Category: Stewardship

Celebrating 21 Years & A New Look For Us!

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 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.”

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.”

Larry Burkett – A Life of Impact

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.

Having an impact through Volunteering

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.

 

Keeping Your Eyes on the Goal

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.”

 

Impact for Generations – How George Whitefield influenced the world

by Curtis Burkholder

Have you ever considered how your life may impact future generations?  Does your heart burn with a passion for a cause?  Today, I want to briefly share the story of one individual who impacted many generations.

Recently the team at Bare Wealth Advisors read Gospel Patrons and discussed it weekly.  Gospel Patrons is a book about generous people who funded the work and ministries of other people in history.  This book specifically highlights the story of three individuals and their financial supporters.  The book tells the stories of the impact they had in their world at the time and how many continue to impact us today.  One of these stories is the story of George Whitefield (1714-1770).

You may have heard of Whitfield before as many people know him as one of the founders of Methodism as well as a preacher during the Great Awakening, but some parts of his story are not as well known.  Whitefield had a financial backer known as Lady Huntingdon who helped to fund his ministry.  Lady Huntingdon became widow at the age of thirty-nine and used her financial resources for eternal purposes.

Whitefield had a preaching style that was unique and uncommon for his time.  He was known for speaking of spiritual things as being real.  In stark contrast to sermons of the day that were often read and were dry, Whitefield’s sermons were passionate, biblical, and joyful.  Often Whitefield would preach twice a day seven days a week.  He also tried something that had not been tried in England at the time, preaching outside.

Amid drawing large crowds to hear him speak on both sides of the Atlantic, Whitefield also faced opposition.  He regularly had rocks, dirt, and even eggs thrown at him.  He was almost stoned to death in Ireland, two people attempted to murder him while he slept, and others tried to distract him and his listeners.  But despite the opposition, he continued preaching.

By the time of his death at age fifty-five, he had preached at least 18,000 sermons averaging over ten per week-more than 500 sermons a year for thirty-four consecutive years.  In his will, he left everything to Lady Huntington who had supported his ministry.

Through Lady Huntingdon’s support and Whitefield’s tireless preaching, they influenced many in both England and America.  It is estimated that over 80% of those living in the American colonies at the time heard Whitefield preach.  This provided a common theological framework that influenced the nation for many generations.  Between both England and America, it is estimated that over ten million people heard his sermons.

As we reflect on the life of Whitefield and what he accomplished, it is amazing to consider what he did without our modern transportation or sound projection systems.  Considering this, I encourage you to reflect on everything that we have, and to think about your talents, time, and the resources God has given you.  How may God want to use you to impact not only this generation but future generations.  It may not be an easy road, but through perseverance may you accomplish the dreams and desires God has placed within your heart.

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