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1970s Deja Vu All Over Again?

MoneyWise / Rob West and Steve Moore
The Truth Network Radio
August 16, 2022 5:30 pm

1970s Deja Vu All Over Again?

MoneyWise / Rob West and Steve Moore

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August 16, 2022 5:30 pm

A philosopher once said, those who can’t remember the past are condemned to repeat it. So, is that what we’re experiencing now? On today's MoneyWise Live, host Rob West will talk to investing expert Mark Biller about how history is repeating itself, now that we’re seeing many of the same economic conditions that existed in the 1970s. Then Rob will take your calls and financial questions.

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Philosopher George Santillana is credited with saying those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

Is that what we're experiencing right now? Hi, I'm Rob West. If you're 50 or older, you might think history is repeating itself, that we're seeing many of the same economic conditions as the 1970s. I'll talk about that today with Mark Biller, and 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. Well, our guest today is Mark Biller. He's the executive editor at Soundmind Investing.

He might be too young to remember much about the 1970s, but he's certainly been studying the economics of that period. Mark, great to have you with us today. Thanks, Rob.

Glad to be back with you today. By the way, Mark's going to be taking your questions today specifically on investing for the first portion of the broadcast. If you're wondering about your portfolio, the volatility as of late, some of the dynamics we're seeing at play, we'd love to hear from you.

800-525-7000. Mark, we're looking at an article today that you wrote for the latest SMI newsletter called 1970s Redux. What exactly are the similarities between now and the 1970s?

Yeah, well, let's go through a few of them, Rob. We've got soaring energy prices for starters. We've got kind of relentless inflation that did come down just a tick this month but is still much higher than in recent decades. And now we're starting to see slowing economic growth to go along with that. The stock market has been coming off a long period of impressive gains, which was also the case coming out of the 60s. And also similar to the 60s that stock market advance was led by a relatively smallish group of seemingly invincible growth stocks. So I guess, you know, big picture, I would say that the last significant pivot from a low inflation environment to a higher inflation environment happened in the late 60s. So it's pretty natural that as today's investors are dealing with this type of inflationary surge for the first time in many, many years, they're looking back to the late 60s, early 70s to study some of these similarities. And as they're doing that, they're finding a number of these things in common. Yeah, absolutely.

Perhaps a very similar playbook here. Mark, what does that mean for investing then? Yeah, well, the big thing that really jumps out when you start talking 1960s and 70s for the stock market is that the stock market itself really basically flattened out for about 16 years there. The Dow Jones Industrial Index, which was the primary index people followed back then, was at the same level in 1982 as it had been all the way back in 1966. And it was actually a little worse than that because you had that really high inflation through that old period. So the same dollar in 1982 wasn't worth nearly what it had been in 1966. So, you know, big picture there, it just wasn't a very good period to be a stock investor for that time. And I should point out, Rob, that the main idea of the article that we're talking about today wasn't trying to say that we are for sure going to have a repeat of the 1970s. We've got these similarities, maybe it'll turn out similarly, maybe it won't. But the main point of the article was just to alert our readers that the market does go through these long plateaus.

They're not really as uncommon as you might think. And one of the things in the article that I'd encourage listeners who are curious to go look at is there's a chart in the article of the stock market goes all the way back to 1930. It's a little different than the kind of swooping up into the right chart that everybody's familiar with of the stock market. We scale it a little bit differently, and it's explained in the article, but the point of doing that is just to be able to see over these 90 years the very distinct bull bear and sideways periods. And so we can talk a little bit more about that when we come back.

Absolutely, yeah. I mean, these significant sideways markets are something perhaps we miss often when we think about stock market investing amidst the bull and bear markets that we've certainly had as well. We'll unpack that and what it means for you just around the corner as we continue with Mark Biller, executive editor at Soundmind Investing. By the way, you can read this article, 1970s Redux, at soundmindinvesting.org. 800-525-7000, your investing questions just around the corner. Thrilled to have you with us today on MoneyWise Live.

I'm Rob West, your host. Joining me today, Mark Biller, executive editor at Soundmind Investing. As we explore a recent article from the SMI newsletter called 1970s Redux, are we entering a period similar to the 1970s? You know, I'm looking at the chart, Mark, that you were talking about that you all put together in this article. You know, 1966 to 1982, the market was basically flat and then again from 2000 to 2010. So, as we think about these periods of these flat markets, what else do investors need to know if in fact this is what we're entering? Yeah, well, I think one of the big implications has to do with the way that a lot of people invest. And over the last 20-25 years, especially during this really long secular bull market that we've had from 2009 through last year, you know, a lot of investors have been persuaded by the buy and hold using index funds approach to investing. And why not? When the market's going more or less straight up for 12 years, being active isn't really that important.

It's not probably going to add much value. But that is not the case during these longer sideways periods. That's when active approaches tend to do a little bit better. So, that's one consideration. And, you know, if we're transitioning from a lower inflation environment to a higher inflation environment, that's kind of the catalyst. You know, it's important to kind of look behind the curtain to see is there a plausible reason why we might be in this type of transition?

It seems like there is. It doesn't mean we necessarily will have that type of transition. But it's something for us to keep an eye on. Thankfully, that doesn't mean that we have to worry about that transition. It just means we need to be aware of it.

Yeah, no doubt about that. If in fact we were entering one of these secular bear markets, what effect does that have on investors, these periods per se? Yeah, well, I think there are two key questions that are really going to heavily influence how a person responds to this information, Rob. You know, the first is how long is your investing timeframe? So, a younger investor, think of somebody who's 30 or 40 years old, they're going to react pretty differently to this idea than a 60-year-old investor. And that's because it's much more of a threat to have, say, 10 years where the broad market isn't going up much for a retiree or a near retiree because their time horizon is just shorter. On the flip side for that younger investor, having stock prices not go up a whole lot for the next several years, 10 years, whatever, that's actually really good news for a younger worker because it means that they can load up on shares through their 401K or their IRA, other investment accounts at reasonable prices and hopefully then have accumulated a bunch of shares by the time the next big secular bull market pushes those prices higher again. So, it's more of a threat for the person who's close to retirement.

Thankfully, two things about that. One, you know, these days most retirement timeframes stretch out a decade, 20 years, sometimes longer, so it's not a hopeless situation there even for the near retiree. Plus, the silver lining there is the near retiree has had the benefit of the last 12 years that really boosted the value of stocks in their account.

Yeah, no doubt about it. 800-525-7000, here for the first portion of the broadcast. Your question specifically on investing, the market, as you think about the long term and the economy we're facing today, even some of what's going on around us that may be similar to the 1970s. We'd love to hear from you, Mark Biller, answering your investing related questions today.

Again, 800-525-7000. All right, so the first question, Mark, then is how long is your investing timeframe? What's the second question for living through one of these extended bear markets? Yeah, it really gets back to that idea we mentioned a moment ago of what's your investing approach? Is it just indexing where you're needing the whole market to move higher for your account to move higher?

Or do you have a little bit more of an active approach that can still hopefully generate some gains even in more of a flattish overall market? You know, one of the things that I think is really interesting about both of these periods we alluded to earlier was the similarity to how the previous bull market had been so, I want to say exclusively, it wasn't totally exclusive, but certainly led by, dominated by these really powerful growth stocks. So everybody knows the FAANG stocks today, the Apple, Amazon, Google group, but there was a similar situation in the late 60s and early 70s. They called those stocks the Nifty Fifty, and those were the blue chip best of breed growth stocks. And they similarly to today got bid up to really, really high valuations. And over the course of the 70s, as inflation rose, interest rates rose, those formerly high flying growth stocks, they were whittled down to much smaller valuations over the course of that decade. And in their place, the types of stocks that make real stuff, stuff that hurts when you drop it on your foot, those stocks came into prominence and those value stocks became a lot more desirable. We've seen just a little bit of an echo of that, Rob, over the last year and a half or so as some of the energy stocks and things like chemical producers and fertilizer producers, these are the types of stocks that have done really well over the last year or so. So again, it's too early to say that we're going to have a decade of that just because we've had a year of that. But it is interesting to see some of these patterns that we can see from back in the 60s, 70s period starting to possibly reassert themselves today. Yeah, very good. Well, that's really helpful, Mark, as we think about how we should approach these periods and what's driving this market.

A lot more to continue to unpack this article. Let's go to the phones, though. 800-525-7000 with your questions for Mark Biller today.

Vernon in Newport, Richey, Florida. Go right ahead, sir. Good afternoon. Yes, I heard what you said about if you're close to retirement. Now, if you are, let's say, like I am, five to seven years, Fidelity started handling my retirement. It looks like they've moved to some safer places. What would you suggest a ratio and or possible other investments for people coming close to retirement?

Yeah, thanks, Vernon, Mark. Yeah, so I'm certainly not suggesting that you want to abandon stocks by any means. And if you have a well-diversified portfolio that has a combination of both growth and value, large and small stocks, then you're probably going to be participating even if some of these other areas that haven't done as well start to reassert themselves.

Where folks can run into trouble is it's very easy to just focus on the last bunch of winners. And if you have a portfolio that's dominated by those largest growth stocks, that can be a little bit of a problem. So, you know, you always want to look at that stock bond allocation and try to have diversification across different types of stocks. In just a few seconds before our break, what do you think is the right mix five to seven years out from retirement for the average person in terms of bond stocks?

Yeah, probably 60-40, somewhere in that range, 70-30, 60-40. Yeah, very good. All right, Vernon, thanks for your call today.

800-525-7000, Mark Biller with us. We'll be right back with much more. Stick around. Great to have you with us today on MoneyWise Live, biblical wisdom for your financial decisions. Hey, if you haven't already, go to MoneyWise.org and create your free MoneyWise membership to get our weekly wisdom email in your inbox. It's the latest content from the leaders in biblical finance with a quick message from me on a money topic from a biblical perspective each and every Thursday.

Just head to MoneyWise.org and click Sign Up. We're talking today with Mark Biller, executive editor at Sound Mind Investing. With these high energy prices, relentlessly rising inflation, slowing economic growth and the stock market coming off a long period of impressive gains, are we rebooting the 1970s market conditions and could we be in for a sideways market from here? Well, that's what we're talking about with Mark Biller today.

If you'd like to read the team at SMI's thoughtful analysis on this topic, the article you'll want to look for is called 1970s Redux, and you'll find it at SoundMindInvesting.org. Mark has agreed to give us a little bit more of his time, so we'll continue to take your questions for this portion of the broadcast specifically on investing. Let's head back to the phones.

Mark Woodbury, Tennessee. Tammy, thank you for your patience. Go right ahead. Hey, I'm 55 and I got a late start in my career.

I stayed at home with my children, but I was looking forward to investing $1,000 a month now to around $65 or so, and I'm not sure what I need to do at this point. Yeah. Well, I'll tell you one thing we can do is when we're done here, you stay on the line. We'll get your information. I'll send you a copy of the Sound Mind Investing handbook that's just a phenomenal resource for you to begin to educate yourself on investing and do that from a biblical perspective.

That'll be our gift to you. But Mark, what thoughts would you have for Tammy at this point? Yeah, so Tammy, I think there are a couple different things that I would highlight. One is that the way that you invest, the type of account that you use can make a big difference. So do you have access to a workplace retirement plan like a 401K or anything like that? No, I don't. Okay.

Well, that's okay. The good news is that there's a type of account for working folks who don't have a workplace plan that's called an IRA. And specifically, the Roth IRA is a good choice that allows you to put money into the account and then have that money grow over time. And as long as you take it out in retirement after age 59 and a half, you won't have to pay taxes on the gains from those investments that you make. So starting a Roth IRA is a good way to begin. And then you can set that up to automatically put money in each month. Now there are some limitations overall to how much you can contribute over the course of the year. But if you and a spouse, for example, each have a separate Roth IRA, that's a good way to expand that. And then once you've figured out the type of account, the Roth IRA and get that set up, the next decision is what are you going to invest in within the Roth IRA. And that's where what we were talking about earlier with the mix of stocks and bonds becomes very important. And generally someone who's, you know, 10 years or so away from retirement would want to probably look at like a 70% stock 30% bond type of mix. So those are a couple of beginning pointers. Rob, what else would you add to that?

Yeah, I think that's right on Mark. The only question I would flip back to you is where would you do that? Would you just go to one of the discount brokerages? You know, should they look to sound mind investing to get some advice on their specific mutual funds?

What else would you offer? Yeah, so that's a great question. You can do that with, again, we were talking earlier about index funds and a good shop for that would be like Vanguard, set up your IRA with them and get a total bond market index fund, a total stock market index fund. And you're basically done at that point. A little bit more involved version would be to go over to sound mind investing and look at some of the approaches that we use that are going to be a little bit more diversified and have a little bit more specific guidance as to which types of funds. To Vernon's question earlier, that's also where we would start to mix in a few things in addition to stocks and bonds, maybe a little bit of real estate, gold, things like that. But a lot of that boils down, Rob, to how involved a person is willing to be. And if they're willing to put in a little bit more work, read about it a little on the front end and follow along month by month, then that might be a real good option for somebody. Yeah, very good.

Tammy, I love the idea of you opening a Roth, whether that's, as Mark said, at one of the discount brokerages with a couple of index funds, one bond, one stock with the 70-30 split towards stocks or getting the assistance of the team at soundmindinvesting.org. Thanks for your call today. Jerry in Michigan. Jerry, you want to talk about Bitcoin? Give us your question. Yes, I would just like to know if you think that Bitcoin is a good investment.

Yeah, Mark. Yeah, so, boy, we could do a whole program on Bitcoin. We did, I think, recently. We did.

We did, in fact. But yeah, to try to sum that up real quickly for you, Jerry, I think that Bitcoin has a lot of reasons to like it. Unfortunately, a lot of the reasons that somebody like you or I would be attracted to Bitcoin are the very same reasons why the government would be nervous about allowing Bitcoin to flourish. Because it's essentially an alternative to their currency world, their fiat currency world. And so we're seeing some actions just last week. In fact, there was a fairly aggressive action taken against some of the cryptocurrency providers. And so the regulatory side of that is starting to become a little bit more heavy. So I would just caution you, Jerry, to be careful and to probably limit any investment in Bitcoin to a pretty small percentage of your portfolio if you're going to dabble in that at all.

Yeah, Jerry, I completely agree. I think the technology behind the cryptocurrency, the blockchain, is here to stay and has wide-ranging application as an investment. I'd stay away, year-to-date down 50% on Bitcoin, one year down 45%. Stick around. We'll be right back on MoneyWise Live.

We'll be right back. MoneyWise.org is a direct result of your financial support. And so if you'd consider a gift, we'd certainly appreciate it. You can head to MoneyWise.org and click the donate button. You'll find a way to give online, over the phone or through the mail. Whether you become a MoneyWise patron with a monthly gift or make a one-time gift, we would certainly appreciate anything you can do. It takes all of us to come together, large gifts and small gifts, all of them together help us keep this ministry strong and thanks in advance.

Again, MoneyWise.org, just click donate and you can give online. All right, back to the phones we go. Mark Biller with us today from SoundMind Investing. And let's head to Tampa, Mark, and welcome Linda to the broadcast. Linda, go right ahead.

Hi. We recently sold our house and our debt tree. And we have quite a substantial amount of money in the bank. We have not invested it because we were skeptical of what the market might do, and of course now the market is what it is.

What would you suggest that we do with our money other than like I bonds, which we've done with our money? And we have over a million dollars. Yeah, and Linda, just to clarify, was this a rental property or a second home?

No, it was our home. And we bought two condos, paid cash, and then we had profit. Oh, okay, very good. So the money we're talking about is what's left after you bought the condos? After we bought the condos, after we paid our taxes, after everything.

Okay, great. So this money is not earmarked for anything. And are you all, do you consider yourself to be on track for retirement with assets separate from this? I think so. I think we're in pretty good shape, but of course our house was always our retirement, my husband used to say. So, you know, we want to invest it smartly because it, as my husband has always said, is our retirement.

Yeah, very good. Mark, your thoughts? Yeah, so the million dollar question right now, Linda, is with what the market is doing right now, have we just seen the bear market bottom, in which case we've got clear sailing ahead? And that's what a lot of investors seem to believe right now with a big rally over the last seven or eight weeks. There's another camp that is still very concerned about what may be facing us over the next six to 12 months. And that argument is primarily on the recession front and the possibility of another downturn for the market.

So it is a tricky question. And to be perfectly frank, it's the biggest thing that we're grappling with right now at Soundmind Investing is how to approach that. Like you, we have a decent amount of cash in our portfolios, in our model portfolios, and we are deliberating about what is the best way to put that back into the market. Now we have a number of mechanical processes and strategies that guide us in that.

So it's not just us trying to put our finger in the wind and figure this out, but it is a very tricky call. And I would say that one approach that may appeal to you is to not go all or nothing on this. This can be the sort of thing that maybe you put a portion of that to work today in case the people are right about that are in the camp that the bottom is in and things are going up from here. But the other side of that would be that you would still have a portion of that money that you might be looking for a lower entry point at some point down the road.

If that appeals to you, my suggestion would be to see how we are approaching that at Soundmind Investing, and you can see some of that on our site. I'm not trying to be coy, but it's just way too much to try to delve into here when that's the type of thing that we're discussing every single month with our members and the strategies that we're following over there. So I hope that helps you a little bit. Rob, what would your take on that be? I think that's right on. Linda, did you have some follow-up questions or thoughts?

No, no. That was very helpful, and we've just been questioning and researching as to what we want to do. We don't want to do the wrong thing, but we don't want to do nothing. So, like I said, we're doing I bonds and doing little things, but on the bigger scale, I think we're just being super conservative because, like I said, it is our retirement. Yeah, I think the key here is to recognize, though, even once you hit that quote-unquote retirement date, the Lord tarries and you're in good health, you have a decades-long need for this money, so you still have a long time horizon. Number two, let's not discount wise counsel, and so I think you've built a significant nest egg here. I think having a professional advisor, like a Certified Kingdom Advisor, to come alongside you and help you manage this would be key. You don't want to just put this on autopilot, so I'd interview two or three CKAs there in Tampa, which you can find at MoneyWise.org, and then decide the path forward. Number three, once you determine the right mix of investments based on your age and risk tolerance, and you could be as conservative as you want to be, perhaps the strategy is to layer that into the market over six months, so you don't have to answer that question that Mark started with. It doesn't matter if this is the bottom, or if we have another down leg, you could move into the market systematically over a period of time.

But I think the key with this kind of money, Linda, and the questions you're asking is to have a professional alongside you, not to carry out their own wishes, but to really build a portfolio that reflects your values, priorities, goals, and objectives. So hopefully that helps you. We appreciate your call today. Quickly to Indianapolis. Lisa, how can we help you?

Hi there. I just had a question. I've got a whole life policy that I've had since about 1990, 1991. My premium is about $72.50 a month, a total premium $8.16 a year, and the cash value is around $52,000 and some change. But my question has to do with, should I keep this, because I do have a term life insurance policy with about $150,000, I have another life insurance through work, like one times or two times my pay. And, you know, my investor, my financial advisor has suggested just cashing it out, taking that cash value and reinvesting it, or should I just have it pay for itself and not worry about the premiums every month?

Yeah. Well, I think the key first, Lisa, is what's the right amount of death benefit for you? How much life insurance do you need? And that's a function of the income you're trying to replace at death for a dependent, like a spouse or a loved one who's depending upon you. And then the cheapest way to get the proper amount of coverage is going to be through term insurance for a period of time that matches your retirement date when hopefully you've built up enough assets that you're self-insured. And then the question is, where's the best place for that money to grow, that $52,000? And it's probably not in that life insurance policy.

It's probably somewhere else. We appreciate your call today. Mark, just about 30 seconds left. Put a bow on this conversation we've had today about the potential for repeating what we saw in the 70s. Yeah, I think the big thing, Rob, is just to have a big picture perspective on this and recognize the possibilities so that you can try to plan ahead effectively for whatever comes our way.

Yeah, that's right. Stick to your plan. Have a disciplined plan and don't let the ebbs and flows of the market cause you to make a rash decision. Mark Bill, our executive editor at Soundmind Investing.

You can read this article, 1970s Redux, at soundmindinvesting.org. Mark, thanks for being with us. We'll be right back. Thrilled that you're joining us today for MoneyWise Live as we apply God's wisdom to your financial decisions and choices.

I'm Rob West. Let's head right back to the phones. Mary and Judy have been holding patiently with some great questions.

First to Mary in Indiana. Go right ahead. Okay, how are you? Thank you. I love your program. Okay, I have a student.

I'm a retired teacher and since the pandemic, of course, you know, I've been subbing. And there was a student, I work at every school all the time for the last 15 years, and this student would always come in and he would just go in the corner and do his homework. Well, and then he would just, if he got his homework done or all of his work, you know, that lesson for the day, he would just act up. So I want to invest $1,000 and just let it grow for 15 or 20 years for him. Because, you know, sometimes they don't make the right decisions, you know, but I figure if he gets about 30 years old, maybe he'll be able to buy a house with it or so what programs would you suggest? Hmm.

Yeah, that's a great question. The challenge is the type of account. You know, you could do a custodial account. The problem is that becomes his at the age of majority, which was likely 18.

If you want to take it and buy a sports car is not making good decisions that kind of defeats that purpose. The other way to do it is just to do it in your name, and then make him the beneficiary of that account. That way you can control, you know, what's done with it and when it's dispersed to him so long as you're alive, because if the Lord calls you home, then that immediately goes to him. And so if you're trying to avoid that and you want to control it beyond your life until certain conditions are met, that's going to involve a trust. The challenge is that's going to be pretty costly.

I mean, that could be $1,500 to set up. But essentially, that's a legal entity for the purpose of holding assets for the benefit of a specific person or even an organization. And children are frequently the beneficiaries of trust funds, because they safeguard the assets and make sure they're used for their stewardship. You know, and so certain triggering events that caused the dispensing of the assets to the intended recipient can be set up in the trust, such as when he reaches a certain age, or a payment schedule, or when certain conditions are met. And it can live beyond your life where a trustee would disperse based on the trust documents.

The challenge is if you're talking about just $1,000, that could, you know, chew up the whole thing in just the cost, the legal expense to set it up. So I think beyond that, Mary, it's probably just something that's in your name, where it's a separate account, probably putting it into a stock index fund, like a, you know, a total market index fund that just captures the broad moves of the market. And it's just invested, you know, it's earmarked for him, you have control over it, you put him in on it as the beneficiary. And if at some point during your life, you decide he's ready for it at that point, you could gift it to him.

You would just have to be aware that if, you know, you pass away, it automatically becomes his money, regardless of what age he is at that point. Okay, okay. Probably the stock index fund would be probably a little cheaper, right? Yeah. Oh, for sure. Because you could set up an account for free and just basically make that deposit.

You could use Fidelity or Charles Schwab, and I'd probably put it in a total market, you know, index fund of some kind and kind of just forget about it. Okay, thank you so much. I appreciate your show. Thanks again. All right, Mary, thank you very much.

To, let's see, we're going to stay in Indiana. Judy, with a really interesting question. Go right ahead. Hi, so I like to support local stores, brick and mortar stores, but if I find a product, I found a product, the clerk was very helpful to narrow it down, it still has to be special order, but I can get it much cheaper online. Is it wrong? What does the Bible say? Should I, I mean, it's like, they're counter stools, I found, and I can get it online $85 cheaper, each stool. And I tried to deal with the clerk and she said that's her bottom line. Is it wrong?

Is it Christian? I just don't know what to do. I mean, I've got the money, I can pay it, but I know we should be wise stewards. Yeah, yeah. In my notes here, Judy, I just want to ask you kind of a follow up question here. It says you, you know, she actually went above and beyond to actually let you use the chairs, put them in your home, took them out of her inventory for a period of time. Tell me about that piece of it. Well, she just, I just took it home for an hour to see how it would look. And so I brought it back because the one I didn't want back, I decided I wanted one without a back, but then she let me take one without a back home.

And that's the one that I decided on, except I'd have to special order it in a different color. Yeah, yeah, very good. Well, I mean, I certainly understand what you're saying. I mean, this is actually a thing. So this phenomenon is called showrooming.

What is that? Well, it basically just refers to the practice of visiting brick and mortar retail stores to research merchandise before you end up just buying it online for a lower price. And it allows you to look at it and touch it and test the products. And of course, those retailers are spending money to provide, you know, that brick and mortar shop. And, you know, for you to be able to do that, and then, you know, you're buying it online as a good one side of this as well as a good steward, why would I pay anything more than I have to pay if I can find it cheaper somewhere else? The other side of this is, if you value being able to buy locally and have local places that many in many respects are going out of business, because of this practice and because of what's happening with online shopping, then you may say, you know what, I'm going to choose to shop local and hopefully, as many retailers are, they're finding ways to match online prices, especially if you say, and I think this is the key here, if you're feeling in your conscience that, well, perhaps I'm taking a little bit advantage of the situation because she was so helpful and did so much for me. I think you could be honest and say, listen, I want to do business with you. I just can't in good conscience spend twice as much or, you know, 50% more than I can buy this elsewhere.

Here's where I can buy it. Could you match it? Could you meet me in the middle?

What can we do so I can give you the business? And if at the end of the day, they just can't, well, I don't think you're wrong one way or the other to decide to do business there because you value local retailers, or because you just feel like as a good steward, you need to spend as little as possible. So I don't think there's a right or wrong here. I think you just need to kind of think through it and see, is the Lord kind of telling me to do one thing or the other? And if not, I think you're certainly entitled to go any way you want. There are ways to now see, through augmented reality, actual products in your space, in your home, on your table.

And so that technology is available where you don't even need to go into a retailer if you're just looking to bottom line it, but you want the benefit of actually seeing the merchandise in your space. But as to this specific one, I just ask the Lord to impress upon you how he would have you proceed and then you make that call. I don't think there's a right or wrong answer.

Okay, thank you. All right. We appreciate you calling today.

And let us know what you decide. I'm curious. I'd love to hear the end of the story.

God bless you, Judy. Folks, we've covered a lot of ground today. You know, at the end of the day, we want to be good managers of God's resources and really be wise stewards, which means we have to seek wise counsel in all that we do. We started today by talking about just the financial gyrations in the stock market. And these kinds of unsettled markets, these challenging economic times can lead us to fear when we play the what-if game.

Let me close today by just addressing that. You know, our friend, the late Larry Burkett, used to say our anxieties usually are not related to the lack of things, but to the loss of things. Larry would go on to explain that one of Satan's favorite tools to discourage Christians is the question what-if. What-if questions lead right down the road to fear.

Maybe you've asked one of these questions recently. What if the economy gets worse and I can't pay my bills? What if I don't have enough money for retirement? What if I have a medical emergency and our insurance isn't enough?

What if I can't find an affordable car? What if I lose my job or even what if my spouse dies? Well, the problem with what-if is that it makes us think about what might go wrong in the future. Of course, we can't see the future, but we tend to worry about it anyway. Worry leads to fear, and fear is a spiritual trap. Fear is the opposite of trust. And when you stop trusting God, you're right where the enemy wants you, taking your eyes off the goodness of God and focusing on our own problems instead. You know, folks, it's all about perspective, fear or trust. Now, here's the antidote to fear.

You ready? When anxiety takes over, we can turn to God's Word for encouragement. Let me finish today with some passages that I know will be an encouragement to you. Jesus says in John 16 33, In the world you will have tribulation, but take heart, I have overcome the world.

You see, when financial worry seems overwhelming, well, it helps to remember that we don't ever have to be afraid. We can endure any troubles with confidence that God is good and his promises are true. What about Isaiah 41 13? I am the Lord your God who upholds your right hand, who says, Do not fear, I will help you.

You see, God is in control of all of the details and he will provide what we need at just the right time. What about Psalm 27 verse 1? The Lord is my light and my salvation. Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the defense of my life.

What shall I dread? You see, folks, the enemy wants us to worry about what we might lose. But in Christ we gain so much more, including peace, no matter what.

Let me finish with this one. First Timothy 1 7 says, God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power and of love and of a sound mind. You see, in Christ we can steer clear of the what if mentality and trust God implicitly with the future.

The question is, how are we approaching that? Are we allowing fear to crowd out our trust and our faith in the Lord? Well, we know that he says he will never leave us or forsake us. And what's fascinating is that promise was connected to the idea of contentment, really being content with what God has entrusted to us because he is our provider and our sustainer.

He will never abdicate that role or responsibility to anyone or anything else. So let me challenge you today not to play the what if game and instead lean into your trust in the Lord. I hope that was an encouragement to you. So thankful for you being along with us today. I want to say how grateful I am for my team.

Gabby T managing our phones today, Amy Rios, our producer, and Dan Anderson, our engineer, Mr. Robert Sutherland providing great research today. I hope you'll come and join us tomorrow. I'll be here, Lord willing, and we'll see you then. Bye bye.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-06 19:36:45 / 2023-03-06 19:52:48 / 16

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