We’re excited to announce the release of Multiply, a four-part video-based study designed to equip people with the knowledge, confidence, and biblical foundation they need to invest well. Intended for use by small groups or in a workshop setting, Multiply marks the culmination of many years of prayer and hard work.
Multiply is built on the premise that, for many people, investing is the most complicated and frightening aspect of managing money. It can seem complicated because investing has a terminology all its own. “Bull markets” and “bear markets.” “Asset allocation” and “exchange-traded funds.” To the uninitiated, it’s a foreign and intimidating world.
Investing can feel frightening because of the stock market’s propensity to move in sudden and unpredictable ways. Just recall the Great Recession, when the stock market lost half its value between October 2007 and March 2009. Or look at last year. After setting an all-time high on September 20, the bottom fell out and stocks plunged nearly 20% by Christmas Eve.
Making matters even more challenging, people are living longer than ever, yet still retiring at the historically typical retirement age of 65. While an increasing number of people are expressing the desire to work longer, the reality is quite different. Health issues or the need to care for a loved one often prompts people to leave the paid workforce earlier than planned. As a result, many will live the last 20-30 years of their lives needing something other than a salary to sustain them.
The trend toward longer lifespans, which is leading people to spend more years in retirement, is hitting up against another important trend: The move away from traditional pensions and toward 401(k)-type plans. Today, it’s largely up to you to figure out how much to set aside for your future and how to invest that money successfully.
Those four issues — that many people see investing as complicated, that investing can be frightening, that people are living longer, and that investors are increasingly on their own — motivated SMI to create a resource that provides practical, hopeful, and biblically informed investment guidance.
More specifically, Multiply is designed to help people:
- Appropriately recognize the importance of investing — that we all have a biblical responsibility to provide for our families — now, as well as in our later years (1 Timothy 5:8).
- Appreciate the incredible opportunity investing represents — to gain the confidence and peace of mind that by consistently investing a portion of all they earn, generating a good return on their investments, and giving it time, they should be able to provide for their family long-term (Proverbs 13:11).
- Take a slow and steady, long-term approach to investing (Proverbs 21:5)—because patience is a fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23), and market history shows that the longer a person stays invested, the more likely he or she will generate a positive return.
- Avoid succumbing to fear, which causes so many investor mistakes (2 Timothy 1:7).
- Diversify their investments by determining their optimal asset allocation, and then build an investment portfolio that’s designed accordingly (Ecclesiastes 11:2).
- See that the key to choosing good investments is choosing a good investment strategy — one that is objective, easy to understand and implement, that has a good track record, and that can be trusted no matter what’s happening in the markets (Proverbs 20:18).
- Embrace the empowering truth that our task as Christian investors is not only to manage money more effectively, but to manage it more faithfully (1 Corinthians 4:2).
We’d be honored if you would help get the word out about Multiply. You could gather a group of friends in your home and go through the content together. Or bring Multiply to the attention of the right person at your church — your senior pastor, the person responsible for stewardship, or the leader in charge of small groups. Encourage that person to review the materials and consider offering a Multiply workshop or small group at your church. You could even offer to be the facilitator.