They may not sound like they go together, but for 19-year-old Matthew Noss, they are absolutely intertwined.
The college freshman not only launched his own lawn care business — he picked up his first client at age 14 when his mom would drive him to the house to mow the yard. Now tending some 30 yards and employing up to 14 people, when he’s not on a job site, he’s networking with a roofing contractor, local real estate agents and learning the importance of referrals to business success.
Whether it’s cleaning gutters or spreading ice melt on walkways and driveways after a Kentucky ice storm, Noss is learning the rewards of hard work.
He’s also learning the discipline of investing. As he’s working hard and earning money, he’s also begun investing $1,000 per month out of his earnings through an investment account at GuideStone®.
“My dad said you’re getting older and making some money, so it’s time to start investing,” Noss said. “I’ve always heard that in investing, it pays to start early.”
So early, in fact, that Noss is the youngest investment account holder at GuideStone.
Noss’ introduction to GuideStone came in 2011 when his father, Dr. Wesley Noss, an associate pastor at Buck Run Baptist Church in Frankfort, Kentucky, joined the GuideStone Board of Trustees.
“Through the years my dad served on the GuideStone Board, I became acquainted with financial information and education,” the younger Noss said. “It feels good to have the ability to do something like this, and GuideStone is the perfect place to start.”
Individuals can invest with GuideStone Funds® directly with GuideStone, as Noss has, or through independent financial advisers who access the Funds through investment platforms. (Learn more about our options for individual investors.)
For Noss, it was the connection to GuideStone’s heritage and history — like GuideStone’s commitment to pastors through Mission:Dignity® — and shared values that drew the younger Noss to putting his investments with GuideStone.
“I invest in GuideStone because of the integrity of the organization, the consistent positive returns on my investment and the fact that their funds are socially-screened,” Noss said.
GuideStone Funds do not invest in any company that is publicly recognized as being in the alcohol, tobacco, gambling, pornography or abortion industries or any company whose products, services or activities are publicly recognized as being incompatible with the moral and ethical posture of GuideStone. Additionally, GuideStone strives to be an engaged shareholder, advocating for the values the Funds’ investors live. That is done through targeted outreach that encourages the adoption of Christ-like business practices and seeks to influence the way companies interact with their employees, customers and communities.
An additional component Noss cited was GuideStone’s commitment to impact investing. Upon learning about the new Global Impact Fund, Noss immediately invested in it, as well.
GuideStone Chief Investment Officer David Spika explained that the Fund is meant to be the next step in GuideStone’s model, which continues to include its faith-based funds and advocacy efforts.
“We are putting our values into practice by making strategic investments in organizations that seek to create positive impact — and in doing so, we are serving the underserved while promoting the growth of God’s Kingdom,” Spika said. (For more information on the Global Impact Fund, visit the website.)
Spika also echoed Dr. Noss’ advice to his son, advice Spika said is important for every investor to consider.
“Invest as early as you can, invest as much as you can while living within your means, and stay invested are the three pieces of guidance I provide my own children,” Spika said. “The earlier you start investing, whether as a 19-year-old, which is simply incredible, or as a 25-year-old or even in your 30s, the longer you have to put money aside and watch it grow.
“And even if you didn’t — or couldn’t — start as early as you should have, the next best time to start is right now.”
That was guidance Matthew Noss took to heart as well.
“Since I started young, I don’t have as many expenses as I’ll have when I’m older,” said Noss, who has paid his cell phone and car insurance bills since he was 16. “By establishing this habit now, I’ll hopefully carry it through my life.”
Noss is preparing for a career in finance — he is currently studying at the Bluegrass Community and Technology College. The coursework allows him to focus on school 1-2 days each week and work the rest of the week.
“I am a people person, and this business is all about connections,” Noss said. “My office is wherever I am working that day.”
His advice for his peers — and their parents — is to start now, wherever they can.
“You should treat investing like any other item in your budget; it’s just as important as those other items,” Noss said. “I’m learning that consistency and hard work pay off.”
Roy Hayhurst is the director of denominational and public relations at GuideStone.
Mutual fund investing involves risk, including the possible loss of money.
There can be no guarantee that any strategy (risk management or otherwise) will be successful. All investing involves risk, including potential loss of principal. Diversification does not ensure a profit or protect against loss.
You should carefully consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses of the GuideStone Funds before investing. A prospectus with this and other information about the Funds may be obtained by calling 1-844-GS-FUNDS (1-844-473-8637) or downloading one at GuideStoneFunds.com/Funds. It should be read carefully before investing.