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Finding Your Scholarships

MoneyWise / Rob West and Steve Moore
The Truth Network Radio
April 14, 2023 5:52 pm

Finding Your Scholarships

MoneyWise / Rob West and Steve Moore

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April 14, 2023 5:52 pm

Getting a college degree can increase your lifetime earnings substantially. But what’s even better is getting someone else to pay for your education through a scholarship. On today's Faith & Finance Live, host Rob West will explain how you can get some of the $8 billion in scholarship money that is doled out every year. Then he’ll answer your calls about the financial topics on your mind. 

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Rob West and Steve Moore
Alan Wright Ministries
Alan Wright

Getting a college degree can increase your lifetime earnings substantially, but even better if someone else is paying for it.

I am Rob West. I'm talking about scholarships, of course. Every year, public and private institutions dole out about $8 billion in scholarships. Are you getting any of it? I'll talk about how you can, 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.

So, no question about it. College is expensive. The College Board reports that in 2023, in-state students at a public four-year school will spend close to $11,000 on tuition and fees.

That's just for one year and doesn't include room and board. Students at a private four-year college will spend almost $40,000 on tuition and fees alone. With those expenses, it's not surprising that the average student owes close to $30,000 when leaving school.

But you don't have to be the average student. Many organizations are willing to help you pay for college through scholarships, if you meet their qualifications. My wife Julie had her own application assembly line going, and she was able to land $170,000 in scholarship money.

Of course, that took a lot of work, but look at it this way. You can either put in the time and effort now applying for scholarships, or you can borrow and work very hard later to pay it back. I'm hoping that you'd rather do the work now, so I'll give you the names of online sources for scholarship money, and we'll put links to them in today's show notes at So, you ready to get started?

Here we go. Our first resource for scholarship money is FastWeb. They host more than 1.5 million scholarships totaling nearly $3.5 billion. To get started, you create a profile at A search feature helps match you to scholarships that meet your individual needs.

It also keeps track of where you've applied, a handy feature. Now, the College Board is best known for testing materials, things like the SATs and other exams, but they also want to help you pay for college once you get there. On their site, you can apply for scholarships and internships. They have leads to about 2,200 programs offering nearly $6 billion in college aid every year.

Another great site is Like the name implies, they help you find not only money, but also colleges that cater to your specific major and interests. And of course, there's They have a huge database with more than 3.5 million scholarship and grant opportunities totaling almost $20 billion. You can browse by category or set up a profile to help you find scholarships specific to your interests.

CapEx is another great resource. They have leads on $11 billion in scholarship opportunities. Their site also has a tool to help you calculate the odds of getting into a school of your choice even before you apply. Chegg is also another one.

That's C-H-E-G-G. They're best known as an online textbook store, but they can also point you to about 25,000 different scholarships. And they have a top picks of the week feature to help you improve your odds of landing one. Now, keep in mind that a lot of these scholarship opportunities are merit-based, meaning the higher your grades, the better your chances of landing that kind of scholarship. But what if you're more athletically inclined?

Well, there's a site to help with that. Unigo lets you search for athletic scholarships as well as a wide variety of funding opportunities offered by specific schools and companies. And let's not forget about Peterson's, which is best known as a clearinghouse for information about colleges and universities. They also host about $10 billion in scholarship opportunities. Now, this one's interesting because we usually associate federal aid with borrowing, but the Labor Department sponsors a website called Career One Stop, which allows you to search more than 8,000 scholarships, fellowships, and grants. And that's money you won't have to pay back.

One final idea? Check with the financial aid office at whichever schools you apply to. Sometimes they have scholarship money available, too. Okay, so we've thrown a lot of scholarship sites at you, and you probably won't use all of them, but you should definitely try at least a couple. Look for some that you find the easiest to work with or that best match your needs.

Many of them will have other features that you might find handy, and again, we'll have links to all of them in today's show notes at All right, your calls are next, 800-525-7000. That's 800-525-7000. I'm Rob West, and this is Faith and Finance Live. We'll be right back. Great to have you with us today on Faith and Finance Live.

We're so glad you're along with us today. We've got some phone lines open. We'd love to take your calls and questions. The number is 800-525-7000.

That's 800-525-7000. We'd love to hear from you. All right, let's dive in.

Let's begin in Jacksonville, Florida. Hi, Sandra. Thank you for calling. Go right ahead. Hi, thank you for taking my call. Sure. You hear me? Yes.

Yes, ma'am. Okay, so I was wondering, I've been saving some money. It's not that much yet to buy a house. So far, I have it to $6,000 or $8,000. Soon, I'm going to have a refund from my taxes.

We'll be like probably $6,000. And the past one, I asked for a loan to buy a car. I haven't started making payments yet for this car. The loan was for $20,000. And I need your advice to know, should I put the money that I have saved in the loan or what do I do with the money? Because the money has been sitting there for maybe two years.

Okay, so let me just make sure I've got this straight. So you've got $6,000 to $8,000 in savings and then you've got another $6,000 refund coming. And would that $6,000 to $8,000 in savings represent all of the savings that you have today that's liquid or do you have what I call an emergency fund separate from that? It is liquid because I was going to save, I mean, I'm still saving it for buying a house, but I recently signed a contract for two years. So the buying is not that soon and I know I need to save more.

But since I got this new debt that the car loan, so I was wondering if should I pay some towards to the loan or put it in somewhere so I can, you know, do more with the money? Yeah. So let me just make sure I've got it all straight. So the $6,000 to $8,000 that you have in savings, that's the extent of your savings. You don't have an emergency fund separate from that, do you? No.

Okay. So you've got $6,000 to $8,000. What are your monthly expenses roughly all in?

Let me see. Just roughly? About $3,000. Okay, about $3,000 a month.

So I would typically want you to have at least $9,000 to $18,000 in savings, three to six months worth of expenses as your emergency fund for the unexpected. That would be my starting place, you know, typically, and then any savings you're doing for a down payment or to buy a car with cash or a down payment on a house would be over and above that. But, okay, so once this is done, let's say you've got $14,000 after that refund on your taxes. Now, you said you just bought the car that's already done, correct?

Yes. I asked for the loan and it's $20,000. Okay, what's the interest rate on that? 7.7. 7.7. All right, and you're looking to buy a house but you're currently in a lease for two years, is that right? Yes.

Okay. And how much as you begin to look at your budget and what you could afford for a mortgage payment, and typically I would use 25% of your take home pay for the principal interest taxes and insurance. So that total mortgage payment, including the escrows, I'd typically be looking at about 25% of your take home pay, certainly no more than 30% to make sure you have enough for everything else. So as you look at this, you're already paying rent. Let's say you were to replace that with a mortgage payment.

Do you know roughly how, what price home you're looking at to be able to accomplish all of that? Not yet. I haven't. Okay.

What do you think it might be? What price range are you looking at typically? For the house or the mortgage payment? For the house.

No, for the house. Less than $50,000. I mean, less than, yeah, $150,000 less than that. Okay. $150,000. Have you been out looking to see what homes are available at the $150,000 price point to see if they'll fit your needs and the location you're looking for and so forth? A little bit. Not too much, but yeah, I've seen some for $88,000, which are actually, I think is more affordable for me, but I have seen some. Okay.

All right. Well, let's say you found something for $100,000 and that's below the median purchase price, well below, but let's say you could do that. I would want you to have a goal of having 20% down. So that's a $20,000 down payment and that would be on top of your emergency fund of at a minimum $9,000. So let's say we added $1,000 from your tax refund to the $8,000 you've already got.

We'll call that your emergency fund, $9,000. That would leave you an additional $5,000 that you could put toward the house. Assuming you could cover the mortgage on a $100,000 purchase plus service the new car loan that you've got at $20,000, 7.7% interest plus all your other expenses, then that could work. I think the question is how long would it take you to get from the $5,000 that you would have available for the down payment on the house to the $20,000 that I would want you to have. So you'd need an additional $15,000 in savings in order to be able to do that. Once you start paying on this car, Sandra, how much do you think you'd have left over every month that you could use to put into savings to build up that $5,000 down payment? I don't know.

I have no idea. All right. How much do you usually have left over right now before you start the car payment on a monthly basis? Do you usually have something left over? Yeah, at least $1,200. I mean, $1,000. $1,200? Yeah, $1,000. Yeah, $1,200.

So you typically, after all your bills are paid, you've got $1,200 left over every month? Yes. Okay. And how much is your car payment going to be?

Do you know? $370 monthly. Okay. So let's call it $400. So let's say after you start this car payment, you're going to have somewhere around $800 a month left over. If your goal is to save $15,000 on top of the $9,000 that you're going to already have in the emergency fund, and you can put away $800 a month, that means it's going to take you another 19 months to do that, or a little more than a year and a half. So how much longer do you have on your lease right now?

Oh, I bought it recently, like a month ago, and it's for 72 months. Okay. All right.

No, no, for the car, I mean, excuse me, the rent that you've got on where you're living. Oh, a year and a half. Yeah, probably. Okay.

All right. So I think that perhaps could be the right goal. So we don't pay this money toward the car. You just start making the monthly payment, and we look to refinance that maybe down the road once the interest rates come down. But your focus right now is let's set that $9,000 aside, the $8,000 you've got plus $1,000 from your emergency fund. Then let's put the rest of it, $5,000 in a separate savings account called home down payment savings.

Okay. And I'd put that in an online savings account at like Marcus or Capital One 360 where there's no fees. You can have two different savings accounts.

One's your emergency fund, one's your home down payment. And then we're adding $800 to that $5,000 every month because that's what you should have left over after you start making the car payment. And now 18 months from now, you've got your $20,000 down payment. Hopefully at that point, housing prices are a little better and interest rates are a little better. So that would be the plan that I would have is let's try to get you to a position where you've got 20% for a down payment as of 18 or 19 months from now about the time your current lease on your rental property is up.

And I think that would be a great game plan. So that would be my best advice on where you go from here. And I think you'll be glad that you have that emergency fund shored up. We'll be right back on Faith and Finance Live.

Stay with us. Have you thought about the fact that we live in the most prosperous nation the world has ever seen? Yet fear, confusion and guilt related to finances are common at every income level. And I think that's largely driven by the cultural perspective on handling money, which is focused on materialism, greed and envy. We need to counteract that with a biblical worldview, which offers a radically different approach that results in freedom and contentment and generosity. You see, we can avoid the world's traps and live as wise and faithful stewards of God's money when we recognize he owns it all. And therefore, we're managers and money is a tool to accomplish his purposes. So we need to live simply and save appropriately. We also need to give generously.

And that's what we focus on here on this program each day. We'd love to take your calls and questions on anything financial, help you apply the big themes and principles from God's word to your financial situation. The number to call is 800-525-7000. Again, that's 800-525-7000. We'd love to hear from you. All right, let's head to Northeast Ohio. Hi, Susie. Thanks for calling.

Go ahead. Hi, my question is regarding borrowing against 401Ks. A coworker of one of my children does that a lot, and I am not familiar enough with how those are normally set up. I understand it's supposed to be repaid with pre-tax dollars. So that sounds like a financial benefit, especially when you consider what the percentage of being taxed, your income being taxed is. So could you just give me an overview of why or why not it's a good thing to borrow against your 401K?

Yeah, I'm not a fan. In fact, those payments are made with after-tax dollars, unlike contributions which are made with pre-tax dollars. So that's actually a downside for why you would do it. I think the other thing is, yes, you'll pay an interest on it.

That's paid to yourself. So there is a benefit to that because it's a sense of forced savings, but it is for sure after-tax dollars. The other reason I don't like it is if you were to separate from the company for some reason, that is going to become a distribution to you.

So it would have taxes associated with it and likely penalties if you're under 59 and a half. And then the third reason why I don't like it is that money is in there for the reason that you put it there, and that is for it to compound and grow over time. But as soon as it leaves the account, especially right now while this market is down, that money is locking in those losses.

And so it doesn't have the ability to recover. It doesn't have the ability to compound for the future. Oftentimes the other challenge I see, Suzie, is that it's used to solve a financial symptom and it doesn't deal with the underlying problem. And so oftentimes folks will say, well, I'm going to pull out from my 401K to pay off credit card debt. But a consumptive lifestyle is the underlying problem.

They're not living within their means. They get the quick fix with the 401K loan, but we see the debt come back over time and now we've got the 401K loan on top of it. So what I would do is say, OK, first of all, what is it we're trying to solve for? And we'll get to that here in a second. And is there a better way to do it?

And one option would be rather than pulling the loan from the 401K to actually decrease your new contributions if there was some kind of gap you needed to solve for, some amount you needed to be able to save or debt you needed to pay off and do that with by temporarily lowering your new contributions to your 401K as opposed to loaning against it. But let's get into that. What would you specifically be using it for? Well, the child's coworker has been using it for all kinds of things like buying a new motorcycle and, you know, he does like his toys.

Yeah, well, don't we all, right? But there's a finite amount of resources available and your 401K shouldn't be seen as the slush fund to fund a consumptive lifestyle by any means. So, you know, I would really caution her against that because, again, the whole point of this money is to get it into that tax deferred environment so that it can be invested with a long time horizon, what the Bible calls steady plotting, so that that can grow over time so that when the Lord redirects her or them to whatever he has next in retirement, we don't, you know, we retire to something and not from something. So it's not a matter of just, you know, retiring to a life of leisure, but it may require us to be in a season without pay because we can no longer work. And so that that nest egg is what supplements Social Security to fund their lifestyle by borrowing against that, you know, that money is not there to grow. And so it's defeating the whole purpose of it. And, you know, just and I'm hearing obviously a very little bit. But I think the big idea here is that the son needs to perhaps, you know, learn to live on a budget and, you know, to practice, you know, wise discipline.

And in some cases, I'm not again, I don't know the details, so I'm not saying this is happening here, but we're enabling children and setting them up with poor decision making and discipline. And that's going to carry over into their adult lives and result in a whole lot of debt. So I would really discourage her from continuing this. I'm not a fan of borrowing from a 401k. OK, so to clarify. Investments into a 401k are put in before that money has been taxed. But if you take out a loan against it, when you repay that money, that is after tax money, correct? That's that's exactly right. So payments on a 401k loan, unlike contributions, which were made before taxes, are made with after tax dollars. OK, yeah, that's. That is what I initially thought, and I was told I was mistaken and I thought, OK, I just need to understand more about this because we never did that.

We never took out a loan against the 401k. And there is a good reason not to. So I think you're you are welcome. You're right on track here, Susie.

So I would perhaps correct that misunderstanding and help your friend to see that that's maybe not the best course of action moving forward. Thanks for your call today. Pamela, David, we're coming your way just after the break. Hey, I have a quick request.

I don't ask for favors often. I've got a favor. If you're listening today, here's what I need from you. We want to get some information from you so we can better serve you on your stewardship journey. We just launched a survey today that I'd like to ask you to take. It'll just take two or three minutes. You'll find it at faith five dot com forward slash survey. That's faith five dot com forward slash survey.

Would you take that right now? It'd be a big help. Hey, we'll be right back. Stay with us. So glad to have you with us today on faith and finance live. If you missed that link again, we're asking you to take a quick survey from faith find and help us better serve you on your stewardship journey. It really, really will only take a couple of minutes.

It'd be a big help to us. Faith five dot com forward slash survey. Thanks in advance. All right. Back to the phones we go.

By the way, a couple of quick programing notes here. Number one, Jerry Boyer coming up a little later in the broadcast. I've got a lot on the docket for Jerry today.

Inflation data out this week. We'll get Jerry's take on it. He's been involved in quite a bit of corporate engagement lately. He'll give you an update on that fascinating work. We'll also talk to Jerry about the fact that the stock market is up on the year as we head toward what most economists are thinking will be a recession this year.

Why is that? Is that really signaling the markets expecting a Fed reversal on interest rate hikes and quantitative tightening? We'll find out that.

Plus the dollars reserve status. I'll ask Jerry for an update. A lot ahead as we talk to Jerry Boyer on the program today.

All right. Back to the phones. We've got a few lines open.

Eight hundred five to five. Seven thousand is the number to call to Indianapolis. Hey, Pamela, thank you for calling. Go ahead. Thank you so much. I'm just thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your advice. My question today is now you're always spot on and I followed your advice and I'm going to make it.

I'm six months from 70 years old and I have not claimed my Social Security yet. Oh, well, that's great. Isn't that great? So in the investments that you have through where you work, let's say like AIG, I've said I'm not so comfortable and even being moderately aggressive, but they advise to stay at that level. And what is that percent that you say should be like bond mutual fund?

I've heard you say it before and I never really understood, you know, where I should be. I'm retired, so I can't make that money up. Yes. And I'm comfortable, but I'll be really good after Social Security.

Yes, very good. Well, the target date funds might be what you're talking about. I mean, these will typically, you know, look at your retirement date and give you a breakdown of stocks and bonds. And it gets more conservative as you get closer and closer to retirement. One of those rules of thumb that you may be thinking about is this rule of thumb we used to use.

And I say used to use because it's been updated now that people are living longer. But you would take the number 100 and you'd subtract your age. So, you know, you take 100 minus, let's say, 65. And that would be the percent that you would want to keep in stocks and you'd put the balance in bonds. So as you hit retirement, you'd still want to keep ideally about 35 percent in stocks with about 65 percent in bonds. And that would kind of smooth out the volatility, still give you a growth component so that this money could last for decades. And you could pull ideally a 4 percent withdrawal rate per year. And over the long haul, you should be able to maintain that principal balance that you started with and pull out and still live on that 4 percent a year.

We have updated, or I say we, the rule of thumb has been updated to 110 minus your age because people are living longer, life expectancy is up. And therefore, the data says you need a little bit more allocation to stocks. It makes it slightly more volatile, but it gives you a little bit better long term return. So if you did 110 minus your age at age 65, that would mean you'd put about 45 percent in stocks, about 65 percent in bonds. Or excuse me, 55 percent in bonds.

But that's just a rule of thumb. It's a starting point. And I think the big idea is that we want somewhere in retirement between 30 and 45 percent in stocks. And we want the balance in bonds. And if you're going to have an allocation of the precious metals, I'd have that somewhere between 5 and 10 percent. And you could take maybe if you did 10 percent, 5 percent off each of the other two categories.

But that would be just kind of a rough idea. Is that helpful? That is exactly what I needed to know. And I'm going to listen again to your information on target bonds. Yeah, so target date funds are mutual funds where you'd put in your target retirement date. So you'd be looking at a 2024 mutual fund, let's say target date.

And those automatically get more conservative as you get closer and closer to that date. So that would be another way. But the other option when you get to retirement, Pamela, is to hire an advisor who would be making these decisions for you. And that's really what I would recommend because you spend your whole life amassing this nest egg.

I'd rather you not put it on autopilot. I'd rather hire somebody who can actively oversee it and put your best interest in mind. If you wanted to consider that approach, there's some wonderful certified kingdom advisors there in Indianapolis that can help you with that. And then you'd have the peace of mind to know somebody who's been tasked with managing this money according to your goals and objectives every day. You can look for a CKA there in Indy at Just click find a CKA. We appreciate your call today.

To Aurora, Illinois. Hi, David. Go ahead, sir. Hi. Good afternoon. Thank you for taking my call.

Sure. So my wife and I are trying to decide if we should continue renting our first home or if we should sell. We bought the home in 2008 during the high times to buy a home. And we eventually moved into a bigger house in 2016. And we've had a touch family member living in the home paying minimum rent for the past seven years. But she's now moving out and the home is worth a whole lot more now.

And we're trying to decide if we should sell the home or still continue to rent it. Yeah. So the home you bought in 2008, you still live there. You bought a second home in 2016. Is that right? That is correct. We bought a second home in 2016.

Okay. And you all are planning to stay in the one that you bought in 2008. Is that right? No, the one we bought in 2008, we wanted to sell. But when we wanted to sell it, it was underwater.

So we started renting it out to someone else then. Okay. So you live today in the one you bought in 2016 and you plan to stay there. That is correct.

Okay. And what do you think the one that you bought in 2008 is worth? It's worth between $210 and $220. And we owe about $96 left. And we refinanced about three, four years ago to a $15, $3%.

So even if we sold it now, we would never be able to buy another investment property with that interest rate. Okay. So that's helpful.

I've got that. Now give me the rest of your financial life, starting with what do you have in the way of debt besides the mortgages? We have my wife's car, which is about 20 something thousand. We're paying double the amount.

We should pay that off in about a year and a half. That's great. And that's about it. All right. And so you're living on a budget clearly, or at least you're controlling your spending. Over and above the extra you're putting on the car payment, do you have a surplus every month? Yes.

Okay. And do you have an emergency fund? Yes.

And you have at least six months expenses? Yes, we do. Okay. And are you saving for retirement? Yes, we are.

Okay. Do you feel like you're on track there to have what you need to cover your lifestyle spending in retirement? We didn't move into the country early enough, so on track is really God's will. We're saving as much as we can, but we don't know. How do you feel about being a landlord? That's the thing is we're not landlords. We have only had one lady from our church living there for the past six years. So no maintenance, not a whole lot we've done to the house. Okay.

And she's about to move out. Okay. But do you guys like the idea of being a landlord?

We like the money that comes in it, but we have to also add a little bit of money. Okay. All right, let's do this.

I know Jerry Boyer's coming up. I want to finish this call, though. I don't want to cut it short. So you stay right there, David. We'll pick it up on the other side, and then we'll talk to Jerry Boyer just around the corner. This is Faith and Finance Live.

We'll be right back. Great to have you with us today on Faith and Finance Live. Just ahead, Jerry Boyer stops by with his insightful analysis on the economy and an update on the latest corporate engagement work he's been doing.

But first, just before the break, we were talking to David in Illinois. David and his wife live in a home they bought in 2016. They still have a home that a family member has been living in from 2008 with a 15-year mortgage at 3%.

It's worth $220,000. They only owe $96,000 on it. They're fairly on track for retirement. Only debt is a car loan. They're paying double the payment. They've got a fully funded emergency fund.

So, David, it sounds like you're in pretty good shape. You guys could go one of two directions. One direction is you keep this property and you become a landlord, and given that you have a great mortgage, 15 years, not 20 or 30, a great interest rate, 3%, less than half of the prevailing rates today, and given that you've got plenty of equity, about $125,000, more than 50%, if you could rent this out, perhaps you hire a company to help you maintain it, a property management company that you'd pay monthly to make sure that they're there to deal with plumbing issues when they come up and things like that, then eventually that rental income could pay off this mortgage for you. And now you've got your retirement assets growing in the stock and bond markets, and then you've got this real estate that you could ultimately sell down the road, which I like that idea a lot. I think the question is you have to decide, do you want to be a landlord?

Not everybody has the temperament for that. And then you also have to understand just what impact will it have on you financially in terms of, one, how much money do you need to put in it to get it to where it is going to be able to be rented, not to a family member, but to somebody who's evaluating it against every other rental. Do you have that capital to put into it if it needs some money in it?

And then, two, do you have the staying power? We're headed toward likely a recession here. So what if you didn't have a renter for some period of time, or you had one that moved out prematurely and they damaged the place, and you've got to cover the mortgage payment plus repairs. Is that going to put you in a financial hardship? So given those thoughts, which do you feel like is the best fit for you? I like the idea of a management company, but we still don't know. This is a lot to think about, which is why I made the call.

So I think that's the next step is just, number one, decide are we up for this? If you have a property management company, that takes a lot of the hassle and headache out of it, because somebody else, you're paying them, but they're responsible for the day-to-day. I think the big question is the financial readiness.

Is your financial foundation strong enough where you're not going to put yourself in jeopardy if for some reason you didn't have a tenant for a period of time? Do you have to put some money into this to get it ready, or do you feel like it's just some general maintenance and you're ready to go? It's minor maintenance. We've painted and did a lot of work on it already, yes. Okay, great. And is it a fairly desirable property in terms of its condition, its appearance, its location, that type of thing?

Yes, yes. It's a nice area, a nice neighborhood. I think, I mean, you've got a great mortgage here, you've got a great piece of property it sounds like, you've got good equity. I like the idea of you guys hanging on to it so long as you're ready for it, and maybe the next step is to explore a few property management companies, maybe call a realtor or two in your area and just ask for a referral.

Maybe you've got a realtor at your church, you could ask for a referral to a property management company, somebody that would be responsible for the maintenance and the upkeep on this thing that could be called in the middle of the night to come in and fix a plumbing problem or something. That might give you the peace of mind to stay with it, but at the end of the day you and your wife pray about it and you guys decide how to proceed here, but hopefully that gives you a few considerations. All right? It does. Thank you so much, Rob. Thank you. All right, David. God bless you, my friend.

We appreciate it. Well, it's a Friday, the end of the week, but it's also that day that Jerry Boyer stops by. Jerry's president of Boyer Research.

He's a good friend, and he's our resident economist here at Faith & Finance Live. Jerry, I got a lot on the docket today, starting with inflation. We've got some new data out. Probably not terribly surprising, but it seems like the market liked it.

What say you? Yeah, not terribly surprising. You and I have been talking about this for a couple of years, and the normal pattern is that, you know, the government prints a lot of money, it causes inflation to spike, and then they kind of pull some money out. They tighten a little bit, and inflation comes down, but not all the way, and so that's what, you know, Soledad Ogloria thinks, you know, we were forecasting, you know, I remember talking about this last year when inflation was something like 10% year over year, and I said what I expected to do was to come down, but not to normal. So we found out this week that the regular inflation number, that is consumer goods, and the PPI, which is wholesale, both are in that like 5% to 6% year over year category. So that's, by the current standards, that's low.

Now, by historical standards, that's really high. That's high inflation, and so it's not beaten yet. It's just improved, and I really don't think inflation has been beaten yet, but markets this week, which were up from, you know, the first part of the week, they're down today, were basically saying, okay, the Fed's probably going to take a victory lap. They're going to say we beat inflation. We cut it in half, you know, a 50% decline in inflation.

Yeah, but it's still high, so the fear, well, not the fear. The expectation is that the Fed will say we beat inflation. We don't have to be the Grinch anymore, and we don't have to tighten so much anymore, and we can keep the party going, and given the fact that we're probably entering a recession, and that's been kind of the speech out there, that that's probably all the more reason that the Fed will, you know, let the money flow again. So that's why we're in this weird world where, you know, bad news becomes good news in the markets, where instead of saying what's going on with the economy, markets, investors, professional investors have to ask, number one, what's going on in the economy? Number two, how will the Fed interpret it? Number three, going through the Fed's Keynesian economic model, which is wrong, how are they likely to respond, and then investors respond to what they think the Fed is going to do.

Why? Because, you know, basically since around 2009, 2010, the Fed is now the world's largest hedge fund. It is now the biggest single investor in the world, and so it moves markets more actually than fundamental economic data.

Yeah, pretty scary. I mean, it is an upside-down world, Jerry, because we're sitting here with pretty much all economists agreeing we're headed towards some sort of recession. We're just off of 40-year high inflation, and yet the stock market's up on the year, and gold's over $2,000 an ounce. Yes, because if you think there's going to be a recession, then you say, you know, what's the Fed going to do in response to the recession? Well, because they're Keynesians, they think you print your way out of a recession, which, by the way, that's why we're where we are now. We had a recession in early 2020 because of the COVID lockdowns, or COVID, depending on how you want to interpret. But something with COVID, we had a deeper session, and what did they do? They thought they could print their way out.

And, of course, that doesn't really work. What that caused was inflation, not strong growth. And so if we go into another recession, by the way, very unlikely it's going to be as deep as what happened with COVID.

But if we go through another recession, markets say, well, this is their way of looking at the world. They're going to print their way out of it, and if they're going to print their way out of it, then gold goes up. By the way, we've been talking about gold for the past couple of years, and you said, what would you do in terms of gold? And what I said is, don't put it all in gold. I know that there's a lot of talk that way in our circles, but to the degree that you've got a certain hedge set aside, and you've got a range for that, you've worked out your financial advisor, you're worried about inflation or debt crisis, and your advisor says, oh, let's have a range of 5 to 10 percent in gold, for example.

What I suggested is be at the higher end of that range rather than at the lower end of that range. And at least that advice seems to have worked out pretty well so far. Very good. I want to tackle one other quick topic before we have to let you go.

We've got about 90 seconds. Jerry, you're involved in a lot of corporate engagement, representing shareholders before companies, expressing Christian values. What are you most encouraged about right now in your work in that space? I'm encouraged with some work we've been doing with a financial advisor, David Bonson.

He owns a significant amount of JPMorgan Chase stock. There's reason to believe that they have a bias against Christians. They de-banked Ambassador Sam Brownback's pro-religious liberty organization. We tried to talk to them.

They didn't really want to answer questions. So we worked together with David to put a proposal on the ballot to take the question, not to management, over their head to the other shareholders. They asked the SEC for permission to leave it off the ballot. The SEC said, no, you don't have our permission. So Bonson gets to make his case to the other shareholders in May, unfiltered and unedited by JPMorgan Chase.

Wow. And what he's going to say essentially is, this is not good business. Why are we, if we're in the banking business, why wouldn't we make banking services available to everyone, including Christians, right? Exactly. And what's the reputational risk?

And by the way, what's the regulatory risk? Because there are Christians in the Senate and in the House, and sometimes Christians are in the White House, too. And maybe they don't like religious discrimination or at least what appears to be until they give us a better explanation. And that risks regulatory backlash and lawsuits or a whole bunch of other problems. So just honor conscience, treat everyone the same, treat others the way you would want to be treated.

And that's better for everybody, the customer, the business and the shareholder. Yeah, very good. All right, Jerry, we appreciate that update. As always, thanks for stopping by, my friend. Take care. God bless.

All right. That's Jerry Boyer, he's our resident economist. He joins us each Friday with his market commentary and analysis. Nathan, Michelle, I'm sorry we're out of time today. Perhaps we can get your information and see if we can get you back on next week on the program.

Thank you for calling today, and I apologize we got short on time. But folks, thank you for being along with us today. You know, we covered a lot of ground. The big idea here on this program, my heart, is that you would meet here each day, that we could be an encouragement to you, that we could lift your sights, help you develop a more eternal perspective in this area of financial management. And I believe the fruit of that is that we'll be drawn into a more intimate relationship with the Lord as we handle God's money his way.

There's something about it that has a ripple effect throughout the rest of our lives. Hey, let me say thanks to my team today. I couldn't do it without them. Clara Seagard, Amy Rios, Stan Anderson, and Jim Henry, my amazing team, pushing all the buttons, making things happen today. I'm so grateful for them. Faith in Finance Live is a partnership between FaithFi and Moody Radio. By the way, if you'd like to participate in our survey and be really helpful, just head to forward slash survey. Have a great weekend. We'll see you next week. God bless you. Bye-bye.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-14 18:38:21 / 2023-04-14 18:55:44 / 17

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