Family Finance by Crown Financial Ministries, crown.org

5 tips to avoid get-rich-quick traps

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It is amazing how susceptible people are to get-rich-quick schemes and how 'logical' and 'terrific' the schemes seem at first. However, the promoters are a great deal better at disguising the bad deals than most people are at detecting them.

Below are a few basic principles to help you avoid get-rich-quick schemes:

1. Stick with what you know
Seldom will anyone be duped into a get-rich-quick scheme in his or her area of expertise. The vast majority of people who make money do it in the field in which they have the most training and experience. Those who lose it usually do so in an area they know little about. By wisdom a structure is built, and by understanding it is established 1.

2. Don't take risks with borrowed money
It is one thing to speculate your own money that you can afford to lose and quite another to lose money that literally belongs to another. The former is called speculation; the latter is surety. A wise man sees evil and hides himself, the naive proceed and pay the penalty 2. Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth 3.

3. Buy investments with utility
Utility simply means buying something of use to someone else. Most get-rich-quick schemes deal with intangibles, or at least remote tangibles. She considers a field and buys it; from her earnings she plants a vineyard. She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies belts to the tradesmen 4.

4. Don't make quick decisions
The very essence of a get-rich-quick scheme is emotionalism. The promoter urges the potential buyer to act quickly before the opportunity is missed. The final ploy is to develop an attitude of covetousness by hinting that another prospect is waiting to snap up the deal. The plans of the diligent lead surely to advantage, but everyone who is hasty comes surely to poverty 5.

5. Seek good counsel
It is amazing how quickly someone who is not emotionally involved with a get-rich-quick scheme can spot its flaws. Good, objective counsel should be a prerequisite to any major financial decision. That counsel is most objective when it comes from someone who has no profit motive involved. The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man is he who listens to counsel 6.

References:
1. Proverbs 24:3
2. Proverbs 27:12
3. Proverbs 27:1
4. Proverbs 31:16, 24
5. Proverbs 21:5
6. Proverbs 12:15

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