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Considering missions?
Thinking about homeschooling?
How do you pay for a Christian school?

A stream of passive income can fund your dream.
You need to do three things to accomplish this:
(1) Save money, (2) Invest wisely, and allow (3) Time for your money to grow.

Not everyone is in a position to do all three things.
But if you are, it's time to make your money work for you.

Start today:

Save Money by Earning More and Spending Less (Step 1)

Earn More
Become so good they can't ignore you, since talent is overrated.

Right-brainers will rule the future, so get good at selling. Start with this career guide.

Position yourself as a highly sought-after expert. This will help you get the job you want. Listen to this professional training session on career management. There's a short description here.

Start a Web site or blog. Post articles about the field you want to become an expert in. Your Web presence shows that you're teaching others. It makes people want to hire you and pay you more.

Having a reputation as an expert also makes it easier to find a job that doubles as a calling. This is a good way to serve until you can have your dream.

Spend Less
Start with Dave Ramsey's book The Total Money Makeover. I've written a review of it here.

Families can spend less. If you live a simple life, you'll save money. You'll reach your dream sooner. You might also be happier.

Invest Wisely (Step 2)

The Ivy Portfolio will show you how to emulate the investing strategies of the Harvard and Yale endowments. This takes only a few minutes a month. (It's summarized here, but the book is actually easier to read than those summaries. The author's original paper is here.)

The strategy had a compound annual return of 11% from 1900 to 2005, but because of inflation and the unpredictability of the future, you'll probably make less. (In what math nerds call an out-of-sample test, the strategy avoided the crash of 2008 in both the stock and housing markets.) This is a market-beating return.

If you save $500 a month and invest it at an 7% inflation-adjusted return, you'll have $200,000 after 18 years. If you save more, you'll get there faster.

7% interest on $200,000 will pay you $14,000 per year. Is that enough to fund your dream?

Your goal may be different. Use this calculator to figure out how long it will take you to get there. If you think you'll get an 11% return and inflation will be 4%, enter 7% for the average annual return and 0% for inflation. This allows your monthly contributions to grow with inflation. If you think inflation will be higher than 4%, enter a lower number for the average annual return.

Use the Rule of 72 to figure out how fast an account will grow if you don't add to or withdraw any money from it.

Time Produces Growth (Step 3)

The great advantage of time is its power to multiply both money and your life experience.

Let's pretend that your dream is to plant a church in a developing country. Your family can live there for $1000 per month. We've shown above that you can likely self-fund this if you wait 18 years.

What if you go now? You'll need to raise financial support regularly for the rest of your life. You'll set your ministry aside, pay to fly home, pay to live in the more expensive U.S., and go through reverse culture shock. There's nothing wrong with this as long as you recognize the cost.

If you wait instead, you won't have to rely on outside funding. You can spend the rest of your life overseas. You'll have 18 extra years of experience in leadership as a married couple. You'll have 18 more years of vocational experience, which could be useful in the country where you're going. You'll have more time to assemble a team.

Is that worth waiting for?

"A gray head is a crown of glory; it is found in the way of righteousness." (Proverbs 16:31)


A missionary I used to visit found an effective way to eat meat without buying it. He raised rabbits. The recipe looks like this:

2 Rabbits + Time —> Unlimited meat

Because the first litter of rabbits can breed with itself, and the grandchildren can breed with each other, time allows two rabbits to produce hundreds. In just one breeding season, a rabbit can produce 800 children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. They will literally multiply until they run out of food. Then they'll start eating newspaper and dead animals.

Our missionary had so many rabbits that he could make a small living selling the ones he didn't eat to the pet store. But if he'd eaten the two he originally bought, he would have had nothing.

That's the power of time to multiply our wealth.


As Americans, we've learned to live in the now. We spend and consume, and when we run out of money, we borrow. Investing for the future is literally becoming a foreign idea.

The way we look at time has a special ability to make us more productive. If we save, invest, and wait, our money can fund our dreams for us.

May we, in God's providence, smile at the future.