Category: Economy

Market Update

by Ron Bare

As mentioned in our previous blog, the Bare Wealth Advisors team believe in helping our clients make financial decisions flowing out of a comprehensive financial plan based on your values and goals. However, we do understand that the current health situation with the virus and also the implications of how this effects your financial goals is probably on your mind. With that in mind, we wanted to share a few thoughts on fear and also a few principles we believe.

Since fear levels in our country (and world) are at high levels, we thought it would be good to share some thoughts and principles related to fear and finances. I have heard that the Bible says do not fear (or be afraid) somewhere close to 365 times, one for each day. This is clearly to remind us that our nature is to fear the unknown and the circumstance we may be faced with. I was reminded in our church service this past week to read Psalms 91 (too long to type in this blog – I suggest going to the YouVersion Bible app to read). Reading this and other scripture is a great way to actively combat fear in our lives and for those we care about.

In addition, as we make financial decisions, we believe reviewing a few basic principles can be effective when we live in times of uncertainty. Here are a few to consider:

  1. God is the owner of all things, including our money (Psalm 24:1). This reminds us we are stewards and should work hard to manage what has been entrusted to us; however, we are not expected to have a crystal ball based on future events that may or may not happen.
  2. Live within your means and be content with what we have (Hebrews 13:5)
  3. Minimize the use of debt
  4. Build liquidity and have some money put back in savings for the unexpected and for income that you may need in the short term (our planning process accounts for these items)
  5. Think long term – the longer term your perspective typically will help you make better financial decisions. (Think back to the financial crisis of 2008 – 12 years ago, we have recovered well)
  6. Give generously – personally I believe this to be a very important step in coming up against fear we may have. Fear causes us to hold tight to what we have rather than have an open hand, look to help someone in need or bless a cause or mission you believe in.

In summary, one of our core values at Bare Wealth is Biblical wisdom. We believe that when we manage our lives and finances according to Biblical principles we can experience:

  1. Contentment under all economic conditions
  2. Confidence in financial decision making
  3. Maximize the use of money, our talents and time for what matters most to us

As always feel free to contact our team with questions on your plan/investments or concerns related to what is happening in our world, we care about you and your family.

Also, please pass this on to any family or friends who may benefit from reading this.

Market Update

by Ron Bare

One thing I have learned, working in the financial services industry over the past 24 years, is by having your investment decisions flow out of a comprehensive personal financial plan, based on your values and goals, is essential to making wise decisions over time. The moment you separate your investment decisions and make them independently of a comprehensive financial plan is when those decisions are made based on emotions, news events, or other items that do not point back towards your values and goals.

If you have worked with Bare Wealth for any length of time, you know we believe in planning around our client’s purpose, values and goals and letting these items drive all decision making. However, we do understand when world events cause large movements in the financial markets, feelings of concern may arise regarding how these shifts may impact your objectives. With that in mind, we do not want to be silent when events, such as the coronavirus, influence the markets with an 11% drop in one week.

In case this has caused any concern (or fear) related to life or your finances, we want to assure you that unless your goals or short-term financial needs have changed, it is best not to react to these news events. Let your financial plan have the time it needs to properly help carry out your goals.  As always, we are here to take any questions or inquiries surrounding these events. In the meantime, lets pray for the families impacted by the virus and pray that a solution would be developed to stop the spread of the disease.

When Will This Bull Market End?

by Ryan Kurtz

Just in case you haven’t been paying attention the last 3127 calendar days, we are in a bull stock market (as of September 30 measured by the S&P 500).  That means stocks have been on a steady climb and have not had a 20% drop from its highest point since 2009.  So when will this bull market end?

Before answering that question, let’s start by looking at what has really happened in the last 3127 days.

Over the last 8 years investors around the world were willing to pay more to own companies like Walmart, Apple, and Exxon.  Even though the Federal  Government shutdown briefly, terrorists attacked different places around the world,  and  we had two Presidential elections during that time period, investors as a whole have felt confident in owning stocks.  The stock market is like an auction, when you have bidders that are willing to pay more for something, you have to bid higher to get it and that is what investors have been willing to do.

So when will this bull market end?

Many economists, financial advisors, and business writers have been more than happy to give their opinions and predictions on when this may occur.  The truth be told, nobody knows.

This bull could keep running for another 8 years or the market could begin its descent tomorrow.

To keep things in perspective, let’s look at history and what we can expect to be normal.

Dow Jones Industrial Average from 1900 – 2016 (information based on Capital Group research)

-5% decline about three times a year

-10% decline about once a year

-15% decline about once every two years

-20% decline about once every 3.75 years

What is the lesson in this?

We do not know how long this bull market will last but when it does end, it is not a tragic event.  It is normal for investing into the stock market.

So what can you do?

Review your financial plan regularly and make sure you are prepared if your investments in the stock market begin to lose value.  Historically, if you were able to hold them long enough, you would have been rewarded by enjoying the next bull market that came along.  Although past results are not a guarantee of the future, this can be a comforting fact to a long term investor.

“The market is the most efficient mechanism anywhere in the world for transferring wealth from impatient people to patient people.” — Warren Buffett

If you are wondering if you are prepared for this bull market to end, contact us at Bare Wealth Advisors.  We would be happy to review your plan with you.

Preparing for Misfortune

by Ryan Kurtz

Right in middle of the Bible, there is a book called Ecclesiastes written by one of the wisest and wealthiest men that ever lived.  His name is Solomon.  In Ecclesiastes 11:2 Solomon gives us a very useful verse that is sometimes overlooked.  It says;

Divide your portion to seven, or even to eight, for you do not know what misfortune may occur on the earth.   

It is interesting to me that Solomon says that we do not know what misfortune will happen.  You mean we can’t predict it or see it coming?   Sometimes, we can’t.  How many people saw the dot com bubble burst coming in the late 90’s or the financial meltdown coming in 2008?  Those and a number of other times of “misfortune” are current examples of why Solomon tells us to divide our portion.

The word that is often used in the financial industry for divide is diversifying.

Let’s take a look at some of the places that people currently diversify their wealth.  None of these investments are bad places to invest, but as Solomon warns us, too much of your assets into any of these may be putting you at increased risk when “misfortune” occurs on the earth.

  • Money in the Bank – It is good to have some cash available. If your car breaks down or an unexpected expense arises, it is good to have money safe and available.

The risk to having too much cash is that you are constantly losing purchasing power to inflation.  We estimate that each year there is around a 3% increase in expenses due to inflation.  If you make 0.25% in a bank account, you are losing 2.75% of your money to inflation.  Having too much in cash sometimes can be a bad thing.

Most financial advisors recommend having 3 to 6 months of living or operating expenses in cash.  It is also advisable to have cash set aside for any purchases you may need to make in the next 3 years.

  • Real estate – Real estate has been a great long term investment. Not only can you collect income from owning real estate that someone else is using, you can increase the value of investment by the property growing in value over time.

The risk to owning real estate is the potential of the real estate market contracting or collapsing.  This has happened before and could happen sometime again.  Another risk to real estate is lack of liquidity.  If you need money and it is tied up in real estate, it could take several months or even years before you can sell it depending on the current state of the market.

Owning real estate should be done with resources that you can keep invested for the long term.  Avoid excessive amounts of debt when buying real estate and, if possible, don’t buy it all in the same location.

  • Stocks – Owning stocks has been a great investment for future growth. The risk to owning too much of one company is the potential to lose a lot of your money quickly.  A company could lose ½ of its value or more over short periods of time.

Buying stocks is often best done within mutual funds.  This way you can invest into stocks while not owning too much of any one company.

  • Mutual Funds – A great and relatively inexpensive way to invest is in a mutual fund. A mutual fund is where a number of investors pool their money together and pay someone to manage it for them.  You can use mutual funds to invest in different assets like stocks or bonds with someone else doing the work of looking for good investments for you.

A risk to owning a mutual fund is the potential loss of value of the investments that it is invested in and therefore, a loss to the investor.  Most mutual funds are not good short term investments for this reason.

  • Business – One of the places people often invest their wealth is into a business that they run or manage. Most people like investing into their business because it is what they understand and they can see firsthand how their money is being used. Sometimes they are forced to invest into their business because investing into the business may be what keeps the business going.

When possible, it is advisable to take money out of the business to invest in other businesses or real estate.  Since an income or salary often will come from a business they own or operate, it may make sense to make it a priority not to have all of your assets invested here.

So, what is the best investment to prepare for misfortune?  The best investment you can make may be to put some time and resources into putting together your own financial plan.  A financial plan will tell you which investment or combination of investments is best for you.  All of the investments listed are good ones.  A good financial plan will tell you how much you should invest into each so you are prepared when misfortune does occur on the earth.

If you need help putting together a financial plan for yourself, you are welcome to contact the Bare Wealth Advisor office to set up a meeting with one of our advisors.  We would be happy to help you.

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