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Debt Consolidation: The Easy Way Out

MoneyWise / Rob West and Steve Moore
The Truth Network Radio
May 9, 2022 5:00 pm

Debt Consolidation: The Easy Way Out

MoneyWise / Rob West and Steve Moore

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May 9, 2022 5:00 pm

Debt consolidation can seem like the best solution to lower the interest rates and payments on your credit card debt. But can that strategy lead to more complications and new problems? On today's MoneyWise Live, Rob West will talk about how debt consolidation can get you into worse trouble than when you started. Then he'll answer your calls and financial questions.

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Human writer Arthur Block once said, every solution breeds new problems. Hi, I'm Rob West. Okay, that's a bit cynical, but I can think of one solution more like the easy way out that can definitely lead to new problems and get you in worse trouble than when you started. I'll talk about that first today, then it's on to your calls at 800-525-7000.

That's 800-525-7000. This is MoneyWise Live, biblical wisdom for your financial decisions. Okay, the easy way out I'm talking about is debt consolidation. I've made no secret that I'm not a fan of debt consolidation, and that's for two reasons. One, it's dangerous. And two, there's a much better option, and we'll get to that shortly.

Let's talk about the danger first. The tantalizing idea behind debt consolidation is that you'll reduce your overall monthly payment by refinancing several debts into one big one. But in order to make that one payment smaller, you may have to sign up for a longer term loan. That means you'll probably end up paying more in interest in the long run than you would be by paying off the debts individually. Now, you might think that having a lower monthly payment will give you a chance to pay more on the principal each month to get rid of the combined debt faster, and that's certainly true.

The problem is, too often that's not what happens. Having that extra cash on hand leads to lifestyle creep, and folks just end up continuing to pay the minimum amount each month. That's how the debt gets stretched out over several years, which costs more in interest. The next problem with debt consolidation I wouldn't say is a danger, but it's something to think about. Consolidating your debts could temporarily lower your credit score in two ways. First, whenever you apply for a new credit card to transfer balances to it, or you apply for a home equity loan to consolidate, that gets reported to the credit bureaus as a hard inquiry and it will lower your FICO score. Second, if you get a new card or loan and you close out the old accounts, it'll lower the average age of your credit, which also lowers your score. But again, if you're struggling to pay off the debts you already have, let's not worry about a low credit score hampering your ability to get new credit and even more into debt. Okay, so the greatest danger of all with debt consolidation, the easy way out, is that it's really just slapping on a bandaid when you really need a tourniquet.

It doesn't fix the underlying problem, which is living beyond your means in most cases. Granted, sometimes you can be overwhelmed with a financial emergency like medical bills, but that's usually not the case when someone consolidates debt. More often, it's because they're simply overspending.

Their lifestyle has gotten out of control. And that's how debt consolidation becomes really dangerous. Instead of reining in your lifestyle, you continue to overspend. And if you don't close the accounts you've paid off, well, you can now continue to charge stuff on them. Then you find yourself having to make payments on those accounts plus the consolidation loan you took out. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but you've only managed to double your problem. Okay, so what's the solution that doesn't breed new problems?

Well, obviously you have to attack the underlying issue, not just the symptom. You've got to reduce your spending and there are two great sources to help for that. The first is to sign up with one of our coaches at MoneyWise.org. When you do, a coach will work with you to prepare a written budget that will enable you to meet your monthly obligations without using credit cards.

There's no charge for this service except the minimal cost of a workbook. Our coaches are all volunteers who love to help God's people get control of their finances. That takes care of the problem of overspending. Now, to address your outstanding debts, you can get help from our friends at Christian Credit Counselors. They'll put you on a debt management plan, not debt consolidation, and they can help you pay off your debts up to 80% faster than going it alone. They have arrangements already in place with most major credit card companies and lenders to lower your interest rates. You only have to make one monthly payment and you solve your debt problem without taking out a new loan. Keep in mind that one monthly payment will be fixed the entire time you're repaying it.

As those balances come down, the monthly payment does not come down with it. That, alongside those lower interest rates, will help you get that debt paid off quicker. By the way, they're all believers, so they'll work with you, they'll pray with you, they'll help you come up with a plan and help you get out of debt once and for all.

You can find them on the web. Check them out at christiancreditcounselors.org. So those are the dangers of debt consolidation and a better solution for you.

Let us know how it turns out. Your calls are next, 800-525-7000. I'm Rob West and this is MoneyWise Live. We'll be right back. Thanks for joining us today on MoneyWise Live, biblical wisdom for your financial decisions. I'm Rob West, your host. We're glad to have you along with us today. We've got some lines open. We'd love to hear from you. The number to call today is 800-525-7000.

That's 800-525-7000. You know, we began today by talking about how you can repay debt. And as I shared, I'm not a big fan of debt consolidation. That is taking out a new loan to solve your debt challenges. Oftentimes, we extend the term. Even with a lower rate, we end up paying more.

But the bigger issue is we often don't solve the underlying problem. So whether it's debt management or perhaps just doing it yourself with the tried and true debt snowball method. That is lining those credit card balances up smallest to largest balance, paying the minimums on all but taking all of your margin and that presumes that you have a budget with some margin. That is money left over at the end of the month, taking all of that surplus and going after the debt with the smallest balance. Once that's paid, roll that minimum payment plus that margin over to the next one and keep going right down the line. And don't forget to celebrate along the way. It doesn't have to be extravagant, but perhaps establishing that rhythm and beginning to see some progress will allow you to have the motivation to keep up with it so that you can get it paid off once and for all. And when you're done, let's get that emergency fund all the way up to six months worth of expenses and now you're really going to be in a great spot to increase your giving and thinking about even saving for the future.

So give that a shot, let us know how it goes along the way. All right, we've got four lines open today. Looking forward to hearing what's on your mind financially speaking at 800-525-7000. We'll begin today in beautiful Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. Paul, go right ahead, sir. Hi, Rob.

Thank you very much for being able to take my call. I have a 96 year old dad that we finally have him in an assisted living facility where it's going to be much safer for him. We sold his townhouse and the proceeds were a little over $250,000.

I have his financial power of attorney and the facility he's in costs around $7,000 a month. So obviously what I'm trying to do is have the money last as long as possible. And then given how things are going with the markets and the downturn in stocks and everything, trying to get some advice on where to put this money. Yeah. Well, I think the challenge is, given what you were describing here, this money is going to be spent down in three years or so. Is that about right? Yeah, right about right. I did forget to include, he gets about $1,900 a month in social security and pension. So my calculation after deducting it.

And unfortunately the room he's in just increased. So it's going to be probably about 16 months or maybe a little less. I have to redo that calculation.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Because obviously that $23,000 or so will be what you spend first, but then you're going to have to be pulling from those assets. So if we're talking somewhere around four years, certainly less than five with this increase, and you'll probably see a few more of those, this money is going to get spent down fairly quickly. And I think for that reason, especially in light of what you're describing, you know, we've got a lot of stock market volatility going on.

We've got some real headwinds. The drumbeat of a recession is getting louder than ever. That's not something to be scared about, but it does take us back to this reality of we need to be properly diversified with a long time horizon if we're invested in risk assets.

And that's not a situation you have the luxury to take advantage of here. Despite the inflation, you need to protect this capital so that we have it available to make it last as long as you can. So I'm thinking we could take $10,000 and put it in an I-bond and get about 10% for the next 12 months, but unfortunately that's only $10,000. Beyond that, I'd be looking at laddering CDs as these rates go up and perhaps a high-yield savings account.

It's not going to get you a whole lot, but at least it's something. You can get 1% to 2% and have this money available as you need it. And then as rates head up, you'll actually have the ability to take any of that money that's maturing or available in a high-yield savings account and roll it over at a higher rate just to get something in the way of a return. And then obviously once these assets are spent down, then at that point you would be looking for Medicaid to provide assistance. And obviously, depending upon the state, there is a different approach to Medicaid in terms of this type of assisted living. But I think the key is they all will provide assistance for personal care services and transportation and homemaker services. If you're relying on Medicaid though to pay the facility, if it's living there, obviously you're going to want to call around well in advance and find out who has availability if they even accept Medicaid assistance. Many of them don't.

Those that do will have a limited number of beds that they will allow just given that the compensation is coming through fairly low. So I think doing a lot of your homework in preparation for that to understand what options you would have and in the meantime protecting these assets and allowing them to extend as far as they possibly can. Right. Yeah.

I thought about the high yield savings with interest rates being increased. I thought at least that'll be some benefit. And we're also trying to get him some VA benefits too, which has been an issue. So that hopefully would be able to sustain him at least in this facility because I hate to put him into a Medicaid assistance facility, which I don't think he would get the kind of care he's getting now.

Yeah. Oh, I'm sure he wouldn't, especially if he's in a higher end place. And I realize you're going to want to allow that to extend as long as you can. That's a blessing that he has access to VA benefits.

I would absolutely try to take full advantage of that because anything will help in terms of extending the assets that he has so that he doesn't have to rely on a Medicaid facility anytime soon. So I think you're doing all the right things. He's blessed to have you, Paul, and we'll certainly be praying the Lord will give you some wisdom here. I appreciate that, Rob, and very, very much appreciate you and your program and the financial advice that you give to a lot of people who may not have that knowledge and exposure. Well, thank you very much, Paul. I appreciate those kind remarks. God bless you, sir.

To Aurora, Illinois, WMBI. Hey, Kevin, thanks for calling, sir. Go right ahead. Yeah, I've been struggling.

Thank you for taking my call by the way. I've been struggling for a long time with trying to come up with a budget and I just can't seem to wrap my head around it. I just want to know any kind of available resources. Most of my are in collections. They're medical bills. They're all medical bills.

My job went on strike last year for about a month. So, you know, kind of still like trying to recover from that. And then I had to get on a payment plan with my electric bill company. So it's just all over the place.

Yeah, yeah. Well, I think the starting point, Kevin, is just to take a step back to do two things. Number one is get an accurate picture of what your spending plan needs to look like today. Look at your income versus the fixed expenses that you have and then, you know, whatever discretionary spending you're doing currently and include that not only a list of all of your debts and if you don't have that list somewhere, you know, it's easy when those collection notices come in just to kind of stick them on a drawer because you really don't want to pay much attention. But it's really important that you get an accurate listing of everything you owe and to whom. It may require you pulling credit reports from all three bureaus just to make sure you've got everything.

But I'd love for you to have that. And then the key would be as you build out that spending plan, keeping it as lean as possible. I'd start with the big four. You got to keep a roof over your head, gas in the car. You got to keep the utilities on and food on the table.

But everything else is kind of, you know, as it's available. The key would be to free up as much margin as you can so you can do one of two things. Either one, enter into a payment plan negotiated with these lenders or creditors and or do some settlement along the way. And I wouldn't do any of that until you have any of, you know, those agreements in writing from any of these creditors prior to starting a payment plan. But I guess first things first, are you back to work and do you have enough income to cover your bills at this point, not counting those debts? Yeah, I've been back at work now for several months. I'm literally just living paycheck to paycheck. Today I just made a partial payment on my rent and then Friday I got to make a partial payment to get my electric bill reinstated.

The payment plan that I'm on with them. Okay. Well, I get that. And I think, you know, that's where we've got to try to break this cycle. I realize it's easier said than done. Glad to hear you're back to work. The key is to try to chip away at some of these and then as quickly as you can get to a place where, you know, you have enough income to cover the minimums on all of the fixed expenses that you have. A lot of those debts, if they're already in collection, they can sit out there.

If you're not getting a notice that somebody's filing a judgment against you or anything like that, those will just continue to sit there. Hopefully you can get the utilities back on, keep the rent paid, keep food on the table, gas in the car so you can get to work and, you know, begin to make some progress. Do you have the opportunity to seek some overtime or a second job temporarily, something like that? Normally we do work overtime, but for the past two weeks, because of running out of parts, I'm working in a manufacturing facility, I'm an assembler, they have not had overtime. So hopefully this week or the following week, they will, on average, we work Monday through Thursday an extra two hours and then Saturdays I can make my choice between four and eight hours.

So I'm going to try to push myself to work those eight hours. And we're getting a small increase on the 24th. It's only about 50 cents. It's not much, but... Every little bit helps.

Yeah. Well, here's what I'd love to do, Kevin. I'd love for you to sit with a coach, somebody who can come alongside you to pray for you, to encourage you, but also to just give you another set of eyes to look at that spending plan and perhaps get you a plan moving forward.

So you stay on the line. We're going to get your information and one of our coaches will reach out to you free of charge to get you set up. We'll be right back on MoneyWise Live. Stay with us.

Thanks for joining us today on MoneyWise Live, biblical wisdom for your financial decisions. I'm Rob West, your host. We've got two lines open today.

You've got a question. We'd love to hear from you. 800-525-7000. Back to the phones we go.

Tampa, Florida. Joseph, thank you for calling. Sir, go right ahead.

Thank you for taking my call, Rob. I have a student loan, which I need to repay back. I'm 63-64 this year. I'm looking to retire at 65. How am I going to be able to pay that student loan back?

Yeah. Interestingly, Joseph, Americans over 60 are the fastest growing segment of the population with student loan debt. What we read from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, it's literally quadrupled in the last decade, and the average debt for higher education is about $23,000. Now, many folks have debts a lot more than that, but obviously that's quite a bit of money.

I think the key here is for you to recognize this is going to take a while. Did you say it's $65,000? Yes.

Yeah. And so this is something you're going to be living with, which is just a great reminder to the younger folks listening today as to why you just really want to limit your borrowing. Do whatever you can do to pay for that education with work study or grants or scholarships and don't borrow money you can't pay back within 10 years and make sure that it fits with the job that you're seeking. But when you get to this stage of life, Joseph, I realize it can feel like, well, I'm never going to pay this off. And you just kind of have to recognize it's going to be around for a while now. Could government legislation come in and wipe this out?

It's being talked about, but who knows, right? So I think the key for you right now is just to continue to keep it paid and then look for whether you qualify for any forgiveness options. Do you happen to work in the public sector with a nonprofit or a government job? I was working for a public service organization. I was making payments consistently for about four out of the 10 years that are required for the forgiveness loan. But then I got laid off because of COVID. So that was a hardship. And I'm really frustrated and stuck to get back into another public service or nonprofit organization so I can continue the program. Yeah.

And I think that's key. Keep in mind, back in 2021, last fall, the U.S. Department of Education came out and said that they were really overhauling this program to try to broaden the types of loans that were eligible and to try to get more folks to be able to qualify. As long as they work full-time for a qualified employer, you make those 120 on-time payments for the full amount due on your bill, that you have direct loans or consolidate into a direct loan, and that you repay your debt with an income-driven repayment plan.

It was really difficult for folks to qualify for that. The most recent data we've seen is that only about 5 percent of student loan borrowers who applied have actually gotten the relief, which is why they've come in and tried to offer this and they're giving waivers and really trying to help folks get back on track. So I think it's a good time for you, especially given COVID and what's happened there, given the Department of Education knows the reality of what that did for many folks who were able to qualify for it and had to get out of the 120 payments. So I think, Joseph, that's probably your best option moving forward is to see what it would take for you to get back in, make sure you do your homework and understand what needs to be done so that you could perhaps have that forgiven. Beyond that, it's going to be critical to keep your budget as lean as possible so that you can continue to make these payments and then, over time, get to a place where you could even pay off more than just the scheduled minimum payment.

But I think if you can do your homework on the Public Service Forgiveness Program, that's going to be your best option. So don't lose heart. Just stay at it and let's see what happens in the days ahead with student loans and we appreciate you checking in with us. This is MoneyWise Live.

All the phones are lit up, so we've got a lot more to come just around the corner. Don't go anywhere. We'll be right back. Thanks for joining us today on MoneyWise Live, biblical wisdom for your financial decisions.

We're glad you're along with us today. Hey, if you'd like to find a Certified Kingdom Advisor in your area, that is a financial professional who's met the high standards to be considered a Certified Kingdom Advisor with experience and character requirements to extensive training in the application of biblical wisdom to professional financial decision making, you can find a CKA on our website, MoneyWise.org. Just click the button that says simply find a CKA and you can do a zip code search. I'd interview two or three before you make your final selection. All right, Ed, we'll head back to the phones.

Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Delanor, thank you for calling. Go right ahead. Thank you very much.

I have a question on Social Security. I'm 60 years old. Delanor, we're having a little trouble hearing you. Let me just see if you can adjust your phone, maybe move to the left or right slightly, and let's try it again. Okay, can you hear me now? That's much better. Yes, sir. Okay. I'm 60 years old, okay, and I paid in now on Social Security for over the 35 years. Okay. Now, if I take a lesser job for the last five years of my life, so I can go to Social Security at 65, and I don't pay in the amount that's on my statement that they send you every month, so then my Social Security won't increase till I'm 65?

Yeah, we lost you again for a second, but I think I heard the question. Your benefits are going to be based on what's called your high 35, which is going to include your highest 35 years of earnings. Now, if part of the estimate is based on you continuing to earn at a higher level, therefore replacing lower years of earnings, perhaps in your early working life, then yes, you wouldn't get the benefit of perhaps what they're estimating you may receive, and so it might be worth a call to the Social Security Administration just to say, if in fact my high 35 was already established, therefore all my future working years are going to be lower, can you run a new estimate based on what you expect that I will receive?

And they can give you that number. You're not going to penalize yourself in terms of, you know, you'll still have those highest 35 that were already locked in, but again, if some of the estimates of what you would expect to receive down the road are based on you continuing to earn at the level you have been and you don't, that's where an adjustment could take place. Does that make sense? Yes.

Okay. And my second question was, you hear about COLA, you know, and everybody that's going to Social Security is going to get a raise, you know, every month, you know, when you're checking. The people that didn't start to draw, do they benefit from a COLA? Like, say I could draw, say, $1,000 and then the COLA, they're saying, kick in, would that benefit me that mine might get to like $1,200 or $1,100?

Yeah, yeah. Well, the COLA is going to factor in each year as you take your benefit. So once you receive your benefits, you know, you'll see the increases each year that is the Social Security Administration approved. So, for instance, you know, the benefits for about 70 million Americans right now are going to be seeing about a 5.9% increase in 2022 as a result of, you know, what we're seeing now with inflation. But that's for those currently earning benefits.

And so everybody would receive that COLA adjustment each year, whether you're working or not. Okay. Okay. Very good, Delaware. Thank you for checking in with us. God bless you, sir.

Freddie's in Missouri. Freddie, you go right ahead. Hey, thank you for all that you do. Bless you for that. My question is about gold, about rolling my 401k into a gold-backed IRA where they put the money in an account, where they put the money in an account like where bullion is stored or whatever, you know, a registered place to store the coins.

I'm in a low-yielding 401k that I haven't contributed to in five years because I joined a union and so I wasn't allowed to contribute anymore. Okay. And that's going to be the case moving forward? Yeah, that's going to be the case moving forward.

Yeah, that account's not going anywhere except for where it is. I just left it with the company and it has increased over the last five years, but it's decreased 2,000 in the last two months, you know. Yeah. And what do you have in there? What's the total balance? I had 38, there's 36, 100 now. Okay. All right. Well, it's not surprising that this has declined.

I don't think I would move it, well, I wouldn't if it were me, move it to a gold strategy. You know, folks in these times when we've got market volatility and obviously there's drumbeats of recession going on right now, about 40% of economists, I just read earlier today, think a recession will hit in the next two years. Bob Doll, our good friend, market economist and analyst, will be stopping by in the next segment.

We'll ask him that question. But regardless, a lot of folks think that's what we're going to see here in the next year or two. So what do we do with that? Well, the key is to think beyond the next recession, whenever it will come, because we know it will, it's just a matter of when. But we need a long-term plan and we've got to stick with it because recessions are always temporary. Market downturns are temporary as well. And so that's why we properly diversify with the appropriate time horizon and we ride out any of these market gyrations because we can't pick the top or the bottom. And so trying to time the market is just not an effective strategy. A lot of folks will look for safe haven type investments and gold would be one of those. It's a hedge against inflation.

And in theory, it moves opposite of the market, but not always. And so for that reason, I think just given that the long-term performance isn't as good as stocks and bonds and because you do have more volatility in it, you know, I would keep it as a smaller part of your portfolio, no more than five or 10 percent. The idea that you should kind of sell out of everything and move just to gold just because, you know, we're going to have we could have a recession here in the next year or two, I don't think is the right move.

That would be short-sighted. And I think that'll end up coming back to bite you because then the question is, at what point do you move out? And then you're in a guessing game of trying to time, you know, the appropriate time to get back into the stock market before the next kind of leg up like we've seen in the last decade and more.

Does that make sense, though? Yeah. So basically, it'd be a bigger gamble than the one than just riding it out because I just left it alone these years and it's grown by it went from twenty seven to thirty eight with me putting nothing in it. And so now, yeah, I just want you know, you hear this and hear that. And I have been purchasing some some ounces of gold with the, you know, if I sell old pick up or old car up by the bicycle. So I got about fourteen thousand in ounces of gold right now that I can hang on to for that other hedge, I guess. Right.

OK. Yeah. And that's certainly something you can do. But I think with this money, I'd stay long term. Just recognize you're going to see more. You know, it wouldn't be surprising that then at the bottom of this thing, you wouldn't be down, you know, 30 percent from its high. But as long as you know that and you realize you've got a long time horizon, you're not retiring anytime soon and you know, the investment allocation is right, then you stick it. You stick with it. Now, before we get to recession, if you're if you've been too aggressive and your portfolio doesn't match your time horizon, well, you might want to make some tweaks.

But if not, I'd say you let it go and trust that the long term valuation and growth of this thing is going to far outweigh your ability to try to time the market's ups and downs. We appreciate you checking in, Freddie. All the best to you, sir. We're going to pause for a break. More of your questions just around the corner. Eight hundred five two five seven thousand plus Bob Doll stopping by very soon. We'll be right back. We're glad to have you along with us today on MoneyWise Live.

Eight hundred five two five seven thousand is the number to call. We'd love to hear from you. Hey, before we head back to the phones, Bob Doll joins us each Monday. Bob is chief investment officer of Crossmark Global Investments with a long tenure on Wall Street.

He's also somebody who's a student of the scriptures and can bring a biblical perspective to what we're seeing. Bob, volatility is the order of the day. What do you make of these markets? So, you know, today, just today, the Dow down two percent, S&P down three percent, NASDAQ down four percent. Bitcoin was down 15 percent, oil down six percent. Can you find any good news in this mix, Rob? It's look, we're beginning in my view to see the signs of some capitulation, which for those that don't follow the markets closely, that means we may be reaching a bottom that has a tradable rally on the other side of it. Is it the bottom?

That's a lot harder to tell. I think we're going to have to bounce around in both directions for a period here. But some of the key levels were breached today. And that's all technical.

The fundamentals, Rob, you know what they are. The problems are weakening earnings growth, concern that the Fed will continue to take rates up to fight what has to be fought as inflation, growth concerns from the China lockdown. The list goes on. Yeah, no question about it. And so, you know, you would say that really not a whole lot has changed, given what we've been talking about the last couple of months, and yet the market is just kind of catching up with it? Or is the market telling us something that perhaps is different?

Well, that's a great question. Is the market telling us that a recession is in the offing? And I don't think so. I mean, one of the key lead indicators, Rob, as you know, is the shape of the yield curve, the difference between two and 10-year yields. And they've actually gotten steeper back to where we were in January. Listeners may remember there was a brief inversion where two-year yields were higher than 10-year yields. That was, you know, a month and a half ago. And that's corrected itself to some degree. I think it's just selling exhaustion from people who have gotten scared because they made so much money over the last few years and they're taking some profits.

And that's what these bear squalls are all about. Yeah. Bob, you mentioned Bitcoin. What's the learning here from the cryptos? You know, a lot of folks were thinking these were uncorrelated assets that would be a safe haven of sorts. And when the market volatility came in, we certainly haven't seen that.

No, not at all. You and I have talked it. My view still is that it's a speculative asset.

We just don't know enough about it. And speculative things tend to go up a lot, but come down even harder. And that's what we're witnessing.

Yeah. Bob, what about the rest of the world? You mentioned China, and obviously more lockdowns could cause them to fall into a recession. What else are you seeing around the globe that's going to obviously have ripple effects back to the U.S.? Well, China's a big one. Europe also, you know, flirting with recession. More and higher oil prices have not helped them one bit. And their economies were a little on the weakest side going into all this. So that's part of why the U.S. is reacting.

We could escape a recession, but if much of the rest of the world is in one, you know, we'll feel the effects of that. And that's part of the struggle here. With stocks, you know, to give you the other side of the story, we're down under 17 times earnings, 17 P.E. That number last year was in the low 20s. We came into the year 21.5. We've not been this low, not that 17's low, but it's more normal for several years now, Rob.

Yeah, and that is the price of these stocks versus the actual earnings they're realizing as a company. Bob, since we were together, obviously the Fed hiked interest rates by 50 basis points, one half of 1%. What do you make of Chairman Powell's comments?

Anything noteworthy there? Remember, the market went up a thousand points roughly the day of the Fed meeting and the announcement. What the market latched onto was the chairman basically saying 75 basis points, three quarters of 1%, probably off the table. And the market said, phew, sigh of relief. He's not going to kill us with 75.

Just 50s. And of course, the next day the market went down a thousand points. And that was on a productivity number that was not good, which gave people more concerns about inflation. Those two days and the days around them just one more time underscore the volatility in both directions that's taking place. Yeah, obviously for long-term investors, Bob, we know recessions are temporary, market declines are temporary, and well, for once we get to dollar cost average into cheaper investments, right?

Absolutely. If you're a common stock buyer and have been doing so over the last couple of years, you should be stepping up now because stocks have not been this cheap for a couple of years. I came across a stat today, Rob, that helps the long-term investor. There is no 20-year period since the Standard & Poor's 500 was created, sorry, 100 years ago.

No 20-year period where stocks have gone down. Wow, yep. Well, it just underscores why we need to keep that perspective right, stay emotionally in check. Let's not try to move wholesale in or out of the market trying to time it because, well, Bob, I'm sure you can attest, no one can pick the top or the bottom, right? Bingo. And the saying, of course, is it's not timing the markets, it's time in the market.

Yeah, exactly right. Bob, always appreciate you, my friend. We'll talk to you next week.

All blessings. Bye-bye. All right, Bob Doll, Chief Investment Officer of Crossmark Global Investments.

You can find out more at crossmarkglobal.com. All right, back to the phones we go. We have a few lines open today, and I'm going to stay after today to answer a few extra questions. So if you've got something that's pressing on your mind, you'd love to chat about it. Well, I'd love to hear from you. 800-525-7000 is the number to call.

Illinois is where we're headed next. Patrick, thank you for your patience. How can I help you? Hi. How are you doing, Rob? I'm great. Good. So I'd love to hear. I've been listening for years.

Thank you so much. I have been blessed so much. I come from nothing, and now God has blessed me with quite a bit of money. I have it sitting and just saving, so I would love to get in touch with one of your advisors to sit down and know what to do with this. So that's why I'm calling.

I mean, it's just sitting there, not earning anything in a regular savings. Bob was talking earlier. I know things are going down, so I don't know where to go with it. I'm kind of trusting that another Christian is calling other people.

I get a little bit nervous with it. Let me ask you a couple of questions, Patrick. What is your age? I'm 54. Okay, and you're still working? Yes. I actually was blessed to open my own business like eight years ago, and Jesus just let it take off. All right, great.

Congratulations. In terms of this money that you've been parking that you'd like to put to work, about how much are we talking about? About $300,000. Okay, and separate from that, you've got some emergency savings to fall back on? Well, yeah, that, but then I have a couple of 401Ks.

And then, of course, from failing before and finally bankruptcy, I've learned to pay everything cash by the grace of God. That's what I do now. A lot of people can't.

Thank the Lord that I can. Sure. And what do you have in those 401Ks?

There's like 120 in one, 40 in another, and then I got some in gold. I mean, I just, you know, kind of throwing a little bit of around here and there. Yeah. Okay.

Well, here's the thing. I think you really would benefit from sitting with a financial professional first, not to invest anything, but to do some planning, just to figure out what do you have in the way of assets? How are they currently positioned? Cash, gold, stocks, and bonds? And then where are you going? What is your financial finish line? What is your objective in terms of how much you need to save and in what vehicles would be most effective for you? If you now own your own business and you don't have a company-sponsored plan for, you know, your employees, then perhaps you need to look at, you know, an individual 401K or a SEP IRA, something like that.

If you have a plan for your employees and you can participate in it, great, but you need to look at all of that. And it's not just about the mindless accumulation of wealth for savings sake. It's really about where are we going? What does God want to do in your life?

And what are your values? And how can money be a tool to accomplish that in generosity, but also in savings for the long term? And so I think as that holistic picture becomes more clear, I think then we can deploy a strategy to have those assets managed. You know, perhaps rolling those old 401Ks into a single IRA and then looking at ways to get as much of that 300,000 beyond what we carve out for an emergency fund of at least six months. And since you're in business for yourself and we might hit a recession here, do you need to have even more than that? Do you have working capital for the business? And then how can we get as much of that into a tax deferred environment as possible?

And then finally, after all of that, how should it be managed with what time horizon and what investments make the most sense? So you can take as little risk as possible, but to achieve a return that's appropriate for your age and risk tolerance. So all of that can be dealt with with an advisor. So, Patrick, you mentioned one of our financial advisors. Let me just clarify, MoneyWise is a not for profit ministry. We don't have any financial advisors. We don't sell investment products. We do, however, believe that the Certified Kingdom Advisor designation is the designation you should be looking to to find financial advisors, investment advisors who've met high standards in biblically wise financial advice and can bring God's perspective to bear in the context of that financial council. You'll find a CKA there in Illinois.

When you visit our website, MoneyWise.org, just do a zip code search and I'd interview two or three for financial planning and investments. We appreciate your call today very much. That's going to do it for us.

If you're holding, stay on the line. We'll try to get to as many calls as we can after the program. Let me say thank you to my team today. Managing our phones was Eric Tidwell. Dan Anderson was our engineer today. Amy Rios, our producer. Jim Henry providing me great research. Thank you for being here as well.

MoneyWise Live is a partnership between Movie Radio and MoneyWise Media. Come back and join us tomorrow. I'll see you then. Bye bye.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-21 01:42:58 / 2023-04-21 01:59:54 / 17

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