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.
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.”
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.
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”.
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.”
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
by Ron Bare
Happy New Year! As I reflect on each relationship we have with our clients, friends, and colleagues I have a sense of honor and humility to be invited to the table as an advisor. Coming out of our Year of Impact at Bare Wealth Advisors, I think about the stories of impact we are beginning to hear – whether at home within families, local communities, or impact all over the world – Bare Wealth Advisor clients are helping to make an impact for the better and you are part of that! Generosity has increased, communication within families has improved, businesses have grown, and contentment levels are increasing – all of these are essential for the kind of impact we are called to make. So, as I begin, let me first say thank you for allowing us to be part of your journey.
We have communicated over the past few years how fortunate we have been to be able to grow and serve more families, and we remain committed to growing and serving families who align with our mission and desire a long-term relationship with a trusted advisor. Through serving additional families we have been able to fulfill our mission statement – “to intentionally manage wealth in a way that aligns with your God given purpose, for maximum impact” – more than I ever thought possible! Heading into 2022, what stands out to me more than ever in our mission statement is the word intentionally. I have now served for more than 25 years in the role of a financial advisor, and I have seen firsthand how important it is to be intentional if you wish to make an impact.
We all know that to have a good marriage we need to be intentional, to parent children to become productive, faithful adults takes intentionality, to build friendships, stay physically healthy, to meet and achieve personal growth or to be successful in our jobs/businesses – all takes being VERY intentional! Why would we think it is any different in our financial lives? To make an impact and be wise stewards we need to be intentional.
With this in mind, we feel strongly that our “year of” theme for 2022 should be: The Year of Intentionality. To continue to advance our mission and help our clients make an impact we know that being intentional is more important than ever. As a culture, there is more competition for our time, money, emotions, and energy than ever before. Bare Wealth Advisors is committed to standing with our clients and team members to intentionally advance those things that matters most. Here are some areas we hope to be intentional in 2022:
- Creating a welcoming and caring place for all who enter our door.
- Investing into each team member at Bare to further grow and develop their incredible talent.
- Building stronger relationships with each family unit we are blessed to work with.
- Continue conversations exploring new ways of being intentional in your financial plan.
- Listening for new and improved ways to add value to the advice and services we provide.
As we pursue these initiatives of intentionality in 2022 our desire is to strengthen our relationship with you and your family. We want you to be confident and have clarity on where you stand financially. But, most importantly, we want to ensure that you have an intentional strategy for greater impact in your family and the charitable causes you feel drawn to!
We look forward to connecting with you soon in 2022 to continue the journey towards intentional stewardship!
by Ryan Kurtz
As many of you know, our theme at Bare Wealth Advisors for 2021 is “Impact.” Specifically, we are challenging our staff and clients to ask, “how can we use our resources and lives to have an impact on others?”
As I reflect on my life and career, a man comes to mind that was very influential in my own life as well as extremely influential in our industry. Even though he is no longer with us on earth, Larry Burkett epitomizes a life of impact.
Larry passed away when I was 25 years old, and I was never able to meet him. My remembrance of Larry Burkett was when I spent afternoons as a young boy feeding animals and milking cows in the barn on our family farm. Typical of many farmers, the radio was playing, and every midafternoon a show called “Money Matters” aired. It was a “call-in” type of show where people would ask Larry financial questions and he would answer them. I was always struck by the way Larry gave answers to callers with knowledge for each financial situation while simultaneously integrating Biblical wisdom with the answer. His words were full of love for each person regardless of the financial situation – even if the caller found themselves in very negative appearing circumstances. Years later, as I began my career in the financial field as an advisor, part of my desire to help others came from wanting to “be like Larry” – to give loving financial advice integrated with God’s Word.
In addition to the radio show, Larry published over 70 books in his lifetime, and sales of these books now exceed 11 million copies. As I prepare for meetings with clients, I still have many of his books in my office that I pull out from time to time to see what Larry said about a certain topic. It is interesting to me that when I look up the advice he gave in his writings there is almost always a Bible reference included.
Not only did Larry impact me personally (and many others) through his radio broadcasts and writings, Larry was also instrumental in starting or helping to start a number of wonderful Christian financial ministries. At Bare Wealth Advisors we still are closely connected to several of these ministries, and they continue to impact so much of what we do each day. Some of these organizations that we use and connect with regularly are Kingdom Advisors, National Christian Foundation, Crown Financial Ministries, and the Money Wise radio show.
As I reflect on the impact that Larry’s life had on me and many others, I ask myself, “on who am I having an impact?” “Am I having the same life changing impact on others as Larry’s life impacted mine?” I will always be forever grateful for Larry’s life and the way God used him to influence me in so many areas of my life.
by Tina Bare
As we are now halfway through our 2021 Year of Impact focus at Bare Wealth Advisors, we wanted to encourage you that giving back to organizations with your time and talents can be as important as giving your treasure. Many organizations rely very heavily on the support of volunteers and would not be able to survive without them! Ron and I (Tina) have been involved with a local youth ministry, the Parkesburg Point, (parkesburgpoint.com) for many years. We have served in different capacities – from board member to Bible study leader to cooking meals, staffing retreats and mentoring. At times we question do we have “the time” to volunteer and do these things, but we have always found that the Lord extends our time, blesses us, and fills us when we give of our time and talent to His work. The impact is two-fold; the Point meets the needs of those they serve and we in turn are impacted through the interactions that occur. I asked Amy Walton, Volunteer Coordinator at the Point to share her perspective on how volunteers impact their ministry:
“The Point addresses the spiritual, academic, emotional, and physical needs of the students. Volunteers have served those needs in many ways and help carry out the vision of a victorious life. One volunteer couple responded to a student who moved 41 times before coming to The Point. As a high school student, he could not read. Our volunteer couple began to address his academic needs by helping him learn to read. The time spent with this young man turned into a long-lasting relationship. Through their love and encouragement, he began learning about his passion to pursue real estate, learned how to budget, buy a car, and an apartment – and enjoyed eating family meals, something many of us take for granted! As a successful adult, he thanks The Point and this faithful couple for changing his bleak outlook into a life filled with hope, purpose, and love.
Volunteers also help carry out the programs that work towards our mission. Each month 150 volunteers from multiple churches come and serve home-cooked meals to our students each day that we are open. This service covers a nutritional and physical need for our demographic which falls below the poverty level. Other volunteers use their gifts and talents to teach cooking, woodworking, boxing, electrical work, skateboarding, tutoring, reading, and music. Additionally, we have volunteers who open their homes and pools for our Summer Bible Study students to swim—giving a chance for students to experience a peaceful, faithful atmosphere that they strive for in their own future home.
Volunteers support our mission, make an incredible impact, and show that true service does not require anything in return—we are grateful! Hundreds of volunteers have been serving, praying, supporting, giving, and believing in The Point for the last 18 years—the impact is priceless.”
We at Bare Wealth Advisors love to help you intentionally manage your wealth in a way that aligns with your God-given purpose for maximum impact – but, we also want to encourage you that there are so many ways to have impact outside of finances. We challenge you to ask yourself, “How can I leave an impact not only through my finances but also with my time and talents?”
“Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered.” – Proverbs 11:25.
by David Denlinger
It is no secret that this past year created a significant amount of uncertainty, fear, and confusion. In times like these, it is very easy to allow the stress and weariness to get the best of us. All the negative headlines and conflicting news sources seem to shake our judgement. Instead of letting fear control our thoughts and decisions, 2 Timothy 1:7 is a good reminder to stand firm, “For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” From a financial standpoint, staying disciplined during uncomfortable times is difficult but crucial to short-term financial wellness and long-term financial success. Here are several guidelines to help keep your eyes on the goal:
Don’t focus on market swings. It is important to have a financial plan and to stick to it through market volatility. If there are changes to your financial situation, please let us know and we can review your accounts to see if we need to make changes, but it is important to not make decisions out of fear or emotion. Additionally, trying to time the market often involves a lot of disappointment and very few find success.
Invest prudently. The natural human tendency is to buy lots of stock when prices are rising and to stop buying altogether when prices are on the down swing. But some stock prices may provide a good value if the market drops, and you will be able to buy more for the same amount of money. When you are in the accumulation phase, the best way to invest is to setup a monthly investment. This removes the emotion from investing and is a proven long-term plan for successful investing.
Increase your savings. In times of stress, it is natural to buy something fun. But no matter how you feel, it is important to follow Biblical principles and spend less than you make. Focus on adding to your savings instead of making large unnecessary purchases due to the stress you may be feeling.
Give Generously. No matter what is happening around us, it is important to continue to give. There will always be people in need and as a nation we have been very blessed financially. Consider giving of your time, talent, or money to those around you. Furthermore, you can consider giving to local, national, and international organizations to increase the impact that you can have.
Hopefully, these guidelines are helpful as you face the challenges of today. The pandemic has touched each of our lives differently and as you continue to steward your finances, we at Bare Wealth Advisors encourage you to stay disciplined and in all things be grateful. Philippians 4:6-7 states, “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 hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”