Are You a Spiritual Market Timer?

2019-05-23T09:00:17-07:00 January 6th, 2017|Tags: , , |

Weekly Impact is written for leaders by our Executive Director, Garth Jestley, who has decades of experience in senior leadership roles in the financial services sector. Each week he will share insights on life, leadership and faith.

In the December 2016 issue of the CFA Institute Magazine, there is an article concerning “market timing”. The article concludes with the statement “…market timing is a low-odds strategy, as this approach runs counter to the very essence of how markets move over time.”

For those unfamiliar with the concept of market timing, a market timer is someone who believes she or he can accurately forecast turning points in securities markets. Obviously, calling these inflexion points accurately and taking action based upon those calls would produce extraordinary returns!

Having been involved in the capital markets throughout my business career, I must admit that calling markets was not (and is not) my forte. And I am not alone. Virtually every knowledgeable investment professional I have known over the decades has concluded that market timing strategies are not an effective way to achieve superior investment performance.

There is a parallel between market timing behaviour and spiritual timing behaviour. For example, I have met many individuals over the years who have acknowledged that there might be some merit in exploring the claims of the Bible but who have decided against doing so. For them, there will probably come a time to turn to the big questions of life but, in the meantime, other claims on their time have priority.

This behaviour is particularly true for marketplace leaders, many of whom are consumed by business and busyness. In essence, they are spiritual market timers. They are saying that they will choose the right time and place to explore the spiritual. Unfortunately, that time may never come. I have known several marketplace leaders who, as far as I was aware, died before they got around to addressing the deep questions of life.

Don’t put off until tomorrow what requires your attention today.

Many marketplace leaders who are followers of Jesus engage in another form of spiritual timing. From their perspective, there will come a perfect time to share their faith in God with their marketplace peers but now is not that time! A common reason for not stepping out and sharing is their perception that nothing is going on in their colleague’s life that would open the door to a conversation about the deeper questions. Alternatively, they might fear rejection or misunderstanding.

Unfortunately, their friend might never hear the good news about Jesus unless they take action. And, of course, there is the ever-present possibility that their friend might die before she or he has had an opportunity to consider Jesus. The Bible captures the urgency of spiritual exploration as follows.

“Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” (James 4:14)

Just as market timing strategies are not a good idea, spiritual timing strategies related to the exploration of spiritual truths or the sharing of those truths are not a good idea. Take action today – start by checking out a LeaderImpact Group.

Garth Jestley is a husband, father, grandfather, leader and business executive. Most importantly, he is a follower of Jesus Christ.