 1000 a month for the rest of your life” they are appealing to your ‘Get rich quick’ mentality.

When the adviser tells you ‘Sir Subramoney is wrong. SIP works only in a rising (falling) market, SIP is not exciting. Also sir SIP is for poor people who can do Rs. 500 or Rs. 1000 investment per month. For rich people like you we are marketing a Venture Capital fund – sir the minimum amount is Rs. 50 lakhs – and you can invest in 3-4 instalments. You need to make it up to Rs. 50L in the next 3 months.Any way sir here is an invitation for a meeting at the Trident /Oberoi /Taj / Sahara Valley /…

Clearly they are massaging your ego.

If you succumb to any of these 3 sales pitches….well you are going against the scriptures!

This was slide number ONE…there are more slides, but am not promising the time frame in which I can write about this…

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  1. The Bible is full of references to intelligent investor behaviour.
    There are references to insurance, risk, emergencies and growing wealth.
    Interested readers can watch Youtube videos of Dave Ramsey, the Amercian financial coach.

  2. Very interesting Post..
    Wondering Why did a Parish invite a financial background.
    Some that I found on googling
    Establish Written Financial Goals
    “The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty.” -Proverbs 21:5
    Keep a Long Term Perspective
    “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it?” -Luke 14:28
    Diversify Your Portfolio
    Divide your portion to seven, or even eight, for you do not know what misfortune may occur on the earth.” -Ecclesiastes 11:2

  3. Subra sir , The first slide is absolute brilliance. You have hit the right note. Looking forward to more . I wonder from where did the idea of relating scripture and investment come from.

  4. Subra Sir,

    Please consider starting a Youtube Channel and uploading your videos on personal finance. Your Videos will be a good supplement to your blog for us (Subramoney.com readers).

    I hope many of Subramoney readers also will be interested to view your talks on Youtube.

    Thank You.

  5. Sir,
    Great idea and a great post. I hope to see a post about the concept of investing and wealth as illustrated in the Gita or other scriptures too.

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