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Finding Victory in Uncertain Circumstances

MoneyWise / Rob West and Steve Moore
The Truth Network Radio
March 1, 2024 5:50 pm

Finding Victory in Uncertain Circumstances

MoneyWise / Rob West and Steve Moore

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March 1, 2024 5:50 pm

When life is uncertain, and your money matters are all messed up, you can always turn to God’s Word to find hope and peace. On today's Faith & Finance Live, host Rob West will talk about how to find victory in uncertain circumstances. Then he’ll take your calls and answer the financial questions on your mind. 

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

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When life is uncertain and your money matters are all messed up, you can always turn to God's word for hope and peace.

I am Rob West. Philippians 4 reminds us to rejoice in the Lord always. If rejoicing isn't your go-to response to financial stress, maybe it should be. We'll talk about that today, 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. Uncertainty seems to be the name of the game these days, especially in the financial realm.

Financial plans are up in the air for so many people, from home buying to career changes to retirement, and the end result is a lot of worry. So if fear and doubt about money issues are making you lose sleep at night, what you need is a good word from God's word. According to Psalm 119 105, God's word is a lamp to your feet and a light to your path.

The lamp keeps you from stumbling, and the light shows you the way forward. The Bible assures us that our circumstances matter to God. 1 Peter 5, 6, and 7 explains that when we humble ourselves under God's mighty hand, He will lift us up in due time, so we can cast all our anxiety on Him because He cares for us. And what about the idea of rejoicing in the face of financial stress?

Seems counterintuitive, doesn't it? Well, let's look more closely at Philippians 4 and four steps to conquering anxiety in uncertain times. Philippians 4 4 tells us that step one for handling anxiety is praise. The apostle Paul writes, rejoice in the Lord always.

I will say it again. Rejoice. God is good, and everything He allows into our lives is for our benefit, even if it seems tough at the time. We can trust the Lord to provide for us, so we rejoice. Step two for conquering uncertainty is to submit all your worries to the Lord in prayer and thanksgiving. Verse six reads, Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God. Step three for facing life's uncertainties is to think truth. Philippians 4 8 explains it, Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things. The more you fill your mind with truth from God's Word, the less likely you'll be tempted to fall into despair.

Step four is to do what's right. Verse nine continues, Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me or seen in me, put it into practice. Paul demonstrated Christlike living to the Philippians, and he's telling them and us to follow his example. We may not understand why we struggle, but the answer to what should I do is always do the right thing.

Our best example for that is Jesus Christ. I think the best part of this Philippians passage is the promise at the end. When we rejoice in the Lord, give our worries to God, think truth and do what's right, Paul says the God of peace will be with you.

Now, anxiety isn't the only challenge that can arise when times are tough. If you find your faith wavering under difficult financial circumstances, well, you're not alone. It's tempting to let the budget slide or even give up on your giving, but we can go to God's Word for reassurance and victory here, too. First Corinthians 15 is all about the victory we have because of Christ's resurrection. The last verse of the chapter says, Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm.

Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. So here's why we stick to godly financial principles no matter what. First, your hard work to follow God's principles is not in vain. God has a victorious plan for you. Romans 828 says, For we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. And remember, God sees you. He knows your circumstances and will provide what you need to live and to do what's right.

Suffering is a part of life in a fallen world, but God's love never fails. Philippians 4 19 reassures us, And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. Finally, your faithfulness has a purpose. When you choose honesty in your business dealings, you're being a witness for Jesus. When you give sacrificially, you're investing in God's kingdom. When you pursue wisdom in your financial choices, you're drawing closer to the Lord. So stay the course. Your faithfulness and following God's financial values will result in peace for you on earth and treasures in heaven.

I hope that's an encouragement to you. All right, your calls are next. 800-525-7000. I'm Rob West and this is Faith and Finance Live. Stick around. 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. I'm Rob West. All right, it's time to take your calls and questions today.

We've got lines open here on a Friday. We're wondering what you're thinking about financially. I'd love to tackle it with you, help you think about your financial decisions in light of biblical wisdom, because here's the reality is that God is creator of everything.

We know that. That certainly includes money. Money is one of God's good creations.

It's not evil, but it can compete with our hearts. So our job is to take this good creation and use it as a tool to accomplish God's purposes, recognizing that that's a high calling. We're to be money managers for the King of Kings. So we go back to God's word. We pull out those big ideas and themes and passages and God's word that relate to how we should view this good creation called money and use it to provide for ourselves and our family and to enjoy and yes, to give generously. But we realize you have practical decisions and choices you make every day. And so we want to help you look at those in light of biblical wisdom and hopefully be an encouragement to you along the way. So what are you thinking about today financially?

We'd love to hear from you. 800-525-7000. Again, that's 800-525-7000. In the news today, so far this year, significantly fewer families are filling out the application form for federal student loans. That's of course called the FAFSA Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

But believe me, there's nothing free about it. Those loans will of course have to be paid back with interest unless the president wipes them away. We won't talk about that right now. That could of course take decades. Now, fewer folks are signing up apparently because changes to the FAFSA have made it more difficult to fill out. The DOA, Department of Education, says it's on track to process 2 million fewer FAFSA applications this year.

That's about a 15% decline. I think the silver lining is for years the government has made it far too easy to borrow vast sums of student loan money. The average student now graduating with over $30,000 in student loan debt in total, that's over a trillion dollars that's owed.

And I think spending a little more time filling out that form might give folks some time to think about what they're signing up for. My advice, borrow as little as possible if any. Take the time to look for scholarships and grants. Have the student participate by maybe getting a summer job or working on campus. You know, take your time and see what you can do to reduce the cost of education so that you don't come out with this massive bill. And certainly when you do borrow, make sure they're on a career path that's going to justify or give them the ability to pay back that loan in a reasonable period of time. I would say certainly 10 years or less. So hopefully that helps you.

We certainly want to avoid the use of debt where possible and that includes student loans. All right, we're going to head to the phones here. We've got a few lines open although the calls are coming in quick. The number to call is 800-525-7000. You can call right now.

Let's begin just north of where I am in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Hi Pearl, go ahead. Yes, hi Rob. Thank you for taking my call.

I like to listen to Faith and Phy on a regular basis. I'm wondering about, can I borrow from my 401k instead of going to the bank and getting a loan? Since my house is paid for but I'm thinking of moving and I just want, you know, you have to have money ready for a bridge loan. Yeah, you know, I'm not a big fan of that.

I mean, can you do it? Yes, you'll actually be paying interest to yourself. So what's the downside? Well, the downside is if you were to separate from that company, it all becomes a taxable distribution and if you're not yet 59 and a half, you'd have a penalty on top of that at 10%. Secondly, while it's out of there, even though you're paying yourself some interest, you're not having the opportunity for it to grow and compound, which was its original purpose.

So I guess the question would be, is there another way around this? Could you do an offer contingent on the sale? Could you sell your place and then, you know, rent for a short period of time while you look for something?

Could you look for a, you know, a bridge loan because it would be very temporary that would allow you to kind of bridge between the two? I'd love for you to explore a few other options before you look at pulling out of that 401k. What is the home that you're selling worth and how much are you looking to spend going into the next place? I'm looking to probably buy a house that's about the same, probably between 280,000 to 300,000. Okay, so it'd be about the same amount. Now, you know, if your employer's plan allows it and that'd be the place to start, you can typically borrow up to $50,000. So if you're for the down payment on a house, you'd have five years to pay it back or it would be considered a distribution. But again, you know, I would advise against it. So I would love for you to find another way to do it. You know, are you moving out of the area, Pearl, or are you staying in the same general part of town?

No, probably move into another state. I'm also wondering, where's the best place to look for a bridge loan? Yeah, well, you know, I would probably start online, you know, with there's a number of online resources that you can search for loans, LendingTree and a few others. I would also check with our friends at Movement Mortgage.

They're partners of ours, a faith-based mortgage company in all 50 states. And you could find them at movement.com slash faith. But I think, you know, comparing that to some other options online would be good. There are many, you know, online search tools that you could use.

And I think typically you want to get, you know, at least three offers before you land on the one that you're going to go with. All right, thank you so much. All right, you're very welcome. Thanks for your call, Pearl.

Let's go to St. Louis. Hi, Joyce, how can I help? Hey, I have come into some funds that I'd like to be able to give some advice on in terms of a small amount. You're talking about 20,000. And I'm trying to figure out the best way to invest it.

So if you could give me a few corners, it'd be great. I'd be happy to, Joyce. So you came into $20,000. And, you know, as you think about how you might use this in the future, what kind of time horizon would you attach to your use of this money? It's not something that I need right now.

So I think it will be ongoing. I want to be able to help to build my reserves, use this money to do that. And if there's an account that we couldn't save, I guess. Sure. But yeah, you use the word reserves.

I like that. So what we would typically call your emergency fund or your emergency reserves, we'd like for you to have three to six months worth of expenses. So if you were to total up all your bills on a monthly basis, and then multiply that by three or as much as six, that'd be a great starting point for your reserves. Do you have some emergency savings already set aside prior to receiving this 20,000? Or would this really be it? Just a little, you know, it's probably enough for one month, one month.

Okay, yeah. So if you're looking to kind of make this a part of your emergency reserves, I think a high yield savings account is a great option. So you're talking about a bank, a savings account is FDIC insured. So there's very little risk about the lowest risk you could take because it's backed by the US government.

Even though there's risk in everything, it's very small. So what I would do if you're open to it is look for an online bank at bankrate.com. Go to bankrate.com, click on high yield savings. They'll rank as of today, who has the very best rates. They'll offer a five-star rating system on the bank itself and tell you whether it's FDIC insured. I would use that, open that online savings and link it to your checking.

It'd be a great place to store this. We'll be right back. Stay with us. Well, thanks for joining us today on Faith and Finance Live. I'm Rob West. We're taking your calls and questions today. 800-525-7000. That's 800-525-7000.

We've got some lines open. Hey, our new study is out. That's right. It's our FaithFi study called Rich Toward God. It's a four-week look at the parable of the rich fool.

It tackles some really important topics related to money and our hearts. What does it mean to live rich toward God? At the end of this parable, we see God saying to the rich fool, it is for those who have not lived rich toward God. What does that mean if we're to live rich toward God? Is it about giving money away or is maybe Jesus inviting us into something a lot more than that? What about the uncertainty of tomorrow or the pride we can have in prosperity? If you have a small group, maybe a men's group or a women's group that you meet with at church or as a couple's Bible study, and you're always looking for biblically centered studies that can allow you to confront some topics that are really practical and meaningful in your life, this could be a great one.

Again, it's just out. It's called Rich Toward God. It's beautiful, and it's a four-week printed study that you can order on our website FaithFi.com. That's FaithFi.com.

Just click shop at the top of the page. All right, let's dive back in. We're going to take your questions in this segment. 800-525-7000. Let's go to Westfield, Indiana.

Hi, Allison. Go right ahead. Hi, I have a question about the comparison between the TSP and a Roth IRA. Like, are there differences in how you can use the money or when you can take it out or anything like that?

There really aren't on those two things that you just mentioned. I mean, they're both pre-tax retirement savings vehicles. The TSP, the Thrift Savings Plan, is just the government form of a 401k. So think 401k, except in the government environment. It's called Thrift Savings, and it offers several options for investing, just like a 401k would. The IRA is similar in terms of the tax treatment.

IRA is standing for Individual Retirement Account, but you have many more options for investments because depending on where you open it, you can basically invest it in anything, any stock, bond, mutual fund, exchange traded fund. You're not limited to the investments inside the plan like the TSP or the 401k. Now, there's one big difference, and that is the TSP offers matching contributions while an IRA does not. So with a TSP account, the first 3% is matched dollar for dollar by your agency or service. The next 2% is matched 50 cents on the dollar. So if you put 5% of your basic pay, your agency or service contributes an additional amount equal to about 4%, I think it is, of your basic pay to your TSP, and that's free money. So if you have the opportunity, I would certainly maximize that.

Now, in terms of how and when it has to come out, it's exactly the same. So, you know, it grows tax deferred. You can take it out without penalty after 59 and a half. As you take it out, it'll be added to your taxable income, and you'll have a required minimum in your 70s.

Today, it's 73. You know, for those born after 1951, it's eventually moving in 2033 to age 75 that you'd have a required minimum, but that applies to both. Is that helpful, Allison?

Okay, yes. And so I'm in a situation where I'm not eligible for the matching. So really, there's no problem being in an IRA rather than the TSP. It's not necessarily a better option.

No, not necessarily. I mean, the only other difference would be the contribution limit. So you can put in $23,000 into a TSP this year, 2024, versus the IRA. The IRA contribution limit for the year is only $7,000 for those under age 50, $8,000, 50 and older. So you can just put a lot more money away on the TSP.

So if you're trying to save, you know, we would generally recommend 10 to 15% of your income, you may bump into that contribution limit on the IRA and still want to put more money in, and that would mean you'd have to take advantage of the TSP to do it. Okay, may I ask another question? Sure. If I'm, if I'm, are they both limited separately? Or would I be limited with the total? No, they're separate. Yeah, it's great question. So you can do up to $23,000 in the TSP.

And then separate from that, you can do up to $7,000 in the IRA. They're, they don't factor into one another. Okay. Okay.

All right. Thanks for your call. You are welcome. Thanks for being on the program.

800-525-7000 is the number to call. We've got some lines open today. You can get right through here on a Friday.

We'd love to tackle your financial question. Let's head out to Nebraska, Bellevue. Hi, Virginia. Go ahead. Hi, how are you today?

I'm doing great. Thanks for your call. Oh, yeah. So my question is, about seven months ago, I ordered a Ford Maverick hybrid. We had had a car total. And my husband was going to need to use something we were need.

He has his own security company. Anyway, and I knew that I would have the money to pay it out cash if I needed to. But then after I got the call saying my car was ready, I got to thinking about it. It doesn't make any sense if I pay it off with my the amount that I have in my savings. If I'm receiving 4.75% interest, even if I my interest is a six or 7% on the vehicle, if I finance it, that percentage in the savings would at least pay on half of that payment. Yeah.

And, you know, so I was in, you know, we don't have any, we're not old enough to draw on our Roth IRA or anything. Besides, they would take most of it. And we have an RV that we could sell, which is the plan to replace a lot of that money, then that would bump up the interest in that savings. So that was the question if that was a smart idea. Yeah. Is your husband self-employed? Yes.

Okay. So he has the ability to deduct the entire cost of ownership and operation. And if he's self-employed, that would include the car loan interest. He could deduct that as a business expense against his business and not pay tax on that money. So long as the car is only used for business purposes, if it's used for both business and personal, then you can only deduct the business portion. And you can use either the standard mileage rate or the actual expenses.

And if you do the actual expenses, again, that can include not only gas, oil, repairs, tires, insurance, depreciation, but also interest. I've got to take a break. I want to get your thoughts on that right around the corner. Stay with us. I'm so glad to have you with us today on Faith and Finance Live here on Moody Radio. I'm Rob West. We're taking your calls and questions today.

That's that live portion of Faith and Finance Live. We'd love to hear from you. And I've got room for your questions today at 800-525-7000.

That's 800-525-7000. Hey, before we head back to the phones, let me just mention, if you're looking for an advisor who shares your values, we call that a Certified Kingdom Advisor. This is a financial professional who's met extensive training and experience requirements. They've had a regulatory review. They've signed a statement of faith and a code of ethics. They have achieved successfully mastering the course, a university-based curriculum that goes along with a biblical worldview of financial decision making. And they've agreed to listen to this show every day. No, no, they don't do that.

But everything else they do. And they earn the only designation in financial services around delivering biblically wise financial advice. You can find a CKI on our website. Just go to faithfi.com. That's faithfi.com. Right there at the top of the page, it'll say find a professional and you can find one of more than 1,500, perhaps one right in your area.

I would interview two or three and there's a helpful list of questions there that you can use during that interview process. So check it out today at faithfi.com. All right, we're going to head back to the phones to Bellevue. We were talking to Virginia before the break. And Virginia, I was sharing a bit about just the opportunity with your husband being a business owner and with this car being used for business purposes, that you could deduct these expenses, including the interest.

But give me your thoughts on that. That is something that we have thought about. Now the vehicle, well, all of them we do now are primarily used for his business.

There's not a whole lot of personal stuff going on. So it would probably be 75% business to rest personal, which we would then have to document. I wasn't sure when we did finally get the vehicle purchase, whether it would probably have to go under his business name instead of mine. So I know that we would have to do that. And but the other thing was, I didn't know if getting maybe a CD with the amount of money to have that loan, you know, to have a loan come off of that as a promissory.

I don't know how all that works. So I was just trying to figure out the best way to do it financially. I mean, I would share I would get with your CPA just to make sure you've structured that properly.

The car can be in your name. As long as it's used for business purposes, you still can deduct it without it being in the business's name. And in fact, if you plan to use it at all for personal purposes, I wouldn't put it in the name of the business if you're an S Corp owner. But with regard to paying it off versus using the cash flow from the CD or savings account, I guess the only question would just be, what is the purpose of that? Obviously, one benefit is you've still got the money. So you keep your what you call liquidity. Because if you ever needed that for some unexpected event, you'd have the ability to tap that money and then just make the scheduled monthly payment. And so you're holding on to that money as opposed to tying it up in the car by paying off the note. But why would you be doing that for if you have the money available? Why not just go ahead and pay it off? Well, the idea is we would but we what we have going on right now is we have some house repairs. The the savings is 60,000. The car purchase is 33 three. And so we have some we're not sure how much we're going to need to be able to make some house repairs.

So I see. That's why yeah, I thought the percentage received in that account would just kind of offset it. And then if it got to the point where I did have enough, then we could just eventually just pay it off. Because I have an RV that needs to be sold, which is about 45. So as soon as I sell that, then I could do that.

Yeah, very good. So I like the plan. I think you're right on track there. I guess the last thing I would say just coming back the full circle on the tax side is just work with your CPA to make sure you've identified the appropriate method. Are you going to do the standard mileage rate or the actual expenses? In either case, you want to document in business versus personal use. So you can justify that before the IRS. And if you're using actual expense method, then you just need to make sure you have good documentation for that. And so record keeping is really important.

So you can provide sufficient evidence to support your statement in terms of how you're claiming those expenses to be handled against your your taxes. But other than that, I think this sounds like a great plan. So thanks for your call today and for your patience during the break. We appreciate it. We've got a few lines open. Eight hundred five two five seven thousand is the number to call.

Let's talk to Jacob in Indiana. Go ahead, sir. Yes, sir. I had a question about my pension. So I left I left an employer about five years ago and I had the pension in there. And right now I have an IRA. But my wife and I have been talking about pulling that pension since it's not gaining anything really, whether to pull that and put it in my IRA and make some more money or to cash it out and pay off some debt.

Yeah, I like getting it out of there and rolling it to the IRA because that way you've got more control over it in terms of how it's invested. And, you know, you certainly want to make sure that it's growing appropriately without taking unnecessary risk, but has the opportunity to increase in value as to the debt. What what kind of debt are we talking about? What type of debt and how much?

So we have two vehicle paint or two vehicles. Those are a total of about 50,000. And then she has a school loan, which is it's technically 40,000.

But half of that is through the school and the other half is half is through a Sallie Mae. All right. Very good. And how much do you have in the IRA today? The IRA is about 18. All right. And how much is in how much would the cash value of the pension that you would roll over be? It'd be about 14.

Okay. So we're talking about roughly $22,000. And you've got about 90,000 in debt between the two, right?

Yeah, yeah. Now, the school, the school debt. So my wife is now working technically for the the school, I would say, and they're going to pay off. They're going to pay off that part of it. Okay, good. Yeah, he's working for them for like three years or four years, something like that. Perfect.

Yeah, that's a great opportunity. And what are your ages? I'm 33. And she's 30. Okay.

Yeah. So I wouldn't use this for debt repayment. I mean, that's going to be expensive money, because you're going to add it to your taxable income, and you're going to pay the 10% penalty on top of it. So you could be playing 30, you know, percent off the top of that money.

So what I would do is just roll that out to the IRA, get it invested properly, keep contributing to that IRA, or if you have a company sponsored plan that makes more sense, that's great, too. And then let's just focus on paying down that debt. You know, starting with whichever of those has the higher interest rate between the cars and the portion of the student loans that is not going to be paid by the school. And let's just pay the minimums on everything.

But let's truly try to dial in our lifestyle spending and budget to free up cash flow and attack that one with the highest interest rate. Right. Right. Okay. All right. Thanks for your call. I appreciate you being on the program, Jacob. Have a great weekend. Let's go to Gary, Indiana. Hi, Debbie.

How can I help? Hi, Rob. Thanks for sharing your expertise with us.

Thank you. I have a question about how do you feel about long-term health care insurance? Long-term care, I should say. Yeah, well, I mean, long-term care is something we need to be certainly consider as a part of our overall plan. 70% of Americans, 65 and older, will need some sort of long-term care, typically for two to three years. It's expensive, whether it's in-home care or full nursing care.

I mean, you know, full nursing care can run $9,000 or $10,000 a month. So it's a way to offset that risk. But as the rising cost of health care is increased, so have these premiums.

And I think as a result of that, you just need to make sure you get the right policy that fits your budget. So let's do this. I've got to take a break.

When we come back, I'll talk about what those ingredients are. Hey, great to have you with us today on Faith and Finance Live. Just a moment, Jerry Boyer will stop by. Jerry's had a big week. He always has a big week. But this week was a big week with corporate engagement, and he'll update us on what's going on in the markets.

But first, before the break, we were talking to Debbie in Gary, Indiana. Debbie was wondering how I feel about long-term care insurance. And I was saying, you know, if you've got typical rule of thumb is you have assets between $200,000 and $2 million, and you might say, well, that's a big range, and it is, then you should at least consider it. And the reason is less than $200,000 in assets, you're probably going to eventually rely on Medicaid if you need, you know, assistance in this season of life that involves skilled care. Beyond $2 million in assets, you can self-insure. But for the vast majority of people in that kind of middle, that's where long-term care insurance can help because it's a major expense. If something's going to erode your assets in this season of life, it's probably going to be long-term care.

And so when you're evaluating a policy, you want to look at the type of policy, the daily benefit that it will provide, the number of years the policy will pay the benefits when you need care, the number of days before they'll begin paying once you qualify, that's called the waiting period. And then lastly, Debbie, the option of inflation protection, which can help just offset the rising cost of health care. The challenge, I think, in this space is that they tend to be expensive, and the premiums can go up. So don't go into it thinking that the premium is locked in.

You know, they can go up, and it's often a big jump. And that's just, you know, commensurate with what's happening with the rising cost of health care. So I would just make sure that it fits in your budget and that you can absorb those increases along the way because as it grows, the premium, if you drop it, you pretty much lose, you know, everything you put into it in terms of no longer having it available. But I think it's worth looking at. I would find an insurance agent who specializes in long-term care so they can pick from probably the, you know, among the strongest companies that are in the long-term care insurance space and find the one that's the best fit for you just given your health status and kind of, you know, some of them look at various ongoing illnesses different than another.

Now, you may be in perfect health, but if you have anything kind of going on, one company may underwrite that different than another. And so that's why it's important to have an agent that really understands all that and can help you navigate that. Is that helpful though? Yes. Yes. Thank you.

I just started looking into it and yeah, it looks like it would be beneficial. Good. Yeah. All right, Debbie. Thank you for your call today. We appreciate it. Hey, before we head back to the phones here on a Friday, Jerry Boyer stops by.

He shares his market updates with us. And Jerry, great to have you. How are things in Pennsylvania today? It's like rainy and cold here. I don't know about there.

Yeah, it's that here as well. But it's a grandchild weekend and that starts Friday afternoon. So there's no real rain, raininess or coldness when the grand when the grandsons are here. So does that mean mom and mom and dad go and have some fun and get away and the grandparents are in charge? I don't know. I don't know if they go out for a date or or maybe they just collapse in a heap, exhausted heap and go into a coma for the weekend. I don't know. That's great.

They have the option available at least. I love it. Well, I'm thrilled. I'm sure you and Susan will have a blast.

All right, let's dive in. So it's been a big week, Jerry. This was Apple board meeting week.

Give us the update. Yeah. So the Apple had its annual meeting and there's a couple of things that were really interesting. There was a shareholder who we worked with at Christian ministry that put a proposal on the ballot that basically said it looks like you have a bias against religious content.

Now, you claim that you don't, but it looks like you do. So we want you to do some kind of disclosure that explains how we're getting the results that we are. They've taken down Christian content like LifeSite News and the Manhattan Declaration here in the United States. They've taken down the Olive Tree app in China, a Quran app.

And just recently, just a week and a half ago, they took down We Pray. So shareholders want to know, what are you doing? Are you making decisions about what to sell on your app store based on your own political or religious views? And if so, how is that consistent with your obligation to shareholders?

So this ministry had got an opportunity to speak to the board of directors, the CEO, to the other shareholders who are present at the annual meeting and make that argument. And one particular highlight for me was that, you know, the Apple terms of service on the app literally say, you know, we're going to do we won't have something on the app store if it, quote, crosses the line. How do we know what crosses the line? Well, to quote a Supreme Court justice, we know it when we see it.

We think you do, too. So we know it when we see it is their standard for what crosses the line. So apparently sanctity of marriage or, you know, or sanctity of life crosses the line.

But, you know, maybe, you know, Christian apps. So this particular ministry had said, well, let me apply the same standard. I'm looking at the fact that you've banned all this conservative and Christian content.

You can't give any examples of any content that's more on the left on the secular side that you've banned. Looks like political and cultural bias. I know it when I see it. That's, you know, echoed around the boardroom there. No, we're not trying to score points. We're just trying to be memorable. We're trying to persuade. Of course, the shareholder proposal lost. They always do. This isn't about pure power, about winning the election.

They're not even binding anyway. This is about a way of getting past all the company like Apple, the largest in the world, has so many gatekeepers that this is a way that you can get to talk to the CEO and the board and make our case. Then we trust in God, you know, for how the case is received. But we just make the case, make the argument, speak the truth with clarity.

Yeah. And I think the idea here is the shareholders want the company to win. We all benefit from the incredible products and services they provide. But let's let's have a level playing field, I think is why you and other Christians are showing up here, right?

Yeah, absolutely. So, I mean, if someone's invested in the company, the people I work with aren't activists. They don't buy a share just so they can do this. They're shareholders for a return. So they, you know, they believe that Apple's an innovative and, you know, an income producing and productive company. It is. It's incredibly, it's an incredibly productive company.

It's a miracle. They glorify God, whether they know they're glorifying God or not, by fulfilling the dominion mandate. But that's that greatness does not make them experts on which religious content is deserving of respect and isn't. So building a major technology company doesn't give you the wisdom to know which religion is above is beyond the line and which isn't. So they need to really stick to their competence. And the other point is, it's bad for the company, not just because you're getting rid of profitable items, but also because politically, you know, pretty much in this country, only one of the political parties has had a decent relationship with big business. You've had a party that's kind of anti-big business and you've got a party that's more friendly. Well, that party is the conservative party. And if you keep sticking your thumb in the eye of the base of that conservative party, then you lose your only friends in Washington. And that is definitely happening. Republicans are shifting away from being pro-business. And essentially that leaves these businesses with no real advocates in government.

And that's not a good position for them to be in. Yeah. Last question on this, Jerry, and then we'll talk about the markets. Are you seeing a growing number of Christians participating in these meetings, both Apple and others?

Yeah, I am. Now, most of them aren't doing it as Christians per se. A lot of them are conservatives who are also Christians.

So there are conservative organizations and shareholders, and some are doing it. You know, for instance, I work a lot with David Bahnson. David Bahnson is an outspoken Christian. Yeah, the level of engagement is up. As a matter of fact, traditionally, you know, I'm not gonna, I mean, left and right don't quite capture what's going on with Christian, but generally evangelical Bible-believing Christians have been more conservative.

Okay. So, you know, at least on moral issues. What we've seen is in the past, the other side has outnumbered resolutions from us, maybe 20 to one, more recently 10 to one. At the Apple meeting this this week, actually, we were the majority of proposals.

I've never seen that before. So we're waking up. And I also noticed when they opened the phone lines, rather than make questions come through the portal, you know, through the email portal, I'm hearing new voices. And basically that started when I started talking to you about this on the air. So there are people who are stepping up, who are doing proposals, who are voting, and who are asking questions at the annual meeting.

In fact, there's so many I just this is something interesting. My daughter, Hope, who, you know, works with us on these, she came back to me and she said, Disney's logging on to Disney's annual meeting is the toughest thing that she's ever seen in proxy voting this year, that you have to put in all sorts of things in advance, you have to get extra permission, you have to get a control number in order to get the control number. It's a first come first serve, you know, meeting.

So that's really interesting. Disney is making it extremely hard, harder than I've ever seen any company do before, to just make a making extremely hard for just ordinary shareholders. And Disney has a lot of just regular retail shareholders. You know, they grew up, they like the movies, their kids like the movies, they buy shares, they're making it extremely difficult for those people to ask questions at the annual meeting, they don't want to hear from their owners. That's not the way to handle adverse publicity.

The way to handle it is to handle it and to deal with it and to change what needs to be changed. Yeah, that's right. All right, Jerry, just about 90 seconds left. Give us the the update on the data that came out this week regarding inflation and where you think that leaves us. A whole 90?

What do I do with the rest of the time? So inflation was higher than usual was it was high and higher than expected and higher at the highest in a year yesterday. So of course, that meant that the Fed, you know, probably has to pull money out of the system, which, you know, means markets went down. Today, the manufacturing sector came in and said, we're actually in contractionary territory.

We had at least a one month of a manufacturing contraction, which then means flip, we completely flip in a day. Oh, well, that means the Fed's going to have to pump money into the system or they think they will in order to stimulate it. And what happened, for the most part, markets went up today. Gold's at almost 2100. Bitcoins is sixty three thousand. So the markets being up is not necessarily a sign of a healthy economy.

It's actually a sign that the Fed thinks it needs to stimulate, which means all these inflation hedges and disaster hedges like gold and Bitcoin are going up to. Interesting. All right, Jerry, it seems like same song, second verse, right? We've been talking about this for a while and it continues to play out, but always appreciate your insights. Thanks for stopping by for all the great work you're doing. You and the team at Boyer Research. Thank you. God bless. All right. That's Jerry Boyer, our resident economist, joins us each Friday. Faith and Finance Live is a partnership between Moody Radio Radio and Faith Fi. Let me say thanks to my team today. Chris P., Laura, Amy, Jim. Couldn't do it without him. Thank you for being here as well. We'll see you next time.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-03-01 18:27:25 / 2024-03-01 18:44:47 / 17

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