Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Best Investment I've Made

Now, as many of you know, I love investing. I really do.  I'm 25 years old, recently married, and very passionate about being a good steward of my wife and I's resources.

Well, a few weeks ago, we decided to make an investment.  This investment, however, was new and different. In fact, this particular investment even goes somewhat against how we normally define and think of dividends.

Nevertheless, I believe this is the best investment I've made in quite some time

This article will be slightly different than most of my posts, but occasionally I like to highlight investment topics outside of my "strict dividend investment philosophy."  :) However, I can assure you of two things: you will learn something new, and perhaps this article will spark an interest in you to make a similar investment decision.


 Every day 30,000 children die from preventable causes.

Go back and reread that statement.  If my math is correct, that means 1 child dies every 2.88 seconds.  From a cause that could have been prevented.

The picture you see above is Juaquin Garcia, a four year old boy from Bolivia that my wife and I now sponsor through an organization called Compassion International.  To provide a brief description of Compassion International,

Compassion International exists as a Christian child advocacy ministry that releases children from spiritual, economic, social and physical poverty and enables them to become responsible, fulfilled Christian adults.  Founded by the Rev. Everett Swanson in 1952, Compassion began providing Korean War orphans with food, shelter, education and health care, as well as Christian training.  Today, Compassion helps more than 1 million children in 26 countries.

My intention of this article is not to make you feel guilty.  My intention of this article is definitely not to bring any praise to me or my wife.  My true intention of this article is simply to help all of us realize how privileged we are.  There is a real person in that picture. A boy, struggling to make it each day.  Struggling to LIVE each day.  Let us shake off our numbness to what happens outside our personal bubbles and realize that thousands of real people are not going to make it and will die, if, we standby and do nothing. 

Don't believe me? Go back and reread the statistic above.  It took me 72 seconds to read this article from the beginning to this very statement.  That means we just lost 25 children.

Many of us daily read great websites about minimalism, and living frugally, and cutting back from the things we don't need.  I would encourage each of us now to make a change; to live without something we really don't need and to give the rest to someone who really does need.  And needs not just for their personal comfort, but for their very survival.

If you are able to read this now (essentially meaning that you have access to the computer sitting in front of you), you are more blessed than hundreds of thousands of people across the globe.

Where are you able to help give back? To take your passion of investing and your passion for dividends and apply those passions to another investment; a human investment. One that will reap huge dividends someday through a changed life. Through a saved life.

This link, Compassion Distinctives, provides more information, shows in real-time the number of children lost to poverty today, and is a good starting place to truly see the need that is out there.

Thank you again for reading this.

Only one question remains - what will you do now?

DivPartisan

13 comments:

  1. Go preach this to the stupid parents who gave birth to a child they couldn't afford. No, it's not the kid's fault. But nor is it any of our responsibility to pay for the sexual offspring of these idiot adults.

    Feel free to sell everything you own and give every penny you've earned to support the millions of children irresponsible parents can't afford. But don't ask me to do it -- I'm not paying for their lack of foresight.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Tell us how you really feel, Jack

    ReplyDelete
  3. Chris:

    Jack does have a point. Everywhere I go, I assume its about the same with most people, there is someone needing help. So, to come to a place that is specifically about investing and then hearing about the problems that we are already aware of and already give money for this cause as well as other causes, gets quite old.

    Its kind of like trying to go shopping and one week there is a fund raiser going on at the entrance of the store you shop at. Next week its the girl scouts, after that its the local paper trying to give you stuff, then its the next fund raiser.

    I think everyone gets it and many are giving already. In addition, Jack is clearly tired of being made to feel like he has to bail out another person, even though he is being asked to and not taxed to.

    Just seeing more of this stuff is a turn-off.

    The tag line bothers me "Every day 30,000 children die from preventable causes." I get tired of the idea that a child's life is more important than anyone else's. People are important not just one segment of them.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I agree, if you have the means to help someone in need you definitely should! I think you made a great investment! =)

    ReplyDelete
  5. To Jack, that is why it is called Compassion International...

    ReplyDelete
  6. Though Jack could have worded his thoughts differently, he is right. Both in America and other places around the globe, people have kids they can not afford, feed, cloth, or properly take care of. I'm not sure I want to sponsor that behavior. The world is over-populated as is. Some will say feeling that way makes me a jerk, but I am just being honest.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hello all,

    I just got done with a 5-day military exercise where I was unable to take the time to respond (...in fact I was only able to post the two articles I did this week because they were already written and just waiting to be published) But now that I am back, I thought I would respond briefly.

    There are a lot of interesting thoughts above, and I'd be happy to share some of my thoughts and respond to the comments abov if any are willing. It perhaps would be best to speak directly back and forth through email though. So, if you'd like to follow up with me on this topic, shoot me an email, and I'd be happy to respond.

    Take care,

    ReplyDelete
  8. continued...

    Your final paragraph completely contradicted everything you wrote to that point. However, I, nor the author of the article, would disagree with the opinion you unknowingly made – we do need to make a greater, broader effort. Giving to Compassion International or equivalent organization is simply a starting point. Much like, to put it in terms that you might understand, buying cookies from the Girl Scouts is only the beginning of an effort to raise young, responsible, community oriented women. Writing a check is easy – eventually someone has to get their hands dirty.

    But you already knew that. You understand that simply throwing money at a problem only creates negative incentives. You are aware, unlike Jack, that family planning is only a microcosm of the issues faced by the majority of the world’s population. You are versed on the intricate forces at play within failed economies which include the rule of law, land rights and access laws, immunization rates, women’s education, just to name a few. But I, just like the author of the article, am completely wasting my time because, as you put it, “we all get it.” But if we all got it than why are you so offended?

    Ultimately, both you and Jack established that you care far more about how these efforts make you feel rather than the consequence of inaction. As investors, I hope you don’t apply the same bury-your-heads-in-the-sand techniques when evaluating your portfolios.

    In conclusion, might I suggest shopping at netgrocer.com – they will deliver your groceries straight to your door, you’ll never have to leave the comforts of your computer desk or deal with pesky price gouging Girl Scouts at the check-out line. This will inevitably save you some time so you might also read William Easterly’s Elusive Quest for Growth while you're waiting for your delivery - you might learn something.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Part I of II (see above)...

    I rarely "blog," actually, this is a first and quite possibly the last. But I thought this topic and the author who took the time to write it was worth the effort. I also wanted to qualify this by stating that I have no idea how to write this message under any other name than "anonymous" and since I have no desire for anonymity and care very little if this offends anyone, feel free to send me an email at james_booth_jr@msn.com.

    Let's start by being blunt. Jack does not have a point nor is he "right," he has an opinion - that's it, end of story. There is a distinct difference between the two. Having a point implies substance, a prerequisite for which Jack, Anonymous I, and Anonymous II all failed to establish.

    Anonymous I, let me get this straight. You claim to have an understanding of the world’s problems and the needs of the deprived. You feel bombarded by the efforts to help them so you donate a few dollars and retreat to the Dividend Partisan blog to escape the tragedies and weight of this fallen world? That’s very odd at best but more to the point, why do you even bother giving? This of course is assuming you didn’t just make that claim in a feeble attempt to establish your own credibility on the subject. You obviously don’t believe too strongly in the cause if one person and a blog or a 10 year old-girl with a green vest and a box of cookies can “turn you off” from helping 30 million dying children. No wonder your post was anonymous – because it was absolutely ridiculous, unintelligent and callous.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Part II of II...

    Your final paragraph completely contradicted everything you wrote to that point. However, I, nor the author of the article, would disagree with the opinion you unknowingly made – we do need to make a greater, broader effort. Giving to Compassion International or equivalent organization is simply a starting point. Much like, to put it in terms that you might understand, buying cookies from the Girl Scouts is only the beginning of an effort to raise young, responsible, community oriented women. Writing a check is easy – eventually someone has to get their hands dirty.

    But you already knew that. You understand that simply throwing money at a problem only creates negative incentives. You are aware, unlike Jack, that family planning is only a microcosm of the issues faced by the majority of the world’s population. You are versed on the intricate forces at play within failed economies which include the rule of law, land rights and access laws, immunization rates, women’s education, just to name a few. But I, just like the author of the article, am completely wasting my time because, as you put it, “we all get it.” But if we all got it than why are you so offended?

    Ultimately, both you and Jack established that you care far more about how these efforts make you feel rather than the consequence of inaction. As investors, I hope you don’t apply the same bury-your-heads-in-the-sand techniques when evaluating your portfolios.

    In conclusion, might I suggest shopping at netgrocer.com – they will deliver your groceries straight to your door, you’ll never have to leave the comforts of your computer desk or deal with pesky price gouging Girl Scouts at the check-out line. This will inevitably save you some time so you might also read William Easterly’s Elusive Quest for Growth while you're waiting for your delivery - you might learn something.

    ReplyDelete
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    ReplyDelete
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  13. The World Health Organization has traditionally classified death according to the primary type of disease or injury. However, causes of death may also be classified in terms of preventable risk factors—such as smoking, unhealthy diet, and sexual behavior—which contribute to a number of different diseases. Such risk factors are usually not recorded directly on death certificates.
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    ReplyDelete