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2023 – The Year of Story

We have themed 2023 “The Year of Story”.  Over the past 21 years of hearing your stories, we have come to believe that capturing your story is an important piece of preparing the next generation for successful stewardship. Therefore, in 2023 we are making an intentional effort to give you tools to help you capture your story.

In Biblical times, stories were often passed down orally from one generation to the next. In Deuteronomy Moses reminds the people of Israel about their story and journey to freedom. He tells them to “remember” and gives careful warnings of how to live as they enter the promised land under new leadership from Joshua. “Remember” is a word that Moses repeats often! By remembering their story of the past the Israelites will be protected from repeating mistakes as well as prepared for the impact and purposes God had for them.

As we begin 2023, I feel the burden of helping the next generation be prepared to enter life and make the difference God has called them to. I’m sure you think about this as well. I believe we can model what was done in Moses’ time today. This current generation (Us!) can intentionally prepare the next to enter their calling. Some of this preparation involves passing down wealth. But more importantly, we should be passing down our stories – which allows the next generation to understand the wisdom you’ve gained, lessons you’ve learned, the challenges you endured during hard times and the perseverance you employed to overcome those challenges. We believe your stories will help prepare the next generation to pick up where you leave off so they can continue to create positive change to impact the world for good.

As mentioned above, money is an important part of our story. When managed with wisdom, we can use financial capital in a way that helps us tell a story that inspires the next generation. Think about it, you could do a lot of great things in life, however if you do not learn to manage and handle money well it will most likely lead to regrets as part of your story. We have all learned a lot through our successes and failures in managing money – why not intentionally pass these lessons learned to the next generation? Here are 3 suggestions to help you tell a successful story:

  1. Build a financial plan tailored to your story, values, purpose, and goals. This will create clarity on the purpose of the money and help you stay focused on what matters most in life – it’s like putting guardrails on the side of the road. They protect you from going over the edge while you retain control of where you are heading financially.
  2. Write down your story and how it interacts with money. Answering questions like: what was money like growing up? What was I taught about money and how to manage or care for it? What is your first memory of money? What do you want to be remembered for? Putting pen to paper with these types of questions will help you clarify your values and what you want to communicate to the next generation.
  3. Define what is enough. Once you know how much is enough you will unlock potential resources to pour into your purpose and the next generation. This could help you accomplish more than you imagined during your lifetime to continue to build on the story you have told to this point in time.

We look forward to connecting with you in 2023 and helping you explore these steps above and work together to help you capture and tell the story you desire. Blessings to you and your family as we embark on another year together!

By Ron Bare

Why “Beyond Abundance” for Our Tagline?

by Ron Bare

As we mentioned in our last blog post, we have recently gone through a rebranding process and now have a “new” look and feel!  We hope you love this new look as much as we do! As we mentioned last month, as part of our rebranding, we created a new tagline  – “Beyond Abundance.” This tagline connects to our core value of “biblical wisdom” and ultimately connects to our approach of helping you with your financial decision making. We believe that living “beyond abundance,” is a posture of confidence in God, acknowledging that He can richly provide for us beyond what we need so we can generously share with others (2 Cor 9:8-12). A “beyond abundance” way of living offers freedom and opportunities to live a life of fullness (John 10:10), to impact the world far beyond what we could hope or imagine (Eph 3:20).

As we began thinking about what our tagline should be we first thought of what would resonate with you! And this is what we know – you love to be generous, and we love to promote generosity! We were reminded of all the generosity stories we have heard from you, and we have watched so many of you walk in a generous life that we can confidently say that 2 Cor 9:8-12 is true! We believe generosity is the most important part of a financial plan and a necessary component of a lasting legacy. A fulfilling and abundant life must contain living with open hands – looking for ways to be a blessing to those in need, our families, and others who we can love and serve.

In addition to generosity, we believe that it is important to be intentional to think about and expand our vision to align with desired impact, and then connect finances to this vision. Proverb 29:18 says in the KJV “Where there is no vision, the people perish”. We know as well as you do that people follow “visions” they deem worthy. What vision are you following? Have you paused to think intentionally about the vision for your life, family members and others you care about? Through our intentional process, we will help you bring clarity to your vision as well as work with you to align your money decisions to help carry your vision forward.

By living generously and clarifying your vision you can be confident that you are leaving a lasting impact in our world! You will be able to truly say you are living, “Beyond Abundance!” We look forward to connecting with you soon to continue to explore ways to do this together as well as share some new tools we are developing to help you tell your loved ones and the world your story of a “Beyond Abundance” life!

Intentional Contentment

by Tina Petersheim

Cancelled plans. High school proms, college graduations, weddings, baby showers, birthday parties, anniversary celebrations, sporting events, vacations. The pandemic changed a lot of plans over the last couple of years as important milestones looked different. It would be easy to complain about all that was missed but what if we changed our focus and perspective for this “new normal”: A chance to be more intentional with the people in our lives, longer conversations with the people we love, meaningful encounters with those around us and time to disconnect from the chaos around us.

I met, dated, and married my husband in the middle of the pandemic. Like almost every girl, I imagined the princess dress, the extravagant cake, the lavish venue full of guests, the sendoff in a horse and carriage…. my very own fairytale wedding. Instead, I said “yes to the dress” online; our wedding list was shortened, our wedding cake was a few small desserts, the ballroom became the church lobby, and the grandeur exit was sitting around the table enjoying conversation with our kids.

As we focus on a year of intentionality at Bare, intentional contentment means choosing to be satisfied in all situations, experiencing joy and seeing God’s goodness, even when things don’t go as planned and life throws an unexpected curveball. After years of praying and experiencing loss, God had answered our prayers and my husband and I chose to find joy and contentment in the simpler things. We became intentional with the people we invited to our wedding as the room was filled with those who had weathered our journeys with us and with the ceremony as we shared how God merged the paths of two people who had lived through difficult circumstances.

The Apostle Paul learned the secret of being content and reminds us in Philippians 4:10b-11… “for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little.”

How are you being intentional with being content in every circumstance? Are you choosing to be happy with the little things in life and live in the moment? Are you fully trusting in the One who has promised to meet every need? Maybe, like me, some things in your life don’t look quite like you thought they might. Maybe some of your goals have shifted or changed. At Bare, we help you through transitions to ensure your values, goals and purpose are directing your financial plan.  Having a good financial plan that you feel confident about, along with regular “check-ins”, can help with living out the verses in Philippians and being content in every circumstance.

Ultimately, choose to recognize God’s blessings and enjoy the simpler things: long walks in the park, snuggles with a new baby, a cup of coffee on a rainy morning, relaxing on a sunny day. Know that God is in the details, canceled plans, and missed activities. After all, I still found my Prince Charming and am choosing to be intentional in living happily ever after.

US Economy

Is This Time Different?

The Equity (Stock) market by most gauges is now down well over 20% and has entered a bear market. We understand that times like this can be difficult as an investor, and we are here to help you make wise financial and investment decisions. Because we care about you and your financial plan, we want to provide you with some overall thoughts and perspectives on market volatility.

What is the cause of this bear market?

Inflation has surged, the federal reserve is raising interest rates (and reversing what is called QE or Quantitative Easing) and these actions are increasing the odds of a recession. Oil prices are at record highs (we all see this at the gas pump daily), and food prices are skyrocketing – not to mention the war in Ukraine. All these headlines and events may lead you to believe that “this time is different.”

Therein lies perhaps the most dangerous phrase of becoming a long-term successful investor. “This time is different.” If we believe this, then the next thought is, “I must pull my money out of the markets, or at least start preserving cash and stop investing my monthly amount into something that loses money each month.”

This time is NOT different. Recessions occur once every five years on average. While inflation is a problem right now, there have been times where it was much higher. Also, although the federal reserve is raising interest rates, they are still relatively low. Oil supply is still limited due to pandemic shutdowns (and other factors for another time) and demand has surged due to a full reopening of the economy. All of this will work its way out. In our opinion, more oil supply will come, demand will soften, inflation will cool, and the market will realize that the world is not ending. In time, this bear market will end.

This time is not different, if just FEELS different. It always does. In 2008 when banks were failing, housing was busting, and the market dropped over 50% (remember how that felt? I do!) – it certainly felt very different. However, those who stayed the course, added to their portfolios, and had faith in the future prevailed, and this time should be no different. During uncertain times it is good to reflect on time tested principles:

  1. Give more money away this year to a cause you care about (giving is a step of faith in a God who provides)
  2. Do not make financial decisions out of fear or worry.
  3. Think long term – we make better decisions when we think long term
  4. Add to your investment portfolio, assuming you have a few years until you need the money a drop in the market may be a good opportunity to invest with a long-term perspective.
  5. As we have talked about in the past, make decisions based on your holistic financial plan that is based on your goals, values, and timeframes – we are here to help review any of these details with you if that would be helpful.


Thank you for your continued partnership, and I wish to close with words from Paul in Philippians 4:6-7; “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the Peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your heart and minds in Christ Jesus.”

Intentional Family Time

by Jim Wahlberg

As we focus on our “Year of Intentionality” one of the most important areas where we can be intentional is with our family. Unfortunately, this can also be the area that is easiest to neglect. When I think of being intentional or deliberate with family, my mind immediately goes to my childhood and the example that was modeled to me.  I think it is safe to say that each one of us was shaped by what we experienced in our childhood.  When I think back on my upbringing, I’m thankful that I can reminisce on mostly fond memories and experiences.

A few things that my family did intentionally were:

  • Eating dinner together as a family each night. I remember playing with friends in the evenings and being told I needed to be home by 5:00.  Many times, I argued that it wasn’t fair that I had to be home while my other friends were still playing.  My parents put a value on making sure we had a time each night that we were all together and we could talk about our day.
  • Family vacations. These are one of my most cherished memories. My parents grew up in Minnesota and most of my extended family were still in that area, which meant we had to be intentional to see our grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins.  Most summers, we would pile in the station wagon for a road trip to see family.  I’d sit in the back with my two sisters and proceed to drive everyone crazy while I’d see how close I could get to the imaginary line dividing our seats without crossing it.  When my dad’s “claw” would reach around the seat and latch onto my knee, I knew I’d crossed the line!  The 20 or so hours each way that we’d spend in the car were all worth it when we had time away from our normal distractions at home and got to make incredible memories on those annual vacations.

Now that I have the responsibility as a parent of three young kids, I am tasked with being intentional with both my wife and our kids.  James 4:14 says, “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.”  As summer is about to begin, I’d encourage each of you to take a moment to identify what you are doing intentionally with your family, whether with a spouse, children, grandchildren, or maybe even friends whom you see as family.  Eat ice cream, day trip to the beach, jump in the pool! Understand that our time on earth is a mist that will soon vanish…take time today to make an intentional moment!

Intentional Financial Planning

by Adam Black

When you hear the term “financial plan”, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Maybe it’s planning for retirement, finding a way to get your kids through college, or buying your first home. Personally, the first thing that I think of is “process”. When I think of the goals I have in my life, I know that most of them will not be accomplished overnight. To determine the best path forward, I had to sit down to evaluate what I have, what I’ve done so far, but most importantly, where my heart is. Taking the time to do that was an awesome process of self-discovery – but that was just the beginning.

Once I knew what I wanted to accomplish, I had to take action-steps to get there. The most important financial aspect of my plan was to live within my means. Without this discipline, most (if not all) plans would fail. I had to discern where money was flowing – how much I was spending money on takeout, how much I was giving, how much I was spending on gas, and so on. This process wasn’t fun, but from it I was able to figure out how I could achieve my goals and set guardrails on my financial journey.

No matter what stage of life you’re in, it’s important to intentionally take the time to go through this process. As you dream of your future, think about how it is impacted by your finances and consider the steps you need to take to make that dream happen.

You may not have the know-how on earning the most money in your investment account, how to save for your goals while being tax-efficient, or how to effectively give your money generously to make your financial plan flourish, but that’s okay. We would love to help you discern what those goals are and help you get there, all while building a deep relationship of trust and intentionality. For those we already serve – we love serving you! For those who we do not have the honor to work with yet, understand it’s a process, but a fulfilling one when done with intentionality and purpose.

I’ll leave you with my favorite catchphrase that I believe summarizes a key point to an intentionally built financial plan: “Trust the Process”.

Thoughts on the crisis in Ukraine

by Ron Bare

Like you, all of us at Bare Wealth Advisors are concerned about the recent world events, most significantly the Russian invasion into Ukraine. In the days ahead, please contact your team here at Bare Wealth Advisors if you have specific questions on how this affects your personal financial plan. In the meantime, I feel compelled to share some overall thoughts and words of encouragement.

  1. There will be plenty of blame to go around for this event in the days and months ahead – for now, I suggest praying for peace and protection for the nation of Ukraine.
  2. We are seeing extreme price movement in food and energy, which is likely to continue. Keep in mind, the US was energy independent within the last couple years. I believe our country has the capability to produce the energy we will need in the long-term. Since Ukraine is a large producer of wheat, we will continue to see increases in our food costs until this uncertainty is behind us.
  3. In my opinion, Russia desires control and money from both energy and agriculture (mostly energy) and that is what this war is about. In my opinion, Putin does not want to start World War 3.
  4. Financial Steps to take:
    1. Live within your means – spend less than you earn
    2. Give generously to those in need – here is a link to 20 organizations that are helping people in Ukraine: https://www.ncfgiving.com/stories/help-for-ukraine-10-charities-on-the-frontlines/
    3. Minimize debt
    4. Think long term – this too will pass. Continue to “work” the financial plan we have put in place. If you are adding to investment accounts, please continue to invest and possibly increase the amount of money you are investing. You are investing into some great companies that over the long term may reward you with good profits. If you have excess cash (margin) in your financial plan this may be a great time to consider buying some of these companies shares.
    5. Do not fear: Read Matthew 6: 19-34 (read verses 25-27 below)
      1. V25: That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life – whether you have enough food or drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t your life more than food, and your body more than clothing? V26: Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? V27: Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?”

Thank you for trusting in our team. We are here to serve you and we would be happy to help bring clarity to any questions you have concerning your personal financial plan.

Sincerely,

Ron Bare and the entire Bare Wealth Team

Intentional Generosity

by Curtis Burkholder

As a young boy growing up on a dairy farm, I remember my mom talking about adding money to her Christmas Club.  At the time, I didn’t understand what this meant.  What I understand now is that she was intentionally setting money aside each month so that when Christmas came around my parents would have money saved to be able to buy gifts.  Instead of just buying gifts out of their monthly income they had a lump sum saved to buy gifts.  My parents valued generosity at Christmas time and knew that it wouldn’t happen naturally.  They intentionally planned to save monthly so they could be generous at Christmas time.  They had a vision of being able to enjoy giving as well as experience the joy of my sisters and I opening our gifts.  This was one of the earliest examples of intentional generosity that I remember.

For many of us, giving and generosity does not occur naturally but requires intentional thought and planning.  2022 at Bare Wealth Advisors is the “Year of Intentionality.” In addition, one of our core values is generosity.  Today, we’ll consider how intentionality and generosity are related.  Generosity is a way that we can inspire others, a way to enrich our relationships, and allows us to expand the influence of what we manage.  This kind of generosity requires intentional thought and planning.

Generosity inspires others by making an impact upon their current situation.  It may be a gift that is made right when funds are needed to pay a bill or to meet the current need of a charity. Generosity can also provide funds for an organization to venture into new areas of opportunity.  Then, as we share stories of generosity, others are inspired to give as well.  This can cause a community to gain momentum around generosity.

Giving generously enriches relationships as it communicates, “I value who you are and know what is important to you.”  Generosity requires intentional thought and planning to find a gift that reflects who the person is as well as their interests. With an organization, giving can also enrich the relationship between the giver and the organization as it allows gratitude to flow back and forth between the giver and the recipient.

Generosity expands the influence of what we manage by sharing what we have with others.  Instead of keeping money, time, or talent to ourselves, as we share our resources it allows us to influence others in ways we would not have been able to do otherwise.  We can encourage, train, and teach others as we share what we have.

The apostle Paul in a letter to the church at Corinth encouraged them to excel in the “grace of giving.”  To excel in something requires hard work and effort.  It does not occur naturally but requires sacrifice and discipline.  To intentionally live a generous lifestyle requires us to say “No” to some things and make sacrifices so we can say “Yes” to others and be generous.  This requires us to have a vision for our giving and to intentionally plan. Just like my parents saw on Christmas morning when they watched the joy on our faces, the energy that it takes to intentionally be generous is well worth the effort.

As you think about your personal life and giving strategy, take time to consider one area or cause that you feel inspired to be more generous in.  Consider the potential impact of an increase in your generosity and develop a plan that will help you accomplish that goal.  (We would love to help you create this plan!) As you develop a plan, make sacrifices, and take steps towards greater giving, you will be living in intentional generosity and experience the truth, “It’s more blessed to give than to receive.”

Market Thoughts 101

By Ryan Kurtz

It is January 26th, 2022, as I sit down to write my thoughts on the current state of the stock market.  After 3 great years in the market (measured by the S&P 500 Index) in which a $100,000 investment would have grown to almost $180,000, the market is down 8.5% since January 1st. Does that mean the stock market is no longer a good place to invest?  Let’s take a deeper look.

What creates volatility in the stock market?

The “market” is just an auction that happens every business day in which investors (owners) in companies buy and sell their ownership shares. If there are more buyers bidding, then there are sellers selling of a company, the shares go up in price. If there are more sellers than buyers, the share price goes down. There are many things that would make people want to buy or sell – a CEO retiring, a new product that investors think is a good idea, profits in a quarter are better than expected, and on and on.

Are we going to see a decline or drop in the market? The answer is yes. When, and how much, I have no idea (and no one else does either, it is just speculation.)  Just because the market drops does not mean it is a bad place to invest. It is the nature of this type of investment that is priced by a daily auction. No one knows the future and even when very intelligent people predict what “may” happen to the market, they are often wrong.

Is the stock market still a good place to invest? The answer is – it depends. It depends on what you plan to use the money you invest into the market for. It is typically a good place to invest for someone that has a long-term plan to own the investment. If you need the money you’re investing in 1 – 3 years, it may not be a good place to invest.  For investors that have been able to hold investments in the stock market for 10 years or more they would have had an investment that would have provided a good average annual return during most decades. If you only would be able to hold the investment for a year or two, you would have had a 25% – 30% chance of losing money*.

So, what are our current thoughts on the Market?

  • The market is a good place to invest for a long-term investor
  • The market could be too much risk to take if you are a short-term investor
  • Based on our experience and working with many families; the stock market is one of the 3 best investments one should own to create wealth. The other two are real estate and private business.

In closing, our encouragement to our clients is to keep a long-term focus regarding your investment portfolio and understand how these investments fit into your overall financial plan. If you have a good understanding of the investments purpose, timeframe, and needs for you and your family you are much more likely to be a successful long-term investor!

*American Funds, The ICA Guide 2021 edition: Class A shares; MFS Investment Management, Principles of Long Term Investing Resilience

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