Joshua S. Hall hopes that his book, "The Truth on Investing," helps people of faith make uncommon decisions with their finances.
"Christians walking with the Lord are in the ideal position to invest successfully," Hall said. "They're people living contrary lives that don't fit into the crowd."
The South Williamsport resident and Montoursville Area High School graduate worked at JPMorgan in Delaware for 11 years after graduating from Susquehanna University, Selinsgrove, in 1999. He has operated his own financial advisory firm, True Vine Investments, since mid-2010.
JOSH BROKAW/Sun-Gazette Correspondent
Joshua S. Hall is shown holding a copy of his book, “The Truth on Investing.”
At JPMorgan, Hall worked in the areas of global equity and money market mutual funds, while educating himself on the side.
While attending Victory Christian Fellowship, in Newark, Del., Hall conducted an investing seminar to help people "get on track and get out of debt," he said.
The success of the seminar gave Hall the confidence to resign his position and move with his wife, Michele, back to the area.
"We took all the monies I'd saved and invested all of it in what we needed to live until I could get (my consultancy) up and running," Hall said.
Hall's book, subtitled "From the Darkness of the Crowd to the Light," was written over a two-year period in Delaware. He decided to self-publish the work, which was released in November.
"(Self-publishing) is quicker, and I was a bit concerned about not being able to control my message," Hall said. "My wife and I learned to do layout, we learned to do color."
"The Truth on Investing" is "more of a Christian living book than it is investing," Hall said.
"The best way to feed the poor is unrestrained capitalism," Hall said. "Developed credit markets have the highest quality of living throughout history. You just need capitalism with morality."
A conversation about the book centered on three key points: avoiding a herd mentality, managing information and evaluating intrinsic value.
"Jesus says there's the wide gate and the narrow, or straight, gate," Hall said. "The wide gate is the common pathway of life that everyone follows."
Going with the crowd can lead to financial disaster.
"People will get on a bandwagon," Hall said. "They think money can be made real easily without risk. Like the Internet bubble, people were paying ridiculous amounts for companies that didn't make any money."
A humble approach can lead to better outcomes, Hall said.
"Successful investors get in before, get out before," he said. "As Warren Buffett says, 'be fearful when people are greedy.' "
The book asks people to think about how they consume information.
"All information comes from a mental source," Hall said. "It comes from the souls of men - mind, will and emotions. We're constantly bombarded with information and this can cause a lot of stress."
While he was working on the book in Delaware, Hall took what he calls an "information fast."
"Besides what I needed for work, I didn't read, no TV, no radio for a month," he said. "You want to be at a place where you're filtering (information), using it as a resource."
Hall is wary of the market's future.
"Our money isn't backed by anything," he said. "And we're printing more. I'm concerned especially for the elderly, on fixed incomes.
"The stock market isn't for everyone," he said. "There's practical ways to invest - in other people, in new businesses."
In the end, Hall said, what matters is "the stewardship of God's resources to ensure the objectives of the body of Christ."
"The Truth on Investing" retails for $20 and is available at the Christian Light Bookstore and online.
For more information, visit thetruthoninvesting.com/.