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Marriage and Your Inner Money Manager

MoneyWise / Rob West and Steve Moore
The Truth Network Radio
February 20, 2024 6:28 pm

Marriage and Your Inner Money Manager

MoneyWise / Rob West and Steve Moore

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February 20, 2024 6:28 pm

Each of us has an inner money manager. So, what happens if yours and your spouse’ disagree? On today's Faith & Finance Live, host Rob West will welcome Matt Bell to explain how couples who can reconcile differences about handling their finances avoid a lot of conflicts in marriage, and they do it by getting in touch with their inner money managers. Then Rob will answer your calls and financial questions. 

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Each of us has an inner money manager.

So what happens if yours and your spouses disagree? Hi, I'm Rob West. Couples who can reconcile differences about handling their finances avoid a lot of conflicts in marriage. Today, Matt Bell tells us how to do that by getting in touch with our inner money manager. 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 journey. Well, it's always a treat to have Matt Bell on the program. Matt's the managing editor at Sound Mind Investing and the author of several books on personal finance, including Money and Marriage, a complete guide for engaged and newly married couples. Matt, great to have you back with us.

Great to be with you, Rob. So Matt, you have an article at titled Marriage and Your Inner Money Manager. Is it safe to say that we don't all have the same inner money manager?

Yeah, that's absolutely right, Rob. Because if you think about it, we all come at marriage from a unique set of experiences and ways of thinking about money. You know, we've been influenced by our parents, the culture we grew up in. And so really, I think one of the most significant differences that we often come into marriage with is a different temperament. And temperament plays a really important role in the ways that we think about and use money. In essence, temperament is our nature.

It's how God has wired us up, which has a lot to do with how we just naturally react to certain situations. And temperament impacts all areas of our lives, but it certainly comes with inherent strengths and weaknesses when it comes to money. So that's why it can be so important for a husband and wife to understand each other's temperament. And it's really important to use those insights to learn how to manage money together as a team.

Yeah, that's exactly right. But speaking from personal experience, that's easier said than done, right? That's absolutely true. Yeah, I mean, it's interesting that the men and women tend to come at money from such different directions. There's a lot of interesting research out there, and these different perspectives on money can lead to conflict.

So here's just a sampling of some of the research I've seen. For one thing, men and women tend to have different spending priorities. When you ask men and women about their indulgences or what they like to splurge on, for example, men are more likely to choose electronic gear, whereas women are more likely to say travel. Men and women come at money from different emotional perspectives.

And this one, I think, is especially interesting. When asked what terms they associate with when it comes to money, men are more likely to say things like confidence. Women are more likely to choose terms like anxiety and even confusion.

Yeah, it's interesting, isn't it? Men and women are interested in different financial topics. Men tend to be more into investing and entrepreneurship, whereas women tend to gravitate toward articles about how to save on this or that. Men tend to be more likely to ask for more money. They tend to negotiate when applying for a job more so than women. And men tend to be more comfortable taking on higher levels of risk with investing, which often doesn't end well. The research shows that men tend to make more investment mistakes than women do. So there's just a lot of really interesting kind of natural ways that men and women tend to differ in their perspectives on money. Yeah, that's so fascinating.

And it really explains a lot of the conflict that arises in marriage. Now, making it even more challenging, though, I've heard that financial opposites attract. Is that actually right, based on the research?

That is right, Rob. There's some interesting research out of Northwestern University and the University of Pennsylvania. And the research they did found that in moments of clear rational thinking, when we're just kind of thinking about what would suit us best in a mate, we tend to think of the type of person who is similar to us in how we think about it and use money that seems logical to us. However, when the real world happens and someone we're actually attracted to walks by, we tend to choose a mate that's very different than us when it comes to money. For example, spend thrifts tend to marry tightwads and vice versa. And that can lead to a lot of conflict in marriage.

Interesting. What about our own financial situation? How do men and women differ there? Yeah, it really varies quite a bit in terms of our men savers and women spenders and those two opposites do tend to attract to each other. So you know, it's not like one person is right and one person is absolutely wrong.

But it's difficult sometimes to kind of naturally come together, it takes some time and some work. Fascinating. What about how men and women differ in how they look at their own financial situation? This one is really interesting, I think so. Women tend to believe their situation is worse than it actually is sometimes overstating how much debt they have. And men, they're just the opposite. They tend to believe their situation is better than it often is, sometimes overstating how much they earn.

Yeah, so interesting. All right, Matt Bell is here today. We're talking money and marriage, we're going to get into the solution. What do you do about it right around the corner? Stay with us. Great to have you with us today on faith and finance live. Well, we've all heard the statistics conflict around money in marriage is off the charts.

So what do we do about it? Well, with us today is our friend Matt Bell. He's managing editor at sound mind investing, you can learn more at sound mind

And while you're there, check out the article we're talking about today that Matt wrote. It's called marriage and your inner money manager. Now, before the break, Matt, you were telling us about all the ways that were different based on the research and that so often opposites attract. So it's not unexpected that we would have conflict in this area of money in marriage. But I'm ready to talk about what we can do about it.

So how can we reconcile these differences? Yeah, well, something that can help a lot is learning more about how God has wired you up, and how God has wired up your spouse. You know this. So this gets back to temperament, which we touched on briefly earlier. So knowing your temperament, and that of your spouse will go a long way toward helping you understand why both of you do what you do with money, and pretty much everything else for that matter.

Right. But it can help you work together as a team. I think temperament is just a fascinating thing to discover about yourself and about your spouse. You never quite finish the discovery, but it's just a fascinating set of insights that comes with this effort. So even the simple insight that a person's temperament typically doesn't change, that can be helpful because if you're having some recurring disagreement, maybe it's because you're trying to change something about each other that just really won't ever change.

And that isn't horrible news. And it's not like an excuse to say, Oh, well, my temperament is what it is. And so I can just keep on doing this behavior that irritates you.

That's not a great idea. The better perspective is to discover your temperament with the perspective that you can learn how to manage it and how to maximize the strengths, money management wise, that tend to come with each temperament and learn to manage around the weaknesses. Because if we don't do that, Matt, and lean into it, then we end up living separate, even secretive financial lives, right? Yeah, that's absolutely true.

I mean, back to some of the research on this topic. It's pretty eye opening when men and women are asked questions that rarely depict the state of their relationship when it comes to money. So for example, 20% of married people agree with this statement. I don't discuss how much I make with anyone, including my spouse.

That's kind of surprising, isn't it? That somebody wouldn't even know how much their own spouse earns. Nearly two thirds of married people have no idea when their spouse plans to retire. Can you imagine you're seeing your spouse go out the door in the morning with the golf clubs and that's your first hint that they may have retired? Something like 44% of married people say it's okay to keep financial secrets. The typical most common type of secret is debt of some kind, credit card debt and such. Roughly 40% of men and women confess to lying to their spouse about how much they spent on something.

And this one is kind of interesting. While women have a fairly good feel for what financial issues are important to their husbands, husbands not so much. So for example, Rob, a relatively small percentage of us men apparently believe that having the right investments is something that's important to our wives, whereas nearly half of women say that's important to them. And less than half of men think that having money set aside for emergencies is something that their spouse cares about, whereas not surprisingly more than 70% of women say that is in fact something that's important to them.

Yeah, that's fascinating, Matt. All right, so if couples then disagree on their finances, how do they reconcile those differences? Yeah, a lot of it comes down to communication.

I mean, communication is just a key to so many important good things in marriage. But it comes down to if you understand each other's temperament, then that starts to provide kind of a roadmap for how to get the most from each other's kind of natural wiring around money management and work around those weaknesses, like I said. So for example, there's different classification systems out there when it comes to temperament, and they all trace back to Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, all the way back in 370 BC. He identified four temperaments, the choleric, the sanguine, the phlegmatic, and the melancholy.

And so if we want to start unpacking some of these, you can start to see how helpful it is to understand, again, both how God has wired you up and how God has wired up your spouse. So if we just choose one of those, say the choleric, if you want to start there. So the choleric is the hard charging kind of bottom line type A sort of person. The financial implications is that these folks tend to be really good at crashing through obstacles.

So you want to set a goal of saving up enough money for a certain purchase. They're the person to kind of set that vision and pursue that goal with a lot of vigor. But the downside, they all come with pros and cons, the downside to the choleric is that they can have a tendency to sort of run ahead of their spouse, sometimes even making decisions about investments or even spending sometimes without the input of their spouse, which is not exactly a great idea. Yeah, folks are already starting to identify themselves as you're talking here, Matt. Let's move on to the sanguine temperament.

What do we need to know there? Yeah, the sanguine is the outgoing, colorful, winsome kind of life of the party sort of person. So when it comes to career choice, very naturally, they tend to gravitate toward people centered jobs. So they tend to gravitate perhaps to sales jobs. However, the other financial implication for them is that they don't tend to love the details. I mean, I heard somebody say one time that he never met a sanguine accountant, and that's probably true. So that combination of a people person sort of job in sales where there might be a variable income that tends to not pair up very well with a lack of interest in budgeting. It can leave their finances kind of messy. So if you're married to a sanguine, the advice is don't try to turn your spouse into the keeper of the budget.

That's probably not going to end well. Just get them to drop their receipts in the vicinity of the budget, and then you be the one to enter the data. Yeah, I love how you're building a bridge from the temperament to how we actually then respond to that and assign different roles and appreciate each other's differences.

Let's go to the phlegmatic. Sure. So this is the person that tends to be kind of the steady eddy, very reliable, dependable, predictable, really good, steady work ethic. They can be counted on to show up and methodically get the job done. However, they can kind of lack motivation to go the extra mile, and that might have them kind of underperforming in terms of their work potential, their career potential. They can also be frugal to the point of them being cheap.

So if you kind of hesitated the idea of leaving any more than a 15% tip at a restaurant, you may be phlegmatic. It's helpful to know. All right, there's one more. It's melancholy. Tell us about that one.

Yeah. So this is not necessarily a sad person unless you think of budgeting as a sad activity, because melancholy is tend to be the type that take most easily to the use of a budget. A melancholy is disciplined, a planner. They tend to have kind of lofty ideals. Now, while their detail orientation can make them really good at keeping records, they can sometimes be a little too detail oriented, striving for the perfect budget and getting frustrated if it's off to even a penny. They can also be a bit unrealistic, sometimes setting goals that are really beyond the reach of most mortals. Yeah, that's helpful.

All right, bring this home for us, Matt. After a couple identifies their individual temperaments, and by the way, there are a lot of resources to help you go deeper on this. How does that then help them? Yeah, again, I think it's a fascinating area of discovery. I mean, let's all be students of our spouse and of ourselves, of how God has wired us up for our whole lives.

I think it's just a fascinating journey of exploration. And when each spouse begins to really understand their own temperament and that of their spouse, it can foster empathy and grace. We can stop kind of blaming them for certain things and start to understand more of where they're coming from. It can help a lot in stopping to be so frequently frustrated by each other's financial tendencies. And again, to kind of gain an understanding of where they're coming from and why they're tending to react to certain situations as they are. And that can open up the possibility of learning how to maximize each other's natural money management strengths while navigating around their natural weaknesses.

In essence, it's just a great way for couples to learn to manage money as a team. Wow, this is a game changer, Matt. So thankful for your time today, my friend.

Thanks for stopping by. My pleasure, Rob. That's Matt Bell with Soundmind Investing.

Read this article at All right, your calls are next. The number, 800-525-7000.

That's 800-525-7000. I'm Rob West and this is Faith and Finance. We'll be right back. The opinions offered during this program represent the personal or professional opinions of the opinions 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. I'm so glad you're with us today. We're live from the National Religious Broadcasters Convention, actually in the Moody Suite today at the beautiful Opryland Hotel. Looking forward to a great week as broadcasters and media personnel and professionals gather in the name of Jesus to talk about how they can proclaim the gospel to the ends of the earth. We're delighted to be a part of it, but still bringing you this program every day and looking forward to taking your questions today. I'm Rob West and looking forward to hearing what you're considering in your financial life today. We'll help you process that through the lens of scripture. The number to call with lines open is 800-525-7000.

That's 800-525-7000. You know, we started today with Matt Bell talking about money and marriage. And when we recognize that money is a good gift from God and that the culture would have us worship the creation over the creator, we can get our relationship to money out of sorts, out of the original design that God had for it. That, of course, creates not only tension in our relationship with money, but that certainly can carry over into the marital relationship.

Our desire here on this program is to help you see money through the lens of God's word, which I believe, folks, will help you as you think about the role of money in marriage as well. But whether you have a question about money and marriage or anything else today, we'd love to tackle it with you. Again, the number is 800-525-7000. You can call right now. Let's dive in.

We'll begin in Central PA today. Bob, thanks for calling, sir. Go ahead.

Rob, greatly appreciate your ministry. The question I have, is it possible and legal to do a revocable family living trust by myself without a lawyer? It is absolutely possible and very legal.

You'll find a lot of do-it-yourself tools online. Why wouldn't you do it? Because it's not my recommendation. The reason is, first of all, it's not a one-size-fits-all process. I think one of the values of an attorney who's skilled in this area, and a state planning attorney, would be that they can bring to the table questions that would help you discover how you want that trust set up. What are those decisions that need to be made in advance? Laws, of course, vary widely by state.

I know I've seen an example where someone used a do-it-yourself service. It made it very clear that the software agreement was governed by Nevada law. They happen to be in the state of Florida. The problem is, Florida is a separate property state. Nevada is a community property state.

That can lead to a whole host of issues. The disclaimers very clearly say, the information in this program is not legal advice. It's not a substitute for legal advice. I think that really speaks to just why you would want to have an attorney involved.

Can you do it? Absolutely. Plenty of people do. Those revocable trusts, I'm not saying that they would be necessarily nullified.

I just think for something as important as your estate plan, your wealth transfer plan, I like using an attorney, even if it's going to cost you, in the case of a revocable trust, maybe $2,000 or $3,000. Does that make sense, Bob? Yes, yes. If there's anything I can do myself, I like to do it.

I wanted your advice and I greatly appreciate that. I really do, Rob. I suspect you're the guy that changes your oil out in the front yard, huh?

Yes, I still do and I'm 75 and I'm going to do it, so I can't do it anymore. Very good. I think this is one I would get the counsel of an attorney on, but I certainly appreciate your can-do spirit, Bob. Hey, call any time and thanks for your kind remarks about the program. Let's go to Albuquerque. Hi, Teresa.

Go right ahead. Hi, I have a question on the reverse mortgage. I'm 84 years old and about 10 years ago, I've got a reverse mortgage on my home. It was paid for and I needed some repairs on my home.

I needed to stucco and new roof and that sort of thing, the hot water heater. Anyway, it's been a while and I was just wondering, when I die, I do have my children as beneficiaries. Will the house go to them or will the finance company take it over?

Yeah. Well, whatever balance is there on the reverse mortgage would need to be paid. There is a certain amount that was either extended to you on the front end or maybe is being paid out to you monthly. That's of course accruing interest at probably a very consistent rate of interest with the today's mortgage market and there are some fees annually on top of that. That growing balance would ultimately need to be paid. Now, that balance is never able with a reverse mortgage. Home equity conversion mortgage is the technical name. It's not ever able to grow beyond the value of the home. It would never be a balance that the estate would have to pay beyond the home, but it does have to be paid. One of two things would have to happen. Either the kids would have to refinance it so the reverse mortgage could be paid in full, whatever that balance is and then they could keep the home or more commonly they would sell the property.

The proceeds would be used to pay whatever balance is there on the reverse mortgage and then whatever remains would be theirs to distribute according to your will. Does that make sense? Right. Yeah.

That's what I thought would happen, but I just wanted to make sure and it's been a while since I got the loan and I was just questioning myself. So, you answered my question. Thank you very much. I appreciate it.

You are very welcome. We appreciate you being on the program. Well, folks, we're just getting started today with your questions.

We've got lines open, room for what you were thinking about in your financial life. Again, we're live from the NRB convention. That's the National Religious Broadcasters Convention. As men and women in media and broadcasting gather together under Christ to say, how can we do better? What it is we're doing?

Taking God's word to the ends of the earth. Moody Radio, of course, a big presence here at this convention and we're delighted to be broadcasting from their suite all week long as we're a part of the NRB convention. We're taking your questions and we've got some room for you today. Give us a call right now. Our team is standing by. The number, 800-525-7000.

That's 800-525-7000. Joan in Minnesota, we're coming to you next just after this break, so you stay right there. I'm Rob West. Here on Faith and Finance Live on Moody Radio, we're going to take a quick break and then be back with much more.

Stick around. Great to have you with us today on Faith and Finance Live. I'm Rob West. This is where we apply the wisdom from God's word to your financial decisions and choices, helping you see God as your ultimate treasure and money a tool to accomplish his purposes. Let's tackle your financial questions together today. By the way, before we go back to the phones, let me remind you, Bob Dahl is going to stop by today in our next segment.

He'll weigh in on the markets and the economy, tell us what he's watching as he manages literally billions of dollars in funds that he manages economically and from the market's perspective, Bob will give us his insight and analysis. That's coming up in just a few minutes. But first, let's head back to the phones.

Joan has been waiting patiently in Pine River. That's Minnesota. Go right ahead. Hi. Yes, my husband and I are wondering about putting some money into a six-month CD with the credit union and we're just wondering about what did they really do with the money and what do you think about it? Yeah.

Well, I like the CD option a lot as long as the time horizon is right. So when you think about this money that you're putting in for six months, how do you characterize this money? Does it have a specific purpose? Is it just excess reserves?

What is it? It is excess. Okay.

And is it beyond what I would call your emergency fund, which is the liquid reserves you would rely on if you had an unexpected major expense? Yes. Okay. So it's beyond that. Yes.

Okay. So a CD is a great option given that it's guaranteed, meaning if it's backed by the NCUA, then it would have government backing. So you would be assured that if for some reason the credit union failed, that the government would step in and make sure you have access to your money when it comes due.

So that's a good thing. And right now, interest rates are very high because the federal reserve has raised interest rates to curb the inflation that we've been dealing with the last couple of years. So as a result of that, you can get a very attractive rate for the next six months on a CD. I guess the only question would just be if this is money that you don't have a purpose for and it's beyond your emergency fund, would you want to invest it?

That would involve taking a little bit more risk, but you would have the possibility of getting a better return. Now, your primary question was, what do they do with the money? And basically, when a bank takes in money, you're lending it to the bank. They're promising to pay you some interest on it. And then they're going to turn around and pool that with other deposits and lend it back out.

So they're what's called an intermediary. You're lending them money. They're turning around and lending it to consumers and businesses in the form of loans and credit cards.

They're going to charge more in the way of interest than they're paying to you. And they keep the difference. So a very little percentage of the amount that's been deposited at the bank is actually held in the bank. They have certain what are called reserve requirements so that they have enough liquidity to pay their depositors when they demand their money back because, you know, it's in a checking or a savings account or a CD is coming due. But the bulk of it, the vast majority of it is lent out and that's how they make a profit.

So that's, you know, how all banks and credit unions work. But do I think it's a good idea to buy a CD right now? Absolutely. You know, if the time horizon is right, this is not money you need immediate access to, you can get a very attractive rate of return right now. Okay. And if the market would crash the federal government, I mean, they don't seem to have a lot of money.

So let's talk about that. You know, when we talk about the market crashing, we've seen certain, we've seen what are called crashes over the years. We've also seen major corrections. A lot of that just depends on how far the market goes down. Does it go down 10%?

Does it go down more than 20%? Which would be a crash. We saw that in 1929.

We saw that in 1987. If that were to happen, the US government would step in and shore up the banks and the banking system as well as the stock market. So there are certain levers that can be pulled to make sure that there is confidence in the system, even though a major event was taking place. Now, do I think there's the ingredients, if you will, for a market crash? No, I don't. I think, you know, what we saw with the dot com era, what we saw in 2008, 2009, there was some real systemic problems in either certain sectors of the economy, and that all resulted in those major market downturns.

I don't think we have the environment for that right now, but even if we did, what we've seen is that the government in situations like that will step in and restore confidence, because that's the bedrock of everything that we have here in our financial system, and so I'm confident that would happen again. Okay, well thank you so much for helping us out. I appreciate it. You're very welcome, Joe. Thank you for your call today. We appreciate it.

Let's go to Akron, Ohio. Dorothy, go ahead. Yes, hi.

Thank you for taking my call. I have a two-part question if you have time. The first question is credit cards. I have a MasterCard.

I owe nothing on it. I've looked zero debt. When we do use it, we always pay the balance off monthly, so we never carry over and have to pay. Does it behoove to call companies and ask them to decrease your interest rate or not? I didn't know if there was any positive to that based on us paying it off every month.

We never make a monthly payment. That's my first question. Yes. Can you call a credit card company and ask for, yes, I'll just tackle this quickly, and ask for a reduction in the interest rate? Absolutely you can, and often they will, especially if you're a good customer and you tell them that you're considering moving to another company, they will often lower that interest rate. Will it help you because you use credit cards the right way and pay it off at the end of every month? No, it won't because you're not paying any interest, so the only time that would come into play is if you did carry a balance and you didn't pay it in full at the end of the cycle, then that's where that interest would come into play.

It really would be a futile exercise in your situation. The second question is social security. I started taking it in September of 23. I reached full retirement age of 66 and six months. Not talking about the cost of living that you get in January, but apparently sometime in the following year they look at your past 35 years, drop one of your lowest years, and increase your social security. I don't understand how that works and when that happens and how do they calculate that? Yeah, so there's a formula there that calculates your benefit based on your high 35, your highest 35 years of paying FICA taxes, which are the taxes that are paid into social security. If at any given year, at the end of that year, those earnings, the total earnings that you paid FICA taxes on, are higher than any of the high 35 that are currently calculating your social security benefit, then the lower year's earnings would be dropped and replaced and then they would recalculate your benefit. If you're entitled to an increase as a result of replacing one of your lower earnings years with one of these higher earnings years, then that would result in a benefit and that continues to happen beyond you starting to take your benefits.

Okay. When does that happen? Like I just started in September, when does that happen?

At the end of 24, the middle? I mean, then how do they go by how much? I guess I should call them and ask them, but I thought I would ask you first. Yeah, no, it's fine. So at the end of the year, in the first part of the following year, they would look at that.

I don't remember exactly when that happens each year, but basically the beginning of the next year, they look back at your prior year's earnings to determine whether or not it replaces any of your high 35 and then it automatically recalculates your benefits. Does that make sense? Okay.

Yes, that does. Thank you for your time. I appreciate it.

All right. Happy to take the call. Thanks for being on the program today. Well folks, we've still got some more time today. We've got a few questions holding in.

Bob Doll coming up just around the corner. This is Faith and Finance Live. We'll be right back. Great to have you with us today. This is Faith and Finance Live.

I'm Rob West. We're live from the National Religious Broadcasters Convention as media professionals gather from all over the US and abroad to talk about how we can bring the gospel to the ends of the earth using media and broadcast. And it's just an incredibly encouraging place to be.

Just so many people doing incredible work. Moody Radio of course with a major presence here and we're delighted to be broadcasting all week from the beautiful Opryland Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee. We're also taking your calls today and in this segment our good friend Bob Doll stops by. Bob joins us each beginning part of the week, normally Monday. Today on Tuesday to share with us what's ahead for the markets and the economy. Bob, good afternoon to you, sir.

Thank you, Rob. Same. Tell me what you're looking at watching this week. I see a little bit of red on the board today, but what do you make of it? Yeah, I think it's further reaction to two disappointing numbers last week. Retail sales were disappointing. You might remember they fell just under a percent month over month in January and the revision down for November, December. That was on the one hand, but on the other hand, remember we got CPI that was hotter than expected. Stronger inflation both month over month and year over year. Those two things I think are haunting a bit and some important tech earnings this week that probably have people a little nervous so we had more red than green on the screen today.

Yeah. Bob, obviously everybody's focused on whether or not the Fed is going to be able to engineer this soft landing and the idea that retail sales were disappointing is obviously signaling that the consumer, which has been a driving force behind keeping this economy going, may be finally showing some signs of weakness. How big a factor is that as we think about the prospect of recession this year? Well, there's no question that this was a disappointing number, Rob, and retail sales, it's a wide swath of the consumer. Having said that, we obviously never hang our hat on just one number so we'll be watching carefully these numbers going forward.

But to repeat, it was not just disappointing in January but a revision down for both November and December. Is there a potential downshift in consumer spending? It would seem so. Yeah. In your deliberations this week, Bob, you just made some comments about the growth of earnings by the Magnificent Seven, as they're called, in 2023 versus the other 493 stocks in the S&P 500.

Tell us about that and what you make of it. Yeah, so 2023, the Magnificent Seven grew their earnings by a whopping 31%. The other 493 stocks in the S&P 500, 2%, 31 versus 2%. Maybe that justifies the outperformance of the Magnificent Seven and, as you saw, we conclude, earnings matter, exclamation point, they really do. In the long run, earnings move stocks. Yeah. I know two-thirds of the S&P 500 have reported earnings for this most recent period.

What are you seeing there? So, as usual, a lot of companies, positive earnings surprises, 75% of them, but that's below the long-term average of 77. Now, that's not a big difference, but when we look at how much earnings expectations came down for that fourth quarter as the quarter happened, no wonder we got so many positive surprises.

So something for the bulls, something for the bears. My overall view is earnings are good, but they're no longer great, Rob. Yeah.

All right. Bob, finally, the final note in your deliberations this week had to do with the US national debt. It was alarming as you broke it down by $10 trillion in debt at a time. Share that with us and what you think the implications of that are.

Yeah, it's scary, Rob. It took over 200 years for the United States to gather its first $10 trillion in debt. 200 years. Nine years to amass the second trillion and only five years to amass the third.

And, of course, we've added more since. The last trillion of debt for the US was tacked on in less than four months. Rob, we can't continue to do this. You can't borrow money you don't have forever without consequences, whether that's an individual, a company, a state or a country.

In this case, it's a country. We're going to have to pay the piper. And do you know, when interest rates were close to zero like they were last decade, it didn't matter a whole lot because servicing the debt wasn't a big deal. But, Rob, now it is because interest rates are no longer zero. This is something that the politicians are going to have to get their arms around where the bond market will come and hit them over the head. Is it surprising to you, Bob, that even in an election year, we don't hear more talk about this from lawmakers? Yes. Not to get overly technical, but there's some research that shows any time interest expense as a percentage of the budget crosses 14 and a half percent, and now it's a little over 15, that's when the word austerity begins to invade Washington, D.C. But we've seen virtually no sign of that.

And if you look at the two presidential candidates, neither of them are preaching that message. So we've got to come up in front of us if we don't get serious about this, Rob. Yeah. Well, certainly something we'll keep an eye on. I appreciate you raising it, though, Bob. Always grateful for your time, my friend. We'll talk to you next week.

Talk to you in a week. Bye bye. All right. That's Bob Dollies, chief executive officer and chief investment officer at Crossmark Global Investments, where investments and values intersect.

You can learn more at All right. Let's round out the broadcast today with your questions. We've got a few holding patiently. Let's go to Cleveland. Hi, Diane.

How can I help? Hi. Thanks for taking my call.

I just am curious. I inherited an account from my dad that he was paying a required minimum distribution on already, and they required me to still take a distribution. And even though I'm not yet 73, can I filter that over to a charity?

Or do I have to wait till I'm 73 even though I'm already taking distributions? Yeah. What is your age? 68.

Okay. No, you would need to be 70 and a half, including an inherited IRA in order to do a qualified charitable distribution. So you're correct. You will need to continue those required minimums as you spend that down. And as that money comes out, it will be taxable. But unfortunately, that QCD or qualified charitable distribution option only kicks in at age 70 and a half, including for inherited IRAs. Okay. So it's 70 and a half across the board, no matter what IRA? That's exactly right. Okay.

I thought it was 73. Okay, great. Thank you. Thank you. You're welcome, Diane. Thanks for your call today. To Franklin, Tennessee, just down the street from where we are.

Dave, go ahead. Hey, thank you. I'm a power of attorney for my 95 year old mom. She has just been about six months in assisted living that costs her out of pocket about 5000 a month. She's got maybe 40,000 in savings, and we're going to have about 150,000 from the sale of her home, which is paid off.

Just wondering what's the best way to invest that and how to help her be prepared for the future? Yeah. Where is the 5000 a month coming from? Are you pulling that every month out of the 150,000? No, that she has savings that we're taking that out of every month now. So the 150, we have enough money to pay for probably a year before we would have to touch the 150. Yeah.

So that's currently being spent down from the 40,000. Yes. Okay.

Yeah, very good. Yeah. So obviously, you know, typically when we invest, we want to try to limit the withdrawal rate to 4%. I mean, that would only be 6000 on the 150. So you're going to be spending this down, of course, a little bit quicker. And I think that should play into the investment strategy, just recognizing that we need to try to hang on to as much of this as we can, given that that withdrawal rate is going to be pretty quick. I mean, if you're pulling 60,000 a year, all of this money is going to be gone in four years. So I think at this point, it's probably not a matter of you putting that in the market, you just don't have enough time horizon for that, to try to maximize that return. So I'd be looking to preserve this capital and take advantage of these higher interest rates.

So I'd probably, you know, put a CD ladder together, where you get the 40,000 in a high yield savings account, maybe you take the 150 and you do one, two and three year CDs for 50,000 a piece, something like that, just to maximize the yield, but make sure you're protecting the capital so it's there and can last as long as possible. Okay, great. Thank you so much. All right. Appreciate your call.

Greg and Indy, you'll be our final caller. Go ahead, sir. Yeah, Rob, just I've been investing years ago into stock market in the 401ks. I've become disabled a few years ago, so I just kind of backed out to rebalance my funds and get my emergency savings up. And everything's looking pretty good now is just wondering if this would be a good time for investing this thing more than 100 a month back into any of my 401ks, stocks, bonds, or just a high interest CDs, or the high interest savings accounts that are out there right now.

Yeah, I appreciate that, Greg. So this would be current cash flow beyond your emergency savings, correct? Correct.

Okay. And are you back to work? No, I have not worked and just not back to work, but if I got my budget balanced very well on my emergency fund, and I just kind of like to say if there's ever a couple of gains, it just goes right back into the 401ks, stocks, bonds, investments.

Yeah, yeah, very good. So yeah, I mean, I think you certainly could look at dollar cost averaging this back into the market. I think as long as the time horizon is right and the investment mix is right, meaning it's consistent with your age and risk tolerance, then it's always a good time to invest.

I wouldn't try to pick that entry point. I think you just systematically moving back into the market would be the right approach. So I would say just a good balanced mutual fund, balanced, meaning a mix of stocks and bonds, and just put that in 100 a month. You could even look at one of the faith-based investing fund families like Eventide or Praxis or One Ascent or Guidestone.

Those could serve you really well. But I love this idea, Greg. I'm glad you got your financial house in order and thanks for calling today, sir. That's going to do it for us.

Faith and Finance Live is a partnership between Moody Radio and Faith Five. Thank you to Amy, Dan, Gabby T., Chris, and Robert. Couldn't do it without them. We'll see you next time. God bless you. Bye-bye.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-02-20 21:35:19 / 2024-02-20 21:52:05 / 17

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