If you're tired of living paycheck to paycheck, you can make a decision today that will change your life. Hi, I'm Rob West. All you have to do is put God's financial principles into practice and then wait to see what happens. You'll be amazed at the results. I'll talk about how you can do it today, and then it's on to your calls at 800-525-7000.
That's 800-525-7000. This is Faith and Finance Live, biblical wisdom for your financial decisions. Well, like most things, the first step in making financial changes is admitting you have a problem and then identifying what you're doing wrong. So what's not right with the way you're handling money? Maybe you worry about bouncing a check, or you fear the phone ringing because it might be a bill collector, or you're dealing with the gas or electricity being turned off for non-payment. Maybe you argue with your spouse about money, or you've stopped giving to your church because you're afraid you won't have enough. Those are all signs that something needs to change, and you shouldn't fear that change.
It might be a little scary at first, but nowhere near as scary as living paycheck to paycheck. Following God's financial principles will give you welcome relief from worrying about money. Isaiah 43 tells us, So how do you begin to bring about this change? Well, first, by dispelling the notion that God's Word doesn't contain everything you need to transform the way you handle money. Hebrews 4-12 reads, Understanding and believing in biblical truth is essential, and the first principle you need to grasp is that God owns it all.
In Psalm 24-1 we find, When you fully embrace that principle, everything else can fall into place. You won't be consumed with thoughts about the way you're handling your money because it's not yours. Instead, you'll begin to think about managing God's money, because you're simply His steward or manager of the resources He's temporarily entrusted to you. And as His steward, God will never abandon you to fend for yourself.
He's always with you, and He's promised to provide. Luke 12-24 reads, Once you believe that God will provide, Scripture becomes your guide for changing the way you think and act about money. Instead of running away from God's financial principles, you'll run to them. The Bible says a lot about spending, saving, investing, and getting out of debt, along with contentment and generosity—everything you need to know for wise money management.
Take just one principle to start. Pray earnestly about it. Ask God for strength, discipline, and the desire to carry it out. Maybe that's setting aside a few dollars out of your paycheck, or paying more than the minimum on your credit card, or putting a little more in the collection plate. Pick one and stick with it.
Then, when that's a part of your life, you can go on to the next and the next. This is putting principle into practice. You do that with tools and structure, a budget, a will, a long-range financial plan, and so on. Now, if you're not living on a budget, you need to develop a spending plan now. Proverbs 27-23 teaches, Know well the condition of your flocks, and give attention to your herds. These days, our herds and flocks are our bank accounts. And there's no better tool for developing a spending plan than the Faithfi app. It uses the tried-and-true envelope budgeting system to plan and track all of your spending.
You can download it in your app store today. Just search for Faithfi. That's Faith-F-I. It's a modern, simple tool that will give you control over your finances in a way perhaps you've never had. Now, many people find it difficult to change by themselves. They need someone to encourage them and to hold them accountable.
As our friend Howard Dayton likes to say, to hold their fuzzy feet to the fire. You may need someone to keep you on track. It could be a spouse, another family member, or friend, but someone to hold you accountable for staying on budget. So, those are the tools you need to start putting God's financial principles into practice. And when you do, you'll see big changes in your life. Perhaps not right away, but be patient.
It'll happen. And then you can stop worrying about money, and we hope you'll get started today. All right, your calls are next. The number to call is 800-525-7000. That's 800-525-7000. By the way, you can call that number 24-7. I'm Rob West, and you're listening to Faith & Finance Live.
Stick around. Delighted to have you with us today on Faith & Finance Live. I'm Rob West, your host, taking your calls and questions now on anything financial.
We'd love to hear from you. 800-525-7000. That's 800-525-7000. Give us a call here on a Friday, and we'll tackle whatever you're thinking about. Our promise to you is to be hopeful and encouraging, bring you wisdom from God's Word, the principles and the ideas that we see on the heart of God in Scripture, and apply that to your decisions and choices today so you can be a faithful steward of God's resources. 800-525-7000 is the number to call. Let's begin in Illinois. Hi, Terry. How can I help you, sir?
Hi, Rob. I have a question regarding some additional savings that I've accumulated over a little time here, and I'm interested in putting it into a money market fund through an investor that I have a Roth IRA with already, and I'm interested in doing that. I just didn't know if it's the best time to put it into it now with the way the economy's going and such. I'm unsure about that. That's why I've held on to it for as long as it did. But now the CD rates are quite high, and so I'm interested in putting it in that. I'm just kind of in between. They recommend doing more of an aggressive approach if I were to put it in the money market fund.
Yeah. Well, a money market at a bank, so a money market deposit account who is going to be guaranteed and FDIC insured, a money market fund is not, because you're going to have a pool of money markets, and it's an investment product, and therefore it's not covered by the FDIC. It really comes down to safety, liquidity, and rate. So I guess my question would be, what is this money earmarked for, and along with that, what is the time horizon on it, and how safe do you want this to be in terms of are you willing to take some risk, or do you really want to stay in guaranteed products? I'm willing to take some risk.
I'm looking for some growth. I mean, it's probably more or less geared towards retirement. I just don't want to, excuse me, relinquish it all right now to something locked into that. I have, you know, some are ready for emergency fund and such.
I have that base. This is just outside of that. So it'd be like, yeah, more of a money market fund tied to mutual funds and such through that. Yeah, well, a money market fund is going to give you a fairly modest rate of return, and it's going to be still very safe, even though it's not guaranteed like a money market deposit account or a savings account or a CD, but still on the very conservative end of the risk spectrum and going to give you conservative, you know, type returns. So the returns we're seeing right now are going to be, you know, fairly modest. I think if you're wanting to take a little bit of risk and you've got the right time horizon, and let me just clarify that before I go on. When you say you want this to be available for retirement, how far out are we looking? Probably a 10-year look at it.
And also it would be tied to like mutual funds and such like that. So, you know, yes, there will be some, you know, risk in it. I'm more of an aggressive with my timeline. Okay, yeah. And I would agree with that.
And that's where I was going to go next. I wouldn't – and maybe it's just the terminology, but that's not considered a money market fund. A money market fund is just a mutual fund of money markets that are very safe. So those are very short-term bills, bonds and notes that are being bought and sold to create that very conservative portfolio. But I think given your 10-year time horizon and the fact that you have that emergency fund, you're willing to take a little bit of risk, you want to grow this, putting it into mutual funds – maybe that's what you heard her say – is a great way to get some growth out of this, especially with the market down where it is off its highs from, you know, the pre-pandemic and even following the pandemic. With the last year, we've seen a sell-off in the market. We're going to have a rocky year this year, especially with most economists thinking we have a recession coming around the corner. But your focus wouldn't be this year or even next year or the year after. Your focus is, you know, 10 years plus down the road. And for that reason, I think this would be a great time for you to begin to move it into the market and using a mutual fund or an exchange-traded fund to have maybe a mix of stocks and bonds, you know, I think is a great opportunity for you, especially with the market down.
So as the market recovers, whether that's later this year or next year, you'd have the ability to participate that over the next decade and perhaps grow this, you know, beyond what you would get in a CD or something like that. So I'm on board with that strategy, Terry, if that's what you're comfortable with. Yeah, that's basically what I'm looking for. Yeah, I just wanted to kind of look at a second opinion on this.
Yeah, I like it a lot. And if you already have a relationship with this advisor, I think perhaps she's the one to help you deploy it. And so maybe add it to what is already being managed.
But I think that the general idea is right. The question now is just what investments, what mutual funds to buy, how much toward stocks, how much toward bonds? What is your age, if you don't mind me asking, Terry?
Fifty-seven. Okay, so normally we'd say, okay, you take a hundred and ten minus your age, just as a rule of thumb. So you might want to have as much as 50 to even 60 percent in bonds, somewhere between 40 and excuse me, in stock, somewhere between 40 and 60 percent, and then somewhere between 40 and 60 percent in bonds. I'd probably skew a little more to the stocks, 50 to 60 percent in stocks and then 40 to 50 percent in bonds. That's going to give you not as volatile a portfolio over the next decade as an all stock portfolio.
You probably are going to achieve returns that are slightly less, but it's not going to see as much of the wild fluctuations. So but you can work that out with her, but I think the big idea in terms of the direction you're headed is the right one. We appreciate you calling today and being on the program, sir.
Quickly to Cleveland. Hi, Laura. Go right ahead. Hi.
My question is, well, here's the situation. Okay, I'm 63 years old. I retired at the end of December.
My husband is 12 years older than I am, and he's not in good health. So I'm expecting at some point to take the survivor's benefit as far as Social Security is concerned, but I wanted to know that whether or not if I just go ahead and start taking the benefits on my own, taking my own Social Security benefits at a reduced rate because I'm only 63, if that will cause the survivor benefit that I eventually take when I reach my full retirement age, if it would cause a percentage reduction in that. It will not. So you can start taking your Social Security benefits now, Laura. They will be, of course, permanently reduced by 8% roughly for each year you take them prior to full retirement age. So you could expect as much as maybe a 32% reduction at 62 versus full retirement age on your benefits. But that only applies to your benefits. When your husband goes home to be with the Lord, you can claim a survivor's benefit, and you'd get the full amount of that benefit you're entitled to. You wouldn't be penalized for taking your benefits early. Of course, when you start taking survivor's benefits, you'll no longer receive your benefits based on your work record. You just get one or the other, whichever is higher. Okay, and they would allow me to, like, say he died before I was, you know, before I was my full retirement age, like at 64 or 65, I wouldn't have to apply until I turned my full retirement age, correct? They wouldn't make me apply before my full retirement age, right? That's right.
You could continue on your own record and then choose to switch over to your husband's survivor's benefits at a point down the road. Okay. That's basically what I needed, you know. Good. I did have one more question. Well, I only got about 30 seconds. Make it real quick for me.
It seems I didn't start my diagnosis easy or anything. Oh, and unfortunately, I'm not able to hear you, so let's do this. I'm going to have you hold the line, Laura. I'll see if I can talk to you off the air. It got a little staticky there for us. We appreciate your call.
You just stay right there. We've got some lines open today, folks. We'd love to hear from you. What are you thinking about financially? Let's talk about it.
800-525-7000. I'm Rob West, and this is Faith and Finance Live. We'll be right back. So thankful to have you with us today on Faith and Finance Live. Well, it's the last day of March. I know it's hard to believe, and the last day of every month for a not-for-profit listener-supported ministry is always a good barometer of how we're doing financially.
And what I can say is for the month of March, we're a little behind. So if you find yourself tuning into this program with regularity, maybe you're at faithfi.com or you use the app or you've benefited from this ministry and you'd like to be a financial supporter, we'd certainly appreciate that today more than ever. If you head to faithfi.com, that's faithfi.com, and just click the Give button, you can give either one time or become a monthly patron. We'd be delighted to have you do that.
Again, faithfi.com, just click the Give button and thanks in advance. All right, back to the phones we go. The lines are all full, so we're going to move as quickly as we can. Let's go to Cleveland. Hi, Kathy. How can I help you?
Hi, thanks for having me on the air. My question is about taxes and investments. Basically, my husband and I are both middle-aged and we have grown children, so we just don't have a lot of deductions at this point other than our home. We got hit pretty hard this year with additional taxes beyond what we had taken from our paychecks, so we were trying to prepare better for next year. And instead of doing additional withholdings, we were thinking about taking that same money and putting it into an IRA or something along those lines so that we don't get hit so hard next year.
Yeah. What are your thoughts, though, about just going ahead and making the adjustment on the W-4, and that way if you did nothing, at least you'd come out even in terms of paying in what you need to. And then if you have the ability to set up maybe an auto payment throughout the year, because now you've got a little bit extra in your paycheck, you could make that contribution directly. Okay, yeah, that's another way. We were just hoping to use that money to more of an advantage where it could set us up for the future as well.
Yeah, I see. So your idea would be that because you've got more coming in each month because you're not withholding quite enough, you would go ahead and pay that in during the year to your IRA. The question would just be, can you sync that up in such a way where the total of your contributions gets your adjusted gross income down low enough to where you're kind of matching what is required of you in terms of your annual tax liability? That's going to be a little tricky to do. You may be able to do it. I just would hate for you to come out on the short side of that and then all of a sudden find yourself paying some penalties or interest or both. So I think I would probably feel better just getting that withholding right and then let's, you know, still look for ways to cut back and fund retirement.
Are you all funding retirement through company sponsored plans already? Yes, we are. Okay. Do you feel like you're on track with that? We have some catch up to do. Okay.
Yeah. So I'd probably focus there as opposed to the IRA strategy. If it were me, I'd go and get the withholding right. Let's just know that we know that we're kind of on track to have that, you know, what needs to be paid in throughout the year paid in and then let's go to work on the budget and just keep dialing up that percentage into the 401k trying to get up to 15%. Now, if you want to take a portion of that and redirect it to a Roth because your 401k is the traditional variety and you'd like some money growing tax free, I could get on board with that.
You know, and this isn't a bad strategy. I'm just a little leery of you, you know, trying to figure it out in such a way where you hope it's going to come out all right versus having the proper amount withhold and then dealing with it, you know, on the other side of the ledger and trying to dial back expenses so you can continue to increase your retirement contributions. I think I'd feel a little bit better about that, but time will tell. I mean, you all may be able to figure it out and maybe next year is your experiment here and you see how it goes, right? And, you know, if it works for you, then you could keep that up.
I think I'd probably go with the w-4 adjustment though if it were me. Okay, thank you so much. All right. You're welcome, Kathy. Thanks for calling.
St. Louis. Hey, Brian, go right ahead, sir. Yeah, I got a personal testimony. I hope this encourages everybody.
Yeah. Years ago, I had, I'm right into some serious financial problems whereby I made the huge mistake of taking out personal loans to try and repair things and wound up with not just a car payment, but nine personal loans on top of that. That was a whole lot of debt and I started getting a little scared how I was going to make payments every month and I said, Lord, if I'm going to make, if you're going to be the Lord and Savior of every aspect of my life, that also includes my finances. So I, where I was reading that in the scriptures, I took all my monthly bills, laid it on my Bible, prayed over it and I said, Lord, I need your divine intervention. And one by one, I was able to do this where I paid off the smallest debt first, the money I used to pay on that smallest debt. I applied that to the next smallest and the next smallest and after that, and right now I owe $35 on my credit card and that's it. Wow, that's incredible.
Without filing bankruptcy. Man, that's awesome Brian. Now what would you attribute that to? I mean, did you just really cut back and scrutinize every expense and trim, you know, every possible area you could or what did it take to get to this point? The secret thing I had to realize, and I think a lot of people got to realize, what is the difference between a want and a need? And when I realized that and I thought, if I can live without this thing, it's not a need. And that's how I was able to start getting all these bills paid off. And like I said, right now, that's all the debt I got. And now, wow, like, well, Lord, I, you know, and every, since I did this, God's been opening financial things in my behalf about this and that.
And I don't like, what did I do to deserve this? And he says, obedience has its rewards. Oh, wow.
That's incredible. You know, it's, it's such a great point because so often we can get those things really confused, can't we? The needs and wants. And we become an endless list of needs and wants.
And if we're not careful, we can never get beyond that. And until we can create some margin in our lives to be able to give as God directs and dump debt like you've been able to do, which puts you in a position. So now you can experience some freedom and joy and peace of mind and even the ability to respond to the leading of the Lord in giving a, what a blessing that is and, and an opportunity. I'm confident, Brian, you have absolutely been an encouragement to our listeners today. And I'll tell you, if we do nothing more than leave here today saying, I'm going to take a harder look at the difference between needs and wants.
We'll be way ahead of stewards of God's money. Thanks for calling my friend. Thanks for that testimony.
800-525-7000. We've got one line open, a quick break, and then back with much more. Plus Jerry Boyer coming up a little later in the broadcast. Stay with us. Well, God owns it all.
We're stewards or managers of his resources and now money is a tool to accomplish his purposes. Let's apply God's wisdom to your financial decisions today and head right back to the phones to beautiful Nashville, Tennessee. Hey Billy, thanks for calling. Go right ahead. One moment, Rob. Yes, sir. Hey Rob, sorry.
I got a quick question. I'm 32 years old. I have a 401k with my company employer. They match 10% of my income. I'm currently putting eight, been heavily considering going up to that 10% recently. You know, really, I'm just, I'm curious, how can I make that work best for me for the long term? Like I said, I'm 32. So, you know, God willing, I got time on my side, you know, 30 plus years before I retire, but I want to get the max investment in that as I can so that when I do retire, you know, my wife and I are set well and maybe even can, you know, pass that along to my kids one day.
Yeah, I love that. Well, first of all, don't think about changing jobs because that benefit that you have on a match up to 10% is incredibly generous. So I would absolutely take full benefit of that because that's free money. So if they're going to give you a dollar for dollar match on up to 10%, you putting in 10%, which now becomes, you know, doubled is significant 20% of your income, which is beyond even, you know, what we would typically recommend.
And if you do that for the next 35 years, I mean, you'll be in really great shape. So I'd take full advantage of that Billy as you're able to so long as you don't have consumer debt and you've got an emergency fund. Now, the key on the 401k is, I mean, this is just a bucket you put assets in and it grows on a tax deferred basis. What you put into it in terms of the investments you select is another story altogether. And so that's where you need to either get some counsel or talk to your plan administrator or do some research on your own. But you're going to want to make sure that you're in the right investments inside that 401k that are appropriate for your age and risk tolerance.
And I would imagine you're going to be on the more aggressive spectrum just given how long your time horizon is. Now, the key here is that the 401k with a systematic contribution through your salary deferral is what's called dollar cost averaging. And so what that does is it allows you to buy a consistent amount every month. And when you do that, and the market is down with the same contribution going in, you're buying more shares. Well, the beautiful part of that is that as those shares recover, you're going to benefit for that. And if you don't need that money for a long time, buying those extra shares when the market is down is going to really help you gain some ground down the road. And what a lot of people don't understand is that really a bear market is a great thing for a long term faithful investor, because who wants to buy at the top all the time, you're buying at a discount. So I think the key for you and your wife is number one, let's try to, you know, I'm glad you're getting a match on that 8%. Let's get it up to 10% when you can, because that's free money. Number two, if you do this faithfully for a long time, especially now in a market that's down, you will be really handsomely rewarded down the road.
And thirdly, let's make sure you're in the right investments that are appropriate for where you're at in terms of you being a young family looking to grow this over a long, long period of time. Does that all make sense? Absolutely. Yeah. Yeah. Could you just speak on what you called that again?
The option there? Oh, yeah. Dollar cost averaging. I mean, you're doing that automatically. That's not anything you have to tell them, but that's just the term for what you're doing. So anytime you're making a systematic investment of a set dollar amount, which is what you're doing because your paycheck's the same every month and you're putting in 8% and they're matching the 8%. So that same dollar amount is going in. But the idea behind dollar cost averaging is the investments that you're buying are moving up and down. So in a market like we're in right now, the prices are down of the investments of the mutual funds you're buying. So with the same consistent investment of dollars going into the 401k and then with the same purchase of that mutual fund, you're buying more shares of that fund because it's on sale.
It's selling at a discount because it's down. So as the market recovers and as those investments recover, now that you own more shares of them, you're going to benefit from that as the prices rise. And that's just part of the power of compounding coupled with a systematic monthly investment, which is what you're doing through this salary deferral into your 401k. Yeah, gotcha.
Awesome. Really, I should just get with who manages my 401k. It's through Fidelity and they offer for me to pay them to help me management. Is that something that maybe you would consider me taking up?
Potentially. I'm not sure what they're offering is, whether that's an ongoing fee or a one-time fee. Certainly if it's a one-time thing, I would take them up on that just to make sure that you're not too conservative in the funds you picked. If you're sitting in a bond fund or something at 30 years of age, that's not where you want to be. You're going to want to be in something more aggressive that has the potential for growth, even though it's going to be a little more volatile. So having some outside counsel on making sure you're positioned right, if it's a one-time thing, makes a lot of sense. And then as you make contributions, just make sure that's being automatically reinvested into those same investments. So listen, you're doing great here, Billy. I think you're on the right track.
I'd get some advice, but just keep doing what you're doing and try to bump that up to take advantage of the full 10% match as soon as you can. We appreciate your call. To Missouri, hi Fern. Thank you for calling and for your patience. Go right ahead. Hi, Rob. Thanks. I'm a senior and I'd like to put in $100 a month at least to some kind of a savings if I can get a decent return. And then also second question, my son works for the airlines in security and he's 50 years old and he's like everybody else.
He's lost a lot on that 401k, which he's been in for 20 years. So those are the questions. What should we do? Very good, Fern. Well, I'm delighted you called and I hear that sweet little puppy in the background.
Hey, let me ask you, you said you wanted to put $100 a month into savings, so you're wanting just to put it into a bank savings account, but you're wanting to try to get as much interest as you can. Is that right? Absolutely. Okay.
Yeah, very good. Fern, I know you mentioned you're a senior. Do you use the Internet? Are you comfortable banking online? I haven't done it online. I've been a trained bank for 20 years. Okay. Would your son be able to help you with that? Yeah, I'm sure.
Okay. Well, the reason I say that is when you say I want to get as much return as I can or yield on my savings and I want to be in a bank, the way to do that is to not use the brick and mortar banks. Now, you can leave your checking account right where it is. You don't have to sever that relationship, but what I would do is have your son help you set up an online savings account for the $100 a month. Right now, they're paying almost 4%, 3.75% to 4% a year, and he could go to bankrate.com and find which online bank is the best. I would have him look at Marcus, M-A-R-C-U-S, or he could look at Ally, A-L-L-Y.
Any of those two I think would be great, and you'll get a lot better return on the savings account through those. With regard to your son's 401k, listen, everybody's down. I know it's frustrating. What I would tell him is just stay the course. He's still got 15 years or more before he needs this money, and if he continues to put in the same amount every month, he's getting more shares of those investments with the same amount going in. That's what we were just talking about with the previous caller. It's called dollar-cost averaging, so tell him just to muscle through it. We'll get through this.
The market will recover, and just keep contributing to that 401k. Fern, stay on the line. We'll talk more off the air. We'll be right back. Great to have you with us today on Faith and Finance Live. I'm Rob West. All right, hey, we're going to go back to the phones in just a moment, but first, every Friday we're joined by our good friend Jerry Boyer. He's our resident economist. He's the president of Boyer Research. He's a columnist at World Opinions, and he joins us with his insightful analysis of the markets and the economy and whatever else I decide to throw at him. Jerry, good afternoon. Good afternoon, and what is it that you're going to throw at me, my friend? I don't know.
I guess we'll figure it out together. Let's start with the Trump indictment. Obviously, not really having any effect on the markets. I mean, green across the board and pretty strong day on the Dow Jones, at least.
Yeah, yeah, I don't think it registered, to be honest with you. I was on another show on another network, the network last night, and it's breaking news. You know, the announcement in the press of the indictment, what effect is this going to have on markets?
And I said probably none. And the host was surprised. And I think it's partly because for people who are spending a lot of time focused on politics, it's huge. I mean, it's gigantic.
It's an asteroid from outer space, you know, hitting the political world. But for people who are in markets, they're not necessarily concerned with the same thing. So people in markets are paying more attention today, obviously, to the lower than expected inflation. And they've been paying attention for the past couple of weeks, including this week, to the headlines about banks, or this week, it's almost more like the lack of headlines about banks. Remember, you asked me, you know, when Silicon Valley Bank closed, you said, you know, how far is this going to go? And I said within the next next couple of weeks, we're going to hear the names of several more banks, but we're not going to hear the names of all the banks.
There is a certain spread to it, but it's within a limited domain. And I think markets this week concluded that that's the case and they responded. So those are the things that were the drivers. I mean, the political futures market moved a little bit, but the political futures market is entirely about politics. So you would expect that to move. Yeah, exactly right.
And obviously, that's the way it's been playing out. What do you make of that inflation gauge that we got from the Fed? It was a little less than expected, a little lower. It's the PCE, which is their favorite. Sorry for the acronyms.
There's just so many acronyms. But this is the one the Fed likes that they target. And it was down somewhat, but it was expected to be down somewhat. So it was enough to make people think, oh, OK, well, maybe the Fed doesn't have to tighten so much. But honestly, I think this week was largely about banks. Bank failures and the possibility of bank failures spreading is really frightening to market participants.
So I think that's what we were dealing with. Now, when we're dealing with a president who gets indicted, which we call that impeachment because they don't go to the normal court system. When a president gets impeached, that moves markets. When Bill Clinton, when the run up to the impeachment markets dropped, when the run up to Trump impeachment markets dropped, markets are concerned about that. But ex-presidents getting indicted, I don't think markets are concerned about that that much. Now, they might be concerned if this starts to show serious social tension.
Like, let's say sometime the next couple of days, high ranking Republican officials call to take to the streets or high ranking Democrat officials say something like, well, he belongs in jail. You know, if we see the kind of thing that threatens the social fabric and rule of law in direct, widespread ways, then that might affect markets. But if there's not a contagion, then I don't think we see a market effect. In other words, markets aren't responding to the Trump indictments, but they might respond to our response. And I think that's what they're keeping their eye on. And so far, it's been a fairly tepid route.
We haven't had riots or anything of that nature. Yeah. You mentioned the banking sector. Jerry, do you feel like that is largely behind us at this point? Yeah, I think so.
I'm not sure. Of course, only God sees the future. But it was it was never a universal banking problem. It was kind of a regional banking problem because they're less diversified. But by the way, it's a biblical principle from Ecclesiastes, one that Silicon Valley Bank, apparently Silicon Valley Bank didn't read Ecclesiastes.
They read a lot of other stuff, but none of it seems to have been from the Bible. So they weren't really well diversified. And you can be diversified with different assets or you can do hedging, which is a kind of way of diversification.
And I know that's complicated, so we won't get into that too much. But it's just one way of diversifying. So the regional banks aren't necessarily diversified, but you have to be tied to some industry or some region that's in trouble. So Silicon Valley Bank was a bank, the regional bank that makes it a problem. But it was a Silicon Valley Bank and Silicon Valley is having a lot of problems. You're reading about layoffs in the tech sector. There's a kind of like mini tech recession. But if you're at some place where the economy isn't based on tech, you know, I'm in Pittsburgh, you know, our economy is based on health care, universities, et cetera, you know, then it's not really much of an issue. The government stepped in, probably stepped in too much, guaranteed a lot of loans, you know, put money into the system. And I would say it's fairly likely that, you know, there'll be attempts to look at other banks and maybe stoke some fear. But I really don't think we're dealing with something like 2008 or 2009 where you have a wave, a cascade effect, which is a systemic problem.
Yeah, helpful, Jerry. On another entirely different topic related to the dollar, Jerry, and you and I discussed this earlier today, you know, we saw some headlines recently about both Brazil and China, as well as Russia and China, with it sounds like, well, in one case liquid natural gas being settled in the yuan as opposed to the U.S. dollar for the first time, Brazil settling a transaction in their local currency. Is this a systematic move that's continuing to weaken the dollar and will that continue? Yeah, I think so.
But I think it is more like the camel's nose in the tent than it is like the camel in the tent. And so, you know, Brazil is not a super major economic power, but, you know, it is a Western hemisphere. So, you know, if they're settling in the real rather than the dollar, there's a little bit of de-dollarization going on. What I take from that is that there is a little bit of exploration of what a world post dollar, which really means a world post U.S. at the center of the financial system might look like. I happen to believe that the reason that the U.S. has kept its reserve currency status is not because we behaved well.
I think part of it is because we behaved pretty poorly. I think a large part of it is China wasn't sure it wanted to challenge us for reserve currency status. They weren't sure that they're able to handle the job of being the reserve currency country. Now, they are exploring options. They're learning some ways of doing trade agreements that leave the dollar out of it. So that's precedent setting without, I think, being a direct threat. And I saw a lot of headlines earlier in the week from some of our doomsayers, you know, some of the blood moon types, like, this is it.
Dollar reserve currency status ends this week. No, not over a summit, not over a trade deal with Brazil. It would take something bigger than that. But so there are things that you're you see on the horizon. Hmm. That's a cause for concern. And there are things like right now in front of you.
This doesn't seem to be a right now in front of us. But this does seem to be an area where the U.S. might be in decline as a reserve currency. And that is bad for us in lots of ways and could be highly inflationary.
We could see much higher inflation than we've seen so far if that happens. Yeah. Really helpful, Jerry. All right. Final question today, and we're going to be out of time. You've been doing a lot of work on the corporate engagement front and there's been a lot of activity lately related to JP Morgan. Bring us up to date.
Yeah. Largest bank in the United States. And we want them focused on banking. Who's we are working with my friend David Bonson, who's a financial adviser and an investor. And David owns significant shares in JP Morgan Chase. And he put forward a proposal which said, if you are going to cancel services on what appears to be the basis of politics or religion, they had canceled the bank account of a pro religious liberty group and did not give a satisfactory explanation.
We need to tell you exactly. We need you to tell us shareholders exactly how those decisions are being made and why and how this is good for business to fire customers. JP Morgan Chase went to the SEC and said, we don't really think this belongs on the on the ballot. We think it's just ordinary business. You know, but Bonson or others on his staff wrote back and said it is absolutely a shareholder matter.
It's reputational. It's civil rights. It belongs on the ballot. This week, the SEC said, yeah, it does belong on the ballot in their way, in their legalistic way. They said, yeah, it does. And so JP Morgan Chase in May at the annual meeting is going to have a debate about cancellation, specifically of Christian accounts and religious bias in this decision about removing services. A debate long overdue.
Yes. Yeah, Jerry. Well, we'll certainly keep a close eye on that. I know you will as well and update us along the way. Always enjoy our conversation, Jerry. So much insight and wisdom. We're grateful for you stopping by and hope you have a great weekend, my friend. Same to you. God bless.
All right. That's Jerry Boyer. He's our resident economist. He joins us each Friday with his insightful analysis. You'll find him active on social media.
You can also find him at World Opinions where he's a contributor. All right. Let's round out the program today. Back to the phones quickly to Florida. Hey, Mark, how are you? Not doing fine. Thank you. Good.
How can I help? I'm thinking about turning my my garage. I have a tutu in a garage into a, you know, into a little room that I can rent out to somebody. I have about two hundred thousand dollars in equity in my house. What is the best way to try to finance this?
It should cost about about thirty thousand dollars. Yeah. Do you have a first mortgage currently? Yeah. I have one hundred and ten thousand hundred twenty thousand dollars left on it.
OK. Yeah. I'd probably get a home equity loan, not a line of credit with a variable rate, but a home equity loan that's a fixed rate. They're going to be higher today, obviously, than they were a year or so ago. But, you know, as long as you've got the ability to rent it out and I would just make sure you check with your municipality to be sure there's not anything that's going to prevent you from renting out the room. Probably not, but it's always good to check, especially if you're putting money into a rental project specifically for this purpose.
There was something slowing you down. You'd want to know that ahead of time. But assuming there is and you can cash flow this quickly and you've done your research on what you should be able to cash flow out of this. And if it's enough to service the debt, then you can use that rental income to pay it off, hopefully in a short period of time.
And now you've got an opportunity to bring in some extra money to create some more margin down the road. I like it a lot, but I would use a home equity loan to answer your question. OK. OK. Is that different than the HELOC or is that the same thing?
It is. It's different than the home equity line of credit. The main difference is the loan is going to give you a stated amount up front at closing and they're going to do it at a fixed interest rate so it won't move up and down. A home equity line of credit is just a line that's available to draw on, but it's going to be a variable rate that moves.
I'd go with the loan, not the line of credit. Thanks for your call today. Well, folks, that's going to do it for us. Faith and Finance Live is a partnership between Moody Radio and FaithFi. You can learn more at faithfi.com. Thank you to Dan, Amy, Clara and Jim. Hey, if you want to give to support the ministry here on the last day of March, we'd certainly appreciate it. You can do it at faithfi.com. Just click give. Have a great weekend. We'll see you on Monday.
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