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When and How Much to Invest

MoneyWise / Rob West and Steve Moore
The Truth Network Radio
July 18, 2023 5:21 pm

When and How Much to Invest

MoneyWise / Rob West and Steve Moore

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July 18, 2023 5:21 pm

Did you know that you just need to answer two simple questions to get on the right path toward making money with your investments? On today's Faith & Finance Live, host Rob West will talk with Mark Biller about the answers to two easy questions that will set you on a course for investing success. Then Rob will answer your questions on different financial topics. 

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Rob West and Steve Moore
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Rob West and Steve Moore
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Rob West and Steve Moore

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All right, don't tell anybody, but you just need to answer two simple questions, and then you're likely to be on the path to making money. Hi, I'm Rob West, all kidding aside. But it's true, the answers to two easy questions will set you on a course for investing success. I'll talk about that first with Mark Biller 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, Mark Biller joins us again today. He's executive editor at Sound Mind Investing, where he and his team make complicated investing concepts and well, they simplify them so the rest of us can understand them. Mark, great to have you back.

Hi, Rob, great to be back with you. Mark, we said just two questions are all you need to answer to be successful as an investor. So what two questions are we talking about, sir? Yeah, well, no matter what investing strategy you're following, and we have several of them here at SMI, the two key questions are how often should I invest and how much should I invest. And a simple way to make those two decisions is to use a formula approach that eliminates any inconsistency in guesswork. Yeah, and I suspect you have one particular formula in mind, huh?

Yeah, absolutely. The best known formula for answering these how much and how often questions is something that you actually talk about frequently here on the program. It's called dollar cost averaging. Now, the key to dollar cost averaging is simply first invest the same amount of money. Second, at regular time intervals.

So that simple framework is easy to follow. It's basically what millions of people do every month by their 401k or other workplace retirement plans. So for example, a person might choose to invest $800 a month or $400 every pay period. But the most important thing is to pick an amount that you can stick with faithfully.

Yeah, that's key. Sticking with it faithfully means you have to do this for a long period of time. We like to say five years at a minimum, so you have time to ride out, let's say an extended bear market, obviously 40 years would be even better, right?

40 years would be fantastic. Either way, whether it's five years or 40 years, the beauty of dollar cost averaging is it's going to free you from worrying about whether you're buying stocks at the right times. Because your dollar amount is always constant, you're going to end up getting more shares for that constant dollar amount. When stock prices are down, you're going to buy fewer shares when those prices are higher. So in effect, you'll be buying more shares at bargain prices and fewer at high prices. Of course, you're not going to necessarily know that at the time because it's really only in hindsight that you can tell for sure that it was a period of low prices versus high prices. But either way, it's going to help you get in it at better prices on average over time.

Yeah, that makes sense. And since the market started going south and I guess you could also say sideways a couple of years ago, folks regularly call in, Mark, and ask if they should get out of the market, maybe go to cash or even stop investing all together. So what would your advice be to those listeners, assuming they have that long time horizon we talked about?

Yeah, it's a great question. And just as a disclaimer, you know, SMI actually does increase our cash allocations at times when risk seems particularly high. That's built into our long term process.

So I don't want it to sound like I'm talking out of both sides of my mouth here today. We wouldn't do that if we didn't think it was worthwhile over the long term. But here's the thing, Rob, if a person is trying to do this on their own, they really shouldn't be moving in and out of the market. And that's doubly true if they're doing it on their own and they have a long time horizon of say 10 years or more. It's just way too hard to know when to make those buy and sell decisions. And the research is pretty clear that most individual investors hurt their returns by trying to do that kind of market timing. You know, there's a reason there are millions of retirees with big 401k balances. And it's because they invested regularly over time every pay period through good markets and bad.

Yeah, that's really key. Well, when we come back from this break, we're going to continue to talk about dollar cost averaging, why it's helpful to avoid emotional investing, what are the downsides to it and what's everything you need to know. Plus, we're taking your questions on investing related topics today for Mark Biller. We've got lines open. We'll be taking your calls just around the corner. 800-525-7000. Call right now with your questions for Mark Biller.

800-525-7000. This is Faith and Finance Live. We'll be right back. I was delighted to have you with us today on Faith and Finance Live. I'm Rob West, your host.

With me today, my good friend Mark Biller. He's executive editor at And by the way, if you'd like to read more about this topic that we opened with today on dollar cost averaging, you can check it out at It's titled Taking the Guesswork Out of When and How Much to Invest.

Again, you'll find it at If you have an investing related question today, you'd love to get that in front of Mark Biller. We'd love to hear from you. We've got some lines open. In this portion of the broadcast, we're taking your investing questions, market volatility, market strategy, just wanting to know how to think about your investments in light of what's going on all around us.

We'd love to hear from you. Again, 800-525-7000 is the number to call and you can call right now. Before we head to the phones, Mark, one of the things we know is a real pitfall to investing is when we allow emotions to get in the way often when we're managing our own money and we get into a volatile or a falling stock market, we can try to take matters into our own hands and time the market. We know that the data says we almost always do that at the wrong time. So, how does dollar cost averaging help us overcome that?

Yeah, that's exactly right, Rob. Without some kind of a mechanical system to govern our buying and selling, what ends up happening to most individual investors is they really only work up the courage to put their money in after they've seen stock prices already rise pretty sharply. And then on the other side, after prices fall, that's when people become fearful and sell when their stocks are already down. So, investor emotions are really working against them on both sides of the ledger. They end up buying high and selling low, which is of course the opposite of the ideal, which is to buy low and sell high. What dollar cost averaging does is it just steers investors completely around those pitfalls. As long as a person sticks with the discipline of just buying on that regular rhythm regardless of what the market is doing, then they're not asking the question of, you know, do I need to sell here because things are down? Do I need to buy because things are running away from me? It just completely steers them around those emotional pitfalls. Yeah, that's really helpful. Now, Mark, dollar cost averaging is not without its cautions and critics.

So what do we need to know as we think about this? Yeah, that's very true. And the biggest criticism is that dollar cost averaging isn't going to protect you against losses. So a person is still going to have temporary setbacks from bear markets when they're dollar cost averaging. That's really why this criticism takes on a little more importance as a person gets closer to retirement age and has more to lose. You know, that's a big part of why we were saying earlier that this is really for those with a long investing time horizon.

For those that do, then this kind of set it and forget it system is really hard to beat. A second criticism, Rob, of dollar cost averaging really pertains mainly to people who have a lump sum of money to invest. And in that case, the math usually comes out in favor of investing that all sooner rather than spreading it out in dollar cost averaging it over time.

But, you know, two things about that. One, most people don't have a lump sum to invest. They're investing gradually bit by bit. So like this criticism doesn't even apply to the typical 401K investor. And then the second thing I'd just say about that, Rob, and you may have had similar experience, I'm not sure, but what we see is that even though the math says you're usually going to come out ahead by putting the money in sooner rather than spreading it out over time, what we find is that emotionally that's really difficult for a lot of investors to do. There's just, it feels like there's so much risk of putting the money in and then suffering a sharp drawdown right away. So what we tend to go with for a lot of folks who are nervous about that is we'll say let's just take that lump sum and divide it up into a number of pieces. So maybe you take that and you divide that into six equal pieces and invest that each month over the next six months. And just emotionally that's so much easier for people to do.

Usually what we find is the most important thing is to get people moving, to get over that initial inertia and paralysis. And so we're willing to give up a little bit of that optimal return just to get the process going and get people feeling comfortable about starting the process. That's really helpful. All right. We want to take your calls and questions today.

Investing related questions, 800-525-7000. Cora has a question a bit off our topic, but Cora, I know you've been waiting patiently, so I wanted to get to this question. Go right ahead. Yes. Go ahead.

How can I help? Yes. I'm 76 years old at the present time and I want to go in and get a fixed rate at my bank. And I took out a loan three years ago for $25,000. And so now I'm not paying anything on the principal. It's $28,000 right at the present time. And I don't see myself at my age paying this ever off.

I won't pay this off. So I'm trying to see if I should go in and get a fixed rate. Yeah. So is this a home equity line of credit with a variable rate? Is that what this was?

I bought a car with it. That's all I know. Is it collateralized by your home? Yes. Yes. Uh-huh. Yes. Okay. And as far as you know, it does have a variable rate, meaning the interest rate is moving? It's right now at 9.64% and 9.64%. Yeah.

And it was lower when you started? Yes. Yes. Yeah. Okay.

Yeah. So this is likely what's called a home equity line of credit. We don't recommend them for the reason you're describing. You know, you bought a car with it and now it's collateralized by your house. So if for some reason you didn't pay it, you lose your home, you know, which is the real problem. And the variable rate is challenging for situations like we're in now. The other problem with a home equity line of credit is they don't have to be this way, but a lot of times you're just required only to pay the interest. In your case, you haven't even been covering the interest, either that or you've taken additional withdrawals. One of the two has led to the balance actually increasing 3,000 over two years instead of remaining the same or going down.

So I agree we can't stay on this track. Do you still have the car at this point? And what is it worth? Do you know? No. Nope. I don't have a car. No. But I was on a bad accident and so the car got totaled.

I don't have a car period. Okay. Do you have the ability to pay more than 200 a month? No. Not really.

No. Because I got other bills. I got my utility bills. I got my house insurance.

I'd like to do this, Cora. I mean, what I would recommend is you just pay the minimum, whatever you can afford to keep it current until we see interest rates go down and then you're likely going to need to refinance it. But there may be a better solution. It's going to require that we get a better picture of everything you have going on, both the income that you have as well as what your budget looks like and then also your assets and liabilities. I'd like to have one of our Certified Christian Financial Counselors reach out to you.

There won't be any cost to you. We'll cover that cost. But they can help you get a plan, look at what you've got and perhaps help you make some decisions moving forward here. I know that you're in a tough spot here and we want to help.

So you stay on the line, Cora. We'll get your information. I'll have one of our Certified Christian Financial Counselors reach out to you, schedule a meeting over the phone or with a video call and see if we can get you moving in the right direction. We appreciate your call today. Lord bless you. We'll be right back on Faith and Finance Live with your questions for Mark Biller.

Don't go anywhere. It's great to have you with us today on Faith and Finance Live. I'm Rob West. With me today, Mark Biller, our good friend and executive editor at We're going to take your calls and questions on investing related topics now. We've got a few lines open.

Your questions for Mark Biller at 800-525-7000. Gabby T standing by to take your call. You can call right now. We'd love to hear from you. Let's dive in Juanita. Tom, we're coming your way in just a moment.

But first to Tampa. Hi, Sarah. Go right ahead. Hi, how are you doing?

Doing great. How can we help? I have grandkids that are 11 under and I want to I heard you talking about the investment, the steady investment. Where do I start if I want to do some investment and leave them leave it to them as an inheritance when I pass?

Yeah. So the first question is before even the investment selections, what type of account do you want to do this in? If you knew you wanted to allocate this money for college, let's say I would use a 529 college savings plan. That's kind of like a 401k. There's a menu of investments inside it makes it very easy. And it grows tax free, but you have to use it for qualified educational expenses.

Does that sound like what you're looking for? Or would you like it to be able to be used for anything? Yes. Okay.

So you don't want to put into 529. Then the next question is, do you want to keep control over it to decide when they receive it? Or do you want it automatically to become their asset when they turn 18? When when I pass away, I want it to go there to them. Okay. But could you want them to have it prior to your death? Sure. Yes.

Okay. The key here is if you do it in a custodial account, it's automatically going to become their money at 18. So let's say you're still living, they turn 18. And one of them is making bad choices. They're not showing financial or spiritual maturity. Automatically, that money is theirs.

They could buy a sports car if they wanted to. Are you okay with that? Or do you want to have control over it? I want to control it. Okay.

All right. So what we need to do is probably put it in an account in your name or in if you're married and you and your husband's name, and make them the beneficiary of it. So if you pass away, it goes directly to them.

But it's your asset until you decide to hand it over. And you could choose choose the time and, you know, place in terms of when they receive the money. Now, as far as the investments go, Mark, what would you suggest here with 11 and under grandkids, perhaps, perhaps setting this up on an automatic deposit? How should she think about selecting the investments? Yeah, there are a couple of things here, Sarah, that I would would keep in mind as you do in this one is that while an investment strategy for a person your age might tend to normally be very conservative, because you're kind of earmarking this money for these grandkids, your mix of assets can be very aggressive because they're very young and have a long time horizon ahead of them. So I would tend to focus this on stocks, probably going all stocks. Now, along those lines, one opportunity that you have to kind of use this as an educational process for them might be to allow them to have some input into some of the companies.

Now, this might be a little hard for kids, you know, that are under 11. But maybe as they're growing into this, and you're explaining that you have some money that you've been putting aside that hopefully will come to them eventually, you might be able to engage them a little bit in some of the companies that they're interested in. And that can be a great, you know, opportunity. You know, if they're into Nike shoes, for example, I'm not promoting that particular choice, but just as an example of something that kids might be familiar with and be interested in, you know, you might buy some shares of Nike just to start that conversation about, well, what does it mean to be a part owner in a company in a business like this? How does the business make money?

How does them making money impact me as a part owner of that business? These can be great conversations that can kind of get those conversations going about money and investing and financial matters. So that can be a good opportunity.

That doesn't mean you need to put all of the money into individual stocks like that. You know, a great option might be to set up regular automatic investments into some kind of a broad market index fund and then supplement that with some choices that they want some input into or that have some interest in. So those would be a couple of ideas that I have.

Rob, anything else that you've seen work? Well, let me ask you, Mark, and I love that idea of perhaps, you know, having a broad market solution. So we're properly diversified, capturing the big moves of the market, but maybe carving out a portion for them to have some in some ownership in it, you know, with a company they know that that you described.

I think that's a great idea. But let me ask you, where would you direct her to go? I mean, could sound mind investing help? Would you send her to one of the discount brokerage firms? Should she go somewhere where she can buy fractional shares because we may be talking about smaller dollar amounts?

Yeah, those are good questions. You know, sound mind investing is definitely going to have a lot of good educational materials for good options on how to get started with this sort of thing, and we'd be happy to help. Ultimately, it probably is going to be the case that you would end up with one of the main discount brokerage firms. Some of the firms like Fidelity allows you to buy fractional shares. Schwab is another good choice that we use a lot. So those are going to be some good options that can allow you to buy mutual funds and exchange traded funds, as well as those individual stocks all within the same account. So I think that's probably ultimately going to be where you end up, Sarah. But if we can help or if any of our materials at can help point you in the right direction of some of the specific investments you might want to consider, that might be a good stop for you along the way. Yeah, great.

Okay, so Sarah, let's do this. What you want to do is you want to open an account at either Schwab or Fidelity for each of the kids. Have one separate one for each one. And then you'd probably want to go to to get some help with what index funds you'd like to buy, and then maybe carve out a portion where each of the kids could buy just a very small, maybe even less than one share of a company of their choosing.

And then you could get them involved in watching that company and following them and seeing how they do each quarter, that kind of thing. The other thing is I want to ask you to hold the line. We're going to send you a copy of Howard Dayton's ABCs of Managing Money God's Way for each one of the grandkids. We'll be right back on Faith and Finance Live. Stay with us. Well, it's always a great day when Mark Biller stops by.

He's executive editor at We're taking your calls and questions on investing related topics today. Let's head right back to the phones.

To Florida we go. Renee, thanks for calling. Go ahead.

Yes, I have a question. I appreciate your show. And I'm getting ready to invest $125,000 into an annuity that would provide me with a lifetime of monthly payments. And it grows at like 8.5% each year. And I can't close it out before 10 years or I would pay a penalty on that.

Each year that I leave it in, it grows. I have money in a money market account that he's going to take this money out of and which will leave me a balance of like $200 and some thousand dollars. And then I have a $100,000 CD that will come due next March. And I'm trying to be wise with my husband's money. I'm a widow.

And I just want to know I'm 60 years old and I'm wondering, is this a good investment for me? Yeah. Well, I appreciate your call. And I realize this can be a big weight and it doesn't have to be. And that's why you seek wise counsel. I'm delighted you called today and we'd love to try to help you think through this. You mentioned that this would provide you a base of income. Let's talk about your income and expenses for a moment. What income sources do you have at this point? I have, um, my husband's social security.

I have my disability coming in and I have a small check from his pension that comes in each month. Okay. And that's my income and I'm living off of that. All right. And is the combination of those three Renee enough to cover your bills?

Yes, for now. And he's wanting to do this annuity because he said the cost of living will go up and eventually I'll need to tap into some money and he wants me to have a monthly income that would help with the increase in the cost of living. Sure, sure. And is the plan, uh, to annuitize immediately and start those checks right away or to let it grow and then do that down the road?

I can do the checks at any time. The longer that I leave it in, the more the monthly, um, uh, amount grows. Yeah. Got it. Okay. He's wanting me to hopefully leave it in for maybe like seven years and then start tapping into it. Okay.

And then if you did this, you'd still have between the CD and what you had remaining in the money market, you'd still have about $300,000 liquid that could be invested, whatever portion you didn't want to keep in savings as your emergency fund, correct? Yes. Okay.

Uh, so Mark, you've heard all these pieces here. How would you help Renee think through this decision? Yeah, so the annuity can be a real nice option because it handles a lot of the investing burden for you. And so you make that single investment, you know that they're taking care of that, that lump sum of money and that they're going to turn that into income for you later on down the road and that's very appealing. Um, we always recommend with annuities that you take a real hard look at the expenses that are being charged because sometimes while it can be a convenient way to accomplish this process, it can also be an expensive way to accomplish this process. And so, um, you know, sometimes it can be the case that, um, working with an advisor to invest that money over time can actually be a little bit less expensive. It just depends on the terms of that specific annuity. And so it's, it's difficult over the phone to get into that conversation, but it's not a bad idea with such a big decision like this with a large amount of money that you're planning to put into this annuity to see if you can find a, uh, trusted certified kingdom advisor that could potentially look at this for you and give you an opinion on whether this looks like a good deal within that annuity space. I love the fact that you have some substantial assets outside the annuity to do some other things and supplement this with. Um, if, if that, um, seems like you do want to go down the annuity path, you're not 100% in that annuity. It's not all or nothing here.

So that's great. Um, but those would be the things that I would, would look at. Um, and you know, generally what I would say is if that annuity is costing more than say one and a half percent per year, then I would want to think very carefully and probably, you know, get some outside input from an advisor, uh, about what other options, you know, might accomplish a similar total picture for you, Renee, but just go about it in a little bit different way. So those would be my thoughts.

Rob, what do you think? Yeah, I like that a lot. So I think the key is just recognize, and I see here in my notes, Renee, that perhaps you're even, uh, have an appointment today to, to sign, uh, on the dotted line, so to speak for this annuity. And if you're feeling uncomfortable or apprehensive, perhaps you say, listen, I want to just get a little bit more information.

And then I also want to get a second opinion and then I'll, I'll be back. Uh, and you don't have to do this today. I also want to underscore what Mark's saying. We're not saying there's never a place for an annuity. An annuity can be an effective tool as long as you understand why you're getting into it. You're losing access to your money for a period of time in exchange for a guaranteed return. Uh, and you're taking the risk and you're transferring it away from yourself and the stock market to an insurance company.

And there's some peace of mind that comes with that. So that can be a good thing, but not all annuities are created equal. They can be complicated and expensive. And especially if this is not a trusted advisor you've been working with for a long time, you may want to get a second opinion.

And that's where contacting a certified kingdom advisor at our website, there in Florida to have a second opinion given could be a great option. But at the end of the day, if you decided to put 125,000 into an annuity that's, that's fixed, has a fixed rate of return, uh, that you could convert to an income stream down the road and you're still hanging on to, you know, roughly, uh, $300,000 plus, uh, that you would have liquid. That makes sense to me from a big picture perspective. We just wouldn't be able to weigh in on the specifics of this particular annuity. Um, the only other thing I would mention is you may want to look at, you're kind of in the sweet spot there around the age 60, age of 60 to look at longterm care insurance. That's probably the only other big risk that you have that could erode your assets in this season of life. And that is, you know, having a policy that would step in and cover at least all or a portion of the cost of, uh, some sort of a longterm care if you needed it.

70% of Americans over the age of 65 will for some period of time, uh, it can be expensive, but it provides a great, you know, benefit to you if you need to use it. So that would be the other thing. Does that all make sense?

It makes sense. Where would I get the longterm care insurance from? I'm dealing with Edward Jones right now and my advisor, he is a Christian and I trust him, but I just wanted to get a second opinion.

Yeah. Well, Edward Jones is a fine firm. It really is all about the advisor that you're working with.

And so if you have a trusted relationship, I'd say you can probably proceed if you'd feel better about getting a second opinion because this is a big decision. I'd go to our website, and just do a click the button that says, find a CK that stands for certified kingdom advisor. Either of those, the CK or this gentleman at Ed Jones could refer you to an insurance agent who specializes in longterm care.

And that's what you'd want to do as you look for a policy. Listen, if we can help further along the way, give us a call, stay on the line. I want to send you a copy of Miriam and Valerie Neff Hogan's book, wise women managing money. Miriam is a widow and wrote this book to help women just like you.

I think it'll be an encouragement. God bless you, Renee. We'll be right back on faith and finance live. Thanks for joining us today on faith and finance live where we apply God's wisdom from the Bible to your financial decisions and choices. Joining me today, Mark Biller, executive editor of We're taking your investing related questions and we'll try to get to as many as we can here in our final segment to Chicago.

Hi, Tom. Thanks for your patience. Go ahead. Sure.

Thank you. I'm retired now about six years. I don't really have any debt except my monthly expenses, which can vary, but it could be about maybe 2,400, which includes my rent. And I do have a deferred compensation program from my former employer, which is about half of my investment is in, and that's primarily a fidelity Contra fund with a, uh, also a small fixed amount. Uh, so my question is I do have that lump sum to invest as a, your guest was speaking of. And, uh, since I have also an IRA with fidelity, it's kind of like, you know, fairly has been good to me, but they're, they do charge a little bit more than Vanguard and Vanguard is also a good company. So I'm wondering, how do I decide to just, do I just put this extra money maybe in a high interest savings account and then decide to move it into say the fidelity, um, total market ETF fund, or do I look for something similar in, in, uh, Vanguard, you know, Vanguard or fidelity, in other words, is it okay to split them up between two different mortgages accounts or just say, keep them all together? Yeah, that's great.

Thanks for that background. Uh, Mark, your thoughts? Yeah, that's a great question, Tom. You know, I think that it really boils down to, um, to the approach that you want to take with the investing. And so what I mean by that is if you are thinking that you're probably going to stick with broad market index funds, um, then it really probably isn't going to matter whether that's in a fidelity broad market index fund or a Vanguard broad market index fund. Uh, Vanguard is certainly well known for being kind of the index fund King, but fidelity and Schwab have great options that are so close to Vanguard's products that personally, I don't think there's, uh, that it's worth while to transfer and split your money across two firms just to use a different company's index funds. Now, where I would say that a company like a Fidelity or Schwab might have something to offer that Vanguard doesn't, um, is if you wanted to do some more active type strategies, then I think that the offerings from Fidelity and Schwab are probably a little bit more attractive. And that's where maybe having some index fund money at Vanguard and some active fund money over at Fidelity and Schwab might make sense.

So that's, I hope that that makes sense, Tom. What I'm, what I'm really driving at is, is figure out the approach first and then you can figure out which brokerages, which vehicles are going to best allow you to follow that approach. So Fidelity and Schwab are probably going to be, you know, more for active. Uh, if you're, if you're making some changes within those accounts, that's going to offer a little more appeal at those brokerages.

Vanguard may be more for the pure indexing buy and hold and kind of set it and forget it. Um, that's how I would break that down. Um, does that, does that help? Yes, it does. I was just wondering, does their expense fees, at what point does the expense fee make a big difference though, in choosing a company's, uh, different products?

Yeah. If you look at the, the actual expenses of like a total market index fund at each of those places, um, you're talking about extremely low expense ratios, probably like four or five basis points, 0.04%, 0.05%. So the differences are so minimal that I would not personally think that it's probably worth moving an account for that. Now, if you're talking about using like an advisor with one of these places, then that's a whole different conversation. Then you need to look at what they're charging for their advice. Um, but most people who are using these discount brokerages are not using an advisor with that firm. They're just picking funds and making their own investments with that firm. Um, so that's kinda how that breaks down. Are you working with somebody at Fidelity right now?

Uh, no, I'm not. They do have a customer service number where they'll give you some general information, but they're not actually advising you, you know, specifically, you know, it's just a general thing. So, but, so I was wondering about these, uh, certified kingdom advisors. Do they have a fiduciary capacity or are they more financial planners or yeah, there's a wide range. So the certified kingdom advisor designation can be earned by financial professionals who meet the standards, but they make their, you know, have their own businesses. So some might be pure hourly financial planners, others are fiduciaries, uh, you know, others acting on a percentage basis, taking discretion and managing the money.

So you'd need to reach out to a CKA, even the one that has the right business model for you and is going to offer the service and the expertise that you're looking for. Uh, and you know, you can make your decision at that point. I would concur with Mark. I think in the category of investments you've been describing, the fees are very close and it's not really going to make a huge difference and you've really got a full range of options there at Fidelity. Fidelity even has some free ETF.

So I think you've got what you need there, um, without even diversifying among the brokerages. Tom, hope that helps. Thanks for your call today to Cleveland. Hi Juanita. Go ahead.

Hi, I'm just really quick. Uh, my husband and I, I'm 55 will be 56 in October and he's 53 he'll be 54 in October. We're going to get a lump sum of money next month, about $700,000 and we have about $197,000 in debt, which includes our home car and cards. So uh, we wanted to pay off all of that. And then with the balance, I wanted to find out, should we do some investing?

And if we do, what type of podcasts and magazines, et cetera, would you recommend as far as good financial sound investing that would go along with our Christian value? Yeah, great. A couple of thoughts. Number one is I heard you say some cards, which means credit cards. So let's just make sure before you pay all that off, and I like the idea of you paying it off, you guys commit to getting on a budget and sticking to it because even once that's gone and once the house is paid off and the car is paid off, you're going to feel like you've got more money than you ever have.

But we can still not correct the problem that led to that in the first place. So let's make sure you commit to living within your means so that you can accomplish the goals that you have. But I do like you getting out of debt.

That's great. I think with regard to how to handle the rest of it, I would say to you, I'd hire an advisor. I mean, this is a significant sum of money. You don't want to just put it on autopilot. And a certified kingdom advisor there in Cleveland, there's some great ones could help you. I'd interview two or three, find the one that's the best fit. And then that advisor would help you make those decisions actually could make those for you once he or she understands your goals and your values and priorities. You also mentioned faith based investments, and there's an option, depending on the advisor you select, and I would include this in the list of questions as a part of the interview process, can you offer me a faith based investing portfolio to make sure that the investments we're selecting align with my values and priorities as a believer. So I would get on a budget, commit to sticking to it. Be really prayerful about this.

Think about how much you want to give out of it. And then go to and click find a CKA interview two or three and go from there. But delighted you called today and I hope that's helpful to you Juanita. Let's head to Chicago. Alex, you're next on the program. Go ahead. Hey, good afternoon.

Thanks for taking the call, Rob and Mark. What's your wisdom on investments in cryptocurrency? So real fast, I've done a lot of research. And it seems that if you create this crypto wallet, and you have your key, that it makes it somewhat safe. Because the way that I understand it, like what happened with FTX, and how people lost a lot of investment, that they left their crypto on the platform, and you're not in control of your investment at that point. And the wallet gives you control because you have the only key to it. Is that somewhat correct?

Or how do you feel? Mark, do you know enough to weigh in on that, Mark? Yeah, Alex, you know, that is one aspect of it. You're drilling in on one of the risks involved with crypto. But I would just caution that there's probably an even bigger risk outside of the security of your specific account. And that is that almost all of the crypto options, all of the crypto assets are very volatile, inherently. Their value goes up and down a lot. So even if you never have a problem with the wallet and the security side of it, if that's perfect, and that can be challenging, I will just add that because of the way crypto functions. It's not like what most of us are used to with our traditional financial system, where if we make a mistake, we can call customer service, they can fix it for us. Crypto is a lot more unforgiving in that respect. But even if you never have a problem there, understand that these are exceptionally volatile assets. So these are like the most risky tech stocks, probably twice that. You know, you're talking about a very volatile high level of volatility. So you can lose a lot of money very quickly, even if you never have a security problem with your crypto. So I would be very, very cautious, do a lot of reading and really seek to understand the underlying dynamic of crypto as an investment class.

We wrote a cover article about a year ago at SoundMind Investing that if you go to and put in our search box crypto or Bitcoin, it will give you this article that I think will really help you understand some of the risks and how to look at crypto relative to other investment choices like stocks and bonds, that sort of thing. I think it'll help give you a little broader perspective on that choice. Yeah, I think you're exactly right. This is kind of like the wild, wild west. Think of this like the early days of the dot com. There's still going to be a lot of winners and losers, not to mention the regulators still haven't really decided how they're going to approach crypto.

So this is the most speculative category of your investments. Be ready to lose it all if you go into this space, Alex. Hope that helps you. Thanks for calling, my friend. Mark, thanks for stopping by. Always love hanging out with you, my friend. Thanks, Rob. Always a pleasure.

If you'd like to check out this article that we talked about today, taking the guesswork out of when and how much to invest, go to Faith in Finance Live is a partnership between Moody Radio and Faith Five. Thank you to Gabby T, Amy, Dan and Robert. Couldn't do it without them. We'll see you tomorrow. Bye bye.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-07-18 18:42:11 / 2023-07-18 18:58:45 / 17

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