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Invest in Beautiful

MoneyWise / Rob West and Steve Moore
The Truth Network Radio
March 27, 2023 5:56 pm

Invest in Beautiful

MoneyWise / Rob West and Steve Moore

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March 27, 2023 5:56 pm

Beauty matters to artists, but what does it have to do with investing? On today's Faith & Finance Live, Rob West will talk with Jason Myhre about how the creation account suggests that beauty lies at the core of faithful stewardship and how we can “invest in beautiful.” Then Rob will answer your questions on various financial topics. 

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Beauty matters to painters, musicians, and photographers, but what does it have to do with investing?

Hi, I'm Rob West. The creation account suggests that beauty lies at the core of faithful stewardship and investing as well. I'll talk about investing in beautiful today with Jason Meyer of the Eventide Center for Faith and Investing. 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, joining us again today is my friend Jason Meyer, Executive Director of the Eventide Center for Faith and Investing.

The Eventide Center is an educational initiative of Eventide Asset Management and an underwriter of this program. Jason, always a delight to have you with us. Hey, Rob.

Good to be with you again. Investing, Jason, is a word we tend to associate, of course, with money, retirement, risk, and return, but rarely, perhaps if ever, do we think the words investing and beauty. So, Jason, why should we connect beauty with our approach to investing?

Yeah, man, this is one of my favorite topics. So, you know, just to start, we, of course, all experience beauty, and beauty is something that we all need as human beings. You know, this morning I watched a beautiful sunrise on a clear day.

I enjoyed a pour-over coffee from a specialty coffee roaster that was delicious. This weekend I watched a masterpiece movie from a Japanese filmmaker I like. And we all have these experiences, right, in our lives. We often, though, think about these beauty experiences as taking place during our leisure time. And so, we tend to pair beauty with really rest and Sabbath. And so, you know, we, for example, take time to go to an orchestra performance, or on the weekend we hike the mountains or stroll on the beach.

We might buy a bouquet of flowers to adorn our home. Rarely do we think about beauty in association with ordinary human work and, therefore, with things like business and investing. But beauty matters for our work. In fact, it's essential for our work. And I want to help make the case that it matters also for our finances and things like investing. Beauty is an essential characteristic of God's creation, and that makes it central to our work as stewards over God's good creation.

Well, I love this idea. Let's talk about the place of beauty in creation, perhaps as a starting point. Jason, where do we see beauty in the Genesis account of creation, and how is beauty connected with work in creation?

Right. So, it's helpful to start first with God's work in creation and the connection of beauty there. So, this is something we're very familiar with as Bible readers, and we just take it for granted that God is actually portrayed as a worker. He creates everything that exists. He creates, it says, the heavens and the earth, which is a way of saying everything. And everything that God makes is good.

And this is something that the Genesis 1 account really wants us to see. It says seven times in Genesis chapter 1 that creation is good. And the last instance of that, it says that the whole creation is very good. And in the Hebrew derivation, the word good is a word pronounced tobe, and it's translated as good in our English Bibles.

It's a word that's actually very rich with meaning. So, it means, of course, moral perfection. So, it's good in a moral sense. Creation is morally perfect.

There's no evil. It's good in a functional sense. So, creation is functionally excellent.

It's useful for sustaining life and God's creatures. But one of the things we miss is that it's also good in a sense that it is surpassingly beautiful. When God creates, He looks at His creation and says He sees it and declares it good. He appraises it as good.

It's very much like, you know, it's springtime, we're out cutting the grass, and when we get done cutting the grass, we don't immediately go inside. We look back over what we just accomplished, and we feel that it's good. We see it as beautiful.

And that's the idea. It's this aesthetic, evaluative, pleasurable kind of experience that God had. And so, one scholar actually says that a better translation of that word, good, would be actually a compound word, beauty good. So, God is portrayed as a wise artisan artfully crafting the world. And in fact, Eden means delight. So, the Garden of Eden was a place of delight. I love that, beauty in the creation. But how about beauty in our work?

And what about in business and investing? We'll talk about that with Jason Meyer from the Eventide Center for Faith and Investing just around the corner. Then it's on to your calls at 800-525-7000. Stay with us. We'll be right back. Jason Meyer Grateful to have you with us today on Faith and Finance Live.

I'm Rob West. Joining me today, Jason Meyer, Executive Director of the Eventide Center for Faith and Investing, an educational initiative of Eventide Asset Management, and an underwriter of this program. Today, we're talking about beauty. Beauty in God's work, beauty in our work, but also beauty found in business and investing. And Jason, just before the break, you were talking about beauty as an essential aspect of God's work. But what about our work that he ordained us and created us to do? Where do we see beauty connected to our work in the creation account?

Jason Meyer Right. So we just got done talking about God's work and how beauty was an aspect of God's work. So God creates, he looks at the things he made, he sees that they're good and declares them to be good. It is actually into this context that God places humanity and then gives us our role to play, which is this gift of work that he gives us. Now, as we think about the beauty and majesty of God's creation, we think, who could add anything to it? And the Bible here is very surprising because it says that we are capable of adding to this beauty and goodness to the world through our work. The place that we see this is in Genesis 2.15. So God places humanity right there in that Garden of Delight, Garden of Eden, and gives us the gift of work. It says, Then the Lord God took the man and placed him in the Garden of Eden, to cultivate it and to keep it. Essentially, God placed humanity in this very good creation. And then the thrust of these instructions is that he's telling them to make it even better through the things that we make and that we add to the world. Yeah, which raises the question, if God's creation was already very good, essentially perfect, then how can we improve on it? Yeah, I would say this is just a really great insight that has come to me through books over the years, is that God's creation was absolutely perfect. But it's perfect in a very particular way, okay? So it's perfect, as I'll explain, it's filled with potential, okay?

Let me explain. So we know that God made the world beautiful and good, as we've been discussing. Part of that beauty we can see with our own eyes. It's manifest in the world that God made and it's kind of raw materials of creation.

We can see it. And part of the beauty and goodness of God's creation is hidden within creation as a yet undiscovered potential that it has and that we are to uncover this potential through our work. So the early church father, St. Augustine, described this potential as seeds. So creation has potential like seeds have potential. And it's the task of us, God's image bearers, to find this potential and through work to develop it and to bring it forth into new kinds of beauty and goodness that has been lying hidden within God's creation.

So let me give you some examples just to illustrate this. A couple of easy ones, so bread and wine. God creates grain, and grain has always had the potential to become bread since the day that he made the wheat. God placed that potential there so that we would discover it and make it manifest through our work.

Or grapes have always had the potential to become wine through our work. These are just easy examples of the way in which we have created new things, new good things out of God's good creation. Let me give you now maybe a sophisticated example, one that is relevant in the world of business and investing today. So take semiconductors that power all of our smart devices and computers and cars and you name it. The fundamental material used to create semiconductors is sand. And as my colleague Christian Sey, who covers semiconductors in his work at Eventide Asset Management, he puts it this way. He said with semiconductors what we're doing essentially is we're taking sand and we're teaching it how to think. We're taking sand and teaching it how to think.

Sand has always had the potential to become semiconductors, even back in that ancient Garden of Eden, because God planted it there as a potential, as a seed in his beautiful and good creation for us to discover and to develop so that the world would be made even more delightful for us, and so that all the glory of creation would be revealed. All that hidden potential would be brought forward, and that God's reputation as the creator would be made even more famous and glorious. Let me give you one little final analogy to help solidify this in our minds.

I love this analogy. It comes from one of my favorite theologians, Craig Bartholomew. He says, imagine that you are a sculptor. So Rob West, the sculptor. And Michelangelo says to you, the great sculptor, he says, look, he gives you a phone call and he says, look, I've just started work on this new sculpture, this major, major sculpture, but I want you to come and finish it for me.

I want you to come and to complete the sculpture and to develop the potentials I've built into it so far, so that when it's done, this sculpture will enhance my reputation in the art world. Bartholomew says that illustration is an illustration of what God intended with work and Genesis 1 and 2. Wow, that is powerful. What an analogy. And I'd love for you, though, Jason, to help us translate this biblical picture of work that you just articulated so well to the modern world now of business and investing.

What does that look like? Yeah. You know, if we are to be Christians who have a Christian worldview, a biblical worldview, then that means that we need to see the world of business and investing with Christian eyes. We actually need to view them in light of this biblical vision for work. This is the true story of work, the biblical story. So the Genesis instructions to develop the beauty and goodness of creation are the very same instructions that we have for work for humanity today.

This is still God's design. This is still his desire for our work in business and investing, even though very far removed from that Genesis garden picture. And so we must ask ourselves, how can the specific work of business and investing contribute beauty and goodness to creation?

And I want to suggest a couple answers to that. So business is called to create products that are good. You know, we have this language for products in business. We call them goods and services.

And I think that's no accident. The products of business and God's design are intended to be genuinely good, right? The products of business and God's design are intended to genuinely be a service to humankind. So humanity through business is to create goods that are truly good and services that truly serve.

So that's what I would say about business. And what about investors? How does investing enhance the beauty and goodness of God's world? So investors are called to supply the capital that enables and enlarges this good work of business to create those goods and services. So when we're contemplating investing, we need to think about these things and ask, is this prospective investment that I'm thinking about making, is it going to be in companies that are creating goods and services? These are things we should embrace. And we should be asking, in a fallen world, are there any companies that actually are diminishing God's good creation that I should seek to avoid investing in?

These are things I think we should avoid. Yeah, and the exciting thing is there's a whole industry of Christian faith-based investments that have been raised up to make it easier for us to either avoid companies whose products run counter to this biblical vision or avoid while also targeting the good, looking for companies who meet human needs and enhance the world. So Jason, how can our listeners get more information about faith-based investments? Yeah, we've put together two resources for you today. The first is an article on beauty and investing, like we've been talking about. The second is a list of faith-based investments that are out there. And to get that, you can go to slash faithfi.

That's slash faithfi, F-I. This has been incredibly enlightening, Jason. Thanks for stopping by. My pleasure, Rob. See ya. All right. Check it out today. slash faithfi. Your calls are next.

800-525-7000. We'll be right back. We'll be right back.

Stick around. Great to have you with us today on Faith and Finance Live here on Moody Radio. I'm Rob West.

All right. It's time to take your calls and questions today. The number 800-525-7000.

That's 800-525-7000. Now, before we head to the phones, let me mention once again, if you'd like more information about where we started our conversation today, we'd love for you to visit the website forward slash faithfi. That's forward slash faith, F-I. Here's what you'll find. You'll find an article that really covers our opening topic today so you can read more about it.

I hope you found that as fascinating as I did. Plus at the end of that article in that free download at that website, you'll find a listing of many of the faith-based investing fund families and ETFs. So if you're looking to consider faith-based investing and you've just wondered, well, where do I go to find that? What are those mutual fund families? What are those investment companies that have exchange traded funds specifically designed to align with my Christian values? Well, this could be that listing that you're looking for of a number of fund families that you could learn more about. So just head over to that website.

This is a topic that interests you and you'll get regular updates, never anything for sale. It's really about an educational initiative, forward slash faithfi. All right, we want to take your calls and questions today on anything financial.

We'd love to hear from you. The number to call is 800-525-7000. That's 800-525-7000.

We're going to begin today in Pennsylvania. Hi, Betty. Thanks for calling. Go right ahead. Hi. Yes.

Am I on the air? Yes, ma'am. Okay. Would you rather not be? I would rather not be. Okay, well, let's do this.

We don't want to make you do anything you're not ready to do. So I'm going to have you hold the line and my team will get your information. We'll see if we can get you some help. Just tell them what you're looking for.

They've already taken the information. Okay, great. Well, you could send an email along to askrob at if you'd rather do that, or we may be able to help you further. But thanks for calling into the program. And if you want to be on the air with us again in the future, just let us know. Again, the number to call is 800-525-7000. Hey, I mentioned that email address, by the way, and we'd love to hear from you if you have a question for us. We receive emails at askrob at all the time.

Let's take a couple of those now so we can make sure we're getting through them in a timely fashion. This first one comes to us from Diane, and she says, What's your opinion, Rob, on what portion you should tithe from your Social Security payments? I've heard all of it.

I've heard half of it. What's your thought? And in my opinion, and it's only that, is that it's a lot easier to simply tithe on all of your Social Security benefits. Look at it all as a gracious gift from the Lord and give accordingly. Remember, the tithe, the principle of the tithe, giving a tenth on your increase, I think is really a starting point. Those of us under the law of Christ, which we all are now, not under the law of Moses and have seen what Jesus did for us on the cross, remember he raises the bar in every area, including our giving. He said, Give as you've been prospered, and to whom much is given, much is required.

And so I think it's an opportunity to say, God, as an act of worship, I want to give generously out of my increase, starting with the bride, the local church, and then giving beyond that sacrificially. You certainly could, and there would be nothing wrong with going in and saying, Well, a portion of what I'm receiving from Social Security is a return of my capital. And that would absolutely be true. You paid in a portion of that.

And depending on whether you tithe gross or net, a portion of that came from your employer, and you may or may not have tithed on that. But then a portion would be also what it has grown to over time. And so you wouldn't be able to really compute how much of that is a return of your own capital versus the appreciation that's built in there. So it would become difficult.

You'd probably just want to assign some sort of percentage to it, and I think that's what you were getting at with the half number. But at the end of the day, I just pray about it. And that's between you and the Lord, and I mean that with all sincerity.

So whichever direction you'd feel most comfortable, I would proceed accordingly. I appreciate your writing, Diane. This one quickly from Abigail. She writes, My husband's brother makes a ton of money, but he never has enough to pay his bill. So my in-laws lend him money that he can't pay back.

Here's the problem. There will never be enough money to save them if my brother-in-law doesn't get his act together. Part of me says it's none of my business, and part of me says do something.

What do you think? Well, you know, in all these difficult situations, and this certainly is one, I would encourage you to pray for wisdom. Ask the Lord to give you guidance on how to handle this. I think you could counsel your in-laws gently and in love, perhaps suggesting that they consider the idea that by helping, they're actually hurting, in the sense that they're continuing to bail him out, and he's not going to experience the consequences of his poor money management. That won't change unless he does so in just about every case. And so perhaps this is an opportunity for them to exercise some tough love, which may result in a change in behavior, and that's ultimately what everyone would be looking for here. So obviously there's times to support and help, even lavishly, but in many cases, especially with family members, we can get out ahead of ourselves and perhaps provide some assistance that's not really helping at all. And so I think we need to use really some discernment in situations like this and be careful not to extend help that's really not going to help anyone in the end. I think one approach is to offer to help where there is accountability. So perhaps the in-laws could say, listen, we're not just going to cut you off, but our help is predicated on you getting with a financial coach or counselor and having some accountability to a third party. Perhaps they would only assist where they're reinforcing the right behaviors. So they may participate in helping, but only doing so where they're matching payments to reduce debt, things like that. So I think there is potentially a middle ground, but at the very least they ought to be thoughtful and prayerful about whether their assistance is actually driving toward the right outcomes that are sustainable for the long term and that's going to lead to financial prudence and discipline. Perhaps you could suggest that they share a book with your brother-in-law and his wife.

I would suggest maybe Master Your Money by Ron Blue or Howard Dayton's Your Money Counts. I hope that helps. Hey, if you'd like to send an email along, send it to We're back with your questions just after this, 800-525-7000.

Stick around. I'm so thankful to have you with us today on Faith and Finance Live. I'm Rob West and we've got a few lines open here on a Monday. Maybe you have a question you've been wrestling with as you think about applying God's wisdom to your financial decisions that you're dealing with right now. We'd love to hear from you. The number to call is 800-525-7000. You can also share a testimony.

Maybe you've seen God at work in your financial life recently or over a long period of time. You'd like to share that as a means of encouragement for our other listeners. We'd welcome that as well.

800-525-7000 is the number to call. By the way, coming up a little later in our broadcast today, Bob Doll will stop by. He'll share what he's looking at for the week ahead with regard to the market and the economy. There's never a shortage, I guess I could say, of things to talk about when it comes to the economy. The market fairly positive today, at least the broad market, the Nasdaq selling off slightly, but we had a little bit of a rebound in the regional banks. We'll get Bob's take on that plus all of the other economic news of the day that's coming up a little later in our broadcast today. Let's head back to the phones.

800-525-7000 is the number to call to Chicago. Hi, Anthony. How can I help you, sir? Hey, good afternoon.

How are you? Here's my question. I currently pastor a church and I own my home free and clear and I was thinking of making my home church parsonage because I have Bible study at the house and then we have our Sunday morning service at the church and I wanted to know what are the advantages and maybe disadvantages of doing that. Yeah, so would you actually look to make a charitable donation? You'd actually gift this to the church, transfer the deed of the property to the home, and then you'd be looking for them to turn around and then extend it back to you as a parsonage? Exactly.

Yeah. You're going to need to get some counsel on this, Anthony. It may be a great thing to do. You just have to be careful of, among other things, something called private inerment where you're using your position in an organization to exercise control and influence, you know, over a particular, well, it could be compensation.

In this case, it's an asset. If you receive a benefit from that for your personal gain and then you're also getting the deduction for the gift, you know, I think that could be difficult just, you know, in terms of how the IRS would see this and so you'd have to be very careful about it. So I'd want you to get some some legal counsel on that before you did it. I might start with your CPA. Do you use a tax preparer? I do, but that was out of her scope, so I'm going to have to find someone that could help me do it in the spirit of excellence and do it the right way. I don't want to get in any trouble.

I just want to make sure I'm legal. Yeah, yeah, of course. Yeah, sure. And there's probably a way to do it. You're just going to want to be really thoughtful about how you go about it. What I might do is reach out to a certified kingdom advisor here or there in Chicago, Anthony, and ask for a referral to a godly CPA. You may want to mention what it is you're looking to do. Maybe they have somebody who specializes in non-profit tax work, you know, at a corporate level and would be able to give you some really trusted counsel on this because, again, if you go about it the wrong way, you could end up, you know, taking a deduction on something and then, you know, the IRS comes back and says, uh-uh, wait a minute, you can't do that, and obviously that would, especially after the fact, result in all kinds of issues. So you're going to want to get a lot of wise counsel before you go forward with this.

So I'd reach out to a CPA, ask for that referral, and be sure to mention what it is you're looking to do before you do so, okay? I enjoy this. I enjoy the show. Thank you for everything you do. I've gotten so much good advice from you. Have a great day.

I'm delighted. Thank you, Anthony. God bless you, my friend, and appreciate you being on the program. 800-525-7000. We've got some lines open today. We'd love to hear from you with your questions and comments on what you're thinking about financially speaking today.

Takala Mizzou, Michigan. Hey, Kathy, thanks for calling. Go ahead. Hi, Rob.

Thanks for taking my call. So my husband and I are empty nesters, and we take the standard deduction and have been using TurboTax to prepare our taxes. And my question is, is that a trusted service? Because we keep having to pay the government lots of money, and I'm wondering if we would be better off hiring a tax accountant.

Yeah, you know, it really depends. I mean, I always say if you have a question, I would opt for getting professional counsel just because I like the idea of, you know, having somebody walk along some of the law, but taking every opportunity to reduce your tax liability, because certainly it's biblical to pay our taxes and submit to the governing authorities, but we're not asked to pay more than we're obligated to. And oftentimes a professional can ask the right questions and perhaps uncover things that you may have missed.

Now, these days, a lot of these free services and software packages, whether online or otherwise, are very good, very powerful, and they're very easy to use. They walk you through in kind of a straightforward Q&A type approach that results in you being able to file your taxes very simply and at a very low cost, if not free. And if you have a very simple situation like you might, maybe one W-2 and, you know, a couple of IRA contributions and the standard deduction, you know, then there's not a whole lot of, you know, room there to find new opportunities. And obviously these are updated every year to make sure to factor in the latest IRS rules and regs. But if there was something kind of beyond that, where, you know, you had, you were self-employed, or you had some other sources of income, or you were doing some work out of the house, or I mean, you know, those kinds of things, you know, that might just create a new opportunity, that would clearly be a time where you'd want to get some professional counsel. Or if you just felt like maybe we're missing something, I think, you know, that's where somebody could take another look at it.

But if it's fairly simple, I don't have any problem with you using something like TurboTax. Okay. All right. Thank you so much. God bless. We love your program. Oh, thank you so much, Kathy.

I appreciate that. Thanks for calling today. 800-525-7000.

Let's head along to New Mexico. Keith, thanks for calling. Go ahead. Hi, Rob. How are you today? I appreciate you taking my call.

I've kind of been wrestling back and forth. I recently reached the age of 67 and retired through Social Security, but I'm still working. I've got almost a full-time job that I'm doing, and the excess of being able to have my IR, I mean, my retirement from Social Security, and then plus what my job is providing. I've got an excess flow of cash, and I would like to have some advice on whether and how to invest it in. I bonds, T-bills, IRA, and I've got an extensive amount of time. My wife is quite a bit younger than I am, and I'm trying to set it up so that she can be taken care of if something happens to me later on.

Yeah, very good. I like the way you're thinking here, Keith, and as long as your consumer debt's paid off and you've got a healthy emergency fund of at least six months expenses in this season of life, maybe even a little bit more than that, I think putting this to work either by increasing your giving or increasing your long-term savings makes a lot of sense. I like the idea of you getting it into a tax-deferred environment, and as long as you have earned income, you could make an IRA contribution or a couple of them through a spousal IRA. That would give you a current year tax deduction if you need it, or you could stick it in a Roth IRA and invest it. I'm thinking at nearly 70, you'd probably want to have at least 40% toward stocks, especially with your wife being young, and maybe 60% toward bonds, so a balanced portfolio would probably make some sense, and look for long-term appreciation.

As long as you've got a time horizon on it of eight to ten years, and with the Roth, you don't even need to take a required minimum. With the market down right now, I think this could be a great time for you to do that. Love to get your thoughts on that. I've got to take a quick break. If you don't mind holding right there, just on the other side of the break, we'll get you to weigh in on this, and then we'll hear from Bob Doll as well. Plus, more of your questions. All that's ahead on Faith and Finance Live.

Great to have you with us today on Faith and Finance Live. Keith, who called just before the break, was not able to hold, but just in summary there, Keith's wondering at 68 with his wife being several years younger, and he's still working with quite a bit of surplus. What he should do with the extra funds that he has, given that he wants to continue to build a nest egg for his wife to access down the road. And I was saying, you know, as long as his consumer debt is paid off, he's got an emergency fund of at least six months, he could fund either a traditional or a Roth IRA. You know, according to the SECURE Act of 2019, now you can contribute at any age to a traditional IRA. You always could with a Roth IRA. So being a retiree is not an issue.

Age is not an issue. So long as you have earned income, you can contribute. Now with the ability to take the tax free withdrawals on the growth and the Roth, it's going to need to be in there five years. But if his time horizon is really eight years plus, I would say putting that money to work, being systematic and putting those contributions in there, especially while this market is down, would be a great opportunity to build some money up with the Roth. He wouldn't have to take any required minimums and he may have quite a bit of a nest egg down the road, maybe 10 or 20 years even. If he's in good health and the Lord tarries that his wife could access down the road, he could pass on to charity or ministry or leave as an inheritance.

So something to consider even as a retiree. And Keith, thanks for your call today. All right, before we head back to the phones, it's Monday, which means our good friend Bob Doll stops by.

Bob is chief investment officer at Crossmark Global Investments. And Bob, great to have you with us, sir. Happy Monday. And to you, my friend. All right.

Hey, what are you watching this week, Bob? Obviously, a lot of focus still on the regional banks, huh? Yeah. And today was a big switcheroo, if I can call it that. As you know, recent days since the bank crisis showed its ugly head, we've had small stocks get trounced by big stocks, growth has beaten value, and those big tech stocks have led the way. Well, today was a total reversal. Value beat growth by more than a percentage point.

Big beat small by almost, sorry, small beat big by almost a percentage points. And the only red on my screen are the big cap, mega cap stocks. It's crazy.

Wow. Yeah, it really is. It seems like this market can't make up its mind.

So many cross currents and headwinds to deal with. Good news one day, bad the next. How does somebody in a seat like yours, Bob, navigate a market like this?

Well, you've heard me say it before, Rob. I am more reactionary as a portfolio manager than typical. And that means if I get a lot of green days in a row, I do some selling.

And if I get a lot of red days in a row, I do some buying. Because I think this is a year we're going to frustrate both the bulls and the bears. And we're just going to bounce around and not go much of anywhere. Yeah, which I know is frustrating to most folks as they watch their portfolios, especially on the heels of last year.

Well, what about where we find ourselves? Just economically speaking, Bob, and obviously the Fed notes following their meeting were something that something that got a lot of scrutiny last week. That's for sure. So first quarter GDP, the biggest measure of our economy, is likely to be reasonably good.

Most estimates are 2-plus percent, some people as high as 3 percent. But if you look behind the curtain, Rob, you'll find January was pretty strong and March was on the weak side. So we're heading in a direction that's not favorable. I think the economy will continue to slow. And I'm still of the school that in the next several quarters will eventually fall into a recession caused by the most significant increase in Fed funds, interest rates in one year in U.S. history. It doesn't come without its consequences, not just a banking crisis, but a slowdown in economic growth. Yeah, no doubt about that. Do you think there's a chance, Bob, we could actually see a reversal by year-end?

There is a chance. I think that whenever a recession starts, they tend to last longer than we think, at least the sloppiness. And it may not start here for a few more months. So we could be still in recession at year-end if it gets a late enough start, Rob. Yeah. Do you see the Fed starting to cut rates this year?

I don't. The consensus is represented by the futures curve. Has the Fed raising rates one more time to five percent, 25 basis points at their May meeting, but before the end of the year, turning around and reducing them by 75 basis points? I don't think inflation is going to have come down fast enough for the Fed to say, OK, we succeeded. Now we're going to turn around and lower rates. I think rates could stay wherever they're going to end up for the balance of the year, where they are a little bit higher than here.

And that will disappoint some people. But we've got to get this inflation down, Rob. Yeah, no doubt about that. Bob, if that's the case, rates stay elevated, but we're done raising rates at some point this year. For the retirees that are listening, are bonds back at that point?

Yeah. A year ago, we may have had this very conversation, Rob. We talked about the demise of the 60-40 portfolio because 10-year treasuries were yielding one and a half percent. Who's interested in that kind of return for 10 years? Not very good.

Well, now that same piece of paper gets you three and a half percent and you can find shorter term paper, as you just pointed out, at higher yields and that's well into the fours. That's not all bad for the kind of environment we're in. Yeah, very good. Bob, just some quick comments on the international front.

What do you see in these days? So I'd start with the negative. Geopolitically, we could talk for hours about all the hot spots and potential hot spots around the world. But moving to economies, European economy doing okay for the same reason we've discussed before.

They did not have a cold winter, causing a massive increase in energy prices. So they're getting through reasonably okay. And then the other big economic force in that part of the world is China. And they're coming off the COVID lockdown a couple of months ago.

Their economy is picking up and that's helping the entire region. All right, Bob. Well, always appreciate your insights, my friend. Thanks for stopping by and all the best to you in the week ahead.

By low, so high in the meantime, Rob. Thank you for that reminder. I appreciate it.

God bless you, my friend. Bob Dahl, chief investment officer at Crossmart Global Investments. Hey, sign up for his dolls deliberations, his weekly investment commentary. It's free and I rely on it each week. It's at All right, back to the phones we go here in our remaining moments of the broadcast today.

Daphne's in Chicago. Go right ahead, ma'am. Hi, Rob. Thank you so much for taking my call. I really appreciate it. I believe they gave you most of my information there.

I see some notes on my screen here from your call a moment ago, but go ahead and tell me where you're at. Well, I'm a widow. I get my husband's pension because I'm on disability, basically. He's been gone for several years now. Shortly after he passed away, I qualified for the Make My Home Affordable program. You know what that is, right?

They keep changing the name of it, but okay. That was only because, not because I was in the rears with the mortgage payments. In 25 years since we had this house built, the mortgage has been paid in full and on time. But I'm locked in, I believe now for the rest of the loan, at 3.5%. I'm not sure if I can refinance this.

I'm almost positive I can't. I still owe about $95,000 on it. My mortgage payment every month is about $950. I do have his 401k, which I did take out $10,000 from a couple years ago and got all of it back except for $180 when it came to the 20% that they had taken out. But I cannot save any money.

It's not that I don't want to. I live an extremely frugal lifestyle. My car is 26 years old. It's only got 88,000 miles on it.

It's got a few problems. I'm trying to see if I can get those fixed because otherwise I had planned on taking money out of that 401k to buy another car, not brand new, something used. I have that, and before the market crashed, I had $215,000 in there.

Now I've got $182,000. I also have a Fidelity. It's a go one where it's a rollover IRA.

I'm not sure if that's traditional or Roth. I've got that, and that's got, I think it says probably have you there, $5,300 or whatever savings, which is in a synchrony, which has actually been doing better. I've got about $15,000 in there, and then I've got my 401k from working at the Jewel grocery store that now is down to $52,500.

I was just wondering, I know I can't save anything. I get some Christmas money or some birthday money. Typically that goes for bills or because I am on Medicare, there's no dental, optical, whatever.

Like I said, I live a very, very frugal lifestyle. So is this something? In fact, the 401k, I believe his is the majority of it or all of it is in a Vanguard. I'm trying to look for it here.

If it gets a Vanguard traditional something, I can't remember the name of it and I'm not finding it here. But it seems, and I have a friend that does the market all the time, when I've talked to him about this 401k, my husband's, he says it seems like it does fairly well. I really don't want to move any of it because, you know, what do you suggest? Well, it sounds like you're doing a great job here. I mean, you're living modestly. You've got a good handle on where you're at with your finances. I think that MHA program was helpful, obviously, in getting your mortgage down. You've still got a great rate. So you wouldn't want to refinance it if you could.

Rates are, you know, a couple of maybe 200 basis points higher than where you're at. I think the key is just make sure that that money is managed well, that you're in the right investments consistent for your age and where you're at. It sounds like it's held up fairly nicely. It'll recover with the market.

It may be another year, but it will recover. I think the key is just try to limit your lifestyle, pull as little on that as out as you can so you can let it rebound. That'll be there down the road if you need it. And apart from that, you know, I think you're in a great spot here doing everything you can. I realize you'd love to be able to save more money, but unfortunately, that's just not possible right now.

So I'd say just stay the course. Daphne, thanks for your call today. God bless you.

Hey, Faith in Finance Live is a partnership between Moody Radio and Faith Buy. Thank you to my team, Amy, Robert, and Dan. Hope you have a great rest of your day. Come back and join us tomorrow, will you? We'll see you then. Bye-bye.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-10 12:25:38 / 2023-04-10 12:42:36 / 17

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