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How Can We Tell the Difference Between Luck and God's Will?

President’s Day in 1973, marked an important day in my career at Merrill Lynch.  You may want to think back to those days as a new account was often opened for a client who wished to buy a $5,000 tax free bond or even a $3,000 stock purchase.  A large account then was a client who had $100,000 in their account.  So, here was a young “account executive” who was working with most of the other brokers on an official holiday when a call came in from a man who had numerous questions about short term tax free notes.  His questions were good ones but with more than a little impatience, I informed the caller that the minimum purchase of these notes was $25,000 thinking this would scare him away or shock him at least. 

He said that would be no problem as he was thinking of buying $3,000,000 and I was the first person, after calling 5 other firms, who took the time to explain the investment characteristics to him.  In less than a week, he deposited $5,000,000 and became a client who sent me at least 10 referrals over the next several years.  When I retired in 2005, he was still a client and even though his son was also a financial advisor, he maintained a relationship with me because of the time I spent with him both initially and all during my career. 

You see he had sold his company and wanted to invest the money he would owe on capital gains tax until the following year.  He also purchased many intermediate and long term fixed income investments over the next thirty years.  This client shared his wealth with other family members and others he wanted to help and taught me a great deal about how to not get carried away with the importance of money compared to the importance of the people God places in your life.

When you get the next annoying call, or the request by your employer to complete a job that seems pointless, just think about whom God is going to bring into your life and also what experience God wants to teach you.  It’s amazing how lucky some people are who also work hard and treat people with respect. 

Proverbs 3:27-28 “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it.  Do not say to your neighbor, “Go, and come again; tomorrow I will give it” when you have it with you.”

When you have the chance to do something good for someone this week, don’t put it off… do it NOW!  If your heart is right with the Lord, it will not be luck; it will be God’s will!


Sent January 29, 2007

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