INTRODUCTION – Too often some things you learn in life are not passed on to the next generation. That is not wise living. This letter is the first of several I hope to write to train and encourage our grandchildren. We created UTMA (Uniform Transfers To Minors Act) accounts for our six grandchildren at Fidelity Investments. I want them, first of all, to understand the MOTIVES and HOPES for these gifts.
This letter is part of a gift Grandma Cindie and I gave you. We gave you a gift of money but you cannot use it yet. The money is invested by me until you reach the age of 21. Your Fidelity Investments account is owned by you and it has ETFs as investments. (More about what ETFs are later!) We hope this gift will be a blessing to you so that you can be a blessing to others. This gift is also intended to be the beginning of some training so that your knowledge and wisdom will increase.
All you have is given to you by God to manage well. He owns it and you are supposed to be careful to take care of what he gives you. In May 2016, a sermon reminded me that our greatest joy comes from doing what God designed us to do. God says he wants us to make disciples (Matthew 28:19) so we should make decisions about our finances to head towards that goal. Great Grandma Shirley Winquist understood this principle and she lived it. She gave carefully of her time, talents and money so that others could hear the Gospel and enter eternal life. We hope you will trust and follow Jesus and continue the example set by your great grandparents, grandparents and your parents.
The Bible has much to say about money and wealth.
Proverbs 3:13-14 says “Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding, for the gain from her is better than gain from silver and her profit better than gold.” (ESV)
Proverbs 16:8 reminds us “Better is a little with righteousness than great revenues (great treasure) with injustice (not being fair or good).” (ESV)
Proverbs 28:6 says “Better is a poor man who walks in his integrity (honesty) than a rich man who is crooked in his ways.” (ESV)
God is far more interested in your heart than He is in how much money you have. The Bible warns against greed and encourages generous and cheerful giving. It says that borrowing money is unwise and that the borrower is a slave of the lender. Proverbs 3:9 says we are to honor the Lord with our wealth.
Finally, Proverbs 13:22 has instructions for grandpa and grandma. It says “A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children, but the sinner’s wealth is laid up for the righteous.” In other words, it is a good thing to leave an inheritance to your grandchildren and to love them. Because we do not know if we will have anything that will pass on to you when God takes us home to be with Him, we want to give you a portion now.
We hope you will learn how to budget carefully, save thoughtfully, invest wisely and give generously. We want you to increase in knowledge and wisdom from God. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Your dad or mom will also help you. When you get older it would be very wise for you to take Dave Ramsey’s “Financial Peace University” class. If you follow the principles of God’s Word as taught by Dave Ramsey, you will not make foolish decisions about money. There is also a children’s version of this training, so you might want to take that class before you are twenty-one years old. If you want to do that, let us know.
We are praying that you will be good disciples of Jesus and understand the value of true riches. (Luke 16:11)
Love, Papa (Grandpa Winquist)