By Doug Hanson
In tennis, there is something called the “sweet spot.” When you swing the racquet and the tennis ball hits that spot on your strings, it is rewarding! The sweet spot is in the center of the strings, and it is the place that produces the most power and control. Beginners often hit the ball on the outside parts of their strings, nearer the frame, which lessens their chance to hit a good shot. More experienced players learn how to hit the sweet spot on every shot, whether hitting a forehand, backhand, volley, serve, overhead, approach shot, and even a half-volley.
Each of us has a sweet spot for investing. Think of investing as involving four circles. The first circle is Moral/Ethical. We can avoid investing in companies that are involved in human trafficking, slave labor, terrorism, and Christian persecution. Time Horizon is the second circle. Investing to buy a house in a few years has a different time horizon than investing to retire in a few decades. Shorter time frames often lead to more conservative investing, with a willingness to forsake potentially greater return for more confidence in the return.
The third circle is Risk Tolerance. This can be a tricky one to navigate as our eyes are often bigger than our stomach: we value returns over risk, but then are disappointed when the risk bites us. Several factors should determine our risk tolerance: our personality, stage in life, financial situation, time frame, and investing experience. Performance is the fourth circle. To be good stewards of what the Lord has blessed us with, we need to seek competitive returns (factoring in our time horizon and risk tolerance). The good news is that investing morally has historically offered competitive returns, so we don’t need to sacrifice our morals to be good stewards.
When these four circles intersect, that is our Investing Sweet Spot. That is when our investments align with who we are and what we want to accomplish. By leaving one or more circles out of our investment decisions, we invest on the periphery, sacrificing our potential for sweet investments.
But the application of sweet spots in our lives doesn’t end with tennis or investments. Contemplate these words from Proverbs 24:13-14: “Eat honey, my son, for it is good; honey from the comb is sweet to your taste. Know also that wisdom is sweet to your soul; if you find it, there is a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off.” Notice the progression of sweetness. Just as honey is sweet to our tastebuds, wisdom is sweet to our souls. And, if we find wisdom, our future is one of hope.
Where can we find wisdom? Wisdom is found in Jesus Christ, the sweet spot. In Jesus is “hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossians 3:3). And, by the way, He is everywhere in Scripture. The Old Testament prophesies of His first coming, the Gospels share His life story, Acts describes His expanding influence, the New Testament epistles teach about Him, and the book of Revelation expects His second coming. Spend time learning more about Jesus in all of Scripture.
Finally, let’s bring all the sweet spots together: “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus” (Colossians 3:17). Play tennis in the name of the Lord? Invest in the name of the Lord? Let’s hit the sweet spot of life by bringing Jesus into every area of our lives.
Doug Hanson is an investment advisor with Christian Wealth Management in Boise, providing biblically responsible investment advice to Christians. For more information, visit investforthegloryofgod.com or contact him at [email protected] or (208) 697-3699.
Investment advisory services provided by Creative Financial Designs, Inc. Securities are offered through CFD Investments, Inc., Member FINRA & SIPC, 2704 South Goyer Road, Kokomo, IN 46902, 795-453-9600. Christian Wealth Management, LLC is not affiliated with CFD Investments, Inc. or Creative Financial Designs, Inc.