If King Solomon were alive today he wouldn’t fall prey to false prophets.
In Biblical times, grain was the main product of human industry. Solomon instructs his readers to, “send your grain across the seas, and in time you will get a return.” He is pointing out what every modern capitalist knows: sell your finished goods to people who don’t have them. If you produce blueberries in Maine, chances are someone in Palm Springs, California, will pay more for them, more than your neighbor who could go out and pick their own.
Of course, the Bible is one long proof that man plans and God laughs. A million things can go wrong when you send your blueberries to market.
In very practical terms, Solomon says that you should ‘divide your merchandise among seven ventures, eight maybe, since you do not know what disasters may occur on Earth.’ The ancients understood the benefits of diversification. Our wise ancestors would take their grain down to the harbor and divide it up amongst seven boats who would take it to market overseas (maybe eights if they really feared God). Those who had no fear of God would choose just one boat.
Solomon did not say, let me repeat, he did advise finding someone who can predict which disasters may occur, or where the best opportunities lay. He did not say to find an expert ship-builder and assess the condition of each ship. Certainly, there were experts at the time who could have helped pick ventures. Solomon’s wisdom is in recognizing the limits of an expert’s knowledge.
Solomon is a realist. He writes, ‘If the clouds are heavy with rain they will discharge it on the Earth. Whether a tree falls south or north, it must lie as it falls.’
If Solomon were alive today, he would argue against the timing of markets, or the predicting of which ventures will succeed or fail (which, net-net, are in the hands of God). He writes, ‘You do not know how God, the maker of all things, works. In the morning, sow your seed betimes, and do not stop work until evening, for you do not know whether this or that sowing will be successful, or whether both alike will do well.’
In other words, Solomon says to do what you do well, whether it be farming or teaching Yoga. No one knows what the financial markets will do this day or the next. Never confuse the histrionics of financial advisers with a simple fact. God is up there, they’re with us, down here. It would be news to Solomon if God showed them favoritism (who doesn’t want to be rich?).
Solomon never mentions that a prophet, of any kind, will make you more money. It’s just his opinion, one that has stood the test of time. Show me any financial expert who will be read in 20 years, let alone 2,000.
You can discover more about the cost of your ventures at www.fundanalyze.com
God has been laughing at Max’s experience with the mutual fund industry for 21 years.