Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Investing & Conventional Wisdom

Welcome to Circuit City, where service is state of the art. That little jingle belonged to my former employer, Circuity City. I began with Circuit City in 1994. I met my friend Sonya (Truth4theJourney) there, and that is where my Christian life (through Sonya's seed-planting) went from passive to active. But this isn't that story.

I joined the employee stock purchase plan as quickly as I could at full buy in. Stock was around $25 a share then. I moved a head in the company, and eventually transferred over to the up and coming subsidiary CarMax, where I joined that stock program. At one point Circuit City stock was up to $50 a share. But I didn't sell. Conventional wisdom said don't sell if you don't need the money.

Circuit City stock is currently at 10 cents a share, and is currently liquidating it's assets to go out of business. I still own all my shares. I've lost money believing conventional wisdom.

CarMax stock was up to $57 a share in the past year or so. Not wanted to relive my Circuit City experience I talked to my stock broker. "Don't sell if you don't need the money" conventional wisdom said. I couldn't stand it. I sold half, and put the profits in the bank. I still have the other half in stock. It's trading at $8.11. I've lost 72% of my stock value.

The money that was in the bank was only earning about 1% in a savings account. My husband and my stock broker were all over me to invest it. Conventional wisdom says you don't leave money in a savings account. So I invested 1/2 of it. That 1/2 has lost 20% of it's original value. The other half is still earning a meager 1%...but it's earning!

Conventional wisdom has a lot to say. But it isn't always right. This isn't a post about stock trading, and what ever you do, don't listen to my money advice! You'll end up broke. But that same "conventional wisdom" talks about man evolving from apes, and the Big Bang theory and scientific discovery. Conventional wisdom isn't always right. Sometimes you have to go with your gut.

My gut says there is a God of the Universe. His son, Jesus, died to pay the price of my sins so that I may spend eternity in their presence. All I have to do is have faith. Faith=eternal life. That is a pretty good return on my investment, don't you think?

Isaiah 42:17 -- But those who invested in the no-gods are bankrupt—dead broke. (The Message)

Psalm 37:8 -- Bridle your anger, trash your wrath, cool your pipes—it only makes things worse. Before long the crooks will be bankrupt; God-investors will soon own the store. (The Message)

Proverbs 8:17-19 -- I love those who love me; those who look for me find me. Wealth and Glory accompany me— also substantial Honor and a Good Name. My benefits are worth more than a big salary, even a very big salary; the returns on me exceed any imaginable bonus. (The Message)

Chatty Kelly


Kay Martin said...

World wisdom never matches Kingdom wisdom and understanding...great post. I think we all have a 2008 losing money story.

But as I read your post you are forever ahead for working at Circuit City. What a wonderful seed that God planted in good soil: your gracious heart. The fruit from that planting is a blessing to all of us.

In all my earthly losses I try to reflect on all I gain in Christ.

Dorothy Champagne said...

The Holy Spirit gives us that wisdom - that common sense knowledge that the world couldn't be a million years old. He put man on this planet full grown - why couldn't He put a full grown sun - light years away?
God's truth always wins out - thanks for that reminder!

Beverlydru said...

Yes Ma'am, I am so thankful that my treasures are stored where moths can't eat them and rust can't corode them and the stock market can't erode them. The world's treasure isn't looking too hot. More and more will be asking us "why do you still have joy?". What great opportunities in the days we live in.

Mary Moss said...

You are so right! As Christians we are to live "in" the world and not "of" the world. To me that means we don't go with 'conventional wisdom.'

Great post.

Sue J. said...

Our church is right in the middle of Randy Alcorn's The Treasure Principle, which reminds us that God is the owner of everything, and we are His managers. He does want us to invest, but, being owner, He has specific investment plans for us, and that surely means bucking conventional wisdom.

Beverlydru is in the right vein with that verse: Where your treasure is, there also lies your heart.

Now the question is, do you cash out what's left and move forward? I think I hear what convention wisdom would say.........What say you? Or, more importantly, what say God?

The Patterson 5 said...

Wow! God is in control and conventional wisdom just isn't a "sure" thing. Thanks for keeping our eyes on the one true sure thing... our faith in Jesus Christ!

Much Love to you,

Runner Mom said...

This was a great reminder about where we put our hearts and our faith--the world or God. Thanks so much for sharing!

I believe that one of the boys has a gift card for CC--better get over there very soon!!

B His Girl said...

Jesus is the sure thing. I don't even want to think about the value of stocks today. I want to hear more about Sonya's influence on your life. Wow! And look at what God is doing through you now!

Truth4thejourney said...

God's wisdom and thoughts aren't the same as ours. He knows the future so listening to His leading is the best option! But we are so used to listening to the world.

Hey, I'm glad we met there and I treasure our friendship!


2nd Cup of Coffee said...

Great practical application from a real-life experience. Good thoughts, Kelly.

Annette said...

It's hard not to get caught up in the world. But God always has His ways of reminding us what world we need to be in. His World, His Wisdom!!!

My ADHD Me said...

Geez, I knew about the Car Max stock, but forgot about the Circuit City stock. That stinks...

BUT, I agree with what Kay Martin said, and you ARE "forever ahead for working at Circuit City" because of what you gained there. A wonderful friend and a much stronger faith in God.

P.S. Of course had you sold the stock, you would still have the friendship and the faith....sigh....water under the bridge I suppose

Greg C said...

Never under estimate your gut feelings. So true. I have gone against conventional wisdom all my life and done very well for myself. Usually a little voice in my head tells me what to do and I listen.

When I quit my last job, I sold much of my 401k against the advice of everyone I know. A week later, the market dropped and everyone lost money but me. They lost a lot more than the penalty I paid. When I was quiting that job, everyone told me I was making a mistake. They just anounced that they are closing that plant. At the end of last year, I sold some more stock against the advice of a lot of people and I put the rest in a stable trust fund. I paid off bills with the money I got and have made 4% on the rest. The stocks have since dropped 40%. Now who is smiling?

Mrs. Sidney said...

Wise post!!

The Cobbs said...

Amen, sister.
Nice to "meet" you!!! :)

Marla said...

I have been trying to figure out what to do with my husbands 401K. I have to make the decision soon. It is losing money everytime I get a report. I don't think I will invest, I want something more secure than that. I'd rather have some money than none for future use.

On Purpose said...

I want to invest in the One and Only thing that is guaranteed, the Only thing that has His signature to it....eternal life with Him

Pam from alertandorientedx4 said...

Conventional Wisdom sounds like an oxymoron to me. Kind of like
Common Sense
Army Intelligence
Jumbo Shrimp

Anyway, great post!
(Hubs and I have lost about 40% of our 401K this past quarter...and we are closer to 50 than 40 years old....sigh)

Edie said...

Who says I'm only reading adhd-jo's blog? I'm just not commenting all over the place. I still love you my friend. Really I do. :)

Wow, I'm sorry for your financial loss. There is a scripture that came to mind while I was reading this but I can't find it (yet).

I think the Message has some odd translations.

Isaiah 41:17 - But those who trust in idols,who say, ‘You are our gods,’ will be turned away in shame.

Psalm 37:8 - Stop being angry! Turn from your rage! Do not lose your temper— it only leads to harm.

Proverbs 8:17-19 - “I love all who love me. Those who search will surely find me. I have riches and honor, as well as enduring wealth and justice. My gifts are better than gold, even the purest gold, my wages better than sterling silver!

Ok - I'm breaking again. :)