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Christian Financial Planner Update

MoneyWise / Rob West and Steve Moore
The Truth Network Radio
November 9, 2023 6:16 pm

Christian Financial Planner Update

MoneyWise / Rob West and Steve Moore

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November 9, 2023 6:16 pm

Do you like helping people get their finances in order? Maybe you have a gift for numbers? If so, then we have some good news for you. On today's Faith & Finance Live, join host Rob West for a special live broadcast from Liberty University. He'll get an update from Kurt Cornfield about a career path for undergraduate students in Christian Financial Planning. Then Rob will answer some questions on various financial topics. 

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This is Faith and Finance Live from Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia. Hi, I'm Rob West and I'm happy to report that the future of faith-based financial services is bright as Christian universities across the country train the next generation of financial advisors. With me today is Kurt Kornfield, Associate Professor of Financial Planning here at Liberty. Today we'll speak with Kurt and two students who are enrolled in the program here at Liberty. We'll also take questions from students in our live studio audience about managing God's money.

This is Faith and Finance Live, biblical wisdom for your financial decisions. Well, delighted to have you with us today and we are on the beautiful campus of Liberty University. To my right in front of this live studio audience is Kurt Kornfield. Kurt, delighted to be with you. Thank you so much for allowing me to be here with you, Rob.

Absolutely. And we're so happy that you're here. Well, thank you. This has been a long time in the making. You and I have talked about this for a while. Yes, we have. And it's finally here. Yes, thank you for making all this happen.

Absolutely. Kurt, just give us an overview of the program. I mean, I've had a chance to sit in some classes today. We've been interacting with students. We've got this live studio audience. You've built an incredible program here alongside an amazing team here at Liberty University. So just give our listeners a snapshot of what's going on here.

Yes, thank you. So 13 years ago, a little over 13 years ago, we started a financial planning program where our students get on a path to become certified financial planners. The second year, we incorporated the kingdom advisor training so that they're also on a path to become certified kingdom advisors.

And so now we're in our 14th year. You know, we've built up to about 120 residential students and many of them are here in the office in this room. And they're also getting trained as personal coaches. We call them peer coaches here. And you're sitting right now in our Center for Financial Literacy that was established a little over four years ago as kind of an out came out of this program.

And so we're just so so thrilled to have you here. But to just spread the word about what's going on in these college campuses. Kurt, I know this has been a vision of yours for a long time for these students to graduate, ready to enter financial services, well-prepared, ready to pass the CFP exam that is certified financial planner. But even more than that, to bring their faith with them to make a kingdom impact in their work, right?

Yes, absolutely. So I think, you know, I was in the industry myself for 35 years, but it was about the 25 year mark in my life where I just was introduced to Kingdom Advisors, the organization. And this light bulb went off and it's like, boy, I sure wish I would have had that training on the front end of my career. And it's really what gave me the idea that Christian campuses should be doing this and Liberty University was gracious enough to give me the opportunity to move down here from New York and and get that started. And so here we are. You're seeing the fruition of this program after 13 years, and it's a lot of fun. And there's so many pieces and parts of this.

Of course, there's the financial planning degree program with the CK and the CFP. You come to the annual conference. You've got the T3 club.

There's some T3 club people in the audience today. That stands for time, talent and treasure. I love that. Yeah. There's so much going on here, isn't there?

Yeah. I feel like we've been kind of a central place where a lot of cool things are happening with the biblical financial message about money and finances on a college campus. And and we need to train all young people, whether they're going to go into the profession or not. We need to train them about what the Bible says about money and finances so they can make it a part of their lives right from day one.

And then on the way till they're 50 years old to figure it out. And so I think it's happening here. These kids are really getting excited about how God can use them. And I'm just happy to be sitting in the middle of all this.

I know you are. And I know what's most rewarding for you, Kurt, is to watch the students then go on to be hired, to get into the business, but to see the kingdom impact that they're making. Yeah. So since this is our 14th year, I have students that have been out there 13 years. And so now you get to see the impact they're making and the eternal benefits that that has. And they're staying active with, you know, your organizations, Faith and Finance and Kingdom Advisors.

And it really is cool to see, though, that the seeds were planted here while they were at Liberty. And now they're they're actually doing it. And they actually are required to listen to this show.

Yes, they are. You better believe it. So we have a few extra listeners. They're getting credit for it, but hopefully they're enjoying it at the same time. Well, Kurt, we're so excited to be here today. It's been an amazing day here at Liberty.

The weather's gorgeous. This campus is vibrant and it's so exciting to be here. But these students are amazing. And here's what we're going to do today. It's going to be a lot of fun. We're going to hear from some of those students. We're delighted that Ella Kate McCormick is going to tell us her story. We're going to hear from Jack as well.

Pizor. We're also going to hear from some students as they ask questions. That's all just around the corner. We'll be right back. Well, we're glad to have you with us today on Faith and Finance Live. We are live today. We're always live, but we're live from a special location. We're at Liberty University broadcasting from the Center for Financial Literacy here.

I'm joined on set by Kurt Kornfield. And, Kurt, this is a hub. A lot of things happen out of this room, right? Yeah, this is pretty much where our financial planning students hang out because most of them are peer coaches. And so, yeah, it's definitely, there's a lot of just good conversation going on here. And they get to actually practice meeting with students right here in the center. So it's a cool place to be.

I know it is. Well, today we've moved all the tables out. We've got chairs in here. There's a hundred students in here. And we're going to ask them as a live studio audience to ask some questions today. So let's begin with our first question. Hi, Rob.

I'm Aiden. What advice do you have for newlyweds or who are learning to use money together? Ah, yeah, this is a good one.

We know the stats, right? Seventy percent of married couples will have conflict over money. That's obviously not God's design in marriage is oneness. Now we're going to have conflict, but we don't have to let this source of conflict be money related. So I think it's really important, especially as a young couple, to really get out ahead of this. Some of the keys I think would be, and you're not going to be surprised by this, Aiden, communication, right? We've got to talk. Communication is key.

It's harder for us guys, right? But we've got to lean into that and make it happen. The former host of this program, Howard Dayton, used to call it a money date. He would say every month you need to have a money date.

Now that wasn't the time to point fingers. It was the time to make course corrections and then maybe once or twice a year do some planning, align with your values. My pastor says he and his wife have a weekly coin and calendar meeting where they sit down, they look at the calendar, where are the kids this week, who's driving where, and let's look at our finances and make some adjustments. So communications, number one. Second is cushion. So here's what the studies say. My friend Shanti Feldhan, the Harvard researcher, she wrote the book Thriving in Love and Money. She says that it's not about your income in overcoming conflict in marriage around money.

It's a matter of the fact that you're living below your income. So it's that idea of having cushion really does eliminate a lot of that conflict. And then third is really understanding. So recognizing you are two different people coming into the marriage relationship, right? As the late Larry Burkett used to say, if we were the same, one would be unnecessary, right? So undoubtedly one of you is a spender and one of them is a saver, right? And so understanding is key. How was money handled growing up? How does that affect how she handles her money and how you handle money?

And how does that affect how you handle it together as a married couple? So I think it's really key to have that understanding. And then finally, make sure you do everything together.

Don't try to keep separate checking accounts, savings accounts, really put it all together. But hopefully that helps you. Thanks, Rob. All right, great. Kurt, I know you have all of it figured out, you and Nancy, right? Oh, yeah, absolutely.

43 years of bliss, right? All right, next question. Let's do it.

Yeah. Hi, Rob. My name is Logan Young. I'm a senior here at Liberty.

Thank you so much for being here with us today. Absolutely. My question for you is what do you believe is the most important characteristic for a financial advisor to possess? Oh, that's a good question. You know, if I were to pick just one word and I would say, you know, what is the one word I would want a financial advisor to have? I think it would be curiosity.

And here's why. You know, the role of the financial advisor, I think above anything else, is to understand the client, right? Because when you know how God has wired them, you know what their values are, you know what's important to them, you know where their story is going and where they want to be. You can then align money as a tool to accomplish those purposes.

I think what's often we see money as an end as opposed to a means to an end. And really when you bring that curiosity to the table to really enter the discovery part of the relationship early and go deep, and then along the journey and the transitions of life, maintain that level of curiosity because we know that money goes in motion when these transitions happen. And that's where you're going to enter their life.

You're going to intersect with them at these critical junctions. And so if you maintain that posture of curiosity, I think you'll do really well as a financial advisor. Thanks for your question, Logan.

Thank you, Aaron. Anything you want to add on that, just in terms of your own experience? You know, I was surprised by your answer, curiosity. I think that one of the things we try to get our students to project is just that they want to learn. And in this case, they want to learn everything about the industry, but also learning about their clients and just spending time getting to know their clients.

And if they do that on the front end, then their ability to serve those clients is enhanced by that knowledge about their clients. There's no question about it. We're at Liberty University today here on Faith and Finance Live, a little different format for us with a live studio audience taking questions from the Liberty University students today. Let's take one more. Hi, Rob. My name is Kara Schottmeyer and I'm a senior here in the program. A question I had for you is what are some of the best ways for college students and recent graduates to build credit?

It's a good one. So I have a college freshman. He went off to college this year.

He's at the University of Georgia. And I've been saving all of the credit card solicitations I've been getting in the mail with his name on them. And I think they're like halfway up my leg now.

I mean, like it's about three feet high, which is amazing. So you're not going to have a hard time getting credit early, which is good and bad. Right. And so the key is to take all the things you've been learning here. You know, I know here, Professor Cornfield's teaching personal finance, and that's really important that you learn wise habits of managing money. So what I don't want you to do is violate any biblical principles around managing money. But we do recognize we operate in the world system.

Right. So we need credit because not only is it used to determine whether or not to extend you a loan. It's also used for employment consideration.

It's used for insurance premiums. So we want you to build a credit score. We just don't want you to go into debt to do it.

All right. So one of the key ways to do that would be to go ahead and get that secured credit card. If you want to put something on deposit to ensure you're not going to end up with any debt. Or if you feel like you've got good disciplines, you could get an unsecured card. But the key is maybe just put a one recurring charge on there every month. It's a budgeted item. So something you were planning on, you're going to pay it off every month.

And that's going to be reported to the bureau with you as an on time payer. And as long as you begin to develop some of those habits early, I think you'll build your credit in no time. Thank you so much.

You're welcome. I appreciate your question today. You know, Kurt, as we talk about these topics, I mean, you are teaching the financial literacy side, and that's necessary. We need those wise decision making habits. But we also need the biblical worldview alongside it.

And that's what Liberty is doing with really every program across the university. Yes, and I love that about this place. But when it comes to my job in this space, there's 2300 verses in the Bible to talk about this. So I feel like I have the easiest job. Because every day when we have a subject that we're talking about, there's verses that apply to it. And so we try to do that literally every day that we're teaching.

Yeah, no question about it. What have you seen that has most excited you as you watch these students progress through these programs and the light bulb begins to go off? You know, just the excitement that they have. They start to see that they can serve, you know, with this knowledge they're gaining. They can serve God's people the way God intended them to be served.

And they just, they want to go out there and make a difference and they really do come here trying to learn how to integrate their faith in their lives 24-7. And when they figure out that this industry allows them to do that in a pretty powerful way, it's cool to watch it. Well, and it's not just happening with those that are pursuing financial planning as a career. Because this is really affecting the entire campus, isn't it? Yeah, it's taken us a while to get personal finance kind of in more of the curriculum.

But we're there now, especially with the center and the work that they do. It's pretty much, this message is getting out to 17,000 residential students here. So we're going to make a difference. I love it. Alright, this is Faith at Finance Live.

I'm Rob West. We're live at Liberty University today. When we come back, we're going to have much more Ella. Kate McCormick joins us on set.

Much more to come. Stay with us. Well, it's great to have you with us today on Faith at Finance Live. I'm Rob West. We're live from Liberty University today. We're here in the Center for Financial Literacy at the School of Business. I'm joined on set by Kurt Kornfield.

We're also going to be able to talk to a couple of students during the broadcast today, just to hear some stories of the impact of this program as we prepare the next generation of financial professionals to enter this business, financial services, but with faith integration on their mind. I'm delighted to be joined here alongside Kurt Kornfield today with Ella Kate McCormick. Ella Kate, thanks for being here. It's such a privilege, Rob. Thank you so much. My peers really appreciate you being here.

Oh, I'm so thrilled to be able to do it. I want to hear your story, and I know you didn't start on campus thinking that you were ultimately going to be a financial advisor, so tell us kind of how that transition occurred. Yeah, no, I did not. I thought I was going to go into the medical field. I was going to spend 12 years in school, and that was quickly, I realized that was not what I wanted to do.

It was not for me. But I took a personal finance class in high school and absolutely loved it, and what I really wanted to do ultimately was meet one-on-one with people and work and help them achieve goals, and I thought that that was like the perfect intersection of those two things was financial planning. So you switched your major, and now you're on track. You're about to graduate, right? Yes, yeah, I'll graduate in May.

Okay, that's incredible. Now, as you think about kind of launching into this career, other than just being able to counsel with people and interact in people's lives, what part of this business most excites you? There are so many things, but the biggest thing, you know, just on my heart and mind recently has been, you know, generosity. I was, you know, just reading in Matthew 19, 24, so, you know, again, I tell you it's easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven, and that verse was just so energizing to think about working with affluent clients and, you know, seeing how important their wealth could be for, you know, eternity and for people honored now. Oh, that's incredible, and Kurt, I know she's already been interviewing with several financial planning firms, will have a job ready for her to be able to live out this calling on her life, right? Yeah, she actually did two great internships this last summer with two kingdom-minded firms, and so that prepared her well for finishing up here with her academic studies, but now she's interviewing with several different employers, and I'm sure she's going to have multiple opportunities.

I know she will. One of the things, Ella Kate, that has prepared you for what you're about to do is the peer coaching program here on campus, so introduce that to our listeners. This is a really exciting offering.

Yeah, so the Center for Financial Literacy offers peer financial coaching, which is free to students and staff and alumni. There is a team of 25 of us who are just so excited to be a part of it. We meet one-on-one. We talk about everything from budgeting to student loans, you know, all those basic issues, but it's super rewarding, and it's been one of my greatest joys on campus. And give me a sense of how many students that team has already met with this semester. Yeah, so at this point we're at 350 meetings for the semester. We're on track to hit 1,000 this year. Wow, and then what about the community that's been formed among those peer coaches? It's absolutely incredible. All my best friends are peer coaches. We have so much fun spending time in the Center for Financial Literacy all day every day pretty much. And I saw you have your own coffee machine over there.

It says four coaches only. Yes, yes, people don't always abide by that rule, but we do our best. That is great. Well, Kurt, it has to be incredibly rewarding to hear the heart behind what she's about to do because she's going into this business excited about a career, but it's so much bigger than that. Yeah, and the work that she's done and the work that our Center is helping her to do in her life, it's just fun for me to see her go out and make a difference in the world.

Yeah. Talk about this program and what it's meant to you. Obviously you didn't come here knowing this was going to be a part of your story. And how prepared do you feel for your next chapter? Well, you know, working with Professor Kornfield has been incredible. He has really prepared me and, you know, all my peers so well, and we're so grateful to have him. And not just, you know, in the academic sense, but in the real world sense, you know, he is so good about bringing in employers. We get to meet with people who are familiar with the industry, and it's helped prepare us in ways that, you know, a lot of places don't have the opportunity to.

So I think we're all, you know, well prepared thanks to him. Yeah, no question about it. Talk to us about the internships that you've done. And as you've seen this kind of in the real world playing out, has that given you even further excitement for what you're going to do?

Oh, 100 percent, yes. I think that the internships I got to be a part of, you know, it was great that they were both kingdom-minded firms. But to see, you know, that what we're doing here at the Center for Financial Literacy is so similar, and the rewarding aspects are the same. You know, you still get to see the relief on people's faces when you have meetings. It's just energizing to know that, you know, we're going to make a difference here.

Yeah, you sure are. And Kurt, if we have hundreds or thousands more Elicates out there, the future for financial services is pretty bright. It certainly is.

Thank you, Rob. I know this has been a vision of yours for a long time. It must give you just an incredible sense of joy to see it all coming together in terms of the preparation. But also the jobs that are waiting out there. Yeah, I think that, you know, when I got the idea originally, it was because when I had a practice back in New York, it was hard to find somebody that was like-minded that could join my practice. And it's kind of why I thought, man, if Christian schools could do this, it could give us, you know, some students that we could hire. And so somewhat selfish that I wanted to prepare students.

But now that I've done it, because I have contacts out there, I know people in the industry, they keep coming to us saying, hey, we want to hire your kids. And so it's certainly fun that we saw that need and we filled that need. And I was grateful to Liberty University because I really pitched the idea to them about 14 years ago. And they were in a position to kind of take on a new idea.

Even though this is a big university, it has kind of an entrepreneurial feel. We're not afraid to try new ideas. And I'm just in the middle of all that, yeah. That's awesome. Well, Elicate, I'm so excited about the journey you have ahead of you. I really appreciate you taking a few minutes to tell your story today. And thanks for joining us here on the air. Thank you for having me, Rob. I appreciate it. Absolutely. That's Ella Kate McCormick, one of the students here at Liberty University in the financial planning program.

Kurt Kornfield here as well. We're going to take a quick break and we come back. More questions from our live studio audience of students here at Liberty University. This is Faith in Finance Live.

There's much more to come just around the corner. Great to have you with us today on Faith in Finance Live. I'm Rob West. We're live today from Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia. We're delighted to be here.

It's a beautiful day and it's a great season. I mean, the athletics are booming here. There's actually one of the football players here in the room.

I think I was told a linebacker there in the third row. But you all are having a great season, right? Yeah, we're 9-0. 9-0 right now. Yeah, 9-0.

And if they keep it up, they're definitely playing in a bowl game. So we're drawing big crowds and it's a lot of fun at the game. I like it.

That's amazing. All right, in this segment, we're going to take a few more questions from our live studio audience here of students in the Center for Financial Literacy. Go right ahead. Hi, Rob. My name is Grace.

I'm a sophomore here. And my question is, how do you think the creation of the central bank digital currency will affect our economy and our individual freedom? Ah, that's a great question.

CBDC. So this has been a big one, hotly debated. I would say I have real concerns about it. Now, I don't think it's going to happen anytime soon if it ever happens, but I do have concerns.

Why? Well, there's a tremendous possibility for loss of privacy if we were to ever have a central bank digital currency. Now, so if you think about Bitcoin, like the whole crypto space, that can be private unless you don't want it to be. And so it can be completely anonymous unless you choose to let somebody know that you have it or to allow somebody to verify the transaction. That's not a feature with the central bank digital currency.

So the Federal Reserve would know who has it. They would know, you know, they would be able to limit transactions. They'd be able to impose rules.

So it's conceivable there would actually be a social control mechanism, or it could be, right? Which just would lead to a loss of privacy that I think most Americans would have real concerns over and for good reason. Now, because of that, I can't imagine that it's going to happen anytime soon. So coinage is a congressional function. It can't be put in place just by an executive order by the president.

It would take both houses of Congress plus the president. And with divided government, we're probably not anywhere close to where we could have kind of a consensus around a central bank digital currency. So as a result of that, it's still kind of in a white paper research stage or phase. I think it's a long way off, and I really have a hard time believing we could ever get there. If we did, it would, I think, be a real cause for concern. So what do we do? I think we stay alert. We stay informed.

But I think we need to show up and vote for candidates that will respect our personal freedoms in this country. It's a great question. Thanks for asking.

Thank you for answering. Absolutely. Let's take our next question. Go ahead. Hi, Mr. West.

I'm Quinn Mackey. I'm a junior here in the financial planning program. And I was wondering what you think the future of financial planning will look like with the increasing automation and artificial intelligence evolving in the financial service industry.

Yeah, it's a great question. It's already having impacts, an impact on the financial services industry. For instance, we saw we now have free ETFs. So there's some indexes out there that are literally completely free. So costs are going to continue to come down. There will be more access to planning tools that are automated than ever before. So you can already go in there and start to generate retirement plans and calculations and, you know, all kinds of forecasts without paying anything.

That's not a bad thing, necessarily. You can even, through AI, get answers to financial questions, right? So you can ask CHET GPT just about anything you want, including, you know, how to avoid, you know, getting into problems with debt. The key, though, I think, for the financial advisor is the missing component that will never be there with AI and with, you know, robo solutions is the wisdom factor. And that's what Liberty and these other schools that have these programs are training you to bring, which is a value add beyond just number crunching to be able to provide that wisdom, to be able to get into your clients' lives, help them understand the heart of God in the scriptures, to be able to help them think about how do they give generously, just like Ella Kate was talking about? How do they leave a legacy for their kids?

How should they think about retirement in light of a biblical worldview? That will never be replaced. And so you have an opportunity to deliver immense value to your clients alongside these great tools that will make, you know, resources more cost effective. Hope that helps you. Does that make sense? Yeah. Thank you, Rob.

Oh, absolutely. Kurt, before we go to the next question, I'd love for you to add any thoughts you have on that. Yeah, I think when the robo advisors came out, you know, 10 plus years ago, it was the same conversation, you know, are these going to change the way we do business?

And now that it's AI, we're asking the same question, and I think your answer was spot on. I think the good advisors will figure out how to use these tools to complement what they do and enhance what they do instead of feeling like it's some kind of competition that's going to put them out of business. Yeah. I know you here in this program, you have Kingdom Impact on your mind, but there's a real business case for being able to specialize in serving Christians, isn't there?

Absolutely. I mean, you know, the niche of Christian financial planners is huge. It's probably the biggest niche that we know of in the marketplace. And so our students don't want to work exclusively with clients. Some do. But they want to be prepared to serve even that non-Christian client with that biblical wisdom that comes from Scripture. Oh, absolutely. So they can, you know, be exclusive if they choose to, because some firms are primarily financial, you know, working with Christians.

But there's many firms, especially the secular firms, that would have many clients that aren't believers. As Ron Blue says, biblical wisdom is always right. It's always relevant. It's never going to change whether or not we acknowledge the source, right? Absolutely. Wisdom is wisdom, right?

That's exactly right. All right, let's take our next question. How you doing, Rob? Thank you again for joining us today. I really appreciate it. My name is Carter.

I'm a junior here at Liberty. My question for you today is how does your role as a financial professional affect your relationships within your local church community? Yeah, it's a great question. And as soon as they find out you're the kind of money guy, you're going to get a lot of questions. So I think first is just be prepared for that. You know, what I tell advisors, especially, you know, who are in a local church, is just always be ready to serve and not sell. You know, we shouldn't look at the local church as a place where I can, quote, build my business. And yet you have incredible wisdom and experience to bring to bear to serve the church. You know, if you think about it, you know, if the source of all wisdom, including financial wisdom, is God's word, then the local church should be the source of the best financial advice, right? Because God's word is the authority on financial wisdom. So you as an advisor in your local church can be an incredible resource, I mean, to offer coaching and to teach classes and to be a sounding board, maybe to serve on your finance committee in your local church. I think the key is what is your heart posture and motivation in doing that?

Just make sure it's not building your business and it's really serving the church. Thank you very much, Rob. I appreciate it.

You're welcome. I appreciate that. You know, Curtis, I hear these questions. I mean, these are thoughtful questions and, you know, this generation is wrestling with a lot of questions and a lot of them have a money connection to them. And so being able to take them back to truth like you do here at Liberty is obviously the key to everything. Yeah.

Obviously, when we can go through those verses that kind of give them that wisdom and they learn that along with their curriculum, it all comes together and they can see how they're using that. Yeah. Yeah.

No question. And that's where I love the peer coaching that we talked about with Ella Cade is that, you know, it's really where the rubber meets the road because as these students go through, they have real financial questions that need to be addressed. So to know that they have someplace they can go to do that, I'm sure is a game changer. Yeah. And we do focus on budgeting, debt management, a little bit of an investment education, but really what happens is just getting kids to talk about their finances at this stage with one another is really kind of cool to see that happening because then it just kind of opens up a broader conversation that really allows them to see into their heart.

Like, what's really going on in their heart when it comes to their money decisions? Yeah. And I know you were telling me that some of these folks that are doing the coaching as they experience the benefit, they're like, I'm coming back a second and a third and a fourth time.

They do. They love our coaches and the kids keep coming back because they really are adding that our students are adding value to their other students. Yeah, it's awesome. This is Faith and Finance Live back with another student interview right after this. Stay with us. Great to have you with us today on Faith and Finance Live.

I'm Rob West. We are live today from not our normal location. We're at Liberty University.

We're in the School of Business in the Center for Financial Literacy. We have a live studio audience here and they may or may not be here because you have pizza coming after we're done here today. I'm sure that's the only reason they're here.

No, they wanted to be a part of this. It's been so much fun to get to know some of these students today. I've been in four classes with you today, Kurt.

Yes. Thank you for doing that, too. I was thrilled to do it and we have a chance to hear some of the stories of the students that are being impacted by this program. And we have the chance to do that now. Jack Peyser joins us on set here today. And Jack, I'd love for you just to go back. You actually thought you wanted to go into financial planning even before you got here at Liberty.

So tell us kind of what shaped that desire you had. Yeah. Yeah. First of all, thank you, Rob. I'm just excited to be here and we're just so glad to have you here.

I speak for all of the students when I say that. Thank you. I appreciate that.

Yeah. So just going back to my childhood, my experience and my exposure to financial planning started at a younger age. My parents had a financial advisor from younger in my childhood, my elementary years, and I had the opportunity to kind of see the impact that he was making on my parents. And it really opened up my eyes to the potential opportunity in this field. And so you saw that early and you thought that might be something I want to do.

Then you got here to Liberty. And your idea about the potential impact all of a sudden started to go beyond just helping people plan wisely, right? Yeah.

Yeah. So going back to my childhood, the two things that I noticed from my parents' financial advisor is, first of all, he would come over and he would sit there for an hour, two hours sipping coffee and just talking about life and job and family and all these different things before he even touched finances. The second thing I noticed was the peace that he gave to my family whenever he left.

My parents just had a certain peace to them. And so those were the first two things that I noticed about the industry is very relationally based and you can really do good with it. Coming to Liberty University, I had the opportunity to join the financial planning program and last year I had the opportunity to go to the Kingdom Advisors Conference in February. And what happened to you there?

Yeah. It was just a really powerful experience. And so just for some context, each year that since Professor Kornfield has started the program, we've taken a handful of students. Last year it was 50 students.

This year it'll be 75 students to the Kingdom Advisors Conference. And the conference just really opened up my eyes to the biblical side of what does the Bible have to say about money more than, you know, what does the world have to say about money? So has that really helped to shape kind of what you're most looking forward to as you enter this profession? Yeah.

It's really powerful. Like I said, when I was younger, I noticed the peace that could come from these financial conversations. And I think that even is a worldly piece of, you know, your financial statement bringing you that security and that peace.

But I think when we look at what the Bible has to say, what the creator of the universe has to say about money, a different type of peace can come from it and a different sort of contentment even. Yeah. There's no question about it. Kurt, the conference, the Kingdom Advisors Conference has been a big part of what you've introduced to this program.

Yeah. So that first year for me would have been 2011. February of 2011 I brought four students and every year it just keeps growing.

And Jack just mentioned we're planning on taking 75 this coming February. And what's cool is we talk about this stuff a lot in the classroom. You know, I kind of try to model it as much as I can. But when they go there and they hang out with 2000 other really cool Christian financial advisors, people that are in this industry excited about how God's using them. It's it's just it's an emotional experience, but I think it just it makes sense then, you know, they can actually see, hey, I can be one of these people.

Yes. And I'm going to be one of these people. And that's fun for me because literally not every student, but a lot of them will say to me after the conference, this really changed my life. You know, I see it differently than I did before the conference. So I'm grateful to Kingdom Advisors, the organization that they provide such an impactful conference because, you know, I'm here in the School of Business and there's other disciplines, you know, economics or marketing and stuff.

They don't have a large Christian organization like we do. And so I'm I'm just it's really cool that we can go to that. Well, I'm thrilled that you're bringing so many students this year, February 12th to the 14th, we'll be back in Orlando.

Alistair Begg will be there and Mark Batterson and Jeremy Camp's going to do a concert and it's going to be an incredible event. Are you back again this year? Very excited to be back.

I'm glad to hear it. Hey, I want to for you to share just a bit about the peer coaching. Ellicade introduced us to us. But what's the impact? What's an example of the impact you've seen as that program has impacted somebody's life? Yeah. And so, I mean, we have the opportunity to sit down with students around campus and talk about deep, serious topics. Students will walk in with student loans, their first time ever encountering debt. They'll walk in with just everything they have and they'll lay it on the table and they'll say, this is this is my situation. And we just have the opportunity to walk with them through their situation and really come at it with that biblical the biblical wisdom that we've been talking about. Yeah. And do you feel like it's it's really important just in terms of your generation and financial literacy and the needs that are there?

How does this program help to fill that gap? Yeah, I think that's one thing I'm really passionate about is my generation and financial literacy. I think we're just not extremely financially literate financially literate. And I think a lot of the times the places where we're getting our knowledge and our wisdom is not the right places. So when we can sit down with a student and and talk to them about how God owns it all and talk to them about how we are stewards of what he's given us and help to change their perspective. This is something that goes beyond a year in college. This goes this goes into a generational conversation that we might be starting here on campus. Wow. That's really exciting. Go ahead.

No, no, I love it. You know, that's exactly what goes on. It just allows the students to pour in each other, you know, and that's obviously what Jack's done and what the other coaches do is they get to just share the knowledge they're learning with their with their peers. Yeah. Jack, how would you describe my last question for you? How would you describe just how Liberty has prepared you for what God has for you in this next season?

Man. Yeah, that's a big question. I think this this university just the opportunities that you have here to just grow in your faith. I look back to to four years ago when I first came to Liberty and God truly has just flipped my life upside down since I've gotten here. Well, more than just a career path, more than just the opportunity to walk out of here with a job or get some good internships. It's really the Lord just grabbing students here through the through the leadership of the university and through the biblical wisdom that this university stands on and just grabbing students and turning them around and just really changing the direction of their lives. I think I speak for a lot of students at our university when I say that. Well, that's incredible and I speak for a lot of advisors to say how excited we are to see a picture of the next generation of financial advisors and what that means for our industry. So thanks for sharing your story with us today.

Kurt, we're almost out of time here in just a few moments. What's happening here at Liberty is actually happening at other campuses around the country. Give us a snapshot of that. Yeah, so, Rob, you and I have known each other for a long time and you know that even when I came here, we know that God's a God of abundance. And so we've been open-handed with the work that we're doing here and other universities have kind of started to pick up the idea of starting CFP programs. I think there's now seven, eight, maybe even as many as nine that are doing CFP and CKA. And most of those schools are also coming to the Kingdom Advisor Conference now.

It looks like we might have 200 total students there this year. So it's catching on at all kinds of levels and, you know, I'm just glad that we've been kind of pioneers and trailblazers in that way. Yeah, and when we look at the average age of the CFP, we know there's an aging population in financial services.

So this is really important work that's being done here, isn't it? Yeah, I actually taught for one year at a state college in New York before I moved to Lynchburg to help start this program. And I still remember saying to that group, so that must have been like 14 years ago, and that was in the middle of the financial crisis. And I remember saying to them, and people weren't hiring back then, it was tough to get a job, but I said, I'm very optimistic about your future because there was so many people aging out of this business.

And it's true whether they're Christian advisors or non-Christian advisors. So yes, it's the opportunity for them to fill a void, you know, with these Kingdom Advisors that do want to retire. Our young people are going to be taking their places and carrying the baton, you know, for the next 40, 50 years. Now, Kurt, for those students that maybe didn't have the benefit of a program like this, they're now in financial services, but they're listening today and they're thinking, I want to be a part of this. I'm an emerging advisor, maybe five years or less in the business.

How can I get connected to a community of peers? Well, the Kingdom Advisor website has a place where you can search for community groups wherever you are, but you can also come to the national conference. There will actually be a breakout session for not only for students, but there'll be a separate breakout session for emerging advisors. And so we're trying to encourage that group because they're all my former students now, and we're trying to keep them associated with the community that's been established here, but it's also been established because of Kingdom Advisors, yeah. Yeah, and that encouragement that they have with one another. We want to keep it going. You know, I don't want it to end just because they graduate from here. And so that's why I'm so grateful that you allow us to kind of keep those former students, you know, on the path where they keep focusing on what God really has designed for them in this career path.

Yeah. Kurt, I'll give you the last word. Just talk to us about how rewarding it's been for you to see these students coming through this program and how God's using it. I get emotional when you ask me that question, Rob, because I've been doing this for a long time. You know, I don't want people to feel sorry for me, but I gave up a pretty good career working for a major firm, and I just, you know, saw this need and the fact that it's been as successful as it has in kind of a worldly sense, because our numbers are big, but much more importantly, in a godly sense, that these students are seeing the wisdom from Scripture early on, and they're going to take that out, and they're going to use that, and families and people will be affected for that for generations.

Well, there's no question about it. Kurt, I'm so grateful for you. Thanks for your friendship, and thanks for inviting us to Liberty University. Thank you for being here, Rob.

You're an amazing man. Well, folks, it's been a delight to be here today. This is an amazing campus.

They're doing incredible work, training champions for Christ. Let me say thanks to Joel Swann, Chris Segar, Dan Anderson, Amy Rios, and the entire team at Moody Radio to make this happen. I'm Rob West. Thanks for being along with us today. We'll see you next time. Bye-bye.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-11-09 20:46:11 / 2023-11-09 21:04:59 / 19

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