Crane: “What does scripture say about the long-term view? I had a wonderful conversation with my father-in-law, and it was wonderful because I could relate to it and understand it. He’s far brighter than I am and he was being gentle in this lesson. He was saying, “Crane, you’ve got to look at the fact that we’re at a place right now where we either are going to plant and grow and harvest, or we’re going to eat the seed corn.” I thought that was an amazing way to put it, but tell me something when you hear that -- what does scripture say?”
Jerry: “Well, he’s right about that. That’s very Solomon, right? “You cast your bread upon the waters” weeping, but later on you’re able to harvest with joy. So, the biblical viewpoint is very much focused on a long-term view. The Bible frequently speaks in terms of generations, right? And it talks about wealth-creation and intergenerational enterprise. The proverbs are filled with things about not looking at the short-run, about not being a simpleton, not being a fool. You know, “He who loves wine and oil will not become rich.” And the focus on Scripture tends to be about wealth-creation that goes to your children and to your children’s children; The Ten Commandments mentions the blessings of God going to your children and to your children’s children. A very common word in Scripture is ‘generation’, the bible gives us a generational view. Q culture gives us a ‘one second the price is this’, ‘one second the price is that’, ‘next second the price is this’ [view]. Turn on any of the financial shows and you’re going to get Q culture. You’re going to get, “Here’s something that just happened,” and then it’s gone – it doesn’t matter anymore and, “Here’s another.” “A price just changed, and a price just changed.” That’s not a biblical way of looking at the world. The Bible causes us to look eternally but also, in terms of this earthly life, to have a long-term view. Esau is the great negative example of this; you remember Esau, Jacob and Esau? People should be familiar with that story – Esau sold his entire multigenerational birthright for a pot of lentil stew. That is the ultimate, in my opinion, biblical example of somebody with a short-term view. Jacob is the example of somebody with a long-term view. Jacob values the covenant, values the promises of God, and takes the long view. We’re supposed to be more like Jacob, who the Bible describes as an upright (or actually a just and perfect) man, and not like Esau, who’s almost more like an animal and who lives by his momentary impulses. This has tremendous implications for investors. Investors should not be caring about short-term price movements; investors ought to be looking at the state of the nation, business models, general macroeconomic trends, and not on minute variations in price.”
Mr. Bowyer is the author of "The Free Market Capitalists Survival Guide," published by HarperCollins, and a Forbes contributor. The above article originally appeared on AffluentInvestor.com and can be found by clicking here.
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