If you have been following the news and social media, you might come to the conclusion that the problems which arise in our society is that people tend to conflate technique with theology when it comes to material prosperity.
a) What is the theology of Prosperity ?
Prosperity as a theology is dangerous idea. It means that belief and faith becomes a sufficient condition to attain material prosperity in this world. It comes in many guises, not necessarily in the form of a religious group. Some authors like to sell the idea that by simply thinking and locking yourself mentally to the idea of abundance, you will achieve material wealth.
This is the a very misleading but sophisticated manifestation of wishful thinking.
It's not just faith that creates the idea that God will make you rich. We adopt faith in projecting the returns of unit trusts, that some of life insurance will make our children rich after we leave this world. That buying a Brazilian property would result in yields and passive income exceeding 15%.
In my personal world of engineering, finance and increasing law - faith is almost worthless. You can make an iron-clad will and your crafty children may find ways around it, challenging your mental capacity if it suits their case. Laws need to changed to protect husbands who get incapacitated during their marriages, worse, some feminists on social are attacking the idea quite aggressively.
And faith in easy answers is getting stronger. Easy answers sell better than complex ones.
Most of us don't want complicated answers because it gets into our way of living the lives we enjoy.
b) What is the technique of Prosperity ?
Not everyone is ready to pay the price to learn a new technique. It requires time, energy and most who understand the technique would not part with that knowledge so readily.
Techniques are hard truths which an investor needs to confront. Many of these are economic or mathematical in nature and requires decades of study.
The risk-free rate is 2.7% about exemplified by returns of the Singapore Savers Bonds. Buy anything with lower yields and you might end up looking like an idiot. Anything which offers higher yields will contain hidden risks such as shifts in markets or the default in the provider.
Buying many different assets generally would not make your richer but can keep your performance closer to the average, but it certainly prevents you from looking like an idiot when the market starts to turns against you.
c) Separate your spiritual and material desires.
You may share your spiritual desires with God, but you are better off trying to meet your material needs via Science/Social Science. It's not the easiest path in the modern world, but it's worth putting effort into studying marketing and scams just to find out how to react when "well-meaning" people present their ideas to you.
20 years ago, I fought a pitched battle against evangelists in NUS on the bulletin board systems, and I held the record of being sent to the NUS Office of Student Affairs thrice in during my undergraduate days.
Today, I celebrate being alive, financially independent and finally getting vindicated.
Keep the Faith Against Faith, because Reason will win over the long term.
Keep the fires burning !
Flame on !