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Investing in the Care of Creation

MoneyWise / Rob West and Steve Moore
The Truth Network Radio
January 12, 2024 6:11 pm

Investing in the Care of Creation

MoneyWise / Rob West and Steve Moore

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January 12, 2024 6:11 pm

In Genesis, God gave man dominion over the earth—and with that a responsibility to take care of it. So how can we as believers best accomplish that today? On today's Faith & Finance Live, Mark Regier joins host Rob West to talk about “investing in the care of creation.” Then Rob will take your calls and various financial questions. 

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

The earth is the Lord's and all that is in it, the world and those who live in it. For he has founded it on the seas and established it on the rivers. Psalm 24, one and two.

I am Rob West. In Genesis, God gave man dominion over the earth. And with that, a responsibility to take care of it. Mark Regehr joins us today to talk about investing in the care of creation. 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. Our guest today is Mark Regehr, Vice President of Stewardship Investing at Praxis Mutual Funds. So he's just the guy to tackle this topic.

Mark, great to have you back with us. Absolutely. And Praxis, of course, was a pioneer in faith-based investing, going back nearly 30 years. And your approach has always been guided by a biblically rooted philosophy you call stewardship investing, which includes a specific commitment to care for all that God has created. So I'd love for you to tell us about your stewardship investing approach and how creation care fits into that work.

Thanks. Yeah. Stewardship investing is our philosophy rooted in the concept of biblical stewardship. It really is about responsibility. What does it mean to be responsible for all that God has entrusted to us? And we understand, first of all, that God owns it all, and that our job is really to manage it wisely and according to God's wishes.

So what does this mean? I mean, in addition to being productive in the work that we do, and we actually look and see throughout the Scripture, you know, commands to care for our own lives. To care for our neighbor, to care for the stranger, to seek justice and peace, but also to care for the world that he has created for us.

And let's dig into that a bit deeper. So share with us your perspective on stewardship and then specifically as it relates to care of creation. Well, you know, you started our episode here with one of the, I think, many reminders throughout Scripture, this one in Psalms 24, that our job is to act as God's stewards.

In Genesis 2, for instance, we see, you know, God creating humankind and then a beautiful garden. And, you know, we are to work it and to take care of it. And, you know, what does that mean today in our complex society with our technology and our many, many ways, unfortunately, to harm the world and often others around us? And we believe that we need to understand that complexity. We need to understand the systems that are investing, that our work on a daily basis is involved in. And then to manage those impacts to the best of our ability and to invest in better solutions to try to shift our investments away from things that are harming the world. And that's what we try to do as we go about the work of caring for the futures of clients and institutions who depend on us.

Yeah, I can certainly appreciate that. Let's talk some specifics for a moment. What are some ways an investment manager like Praxis Mutual Funds can support creation care as an investing goal? Well, three ways come to mind quickly. The first one would be to invest in green and social bonds. These are bonds, much like any others, that are offered but have a specific social or environmental benefit. So these could be bonds that support the development of solar farms or wind projects. They could be bonds that help clean water programs at cities around the world. They can also be bonds that help developing countries adapt technologies or adapt other systems to some of the challenges of the changing climate that we have. In addition, shareholder advocacy, which is using our rights and responsibilities as shareholders in companies to claim a voice in what is happening at the companies in which we're invested. This can mean promoting positive policies around the environment, encouraging them to adopt green solutions and to put their energy into projects that benefit the environment.

And finally, we can also look at community investing, which is setting aside funds to help those on the margins adapt to our changing climate and to take advantage of the emerging technologies that are available today. Really good, Mark. Well, we're going to take a quick break. When we come back, we'll talk about the Christian perspective on creation care versus the mainstream secular approach to environmental concern. We'll also talk about something called greenwashing.

What is that and how does that relate to our conversation today? Mark Regeer joins us. He's vice president of Stewardship Investing at Praxis Mutual Funds, an underwriter of this program.

The topic, how you can be involved in creation care through your investments. We'll also be taking your calls around the corner at 800-525-7000. We'll be right back on Faith and Finance Live.

Stick around. Great to have you with us today on Faith and Finance Live. Our guest today is Mark Regeer. He's vice president of Stewardship Investing at Praxis Mutual Funds. We're talking today about investing in light of creation care. How do we demonstrate a commitment to care for all that God has created through our investments? Mark, before the break, you were sharing some practical ways we can do that through bonds that are committed to creation care, through shareholder activism. There's some very practical ways we can be involved in this. Let's talk about this, though, in light of a Christian perspective versus perhaps a mainstream secular approach to environmental concern that we hear about so often.

Sure. Well, I'm going to start with actually something that we actually share with that community. And one of them is a belief that these issues are material to the financial performance of the investments. That how a company treats the environment, how it manages its risk and opportunities in this space is material.

So that's something we share. Now, something where we differ is it grows out of where we're sourcing our values. Obviously, the mainstream environment is about returns. And in some areas, it's about an agenda. And so for us, it's looking at creation, not as a campaign, but as a responsibility. So this brings, for us at least, a more moderate approach to things and understanding of this concern in the context of many responsibilities that God has given us for the world around us. So I think part of it is to remember those who suffer most are those at the bottom of the socioeconomic hierarchy. So how do we care for those people as part of our Christian commitment to following Christ, caring for our neighbor, caring for those who are less fortunate? So it's those sorts of differences that I think shape how we approach this work, both in style as well as in substance.

Yeah, that's very helpful. And clearly there's a case to go about this where you're fulfilling a dual mandate, that mandate to provide value to your shareholders and bondholders, but also to care for God's creation. And to your point, you see a connection between the two where companies who are in fact caring for creation can add compelling value to their companies. Is that right? That is absolutely true. I think there is a lot of evidence that as our world changes, as it grows more crowded, as resources become sort of a little more limited, we need these companies who understand some of those restrictions, but also on the flip side understand the opportunities are positioned to grow and to develop faster as our economy changes to adapt.

Yeah, very good. Now you mentioned on the secular side, often the discussion around environmental concerns is driving a political outcome or motivation. I'd like to talk about something called greenwashing. We've heard that term perhaps in conversations in recent years.

Fill us in on that. What exactly is greenwashing? Well, greenwashing is fundamentally about a company or even an investment manager claiming to do more in a particular area related to the environment than they're actually doing. And this has grown up over the years as younger investors, as institutional investors have gotten interested in protecting themselves from the risk of environmental change and from also taking advantage of the opportunities. And so they're looking for managers. They're looking for companies who are performing better. And so it is always a conversation with companies about what they say and what they do. And, you know, a good manager, a good will approach this topic with by looking at what they're actually doing to do the research.

And I think that's really one of the most important things that we can do around greenwashing is to pay careful attention and not to just accept things on face value, but to dig a little deeper. And we've seen a sort of an industry coming to grips with that as we sort of gotten over the first rush of money and attention into this area. Yeah. So how do you and the team at Praxis Mutual Funds guard against this, Mark?

Yeah. One of the things that we do is, first of all, really look at those companies. And I think that's something any investor can do as well to take a careful look at the funds that they're wanting to invest in or if they're dressing directly in a company, obviously visit their website. There are often, you know, other sorts of related if you Google their name and, you know, the environment or concerns, you can actually see other sites that are maybe sharing information. And it's important to realize when you're reading on a website in particular, is this a campaign driven website or is it really something that's helping give a sort of neutral party sort of stuff? And it doesn't mean that all campaigns are bad information.

It's just that you need to know where the information is coming from and why it might sound the way that it does. In addition, I think we have the opportunity as shareholders to gain access to senior leadership. And we do that through our shareholder advocacy program. And a lot of it is sitting down, not telling a company what to do, but finding out what they're really doing.

Pressing them, maybe bringing a new perspective to a topic, introducing them to parties who are affected on the ground and saying, what are the solutions that are available to this problem? And understanding how the company responds. And to be honest, even their early response to whether they're willing to talk about it will tell you a lot about whether there's greenwashing going on or whether they're serious about this work.

And so it's doing some of these things that really can help us understand. And it's the same thing for a fund manager. Understand where a company is coming from, where a fund manager is coming from and how serious they are about these topics. Yeah, I know the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is cracking down on greenwashing and other misleading marketing practices by investment funds.

So I'm delighted to hear the intentionality with which you all are taking this on there at Praxis. As our listeners, Mark, review their investments or speak with their financial advisor, let's say, what do you think is important for them to consider if they're concerned about caring for creation through their investing? First of all, take a closer look at the company. Don't just accept what's in your portfolio, but take a look at it and see, does this fit with my level of passion or concern about the environment?

Is it in a particular area? It may affect things a little differently than the manager looks at things. So take a careful look. One of the things that's also important to realize is that if you have a very deep passion and an extreme passion in a particular area, realize that trying to exclude everything that might be troubling to you may actually affect the performance of the portfolio. So just be aware.

Now, that may be perfectly acceptable based on the level of passion that you have, but realize that there is an interplay between our desire to be away from everything that troubles us and to make the types of returns that we may need for the future for our children's education and institutions as well. So taking a careful look and talking to your advisor. Advisors have tools that can help them get you the types of products that you are most interested in, and it will also help focus them on the resources that are available to them, and that will help.

Very good. And then Mark, what are some of the specific offerings at Praxis that intersect with today's conversation? For instance, I know you have some impact bonds that really fit well here, don't you? Yeah, that's probably our flagship fund is the Praxis Impact Bond Fund, which is a leader in the nation in investing in positive impact bonds, dealing with both social and environmental concerns in a whole range of topics. And so that's certainly one, but really all of our funds try to address this in the ways that they can.

So our index funds, which include our large cap growth, our large cap value, our small cap and our international index, all of these do shareholder advocacy and try to bring the power of this work to our investors. Wow, this is really good information, Mark. I'm so delighted to hear about your work in this space and really appreciate you stopping by to share it with us. God bless you, my friend.

Thank you so much. That's Mark Regier, Vice President of Stewardship Investing at Praxis Mutual Funds, an underwriter of this program. You can learn more at Your calls are next. The number 800-525-7000. We'll be right back. The opinions offered during this program represent the personal or professional opinions of the participants given for informational purposes only.

Any information provided is not intended to replace advice from a financial, medical, legal or other professional who understands your specific situation. Thanks for joining us today on Faith and Finance live here on Moody Radio. I'm Rob West. We're taking your calls and questions today.

We'd love to hear from you. 800-525-7000 is the number to call. Again, that's 800-525-7000. Let's dive in today. We'll begin in Indiana. Hi, Carrie.

How can I help? Hi, thank you for taking my call. I have a 401k from a previous employer. I quit quite a while ago in 2015 and it's just been sitting there and it doesn't have any fees, but I also can't contribute to it. And I also have a portable pension from that same employer. I'm currently working for the government, so I couldn't roll it over.

And I was just kind of wondering if I can still roll it over to an existing IRA Roth that I have, or would I have to, I mean, can I consolidate them all into a new IRA or what the best thing to do? Absolutely. So the 401k that you have is the traditional version.

It was the money went in pre-tax. Is that right? Yes. Okay.

Yeah, very good. And then you have beyond that an existing traditional IRA and a Roth IRA. Is that correct? Just the IRA Roth. Okay. The Roth IRA. Okay.

Yeah. So as long as, uh, so you, you've got to keep them in the same tax treatment. Uh, so the 401k, uh, and then you said beyond that, you also have, uh, another type of account.

What was it? A portable pension. And then I also have a whole life policy too, that I was thinking of cashing out since I have term life insurance, I have two different policies. I didn't know if I could just consolidate them all or if that's a good idea. Yeah. Potentially. I mean, definitely with the, uh, defer with the portable pension that went in pre-tax and the 401k, those could be combined into one new IRA.

You'd have to open it cause it can't go into the Roth, but you could open a new traditional IRA and then you'd roll over those assets in, uh, what would be the total of the two if you were to combine them? Uh, it's probably about 60,000. Okay. Yeah. Uh, and then what do you have in the Roth IRA currently?

It's about 10,000. Okay. All right.

Yeah. Um, so you're probably right there on the edge of having enough in the way of investable assets to hire an advisor. So the only question, you know, when you move out of the 401k and the pension is what am I going to do with the money? And in one respect, it's good going into the IRA cause you have unlimited options, but part of the challenge is you have unlimited options. So, you know, you've either got to make those decisions yourself as to what investments am I buying and what's the right mix of stocks and bonds and what types of stocks and how much is, you know, what is too aggressive and what's not aggressive enough. So, you know, I think that's perhaps the next consideration is, are you going to make those decisions yourself or do you have somebody that you could turn to a financial advisor that you have an existing relationship with or somebody that you would hire? But I like the idea of you rolling it into the IRA. It simplifies it. You know, those two, the pension and the 401k would now be in one.

And then, you know, you would, you know, have the flexibility of being able to, you know, pick the investments at that point. Do you have a relationship with an advisor? Yes, I do. Okay.

Yeah. So that would be the way you would go there. And then tell me about the whole life policy.

Well, my parents set it up for me when I was like 12 and I just keep paying on it. But I'm like, I don't know if it's, it's not very much. It's a 50,000 policy. I think the cash out value is like 13,000 right now. Okay.

Yeah. So, I mean, you can't roll that into the IRA, but you could surrender the policy and take out the cash if you don't need it or you've got enough coverage through a primary, let's say, term policy. You know, so you would want to make sure you're properly covered with enough death benefit to meet the needs on, you know, if you're married on you, been payable to your spouse and vice versa. Or if you had any other dependents that were counting on you for income, you know, you want to make sure you have enough insurance there. But this policy is probably not serving that purpose.

Just given the amount of death benefit, how old it is, it's going to get increasingly expensive and you could probably do better with that money elsewhere. So you'd surrender it out and then you could, you know, make Roth IRA contributions with it or something like that. Does that make sense? Yes, it does. Thank you. Okay.

Yeah. So I like the idea of you rolling out the pension and the 401k. I talked to your advisor about that.

It would be a non taxable event as long as it went into a new traditional IRA that you open and then it could be managed at that point. And again, have complete discretion over what you select from that point forward. So hopefully that helps you carry. We appreciate your call. Let's go to Florida. Hi, Bob.

How can I help? Hey, Rob, thank you for taking my call. I got a question. My daughter is looking to buy a house or land to build a house and she wants to pay cash and then somebody talked to her about doing a delayed financing, which I'm not quite understanding what that is. Where she can get her cash back and get a mortgage. I'm thinking that's what that is.

Right. Yeah, essentially, that's what happens there with the delayed financing. Essentially, you're buying, you're a cash buyer, so you have to have the ability to buy it without a mortgage, either by liquidating stocks and securities or you have the money in savings. But then you can essentially delay the financing.

And there's a variety of reasons why, from a planning standpoint, you might want to do that. But the key with the delayed financing is, number one, it has to be done within six months. Number two is a cash out refinance, which is typically what you would get if you go to a lender and you say, I have had this property for a while.

I want to get cash out. You might pay three, four, five, six percent for that. The delayed financing doesn't have those additional costs of cash out refinancing.

So it allows you, you know, essentially to pay less and then lock in that rate, create that liquidity by getting that money back out. The question is why if she's just doing it to try to get a little better interest rate in the next six months and she's got the money to do it. Sure, she could. But because she can't go longer than six months, you'd need to just understand what's the real benefit to her. And I think that's where an advisor can help her plan through this.

But yeah, definitely an option and maybe a great option for her. I certainly don't have any problem with it. Thanks for your call, Bob. Back with more questions. 800-525-7000. Call right now. We'll be right back. So glad to have you with us today on Faith and Finance Live.

Hey, just a quick reminder, if you'd like to set up your spending plan, track your expenses, stay on budget here in a new year. The Faith Fi app is a great way to do it. You can download it today in your app store. Just head to your Google Play or Apple App Store. Search for Faith Fi, Faith and Finance, or head to our website,

Just click app at the top of the page. Jump in. We've got coaches that will help you get things set up and we'd love to hear your feedback. is where you can learn more. All right, we're going to take your calls and questions in this segment. We've got room for several more lines are open. Gabby T. answering our calls today.

She's standing by. The number to call with your financial questions today, 800-525-7000. You can call right now.

Let's go to Mount Dora, Florida. Hi, Linda. Go right ahead. Hi, thank you for taking my call. I was speaking with my financial advisor today. I've been trying to live on my Social Security and it's just not possible. And so I'm going to start I have an annuity. I'm going to start cashing out, but he recommended this other annuity. That would, if I put 360,000 cash out my mutual fund and add some cash to it, I would get a six percent interest. I'd get income for life, something around trying to figure this out, something around twenty eight thousand dollars a year. Does that sound like a good plan? And it can go up to thirty eight thousand.

OK. Yeah, it certainly could be. I mean, you know, I like the six percent guaranteed. Obviously, you know, we want to match your investment plan with your needs, not taking any unnecessary risk, but also making sure you are provided for and that you have enough income. What is your shortfall per month just based on your other guaranteed income sources? How much do you really need on a monthly basis? Well, I've just been trying to live on my Social Security and I'm not making it. I probably need another two thousand a month. I do have I have some money in the bank and then I have another annuity.

I could cash out and I have this money market funds, but, you know, they go up and down. And so I'm not I wanted something a little bit more. Sure. OK. So you said you need another couple of thousand a month. What are you bringing in right now? Just Social Security.

Yes. How much is. OK. And how much are you getting per month there after? Well, after they take out the tax and the other medical, it's about twenty five hundred.

And you need about forty five hundred. Well, I think with all the bills and repairs that have been coming up, I do. OK. Yeah.

No, that's fine. I want you to have a good understanding of that. And perhaps, you know, you doing a deeper dive into your spending plan would be a good idea. Now, tell me what assets you have today. What investable assets do you have in total?

What do you mean investable assets? So you said you mentioned an annuity. You mentioned money market.

Give me a kind of a rundown. I have annuity. I have this money market with two hundred sixty thousand. I have a couple IRAs.

They don't have a lot of money. And let me see what else. What's the value of the annuity? The annuity that I have.

Let me check. Actually, I have two. One, the value right now is twenty seven thousand. But the other one is.

And just roughly would be fine, too. Yeah, I'm sorry. I'm just trying to find the total.

Oh, one hundred seventeen thousand. OK. All right. And how much are you are you pulling any income from either of those? Are you making up that shortfall every month right now out of the money market? I've been just paying out of my savings account. And is savings separate from the money market or are those the same?

Yes. What I have in the bank. I have a savings account and checking accounts. I've been paying out of that.

Yeah. And how much do you have in savings? One hundred thousand and checking. Got it. And another hundred.

OK, excellent. Well, I mean, if we put all of this together, you've got about one hundred and fifty thousand in the annuities. You've got another two hundred and fifty thousand. So that's five hundred right there. Excuse me, four hundred thousand between the money market and the annuity and then two hundred thousand on top of that. So you've got about six hundred thousand all in. You know, so if we were to take that six hundred thousand and pull out six months worth of expenses. So let's say your expenses are forty five hundred. And so let's just say you need fifty thousand for six months. So you'd have, you know, let's say you put that in savings. You've got fifty thousand savings and you were to take that five hundred and fifty that remains and invest it. You know, that should throw off that two thousand a month that you need, where over time you don't have any decrease. Now, in any given month or quarter or even year, you may have a decline. But the idea would be that over time, as long as you're pulling out no more than four percent, which is, you know, four percent of five hundred fifty thousand is twenty two thousand.

So that's not quite two thousand a month, but it's close. You know, that should be able to be maintained where you could maintain the principal balance and pull out the income that you need. Which means you still have your five hundred fifty thousand available if you need it down the road.

That's one of the downsides to the annuity is although, yes, they have a place and it is a way for you to transfer the risk from yourself and the stock market to an insurance company for a guaranteed return. You're losing access to the money without surrender charges and penalties. And so I guess what I'm saying is I want you to have plenty of liquidity. So that's why I'm saying let's let's at a minimum put six months worth of your expenses, the total expenses in savings so that you've got that there. But the idea is that it's just an emergency fund.

You're not touching it unless you have something truly unexpected. And then you take the roughly five hundred fifty thousand and I'm I'm totaling up checking and savings and annuity and annuity and money market and IRAs. And we invest that in, you know, probably what did you say your age was?

Seventy one. OK, so at 71, I mean, typically and this is not is just a rule of thumb, you'd probably have maybe 40 percent, 30 to 40 percent in stocks or maybe 30 percent stocks, 10 percent in gold. And then the rest in bonds and that, you know, more conservative portfolio would have some growth factor could allow you to pull out that four percent a year and still at least maintain, if not grow the balance a little bit. And you'd hire an adviser to build and oversee that portfolio for you. Now, you are at the risk of the stock and bond market. You can lose value.

So you'd have to be OK with that. But I'm just saying that's another alternative where you're not locking up the majority of your money into an insurance product where you can't get to it, even though there are benefits and you name the primary one, which is that guaranteed rate of return. So I might just get a second or a third opinion before you make the decision. We recommend, of course, the Certified Kingdom Advisor designation.

You could connect with two or three CKAs there in Florida on our Web site, Just click find a CCA and talk about the other scenarios. And you may decide that the annuity is the very best thing for you.

I just want to make sure you know that there's other options. Does that all make sense, though? Yeah. So by putting all this in, I'm not leaving $100,000 out in cash that I would have by putting $100,000 in.

I'd be leaving $100,000 out in cash that I would still have and the rest would be tied up in the annuity. Okay. Right.

Yeah. So you'd still have $100,000 in cash, which is good. I think the key is I want to make sure that we're solving for what you really need, which is $2,500 a month. And I want to do that in a way, if possible, where you can still have access to your capital, both what you have aside for emergencies and beyond that. Let's say you needed long-term care and that was going to be $10,000 a month or, you know, something like that where you could get to the money if you need it. So certainly I'm not opposed to what you're talking about.

Not all annuities are created equal. So that's why I'd get a second or a third opinion from a Certified Kingdom Advisor. I hope that helps, Linda. Thanks for your call. Back with much more right after this.

Stick around. Well, I'm so thankful to have you along with us on Faith and Finance live here at the end of the week. And end of the week means Jerry Boyer's here.

He comes by each Friday to share his market and economic analysis, as well as any updates in his work related to corporate engagement. Jerry, good afternoon. Good afternoon, Rob. How are you?

I'm doing well. Are you getting some snow there in Pennsylvania? No, just the cold. So I'll shiver, but I won't get to ski.

Man, you got the raw end of that deal. Yes, not too cold, but, you know, a couple inches and I can go out there. I have my skis by the door, my cross-country skis.

I keep them by the door in the winter in hopes that we'll get a little bit of snow, but not too much. All right. Well, we'll pray for just the right amount of snow for you, my friend.

Thank you. Tell us what's happening in the markets and the economy, you know, and good inflation data, bad inflation data. Which one is it, Jerry? Yeah, it's a little bit like the weather, right?

It's hot, it's cold. So it's almost never just right. So yesterday, the CPI, that's the inflation measure that most people think about. Well, that was higher than expected, right? And you and I have been talking about this and I've suggested, you know, a lot of people think that inflation has been beaten and they think that the Fed thinks that inflation has been beaten. And we found out that inflation hasn't been beaten. Well, that would mean if that's the case, then the Fed probably has to pull money out of the system, right? And if they pull money out of the system, they pull it out through the markets.

That's where the plumbing is. When the Fed decreases the money supply, they don't take a little bit out of each person's bank account, right? What they do is they pull it out through the credit markets, through the bond market. So they're pulling it out of markets, and if they're pulling it out of markets, markets go down. But today, a different measurement of inflation, one that's wholesale prices, well, that was lower than expected. So people say, oh, well, then I guess the Fed has beaten inflation or they think they will. So that means the Fed's going to put money into the markets, right? Because they've already beaten inflation and now they're going to worry about recession.

So remember, there's that idea of the dual mandate. They're supposed to fight inflation by slowing the economy, and then they're supposed to fight slowing the economy by causing inflation. And so yesterday and today just perfectly illustrate this weird thing where we have volatile data and markets are essentially responding to how they think the biggest investor in the world, our own central bank, will respond to that. And so yesterday, markets were thinking, ah, they're going to have to pull money out of the system. Today, they're thinking, ah, they're going to have to put money into the system. And then markets go up and down in response to that.

So we've talked about this. People think markets are irrational. Well, that's true to some degree. Every human institution is irrational, but most of the volatility isn't us in the markets. Most of it is the central planners. Yeah.

Boy, no question about that. It seems like we just keep seeing that cycle repeated over and over again. All right, Jerry, let's talk investing just for a moment. Obviously, a lot of news around the U.S. approving for the first time the SEC a Bitcoin ETF. A lot of folks wondering, is there a place for a Bitcoin ETF in my portfolio as a part of a properly diversified portfolio? Should I have the cryptos represented there? So what's the significance of the Bitcoin ETF as opposed to buying directly? And for the average investor, should this have a place in a diversified portfolio?

Yeah. So let me put it kind of as a negative of a negative. There's not a place. In other words, I'm not going to play the role of financial advisor. Your financial advisor can help you make a decision like that. I'm saying there's no reason to rule it out. It is a, in my opinion, legitimate asset class. Now, there are issues about how much volatility you can stand. So you want to follow what your advisor says.

That's what they're there for. But there's a sense in which people thought, well, you should rule this out. Why should you rule it out? Well, because it's not backed by anything. Well, neither are dollars.

But when someone offers me dollars, I don't say no, thank you. It's not backed by anything. So then dollars are losing value over time. Whereas crypto currencies have the general trend has been an increase in value because they're not backed by anything. But they're not infinitely expandable like paper dollars are. So the they're not backed by anything argument doesn't really hold. Sometimes people have concerns about prophecy.

I don't know if you're still hearing this, like, well, this is international money. This is like the mark of the beast. No, it's not. It's sort of like the opposite of the mark of the beast. It's not centrally controlled. It's not all one number.

Everyone's got a different number. Everyone's an individual. So if that's your prophetic scenario, this is kind of a place you'd hide from that. So a lot of Christians got stuck early on thinking that this was mark of the beast money. If you want to look at central bank digital currency, that's a different situation. But this is not centrally controlled.

And this is anonymous. So there is a question about whether we'll have value. What's it supposed to be? What's supposed to be another form of money? But it will never have value as another form of money until people start to use it as money.

Well, when would they start to use it as money? They'll start to use it as money when it's more convenient than actual currency. And that happens if you have something like a currency crisis or a debt crisis or a freezing of the payment system. So right now, buying Bitcoin or ether or any of the others is essentially saying there's something that doesn't really function as money right now. But if money hits such a crisis point in the future or a payment system hits a crisis point in the future, this might be the new money, at which point it will be very valuable. So you're investing in a scenario that might or might not occur, which is very high rates of inflation, dollar collapse or some kind of credit collapse. So it's a hedge basically against everything against the existing financial system the way it is now. Our paper and our payment systems is a hedge against all of that. But it's volatile. So if you're comfortable, you talk to your advisor, it goes up and down a lot more than regular stocks or certainly bonds.

If you're comfortable with that, then there's absolutely no reason why it should be ruled out. Yeah. All right. Very good. Finally, Jerry, we had a caller that is calling to ask about Israeli bonds.

And obviously the same applies here. You need to work with your advisor to figure out if any investment makes sense for you. But just in general, what would be your thoughts about Israel and specifically in the bond asset class? Yeah.

So the question is, is this an investment question or is this a prophecy question or is this a theology question? So you kind of have to distinguish those elements. And she's saying, I want to support Israel. So there's, of course, an element to that here. But obviously, I think wanting to make sure that it's a sound investment at the same time. Yeah. So it's a little bit like people buying war bonds during World War Two. Right. Most people buying war bonds here in the U.S., they will support, you know, support the U.S. by bonds. They weren't thinking of it mainly as an investment.

Right. So in essence, it's a way of supporting Israel. So if you want to support Israel, by all means. So then the question is, is it like stupidly supporting Israel?

Is it like supporting Israel, but you're going to lose your money? You know, Israel is a very, how do I put this? It has a lot of stability, a lot of resilience.

So I think it generally is a bad bet to bet against Israel. They have a lot of technological capacity. They have a lot of knowledge.

They have a very strong military. So I'm leaving out any of the theological debates about does God favor ethnic Israel? Right. Or, you know, with the coming of the church, does that change? There's all that stuff going on. I'm not touching on any of that.

Go find a theologian for that. I'm saying that I think Israel is a good nation. It has good rule of law. It has good economic growth policies for the most part. They used to be socialists. And then I would have said they're a bad investment, but they're not.

They've moved more towards a growth phenomenon. And I don't think they're going to lose the war against Hamas or against Hezbollah. So it doesn't seem foolish. It doesn't seem like you're throwing money away if you want to express your support for Israel. But I'm not saying that's the best investment you can make. I mean, it all depends on how high the yield. You know, I have a friend who ran bonds for Bank of America. He says there's no good or bad bonds.

There's just good or bad prices. So from a pure investment standpoint, you know, there are times when the yields are higher and times when they're lower. But we talked last week about Turkey, and I said at no price are Turkish bonds worth it. Their Islamist philosophy makes them extremely high risk. So I'm kind of saying kind of the opposite with Israel. I think Israel is a very resilient nation, but I do think for most times when Christians are asking about Israel bonds, they're really asking about supporting Israel more than they're asking a straight up investment question.

They just want to know, is this super risky to support Israel? And I would say no. Yeah, very good. That's very well said, Jerry, and very helpful. All right. Well, next week, when you come back by, we'll have to give you have you give us an update on some of the work.

I know there's a lot moving in the corporate engagement space, so we'll hold that for next week. OK. Happy to. All right.

I hope you get some snow out there in the next coming weeks. God bless you, my friend. God bless you. All right. Take care.

Quickly to Beth in Chicago. We'll round out the program today with your question. Go ahead. Hi. Thank you so much for taking my call. And I can send him the snow that he wants. There is snow in my area.

OK. I kind of wish I had the investment situation that an earlier caller had where she couldn't plan on where to put her money. I have quite the opposite situation as a result of a series of unfortunate circumstances.

I have an exorbitant IRS debt and I am retirement age and I was unable to enter into retirement. My husband recently passed away and he didn't quite leave things comfortable in any way, shape or form, including there was no life insurance. So that just became like a whole nother area of having to manage an expense. And yes, it was the plan was I would be going into retirement, but it was the year that his health just failed so miserably that his care was here at home. So that and I still work outside of the home. Let me throw that out there.

So in any event, I mean, I understand entirely why, in a sense, the IRS situation is as bad as it is. Let's do this. Unfortunately, I am out of time, but I want you to be able to finish and I want to give you some help. So would you mind just holding the line and let's see if you and I can talk just a bit off the air since I'm out of time here on the program today. So, Beth, you stay right there. Angelica, let's see if we can get you scheduled for Monday. Folks, thanks for being along with us today.

Faith and Finance Live is a partnership between Mooney Radio and Faith Fi. We want to thank you to Tahira, Dan, Gabby T, and Jim. Grateful for their service. We'll see you next time. Bye bye.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-01-12 21:37:01 / 2024-01-12 21:54:15 / 17

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