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Pride in Prosperity

MoneyWise / Rob West and Steve Moore
The Truth Network Radio
February 23, 2024 5:44 pm

Pride in Prosperity

MoneyWise / Rob West and Steve Moore

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February 23, 2024 5:44 pm

The Bible warns about the sin of pride and the boasting that comes with it. And we find a parable in the book of Luke where Jesus warns about the problem of being proud in our possessions. On today's Faith & Finance Live, host Rob West will look at the consequences of pride in the life of the Rich Fool. Then he’ll take your calls and various financial questions. 

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

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In his book, Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis wrote, Pride is spiritual cancer.

It eats up the very possibility of love or contentment or even common sense. Hi, I'm Rob West. The Bible also warns about the sin of pride and the boasting that comes with it. Today we'll look at the consequences of pride in the life of the rich fool, and then we'll take your calls at 800-525-7000.

That's 800-525-7000. This is Faith and Finance Live, biblical wisdom for your financial journey. In Luke 12, Jesus tells his followers a parable about a rich man who's proud of his prosperity.

Here's the text from Luke 12, 16 to 18. The land of a rich man produced plentifully, and he thought to himself, What shall I do? For I have nowhere to store my crops. And he said, I'll do this. I'll tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. At first, this might look like an example of good stewardship. A rich man plans to take care of his abundant resources. But when you look more closely at the rich man's words, you will see that he's giving all the credit for his wealth to himself. I have nowhere to store my crops, he says. Then I will tear down my barns.

You get the idea. He uses the words I and my nine times in just two verses. He never acknowledges God's provision or even considers God at all.

1 Corinthians 4-7 condemns this attitude. What do you have that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it? 1 Timothy 6, 7 and 8 encourages an attitude of gratitude and humility about material things.

For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of the world. But if we have food and clothing with these, we will be content. How often are you tempted to be proud of the good financial things that happen in your life? You work hard, and you finally pay off that car loan. You save enough money to take a much needed vacation.

You invest carefully and your nest egg grows. But are any of these things really your doing? The Bible reminds us that God is the author of every good gift. That means any boasting we do should be about how awesome God is, not about how clever or successful or rich we are.

2 Corinthians 10, 17 and 18 explains why. Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord, for it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends. So the rich man in Jesus' parable isn't being a faithful steward because a faithful steward understands that the Lord is the source of financial blessings. Instead of feeling proud about their possessions, faithful stewards use their resources to glorify God and serve others. The rich man in Jesus parable misses the mark by taking credit for his success and by using his wealth only to serve himself.

He is both proud and greedy. Jesus continues the parable in Luke 12 19 with the man's boastful words. And I will say to my soul, soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years.

Relax, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said to him, fool, this night your soul is required of you and the things you have prepared, whose will they be? Jesus completes the parable with the moral of the story. So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God. God calls the rich man a fool because the man expected to find security, hope and joy in his abundant possessions.

He went to great lengths to protect what he had for his own glory. After having everything, he ended up with nothing because he was not rich toward God. As King Solomon points out in Ecclesiastes five, 10 through 12, money cannot really fulfill anyone's desire for abundance. He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves wealth with his income.

This also is vanity. So are you anxious about finances a lot of the time? Do you envy what other people have? When things go well, do you feel like you deserve a little credit? Well, Jesus told the parable of the rich fool to point you and me to the only true source of life and abundance, himself.

As we quoted earlier, C.S. Lewis called pride spiritual cancer. He goes on to say, as long as you are proud, you cannot know God. A proud man is always looking down on things and people.

And of course, as long as you're looking down, you cannot see something that is above you. Today's topic was drawn from our brand new study, Rich Toward God with the Lord's Guidance. Faithfi created it with the intent to expand our understanding of his amazing love for us and what it means to follow him with all of our hearts. Now, we'd like to invite you to get a copy for personal study or for everyone in your Bible study to experience it together. Pick it up today at faithfi.com.

That's faithfi.com. 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. Great to have you with us today on Faith and Finance Live. Still live from the National Religious Broadcasters Convention. It's the final day.

Only the remnant remains. But we're wrapping up the week here and we're delighted to bring you this program today, taking your calls and questions on anything financial. Live from the Moody Suite here at the Opry Land Hotel. You can call today with your questions at 800-525-7000.

That's 800-525-7000. We have lines open and we'd love to tackle whatever you're thinking about in your financial life today. Hey, before we dive in, let me mention again, I had the chance to share right at the tail end of the first segment, the opportunity you have to get your hands on our brand new Rich Toward God study. It's the first in our series of FaithFi studies that we'll be producing to take you deep into scripture around topics related to money that we think will really help you change your relationship with money and see money through God's eyes. Add meaning to your money as you think about really important topics that in the case of this first study, Rich Toward God, we pull right out of that parable of the rich fool, dealing with pride and prosperity, the uncertainty of tomorrow.

What is true abundance? And finally, what does it mean to live rich toward God? In that story with the rich fool, God said his life was demanded from him because he put so much focus on himself and eating and drinking and being married instead of being rich toward God.

So if that's what God desires for us, what does that mean? Well, we want you to explore that and go into God's word as you think through how that applies in your life. Well, the Rich Toward God study is designed to do just that over four weeks, either as individual study on your own or in a small group, perhaps at your church, you have a group that deals with various topics periodically, and maybe you've never done one on money. Well, this would be a great tool for you to dive into God's word around some really important topics. In fact, I think money is the chief competitor to lordship. You see, if something is going to derail God from being in first place in your life, according to the way I read scripture, it's most often going to be money related, or at least related to the things that money can buy. So if we can address that heart issue and really have a proper context or view of money, I think it's a game changer throughout all of your life and your walk with Jesus.

So check out this brand new study. Just go to faithfi.com. You'll see it right there on the page as a pop-up, or you can click store at the top of the page and check out the new four-week study from FaithFi.

It's the first in our series called Rich Toward God. Order it today. All right, we're going to dive into your questions today. We've got a few lines open, although the calls are coming in, they'll fill quickly. So call right now at 800-525-7000.

Now let's go to Kissimmee, Florida. Robert, you'll be first up today, sir. Go ahead. Hi, how are you doing, Rob? How are you today? I'm well, thank you.

I appreciate you being on. Yeah, listen, I'm considering wanting to take my social security at age 65 instead of my retirement age at 67. And I know that's a reduced amount, but what happens when I turn 67 with that?

Nothing. So when you take it early, you're going to lock in a reduction of about 8% per year for every year you take it early, prior to full retirement age. So if you wait until full retirement age, you'll get what they have been estimating for you on your MySSA benefit statement. But if you take it early, you're going to lose more precisely 1-12th of 8% for every month you take it before full retirement age. And then if you wait beyond full retirement age, it begins to grow by 1-12th of 8% for every month you wait up until age 70.

So the decision that each of us has to make as we consider this is, you know, is there a real need to take it early? Obviously, the most significant of which would be that you just need the money. For whatever reason, you've decided to take early retirement or, you know, you're just not making ends meet. And so having access to that money would really change your ability to fund your lifestyle. And if that's the case, you may need to do that. But I would hate for you to give up, you know, that reduction permanently for the rest of your life in the form of that monthly benefit check, if there's another way to solve for that missing income by either working longer, maybe getting a part time job, maybe even pulling a little bit more than you would have from other retirement assets while you're letting that grow because the reality is you're not going to get Robert, you know, 8% guaranteed anywhere else.

And that's what comes with this. Now, of course, there's a trade off in the sense that for every month, you don't take the benefit, you're having to wait to get paid back for that once you do take it in the form of that higher check. So there's some portion of your check every month once you start taking it, that represents the portion of the check that's increased beyond what you could have received in the past. And the typical the way the way that normally works out is, you know, if you take it at 70 versus full retirement age, you've got to wait 11 years until 81 to get paid back for what you gave up between full retirement age and 70. But then you get that higher check for the rest of your life beyond that point. So there is a math equation there with regard to, you know, life expectancy that you need to think about. But that's essentially how it works.

But give me your thoughts on all that. Well, I thought I've heard on this, I've listened a lot to this program over the last few years. And I thought there's one, I've heard you say that there is an instance where they, they hold back money, but when you should turn a certain age, they start paying that money held back to you.

Yeah, yeah, that's a good question. So that's different. That has to do with you continuing to work after receiving benefits. So once you reach full retirement age, you can earn as much as you want, and not have any reduction in benefits. If you take your benefits early, there is a maximum that you can earn while collecting social security benefits. And if you earn beyond that, then you're going to have a reduction $1 for every $2 you go over that max is going to be taken out of the check that is ultimately going to be paid back to you in the form of a higher check after you turn full retirement age.

That reduction though, based on you earning too much is different than the permanent reduction you take by taking it early if that makes sense. Oh, okay. There's there's the big difference then that I was okay that I never caught now it's just the key just turned but in my head now. Okay. Okay. All right.

Good. Glad to hear it. Listen, Robert, I'm glad we could help you. Hey, in the in the coming weeks, we're going to have an expert on in this area of Social Security, you know, so many folks really struggle with and for good reason. It's complicated, you know, understanding social security benefits. And so we're going to start tackling this in a bit more detail in the months ahead. But we appreciate you calling today, sir. And thank you for being on the program. You know, just quickly, a new study out to my previous point from mass mutual says a majority of near retirees have a surprising lack of knowledge about Social Security benefits.

Listen to this, they surveyed 1500 41% failed a test of 13 true or false questions another 37% got a D. So that's 78% of people that took the quiz got a D or worse, which just tells me there's a lot of missing information that folks don't have related to how Social Security works and how their benefits will be affected. We want to try to address that in the in the days and weeks ahead. And we'll see if we can do that just to help you out. Well, folks, we're just getting started today. A lot more to come just around the corner on faith and finance live from NRB. We'll be right back. Hey, great to have you with us today on faith and finance live live from the National Religious Broadcasters convention. We're so glad you're listening today. And we're so glad we have some great questions coming up all the lines full. So sit back and enjoy. Let's go to Grand Rapids, Michigan. Hi, Jerry. Go ahead, sir. Yeah, thank you for taking my call.

I got a question. My mother has some property with 200,000. And I'm wondering if she gifts that to me, can I give gift her the 200,000 so she can invest that for her, you know, for old age and taking care of her when she gets elderly? Yeah, I mean, if I understand what you're saying, she's going to gift you the property and then you're going to gift her the cash. The IRS calls that a sale. So you're in effect buying her property for from her for 200,000.

Am I hearing you correctly? Yeah. No, with that, with the capital gains tax we paid on that or gift tax?

How would that work? Yeah, it's a good question. So let's back up. So it's really not a gift. It's a sale. And the first question is, what is the true market value of this parcel that you're buying?

It's right around 200,000. Okay, so she's not quote unquote, selling it to you at a discount. She's selling it to you for market value, which you're paying for. And so what would happen is, let me ask though, is this a property she lives on? Or is it just raw land?

Or what is it? Just raw land. Okay, yeah, so she would have capital gain, she would her cost basis is what she paid for it originally. And then she would sell it to you. And that would generate a capital gain, the difference between your purchase price of 200,000 and her original cost basis what she paid for it, that would be subject to long term capital gains. Now, you know, in terms of the capital gain that that would generate, you know, it depends on her income. So in 2024, the threshold is I believe, around $89,000.

And I'll confirm that. But essentially, if she has income of 89,000 plus as a married couple, and there's a lower number, if it's a single person, then she'd have a 15% capital gain rate on the gain. So the rates are either zero 15, or 20 on most assets held for a year. And so she would pay the capital gain on that is she married or single knows, she's a widow, and her income is about 35,000 a year. Okay, so there is no capital gains there. Because if her tax filing status is single, for 2024, while for 2023, it was up to 44,000 in income, it's a little higher than that for 2024. But if you said her incomes in the 30,000 range, certainly less than 40, her capital gains rate is zero. So she wouldn't pay any capital gains on that. And then you would buy it which establishes a new cost basis, your cost basis is now 200,000.

In this example, and then if you sell it down the road, you'd pay capital gains, according to the prevailing capital gains rates at that time for any appreciation in the price from 200,000 up. Okay. Oh, that makes lots of sense.

Yeah, very helpful. Okay, good. And then she can obviously take the cash because you're now the owner of the property and it would be deeded to you, I get a real estate attorney to help you draw up that contract. So it's legal and then you can file with you as the new owner, the deed on with the county.

And then she can take that and invest it, perhaps fire and find an advisor to help her manage that from that point forward. All right, that sounds good. Thank you very much. Oh, you're welcome, sir. Thank you for calling today.

To Fort Lauderdale. Hi, Fran. Go ahead. Hi, Fran.

Hi, Fran. Are you required? Yes, I'm here. Can you hear me? Oh, great. I can now.

Go ahead. Okay. I was inquiring about the age for the RMD.

Okay, yeah. So the required minimum distribution age is currently 72. What is your age now? Okay, I'm confused because my husband turned 73 in October and I will in December. So we need to make these required minimum distributions now. Are we late on this?

Okay, yeah. So for 2023, the age at which account owners had to start taking required minimum distributions went up from 72 to 73. So for individuals born in 1951, they'll receive their first required minimum distribution by April 1 of 2025. The year follow the April following the year, you turn 72. Does that make sense? That's complicated. We don't have to take the distribution until April 1, 2025.

It really depends upon exactly when you were born. So here's what I would suggest that you do. I would connect with your CPA. Do you all use your tax or a tax preparer? We usually go to AARP.

Okay, yeah. And so basically what you'd want to do is just give them your age the exact month and year that you were born and they can tell you when that first required minimum distribution is. You know, there's been, it's kind of a moving target just because the most recent change in the law, the SECURE Act is what changed the age from 72 to 73. But the year in which you need to start taking it, and that'll be determined by your age, you just need to take it for that very first year by the April following that. And so you need to determine when that is.

Is that this April or next April based on your age? And then for the years following that first year, it needs to be taken by December 31 of each year. Okay, so now my next question is, do you need to, I know you need to take that out from your IRA. Do you need to take that out from a pension account, from all accounts? Yeah, so it would be subject to any of those pre-tax accounts so that you would just need to look at, you know, all of the accounts that you have and calculate the total that you would need to pull out from the 401k, the IRA, those types of things.

So that's again where your CPA could help you determine exactly what you need to pull out of there just based on your age and the various accounts that you have. We appreciate your call today. I know it can get complicated, Fran, but I think that's where getting some professional help, especially in the year where things are changing and you're reaching these new stages where you have an RMD. Stay on the line. We'll help you more off the air. We'll be right back. Great to have you with us today on Faith and Finance Live.

I'm Rob West. We're taking your calls and questions today on anything financial, 800-525-7000. Before we were talking, before the break, we were talking to Fran in Fort Lauderdale and we were talking about the change in the required minimum distribution age for those born in 1951 from 72 to 73. But Fran, I know you had a second part to that question related to donations to charity.

What was that? Well, if you donate what you supposed to be your RMD to charity, do you still have to pay the taxes? Is there a form you need to fill out for that?

Yeah, it's a great question. So you do not have to pay the taxes now as long as you're 70 and a half, which you guys clearly are, then you're able to make a qualified charitable distribution out of that IRA or pre-tax retirement account directly to a charity. And when you do that, it satisfies your required minimum, which we just established you don't have this year, not until age 73. Nevertheless, when that time comes, your gifts to charity will satisfy the RMD. Now, to your question, no, it does not get added to your taxable income. You don't get a deduction, but you're able to get it out without it being added to your taxable income, which it would be for any other distribution. So you would contact your retirement plan manager or the custodian of that IRA, let them know that you want to do also notify the charity, your church or the ministry.

So they know it's coming. And then you'll receive a 10 99 R for the qualified charitable distribution. And you'll be able to report that amount on line four of your tax return or your tax preparer will, but it won't count toward your modified gross income.

So therefore you won't pay any taxes on it. Oh, well, you've been very, very helpful. Thank you so much. Well, you're welcome, Fran. We appreciate your call today. Thanks for being on the program. All right, let's go to Illinois. Hi, Dora.

How can I help? I sold my home last year. And of course, I need to know if there's any taxes on the money that I received from the sale of the home.

I don't intend to buy another home. Okay. Yeah.

It so this is the home that you've lived in two out of the last five years. Correct. Okay. And are you married Dora or single? Single.

Okay. So you'd be able to have as your primary residence where you've lived there two out of the last five years, you'd be able to have up to 250,000 in gains and not pay any capital gains tax on that. So just a rough example, let's say you bought it for 250,000 and you sold it for a half a million. You've got a 250,000 profit.

You'd pay zero capital gains because you can take up to 250,000 in gains and exclude them from capital gains because it was your primary residence. Oh, I see. Sounds good. Okay.

Yes. And you can do whatever you want with it. It doesn't mean you have to redeploy it into another property or anything like that. So you can invest it or give it away or live off of it, whatever you'd like.

And you don't have any capital gains tax. Oh, good. Good. Thank you very much. All right. You're welcome. Thanks for calling today. Let's see.

We're going to head to Chicago. Hi, Derek. Go ahead.

Hi, yes, Rob. First of all, I would like to thank you for lending your financial expertise to all of us that don't know. So thank you. I have a problem here in that my mother just moved into an assisted living facility. And, um, my dad died about 10 years ago. And so my mom and I decided to have a joint, uh, savings account. And so I was pretty much using that account, you know, so that we would always be able to access each other's money.

We didn't know who was going to go first. Well, now that she's in, uh, an assisted living facility, they want to do a spin down. I don't want to protect my money because most of what is, uh, in the account is, is mine to do that.

Yeah. I would connect with a, uh, an elder care attorney just to talk about the details here. You know, generally Derek funds held in a joint checking or savings account is considered a hundred percent owned by the Medicaid applicant. Um, whereas, you know, typically with a brokerage account, they might only consider 50% of the assets. Um, but they're going to look back five years to make sure the funds weren't moved. The challenge here is, as you said, this was done more for convenience and the spirit of what you were doing is this is your money.

You were just had your mom on there for access to the account just in case something happened. And you know, that is going to complicate things a bit. So I'd get some legal counsel on that, just so you understand the implications of that. Uh, and if there's any, you know, options in terms of what you can do so that these assets aren't considered, uh, in looking at spending this down before Medicaid kicks in. But, uh, you know, just based on face value, uh, of the way this works, because this is in a joint checking or savings account. Um, my understanding is they're going to look at a hundred percent of this to be available and needing to be spent down prior to Medicaid kicking in, which I know was understand was not your intention. No, not at all. And I am actually, uh, consulted with an elder care attorney and, um, he said, you know, I can move the money, but I'm, I would have to explain everything.

And I don't even know what that means. I mean, you know, the money was moving back and forth. So, um, okay. All right.

Yeah. Unfortunately, Medicaid is going to do a five-year look back just at any movement of those monies. And you know, as to how they're going to interpret that and whether that can be explained away or not, I wouldn't be able to weigh in on that. I would trust his counsel, uh, on that more so. So, uh, I'm so sorry to hear about it because I understand that was not the intention. It was really just for convenience sake, but I'd kind of lean into that with him and see if he can help you take that one step further just to understand, you know, how you can approach this with them. And just based on what, you know, unfolded here, is there a way you can actually work through that with them or is it, you know, pretty cut and dry that, you know, just based on the way the account was titled, even if it wasn't the spirit of what you were trying to do, it now has to be counted. Uh, you know, that attorney would be the one to ultimately weigh in on that. So, uh, Derek, we appreciate your call today.

I wish I had better news on that, but grateful for your encouragement as well. Uh, let's, uh, stay in Illinois. Hi, Jacob. Go ahead.

Hi, Rob. I am a teacher, uh, in my district offers a 403, 403 B plan. Um, but they also offer a 457 B plan. And I'm wondering what the difference between those are and if you have a preference of one over the other to invest in.

Yeah. Uh, there really isn't a different, uh, difference. They're both, uh, pretax retirement vehicles. So private employers offer 401ks, uh, 403 Bs are generally, generally by nonprofits and 457s are generally offered by public sector employers.

So think a government employer, things like that. Um, but they're basically the same, uh, with just a few exceptions. Uh, they both act as a pretax savings vehicle with salary deferral going in, excluding the contribution from your income, and then the ability to grow it on a tax deferred basis and pull it out in retirement. Um, one example of a difference might be there isn't an early withdrawal penalty with a 457.

Once you leave your employer, a 457 also offers more generous catch up contributions than a 403 B, but in terms of just overall taxation and the structure of the program, they're very, very much the same. So, uh, I don't think there's anything better about one versus another. Hope that helps you, my friend. Thanks for calling today. We're going to take a quick break and then back with, uh, our final segment and Jerry Boyer right around the corner stick around. Hey, great to have you with us today on faith and finance live here on Moody radio. I'm Rob West with you on the final day of the national religious broadcasters convention here in Nashville, Tennessee, and looking forward to wrapping up a great week. We've been broadcasting from here all week long and it's just been a great time with the media and broadcast professionals from all over, but also grateful for those of you listening today and calling.

We've had some great questions. We're going to turn our attention now here in this final segment to the markets and the economy. Our good friend Jerry Boyer joins us. He's our resident economist and good friend. He stops by each Friday to help us make sense of the markets.

And Jerry, we were talking just before the break. It's kind of hard to make sense of the markets these days, isn't it? Yeah, it's, I mean, especially this week, there've been a couple of these weeks lately where the normal pattern has not been holding and the normal pattern is actually pretty simple. It's weird, but it's simple, which is if markets think the fed is going to pump money into the system, they go up and if markets think that that is going to pump money out of the system, they go down there. I mean, that's pretty easy, right?

And there are places where you can, of course it's weird, right? Because markets should go up based on the profitability of business, right? But that's not, and that's the way it's worked throughout most of history, but that's not the way it's working now for the reasons that we've mentioned so many times before, which is the single largest investor by a long shot is our own central bank.

But this week's a little different. The fed funds futures are indicating the fed's going to, you know, keep money tight. Um, and the gold went up, which, you know, indicates that we think it's going to loosen the dollar went down. So it's really hard to kind of reconcile and the markets are up and with tightening market, you know, with tightening money, you wouldn't expect that. And I'm wondering if there's something going on here with the really starting to get stratospheric valuations of any companies that have anything to do with AI, uh, where artificial intelligence, just like.com was in the late nineties, just like blockchain was for a few years.

This was like, this is the big shiny object. It's going to change everything. It's a once in a, in a millennium event of the future is going to be completely different, a lot of hype in and around it. Um, to the point where it's gotten way out beyond what it seems like it would be reasonable expectations of contributions to the economy. I mean, listen, during the dotcom era, the internet was important and the internet became very important to our economy.

It just couldn't, um, justify these, those incredible valuations you saw in 99. Um, and it's feeling a little bit like that with AI. I mean, what's AI going to do? It's going to replace low skilled workers, low skilled knowledge workers or service workers. That's what it does. It replaces chat and support lines.

Well, okay. That there's not a whole lot of wealth creation there. I mean, it's an advance by the way, it's not so great for the people who get laid off.

What are they going to do? I mean, well, you know, the economy will grow and we always find new things to do, but it just doesn't seem like quite the miracle, almost like the secular utopia that they're making it out to be. Yeah, it's very interesting. I mean, I was using it just a couple of hours ago on a new pitch deck I was working on and I had it take a first stab at the outline of it, which was very helpful, probably shaved a few hours off of my work, but I needed to do the heavy lifting after that. And it seems like that's typical of AI, huh? Yeah, it's not magic. It doesn't replace us.

We've talked about this before. We can't create something as good as us because we're not God. Only God could create something as good as us. So, you know, we're made in the image of God and AI is kind of made in the image of us, but it can't come close to us. I use AI all the time.

I use co-pilot, I use GPT-4. We've changed our business around a lot to use it, but AI so far is like an intern who will work 24 hours a day for you, but doesn't really have much job experience. It makes lots and lots of mistakes, but at least they kind of get the process started, right?

And that's probably what's happening with your pitch decks. It kind of gets you started. It helps you break writer's block, but I'm right now going back and forth with a team of people. I had AI write something and then it went out to the team and they got a lot of edits because there are a lot of problems with it. So it's replaced the first draft. Replacing the first draft is not going to absolutely transform the global economy. It will have to be some added productivity, but it's not going to transform everything as we know it. Well, I'm looking at my conversation here with chat GPT from earlier today and then I got to the end of the process and the final question that I asked it was pretty specific and the last line of its response said, however, for precise figures, it's advisable to refer to recent financial surveys or official data sources.

So it was not about to give me a definitive answer on what I was looking for. But Jerry, what's interesting is that, you know, that's one area where AI is smarter than we are. AI knows that it isn't smart. So AI, but it seems like speculative investors are a little dumber than AI at that point in that we think it's something infallible. I mean, the error rates are really off the scale. Now it's different. GPT-4 has a high error rate.

They call them hallucinations. I use a lot of a co-pilot now that has a lower error rate, but I'm seeing that error rate. So it seems like people who are investing in AI need to talk to people who are actually trying to use it and make it work and they'll find out that this thing is not ready for prime time yet and probably not ready to basically be the driver of the entire global markets right now.

Yeah, no, really interesting. Now, Jerry, what's different though than when we think about the dot-com bubble, obviously any company that added dot-com to their name, I'm remembering pets.com and, you know, all the others all of a sudden saw this huge increase. The difference here is I guess there's just, it's concentrated to a few major players with regard to AI, although lots of companies are implementing it. So how is it different from the dot-com in terms of the market response? Well, because anyone could build a dot-com. That's easy. You just put dot-com on the name and all you had to do was build a website with HTML, right? So it's easy code. So there were, there was almost no barrier to entry to be a dot-com, but there really are barriers to entry to be AI, which is why I don't think we have some Christian alternative to AI out there because it really takes a huge amount of scale. It's a big thing. You're not, you can have a mom and pop web building company, but you can't have a mom and pop nuclear power plant.

Okay. And AI is more like a nuclear power plant in that it doesn't do anything really worth worthwhile at all, unless it's had a gigantic amount of capital put into it, which means that the benefits are concentrated in a few very large players. And then the benefits for the rest of us are to get good at using it.

And I think Christians ought to get good at using it or it's going to get good at using us. Yeah, no question about it. Now we keep hearing the name Nvidia and they're obviously the world leader in AI computing, which is why they're through the roof right now.

Right? Right. And a lot of this, part of this is a software thing. And with Nvidia, partly it's a hardware thing, right? This, this takes a lot of chip power.

Um, and by the way, it takes also a lot of electricity. That's one of the things we have to think here. AI is really powerful, but it's an incredible, if these chips are expensive to make at that point, the real, I mean the very advanced chips at the scale that's needed to really make AI something that's used across the world. I mean, let's say we AI say at the bottom 10th of our economy of our service economy, that's going to take a whole lot of chips and that's going to take a whole lot of software and that's going to take a whole lot of electricity, which means it's going to take a whole lot of oil and natural gas and coal.

Um, here's the thing that I keep thinking about, something that George Giller pointed out to me. If you look at the global, um, internet, the number of connections in the global internet is roughly the same as the number of connections in a human brain. So that's how complicated we are. Now think about the power difference. Think about how much power it takes to run the global internet. A human brain runs on about the same amount of power as your ceiling fan on a low setting. That's how unbelievably God made us.

When you're charging your phone, that's about the same amount of power to run the human brain, which is as complex as the entire world internet. Incredible. Jerry, before we wrap up today, I mean, I guess this is a good reminder with us pushing 40,000 on the Dow Jones. We're now past 5,000 on the S and P 500. Uh, this is a good reminder of being a longterm investor because if we're headed straight for a recession this year and obviously, you know, interest rates and we've got, uh, you know, it looks like some early cracks in the consumer in terms of retail spending. I mean, we could be in for a rough couple of years on the market, who knows, but that's why we don't invest for a short period of time, right?

Yeah, it's going to be a hard year. And you know, that came up at the K a conference, uh, when you had that excellent conversation with Bob doll, uh, and with David Bahnson, they both made a really powerful point, which is how do you get really good market performance when we already have these high valuations, you have to have super high valuations. Where are they coming from? Well, if they come from a really strong economy, but wait, the fed's going to tighten rates that, and that'll stop markets from going up. If the fed's not tightening rates, well, that means that the, you know, the economy's not doing so well. I don't see any way out of that dilemma. If you get the kind of economic growth that you would need, uh, in order to justify these valuations, the fed's going to hit the brake pedal.

So I just, it seems very unlikely that over the next year or two, we can get, you know, strong returns. So again, you stay in markets for the long run. Yeah, no question about it. All right, Jerry, a fascinating conversation, obviously, uh, more to come on this and we'll pick it up next week, but I appreciate your time today and yours. God bless my friend. All right.

Thank you. And you as well, that's Jerry Boyer. He's our resident economist. He joins us each Friday with his insightful analysis of the markets and the economy and anything else we throw at him.

We always look forward to our time together. Well folks, we are unfortunately about out of time and Kelly, I really appreciate your call today from Southwest Florida. I want to give you plenty of time to ask your question. I don't have it today, so let's do this. I'm going to ask you to hold and I'll ask Tahira, uh, who's, uh, our producer today to see if we can get you scheduled for next week. I'd love to talk to you and thank you for calling today. I apologize. We didn't get to talk to you. Well folks, before we wrap up here today, let me just remind you once again, the brand new study out from Faith Phi, the first in our Faith Phi study series is rich toward God.

We're so excited about it. It's a brand new four week study that you can do as an individual or as a group, perhaps with your church or home group. Uh, maybe you have a discipleship group and you're always looking for new content. You've never done a study around money related to God's word.

Well, this would be a perfect one. It dives into true abundance and the uncertainty of tomorrow and what is, um, what does it look like to have pride and prosperity? And then finally this all important question, what does it look like to live rich toward God? Just head to faith phi.com. You can click on the store and read more about it. Pick up your copy today. We'd love for you to check it out. Faith and finance live is a partnership between Moody radio and faith phi. I'm so thankful for my team today. Laura, Amy, Tahira, Chris, and Jim. We'll see you next time. Bye bye.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-02-23 20:47:41 / 2024-02-23 21:04:41 / 17

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