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What is your favorite way to help people?

I'll go first…
I like helping people realize that their dreams and goals aren't as out of reach as they think they are.
I like talking to people who want to start a business and help them break the process into clear, impactful steps that will move the project forward and not waste valuable resources.
I like hearing about new ideas and helping to decide which ones are viable.
Most of all, I like helping other people help other people, because at the end of the day, that's what will make us all better off.

The Identity Amplifier

I fancy myself an entrepreneur.

Oh, and a(n):

I also aspire to be a(n):

  • Martial artist (Isshin-Ryu, specifically)
  • Outdoorsman
  • Mountain biker
  • Sudoku master

Many of us identify closely with our occupation. It is our specialty, and to a large degree it makes us feel special. We connect with people who do the things we do.

We identify with our hobbies. They bring us joy and they make us feel good.

We've likely put a lot of time and effort into our occupations and hobbies and have a lot invested in those parts of our selves.

Our political and fan affiliations help us feel connected to meaningful communities of people who care about the same things we do.

As Christ-followers, the identities we have associated ourselves with must be filtered through our identity in Jesus.

Whichever identities conflict with Jesus have to go. If they compete with Jesus, they have to go. If they dishonor Jesus, they have to go.

Those that remain are more meaningful because they are amplified by our submission to Jesus.

Waiting vs. Waiting on the Lord

When faced with the options of waiting or worrying, it is a good idea to identify the false dichotomy and do something else instead.

On our own, we come up with things like learning, leading, and connecting. These are all good things. They should be pursued by all followers of Jesus.

What should not be neglected is the joy of waiting on the Lord.

The benefits of this act can only truly be realized by going through the process. What you have to look forward to is a deeper understanding of what it means to rely on God and an appreciation of how he loves and cares for his redeemed.

Certainly don't waste your time worrying. And don't waste your time waiting for nothing. But spend all the time you can waiting for God.

What Should I Do With A $1200+ Windfall?

THIS ARTICLE DOES NOT CONTAIN FINANCIAL ADVICE FOR YOUR SPECIFIC SITUATION. CONSULT A PROFESSIONAL BEFORE EXECUTING A STRATEGY.

Coronavirus/COVID-19 is horrible. We don't know a lot about it and it's killing a lot of people. Most of us are doing the right thing and staying qauarantined to stop the spread. While this is a good strategic move, it has the effect of stifling the economy. 

One of the silver linings from all of this is that the US Government has decided to send most tax filers a $1200+ check to spend however they wish. They really just want money moving. It's hard to wrap your head around, but it's mostly an okay strategy.

The question for us individually is: What am I going to do with my $1200+?

Here are some ideas…

Buy Some Stock

A friend of mine recently sent a group text with an idea of what to do with a $1200 windfall. He suggested investing it at an assumed rate of 7.5% return for 30 years. Right now, that is only possible by investing in equities, but the current equities market is quite volatile. I am personally okay with that volatility and have allocated some cash-on-hand to getting some stock bargains during this time. 

There is always risk in buying stocks. Where is the bottom of this bear market? We don't know. Don't invest it if you're not willing to lose it. 

Fund Your HSA (and possibly buy some stock)

If you have a high-deductible health insurance plan, you may be eligible for an HSA account. I am a big fan of HSAs if you can get one.

If you put $1200 in an HSA before July 15th, 2020, you can designate it as a 2019 contribution. And if you haven't filed your 2019 taxes yet, you can get a $1200 deduction on your tax return. Let's assume you're in the 10% tax bracket… you just got an instantaneous 10% return on investment ($120)!

Don't have an HSA yet? I use and recommend Lively ← (affiliate link).

(Side note: “high-deductible” is a technical term with a technical definition; a deductible that feels low may technically be high and the opposite is true as well: a deductible that feels high may actually not be high for the purposes of HSA eligibility. Check with your health insurance plan provider to know for sure.)

Start A Profitable Business

Are you stuck at home and running out of ideas for ways to spend your time?

Have you ever thought about starting a business?

Now might be the right time.

My wife, Amanda, and I are each going to invest $1200 into starting brand new businesses from scratch. You heard that right… together, we're starting TWO new businesses. And here's something possibly even more exciting… we're going to invite you into the journey. We'll show you step-by-step what we do and how we do it.

Want in? Send us your first name and email address below and we'll share our journey.

Fund Your Traditional IRA

Don't have an HSA or aren't eligible for one? A Traditional IRA will produce the same short-term tax benefit as an HSA, but the distributions are taxable and aren't generally accessible until you're age 59.5.

Get A 1.25% Yield From USD Coin

Want to get your feet wet in the cryptocurrency market? I am personally very interested in the future of crypto and am putting some of my assets there. Again, talk to your financial advisor before investing anything you're not willing to lose.

I suggest opening a Coinbase account ← (affiliate link) and investing some cash in USDC (a “stablecoin”).

As of March 29, 2020, the yield on USDC holdings was 1.25%. 

I'm planning to write more about crypto in the future, but for now just realize that it's volatile, risky, and not FDIC or SIPC insured. 

Stewardship

the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one's care