The Legacy of Wisdom before WealthMay 22, 2023
by Curtis Burkholder
“Wealth never creates wisdom. Wisdom may create wealth”
We believe in this principle at Bare, that we should work hard at passing on wisdom rather than focusing on passing wealth as the primary goal. Our founder, Ron Bare, often adds not only will wealth not create wisdom – but where there is wealth without wisdom you have a disaster.
Where do we find wisdom? First and foremost – in God’s Word! A great place to start is in the Proverbs. The Proverbs are written by Solomon, the wisest man on earth. Proverbs 8:11 tells us: “for wisdom is better than jewels, and all that you may desire cannot compare with her.” Secondly, we have each had different experiences, challenges, and failures over our lifetime. Through each of these, wisdom is gained (hopefully!). Additionally, mentors and the community we have surrounded ourselves with are also valuable sources of wisdom.
Wisdom gained is of no benefit if it is not applied and shared. Many of us have learned our wisdom through making mistakes – we often allow our children to make mistakes because we know that by this they learn. However, we would really be considered foolish if we kept making the same mistake over and over. So, we learn, and we apply wisdom. And then we share or pass wisdom to others. We love to pass our wisdom on to our children so that hopefully they avoid some of our mistakes! (Although they don’t always want to learn this way!)
We have found that one of the best ways to pass on wisdom is through capturing stories. Because of this, we have themed 2023 “Year of Story”. We all love a good story, and the human mind is 22 times more likely to remember facts if they are part of a story! To help you begin capturing your story, we have created a story journal. In this journal are several different categories of questions designed to capture some of the wisdom you have learned. Questions like:
- What have you learned from challenging times in your life experience?
- What was life like growing up and how does that shape who you are today?
By intentionally capturing your story you can then intentionally begin passing wisdom before wealth. You are “stewarding” this wisdom for the next steward – your children and grandchildren. You are preparing them to be wise stewards of any wealth that you pass to them. And remember, even if you don’t feel you have done a good job passing wisdom in the past, it’s never too late to begin! As long as you are alive, you are able to influence your children, grandchildren, or other heirs.
As you go throughout your days and weeks, consider how you can begin to pass the wisdom you have learned through the years to those around you. Your stories are a great way to pass this wisdom in memorable ways to those around you! We’d love to encourage you in this – please feel free to reach out to us at email@example.com if you’d like to learn more about our unique process of helping you capture your unique story!
Nothing New Under the SunApril 5, 2023
by Ron Bare
Perhaps the most common mistake made when making investment decisions is making ANY investment decision outside the context of a written financial plan based on your goals and values. That is why Bare Wealth Advisors does not create investment portfolios for our clients without a plan.
Without a plan we are left to the news headlines and predictions from all the market “experts” – most of which are fear driven. Fear is a good salesperson, and financial journalism is guilty of “selling” the headline that will generate the most clicks. We believe wealth is ultimately a resource entrusted to us to maximize the impact and calling God has given us. We should never succumb to fear headlines and financial journalism’s goal of making short term investment decisions based on what the market may do over the next few months.
As Ecclesiastes tells us, “nothing is new under the sun.” Over the past year we have seen the following: war, inflation, rising interest rates, recession fears, supply chain constraints, and most recently the failure of Silicon Vally Bank (a tech focused bank which had heavy losses the past year). All this on top of coming out of a closed economy due to the Covid 19 pandemic, can be exhausting and emotional – however, none of these are “new under the sun!” We live in an uncertain world and one benefit of a financial plan is to help you plan for what we call the “certainty of uncertainty”.
Our advice is and always will be the same – think long term, diversify, minimize debt, live generously, live within your means, and create a tailored financial plan based on the individual values, purpose, and goals your family has established. However, in the meantime let me share a few thoughts regarding our current economic state.
There has been much discussion recently regarding the cause of the inflation we have been experiencing. Basic economics tell us that when you create too much of something the value of that something is reduced. The total M2 (money supply – or simply just think money in all bank accounts) increased by 40% during a two-year window of the pandemic. (Over $6 Trillion!) For perspective, the normal increase in M2 is about 6% per year. It does not take a rocket scientist to figure out this may reduce the value of money (the definition of inflation). The good news (of course nobody is focusing on any good news) is that M2 has decreased over the past 12 months and many leading indicators are showing that inflation is subsiding. It will take some time, but inflation is heading in the right direction – lower!
Remember, even though some indicators show inflation is declining, it is always challenging to predict what will happen in the “short-term.” More importantly, short term is not where we or you should focus. We are long term planners focused on the impact your resources can help you make over the next 10, 20 or 30 years!
As I wrap up these thoughts, I would like to encourage us all to make sure we receive the proper “inputs.” Begin with the NEVER changing word of God (Bible), understand the principles of truth and ask for wisdom to apply them to your life. Then surround yourself with advisors that know and care about you, listen to you and share your values, and can help you discern how to apply wisdom to the vision and impact God is calling you and your family to make – in this short life we have been privileged to live. Thank you for allowing us at Bare Wealth Advisors to be one of your trusted advisors, we are honored!
Impact – Why we do what we do!February 6, 2023
by Ron Bare
“Through intentional stewardship and extravagant giving, Bare Wealth Advisors help generous people shift the culture and change the world for the glory of God.”
As we have been writing about in our latest series of blogs and articles, our vision is to not only help you plan strategically with your finances, but our main desire is to help you maximize your impact (with the financial capital you are stewarding) for the next generation and for the good you desire to have on this earth. The quote that begins this blog is what we are calling our “impact statement.” We have seen and believe that intentional money management and generosity are a key element to making the impact we desire.
Throughout history there have been individuals that God has used to shift culture for the glory of God. Billy Graham, William Wilberforce, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Corrie ten Boom, Rosa Parks, and Martin Luther King all come to mind as individuals that used their time, talent and treasure to make a difference in our world. To a great extent, we are benefactors of their efforts. You can read more about some of these individuals in Eric Metaxas Books; Seven Men and Seven Women.
Often as you look behind the names mentioned above you can find others who have supported these movements with their gifts – including financial gifts. I think of William Tyndale, responsible for translating the Bible into English (putting his life on the line!) and how this may never have happened without Humphrey Monmouth who financially backed the endeavor. I also think of John Newton, responsible for writing many hymns including “Amazing Grace”, who also mentored William Wilberforce to use his gifting’s in politics rather than go into “ministry.” Wilberforce went on to help lead the abolishment of the English slave trade. Without John Thornton’s financial support from his successful business enterprises we may not know of the name John Newton or William Wilberforce – that jolts me! You can read more about these stories in John Rinehart’s book, “Gospel Patrons.”
These stories inspire us to think about our impact. We may not be Billy Graham, William Wilberforce or Mother Theresa – however what if we are those who are to support and financially fund the movements in 2023 that will shape the next 50 – 100 years of history? There has never been a more prosperous time in history, and with that in mind, we must ask ourselves – what does God want me to do with his resources (that He has entrusted to us) to make an impact in our culture today?
We have a great opportunity. Lets expand our vision of what God may want to do through our stewardship and generosity so we can shift the culture and change the world for the glory of God. William Wilberforce had a dream to end the slave trade – as a result of him fulfilling this calling, generations have been changed, culture has shifted and God has been glorified. We can do the same! Our desire at Bare Wealth Advisors is to help you leave this kind of impact!
2023 – The Year of StoryJanuary 16, 2023
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?December 12, 2022
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!
Celebrating 21 Years & A New Look For Us!November 21, 2022
by Ron Bare
At the end of October, we held a 21-year anniversary celebration event! It was a wonderful evening with great food and friends, an encouraging challenge from Chuck Bentley and amazing musical entertainment from Voices of Lee. In addition, we looked back at the last 21 years of Bare Wealth Advisors and Ron set a great vision for where we hope to head in the coming years. We are committed to helping you have great impact and tell your story intentionally for generations to come. For those of you who were in attendance, we hope you were blessed and inspired. If you could not make it, we missed you!
At our celebration, in addition to the above, we launched a new look and feel for Bare Wealth Advisors! As many of you know, 2021 was our “Year of Intentionality.” We felt that this was the right time to be sure that we were intentionally telling an accurate story of who we are and what we do. We worked through an in depth 6-month process being sure we did this well. We are so excited with the results! We will be sharing more of the details of our rebranding in the coming months through our blogs and social media.
When going through the rebranding process our goal was to listen and think about you and your needs or desires when working with financial professionals. We know one of your biggest desires is to make a difference, an impact – in your families and in our world through causes you support with your time, talent, and your treasure. Knowing that the busyness of life and sometime the worries of this world can get in the way of this kind of living, we are committed to forming trusted partnerships with you to help you plan intentionally and give generously to your impact areas (family and giving decisions). Ultimately, we believe, as many of you do, what we invest into the next generation and charitable causes are what will last well beyond our lifetimes.
Our focus is helping you maximize your impact (with the financial capital you are stewarding) for your family and the causes or good you wish to make on this world as part of your legacy. We do this by providing wealth management and holistic financial planning grounded in Biblical wisdom to encourage generosity, empower vision, and influence the world for good. In the coming months we will continue to share the details of our rebranding including our NEW tagline…”Beyond Abundance.” We look forward to helping you grasp this exciting vision!
Intentional ContentmentAugust 11, 2022
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.
Is This Time Different?June 17, 2022
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:
- Give more money away this year to a cause you care about (giving is a step of faith in a God who provides)
- Do not make financial decisions out of fear or worry.
- Think long term – we make better decisions when we think long term
- 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.
- 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 TimeJune 3, 2022
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!
Market Update May 2022May 6, 2022
by Ron Bare
With recent market volatility we know concerns can sometimes arise. We hope this video blog by Ron helps to alleviate any of your concerns and offers you peace of mind. As always, we are here should you like to speak directly with us. Please feel free to reach out to your advisor with any additional questions.