I had heard the commercial a half-dozen times, so I finally decided to see what it was all about.
The ad was for something called “The Biblical Money Code,” and a listener was led to believe that following it would almost guarantee enormous stock market prophets, or rather, profits. I went to its website and came upon a long audio-visual presentation. It was narrated by a Texan, a pastor, if I remember correctly, named Sean Hyman.
I was curious, and thought that either my skepticism would be confirmed or, heaven forbid, I might actually learn something. Mr. Hyman, or perhaps the Rev. Hyman, started off with the adage, “the love of money is the root of all evil.” It was not money itself that was evil, Hyman told us, but the frenzy to acquire it. Having made that case, he then suggested, or insisted, that if an investor followed the Biblical Money Code, not only could he or she earn great wealth, but then could give away $50,000 every year.
To help convince us, he alleged that, using the code, he helped his father turn a few thousand dollars into $396,000.
Having been exposed to dozens of methods for making money in the stock market, I had my doubts that the Bible held the key to turning a pauper into a philanthropist. Notwithstanding the fact that many people believe that mail-order medicine can cure their arthritis, I was hoping that the code itself would be explained in the video.
On the other hand, I figured they wouldn’t give away what they could sell. You might wonder what Hyman learned from, primarily the New Testament, that led him to his new life as a multimillionaire. I’m afraid to say that I gave up after about 20 minutes of platitudes, such as, “My faith influences my investment style.” Oh, really?
Now, recall that Mr. Hyman claimed that he had accumulated so much money that he, or his father, started giving away at least $50,000 a year. So why was he soliciting listeners to his biblical methodology when he was already a zillionaire? Simple. His heart became so filled with love that he wanted to tell everyone what he had learned. It had nothing to do with making money, of course.
I’m not mocking the notion that there is wisdom and, perhaps guidance, in the Bible, but, since nothing works consistently, I doubt that the Hyman maneuver will bring you great fortune.
But please, don’t take my word for it. You can, if you’re interested, go to the website and see if you think you’ll find the key to beating the market. Remember, if you will, the old joke: “Do you know how to make a $1 million in the stock market? Easy, just start with $2 million.”
Please note: I’m not making fun of the Old or New Testament. But, as you know, there have been claims of secret biblical codes for hundreds of years, none of which have had any credibility. This market code doesn’t, either.
Bud Stevenson, a retired stockbroker, lives in Fairfield. Reach him at [email protected]