A guide to personal finance based on a Christian worldview.
In this debut personal finance book, Hamilton draws on the works of philosophers as well as his experience in the financial planning industry to offer a framework for developing financial goals that produce a positive effect on both the individual and society. Hamilton spends little time on specific guidelines for investments or target numbers for retirement planning; the bulk of the narrative addresses the relationship between financial behavior and personal values. “It’s easy to live according to the belief that our financial lives function separately from other areas of life,” he says. “But we need to realize that this is a fallacy, and a harmful one at that.” While the discussion of values begins in a secular context, by the midpoint of the narrative, the spiritual values become explicitly Christian: “This is where God with a capital ‘g’ comes in;” “I would submit that there is one ultimate epic tale, one meta-narrative that informs and instructs us. It is the story of Jesus Christ that is the baseline narrative which perfectly presents both the problem and the solution for humanity.” Hamilton encourages readers to find their purposes in life, align personal and financial values, and set financial goals that allow fulfillment through service to others—in particular, preparing for a retirement that provides the financial freedom to make choices without regular income while developing the mentality that retirement is a time for improving the world, not just leisure. Throughout the book, Hamilton draws on a gardening metaphor to vividly illustrate his arguments: for instance, “High quality bonds are like expensive mulch.” The book also draws heavily on anecdotal examples, from Southwest CEO Herb Kelleher to Abraham Lincoln to Delancey Street founder Mimi Silbert, to illustrate a purpose-driven ideal. The result is a useful tool for readers interested in developing a conceptual framework for their financial lives.
A guide to personal finance and retirement that, through a Christian lens, focuses more on why than how.