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Do Investors Care About Faith-Based Investing?

MoneyWise / Rob West and Steve Moore
The Truth Network Radio
March 18, 2024 6:01 pm

Do Investors Care About Faith-Based Investing?

MoneyWise / Rob West and Steve Moore

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March 18, 2024 6:01 pm

The Bible clearly instructs us to honor and glorify God in all we do, including our investing. So as believers, it’s important for us to be informed and have the right attitude about our options when investing. On today's Faith & Finance Live, host Rob West will talk with Shaun Morgan about some interesting data on Christian attitudes toward faith-based investing. 

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

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And whatever you do in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3 17.

I am Rob West. Notice how that verse doesn't say in some things. The fact is we're to honor and glorify God in all we do, including our investing. Today with some interesting data on Christian attitudes about faith-based investing, 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 decisions. Well, it's great to have Sean Morgan back with us again. Sean is the director of product marketing and Eventide Asset Management and underwriter of this program. And Sean, welcome back.

Glad to be back, Rob. Sean, for several years now, we've, of course, been watching the growth of faith-based investing as a movement. But let's talk about the brand faith-based investing. Do you feel that needs some work?

It really might need a little work. Many financial advisors hesitate to bring up the concept of values-based investing or faith-based investing with their clients. And come to find out, it's for good reason. These terms don't actually mean much to most people, even to people who consider their faith to be very important in their lives. Eventide recently commissioned a survey of investors 30 and older who self-proclaimed that they consider their faith to be important or very important in their lives. And we received some interesting insights from this group of people. So, we learned what terms investors have positive or negative responses to, what types of companies they would want to invest in, and which ones they would want to avoid. And interestingly, one question at the end of the survey gives us a lot of perspective into what investors want from a financial advisor.

Well, I'm looking forward to hearing that. But first, tell us the types of questions you asked for the survey and perhaps some of the results. So, generally speaking, when we asked toward the beginning of the survey about their opinion about investment approaches with certain labels, there were far more neutral responses than very positive or somewhat positive responses.

So, for example, this was one of the questions we asked. What is your opinion of the following investment approaches? More people responded with neutral to faith-based investing and impact investing. Now, the term that received the greatest amount of somewhat positive responses was values-based investing. But it was still only 35% of people said that they had a somewhat positive response, and only 17% of people had a very positive response. And again, Sean, just to interrupt for a second, these were people who said their faith is really important to them, right?

That's exactly right. So, you're thinking about a subset of people that you would think would have a naturally positive response to some of these terms. But what we were getting back were kind of blank stares whenever we introduced these concepts to them.

So, now, what gave us more insight into maybe why they responded this way was another question we asked. We asked, how familiar are you with the following approaches of investing? And then we listed off things like values-based investing, and most people said that they had actually never heard of it. Faith-based investing, never heard of it. Biblical responsible investing, even more people had never heard of that. And even when we mentioned more other types of intentional investing approaches, like ESG or socially responsible investing, most people still said that they had never heard of those, which kind of explains why there weren't more positive responses.

People just don't know what we mean by these terms. However, as we got further in the survey and we asked more questions like, would you sell off your investment if you learned a company was profiting from certain things that people would have a problem with? So, when we asked those types of questions, many people responded by saying, well, they would want to sell off their investments if they learned the companies were doing these things.

So, hypothetically, this is one of the questions we asked. So, we said, hypothetically, would you seek to divest or sell off your investment if you learned that a company... The highest response was profiting off of pornography. Eighty percent of people would want to sell off their investment if they learned that a company was doing that.

Close behind that was people not wanting to invest in companies that use suppliers with child labor or harsh labor conditions. So, these were all more specific questions that we were asking. When we asked those more specific questions, people had more specific responses as far as how they felt about them. Interesting. Well, we'll continue to unpack the data that you gleaned from this survey just around the corner, including, would people increase their investments in companies that create human flourishing?

And what was that question that they were interested in at the end of the survey? Back with Sean Morgan after this. Stick around. Grateful to have you with us today on Faith & Finance Live. I'm Rob West.

With me today, Sean Morgan. He's Director of Product Marketing at Eventide Asset Management, an underwriter of this program. Before the break, Sean was sharing with us about a recent survey that he and the team at Eventide conducted about faith-based investing, talking specifically to believers, folks who said their faith was very important to them, about this idea of faith-based investing.

Have they heard of it? What terms have they heard of and what actions might they take if they knew their companies either were or were not aligned with their biblical values? Sean, frame up the survey again just for a moment for those just joining us in terms of what you were trying to accomplish. Yeah, so we asked at the beginning, number one, we just chose a subset of people that at the beginning of the survey said that their faith was very important or somewhat important to them.

So we're already dealing with the people that say faith plays a big part in their lives. But then we wanted to know what their responses were whenever we asked them about investment approaches. And when we mentioned terms like faith-based investing and biblically responsible investing, a lot of them gave us blank stares back on the paper where they said, we just don't know what those mean when we have a neutral response to those. So further out throughout the survey, when we started asking more specific questions that let them into what we meant by that, we actually had a lot more specific responses. Yeah, let's dive into that. You did get somewhat of a positive response to values-based investing, but more blank stares around ESG and socially responsible investing. So even though these are all gaining traction and we're seeing growth, the average Christian in the pews perhaps is still relatively uneducated about what's going on here. Now, before the break, Sean, you were sharing about a specific question you asked around whether someone would divest or sell off an investment if they learned a company was doing things that were misaligned with their values.

Tell us more about that. Yeah, so if we were to just ask, if a company was acting against your values, would you divest from it? We probably anticipate that we'd still get more blank stares. But when we asked specifically, would you divest from a company if they were profiting off of pornography? 80% of people said they would want to sell off their investment. And the same thing with companies that had suppliers with child labor or labor conditions or creating products that would end a life or even products like tobacco. 55% of people said that they would divest from a company if it was producing a product that was harmful to people like tobacco. Now, we also ask the inverse question of would any of the following increase your desire to invest in a company? And over 60% of people wanted to invest in a company that creates products or services that are healthy and positive for people and families. And the same thing with investing in a company that creates positive impact, not just for investors, but also for others like customers and employees. And this must have been really encouraging to you, Sean, and the work that you're doing there at Eventide, because what it says is even though there's an education gap, there's a real opportunity because believers, when confronted with these opportunities, want to lean into this, right?

Well, it lines up with what I experience in real life. Whenever people ask me about what I do, if I come back to them with a term of, hey, I work for an asset management company and we do faith-based investing. I see a little bit of confusion, but whenever I say, hey, you know how you're probably investing in things and you have no idea what you're invested in? Well, my company seeks to avoid investing in companies that are doing harm and it seeks to invest in companies that are actually doing something really positive. That actually resonates a lot more with people.

It sure does. I get that all the time on the radio as I'm trying to explain values-based or faith-based investing, and I think an example is also helpful. Sean, you educated me, you and the team at Eventide, about the fact that the solar supply chain was just fraught with slave labor.

As you all went out to invest in that particular area, you've selected companies that completely avoid that. I think that's just something people can understand and wrap their arms around. Would you agree?

That's right. Whenever you're watching the news or reading about big injustices going on in the world, it's interesting to look at your own investing portfolio and say, in what ways am I proliferating this or in what ways am I helping solve this problem? Yeah, that's really interesting. You said that the response from the last question was the most surprising of all.

Share that with us. At the end of the survey, remember, at the beginning of the survey, we were getting neutral responses from things like, how much do you care about faith-based investing? After the survey, and after we asked more specific questions about, would you be willing to divest from these types of companies and invest in these types of companies, we asked, would you be willing to change financial advisors in order to get access to investments that align with your values?

A whopping 62% of the respondents said yes. They would actually change advisors. We weren't just asking them, would you like it if your advisor brought it up to you?

We were asking, would you be willing to actually leave your current advisor and go find a new one that aligned with your values? 62%. Incredible.

That's right. Another interesting question was, we also found that 63% of these respondents said that their advisor has never brought these things up to them. Wow. That's fascinating.

Did that surprise you, Sean? It really did, on a lot of levels, because as advisors are going through and relating to their clients and their values on other aspects of their financial plans, how they want to spend and save and give, it actually exposes a big need for advisors to come in and say, we want your investments to also reflect your values in how you're investing your money. Not just in how you spend, save, and give, but how you invest.

Yeah, that's exactly right. All right, sum this up for us. As you and the team pulled back and analyzed the data, what were some of your big takeaways? Overall, this survey gives us a lot of insight into how advisors can talk to investors about faith-based or values-based investing.

Overall, we figured out that these terms carry a lot more weight when you describe what they mean. Don't make assumptions that people are just immediately drawn to them. But make no mistake, people care about what they are investing in, and advisors can really show that they care about their clients by having these conversations with them. So I would encourage investors to bring this up with their advisors. And if you're an advisor, don't shy away from having these conversations with your clients. In fact, advisors that do bring this up with their clients might just deepen their relationship and retain more of their clients.

Yeah. You know, Sean, I was talking to a caller just yesterday, and she said, you know, Rob, I'm interested in this whole idea of values alignment with my investments, but I brought it up to my advisor. And he's a believer.

He's very committed in our church, but he kind of dismissed it and said, Yeah, you really can't do that. And I think so often advisors are well-intentioned. They're certainly not trying to mislead anybody, but so many of them just aren't familiar with what's possible in this space today. Would you agree with that?

I would. There is a lack of education, especially with financial advisors, that when they're looking day to day on what's available right in front of them on their platform, they don't even know how to go about seeking out investment advisors or investment management companies that will implement this into how they're managing their portfolios. And that's a big initiative at Eventide is to fill in that education gap to show advisors that it is possible. I know there's a lot of work you all are doing there.

We're certainly grateful for it. Where can folks go to get more information and begin their own educational process? I would go to our website, eventideinvestments.com, and you can search out our resources there. Advisors can actually reach out to us, and we can take them through this process. Excellent. Sean, we always appreciate our time with you, my friend.

Thanks for stopping by. Thanks, Rob. That's Sean Morgan. He's been our guest today. He's director of product marketing at Eventide Asset Management. The website again, eventideinvestments.com. 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 Live. We'll be right back. Well, it's great to have you with us today on Faith and Finance Live.

I'm Rob West. It's time to take your calls and questions today on anything financial. 800-525-7000. We've got lines open. You can call right now.

Again, 800-525-7000. Also, just a big thank you to so many of you who participated in our spring share last week at Moody Radio. What a thrill to hear from so many of you, to see you respond with such incredible generosity to fund the work that continues each day at Moody Radio and the Moody Bible Institute. And it's always good to give back to regular programming, but such a delight to spend a few days hearing from you and being encouraged by your giving. So just to know that we are incredibly grateful. All right, we're going to turn the corner, though, today. We want to get into what you're thinking about financially.

You know, this is a really important topic. Clearly, it's on the heart of God as we look at the Scriptures, more than 2,300 verses on this passage. And our goal is to equip you to make those practical daily decisions in light of biblical wisdom, recognizing that money can compete, if we allow it to, with God for first position in our lives. That we can seek the things of this world to provide satisfaction and satisfy our longing for abundance. And yet, we know that the things of this world will always leave us empty, that God is who we were designed for. He is our abundance and that He should be our ultimate treasure. Money is then a tool to accomplish His purposes. So how do we do that in light of a biblical worldview and given the many practical money-related decisions we have to make every day? Well, that's why we're here. So if you have a question today, we'd love to hear from you about it, whether it's living, giving, owing or growing God's money.

You can call 800-525-7000 and we'll dive into those questions together. All right, let's begin today in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Hi, Mary, go right ahead. Hey, thanks, Rob, for taking my call.

Your show blesses me beyond measure. I have a question around the settlement of my mom's estate and I was wondering if it is, it's kind of divided into two pieces. Like the bulk of it was up in Ohio and it's all settled and she didn't have any real property or anything like that. So what I'm talking about right now is another piece of it, a small pension. And so that's the last piece that's needing to be settled. And it's it's basically going through, it's supposed to be going through probate, right? For some reason, because she passed in a different state. Anyways, my question is around the paperwork.

I've gotten paperwork from the attorney that was hired in the state where it's going through probate. So he's working for my mom, essentially. And I got paperwork from him that was appears to be asking me to, to forfeit my right or to, how they say it, to, you know, to it was a waiver, essentially, forfeiting my right to an audit of her estate. And I thought, is that normal? Do they do they do they do that a lot?

And why would I why would I want to? And particularly in this case, since there was a little financial misbehavior involved with her estate historically. So that's kind of my my first question. And then my second question is kind of a part B is like, I feel like I need to find an attorney to, you know, kind of kind of navigate the attorneys.

And is that because I mean, don't they have like a day you sit down at a conference table and everybody reads the will and, you know, with an attorney present and you kind of get kind of get it out on the table, so to speak. So those are those are kind of A and B of my question. Yeah, yeah, no, that's helpful, Mary. And I can understand why you're just trying to think through all this because you certainly don't want to make a misstep here on this.

Do you know the personal representative or executor who's named in the will to handle all of this? Yes. All right. Yeah, that doesn't sound like a good thing necessarily. But all right.

Yeah, very good. And let me just say I'll give you a kind of a part A and a part B to my answer. Part A is I'm not an attorney. And so to the extent you have legal questions, I would always direct you back to an attorney. And at the end of the day, if you're concerned about how this is handled. Yeah, having an estate attorney represent you as a part of this process, or at least as a sounding board, is never a bad idea. Now, generally speaking, is a waiver of accounting a standard procedure?

It certainly can be for a fairly simple situation. The reason you would do it is it eliminates the need for an extensive and expensive when that's the key accounting process by the personal representative or executor. So it makes sense as long as the personal representative is provided comprehensive information about the accounting, you know, when the estate is administered and therefore a final accounting may not be necessary if all the information has been provided. And that's where it does in a fairly simple cut and dry situation become somewhat routine from the personal representative. Now, if you have concerns over the finances of the estate, you don't feel like you've been given all the information or you feel like there's some question, then I would say this is probably the situation where you do not decline or you decline the waiver, I should say, so that that found final full accounting can be done. And even though that may result in a smaller estate, to the extent that that's going to have to be then paid for, that would give you some peace of mind that at least you know, things have been handled properly. And that may be a very worthwhile expense for you, given what you're alluding to, and I don't need to know the details of what may or may not have taken place. Does that make sense?

Yes, it does. So is there a great resource you can point me to quickly for a good Christian like attorney? Yeah, what I would say is I would probably reach out to a certified kingdom advisor there in your area and ask for a referral to an estate attorney. That's what you want, an estate attorney who understands your worldview, a godly person who could represent you and answer your questions to look out for your interest.

So go to faithfi.com, click find a CKA or find a professional and any one of those certified kingdom advisors, Mary can refer you to a godly estate attorney, either in your area or the area where the estate's being settled. Thanks for your call. We'll be right back. So glad to have you with us today on Faith and Finance Live.

I'm Rob West. It's time for your calls and questions. We're ready for you.

The lines are open. We just need you. 800-525-7000 with any financial question today, whether it's your lifestyle, maybe it's your spending plan, how to stay on budget in light of these sky high expenses. Perhaps you're struggling with how to navigate this market or paying down debt.

Maybe it's giving wisely. Whatever you're thinking about today, we'd love to hear from you. The number is 800-525-7000. That's 800-525-7000.

You can call right now. In the news today, before we head back to the phones, with a little less than a month to go before the tax filing deadline, the IRS is saying you need to know three key things that can help with the process. First is you have a few different free filing options.

That's right. There's the IRS pre-file program. That's now in place. There's something called the IRS direct file.

That's a pilot option they're making available. There's also something called the volunteer income tax assistance and even something called tax counseling for the elderly. You can find out more about all of these offerings at IRS.gov.

That's IRS.gov. Second, the IRS is reminding taxpayers that you may be eligible for the earned income tax credit. If you're in a low or moderate income situation, that's something to be aware of if you apply or may comply with that offering. The IRS says millions of people qualify but don't claim the credit.

So it might be worth checking out. And then finally, the IRS is reminding you that you can still lower your tax liability or your tax bill by funding a pre-tax individual retirement account. So you can contribute up to $6500 for 2023 if you haven't filed your 2023 taxes yet.

You can go all the way up to $7500 in a pre-tax retirement account if you're 50 or older. What will that do for you? Well, that will just simply reduce your tax liability because that income or that contribution, I should say, will be excluded from your taxable income. And it's a great way to get that tax liability down.

So hopefully those are helpful for you as we head toward that looming date coming just around the corner, April the 15th. By the way, you know, as we look at this through a biblical lens, which is what we look at when we think about God's money. First of all, I think it's important to recognize that taxes are symptomatic of income.

What does that mean? Well, that just means that we don't pay taxes without income. So one perspective is, and this is maybe a shift in our thinking, that we should pay taxes with Thanksgiving because we know that God has provided and therefore we pay the tax. Second, reducing taxes will generally cost you something.

Now, I'm not talking about a tax credit, but I am talking about where you make a purchasing decision or a spending decision only for the tax, quote, deduction, because you never get a 100 percent deduction. So remember, those tax reductions through deductions are going to cost you something. And then finally, I would just remind you of Jesus' words in Luke 20, 25. He said to them, then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's and to God the things that are God's. And so although we might not like paying taxes, we need to remember that it's clearly something that Jesus instructed us to do.

So hopefully that gives you maybe a bit of a different perspective as you think about your tax filing deadline just around the corner. All right, we're going to head back to the phones. By the way, coming up a little later in the broadcast, Bob Dole will stop by. We'll get an update on the markets with Bob in just a few moments.

But first, to Chicago. Hi, Ann, go right ahead. Hi, I have a quick question and thank you for taking my call.

You're a blessing for us. My question is, is I have an investment property that I'm planning to sell, but at the same time, hello? Yes, ma'am. Oh, okay. At the same time, after I sell that, I was planning to pay off a mortgage at a primary residence. Okay. And I was wondering, is there any tax advantage if I do that?

There really isn't. And so what you do with the money after you sell this property really has no bearing on the tax consequence of it. If it's a rental property, unless you do what's called a 1031 exchange where within 45 days you identify another rental property and then within 180 days of the sale, you close on that new rental property, which in effect will just push the capital gains tax down the road to a future sale. Apart from that, you're going to pay capital gains depending upon your income. So do you know, will you have a profit on this property, basically taking the selling price minus any improvements, not general maintenance, but improvements to the property and then subtracting your original purchase price? Will you have a profit on it? Yeah, because actually I don't have a loan on that property that I'm planning to sell. Okay, but the loan doesn't make a difference here. What this has to do with is, what did you originally pay for this property?

Do you remember? Oh, it was like, it was maybe $50,000. Okay, well, you'll need to nail that down, but let's say it was $50,000. And then do you know roughly what you've put into it in the way of improvements, not maintenance, but where you added a room? Well, yes, we had to remodel it like maybe $100,000 and invest in it.

Okay, so let's just use round numbers. Yeah, $150,000. And what do you think you'll sell it for? $300,000. Okay, so let's say you have $150,000 in gains, the difference between the $150,000 you put in it and the $300,000 you're selling it for. Are you married filing jointly or single?

Yes, jointly. Okay, and is your income, not the sale price or the profit, but your income, your adjusted gross income, is it somewhere between $89,000 and $500,000 or is it below $89,000? It's maybe $80,000. Okay, if you're under $89,250, and that was the 2023 number, it's a little higher for 2024, your capital gains rate is zero. You have to get above $89,250 in the form of income before you have to pay capital gains based on the current capital gains rates. So if you're under that, you wouldn't have any capital gains. If you're above it, then you would, and that first bracket between $89,000 and $550,000 is 15%. But it sounds like you may not even have that. And what you do with the money, whether you take it and you give it away, or you put it in your checking account, or you invest it, has no bearing on whether or not you owe capital gains tax. Does that make sense?

Okay. So in other words, if I sell a property and get a $200,000 profit on it, it would be best for me also to just invest it, like roll it over to another property? Well, yeah, so it really comes down to what is the best investment for you and your husband, given your goals and objectives. I wouldn't let the taxes determine that. If you plan to continue being a landlord and investing in real estate, then it would make sense for you to comply with what's called the 1031 exchange. And then if you had any capital gains, you could push it forward. But it sounds like based on the fact that you have less income than $89,250 as a couple married filing jointly, your capital gains rate is zero.

So you can take that property, sell it, not pay any capital gains, and then you decide, do we want to put it in another property? Do we want to invest it? Do we want to show up our emergency fund?

It's completely up to you. I hope that helps you and thanks for your call today. We'll be right back. Hey, thanks for joining us today on faith and finance live. I'm Rob West. We're taking your calls and questions. We have room for maybe one or two more questions before we round out the broadcast today.

The number to call 800-525-7000. But first, Bob Dolls here. It's a Monday, which as we start the investing week, we always love to get Bob's take. By the way, if you'd like that take on a regular basis, you can sign up for Bob's Dolls Deliberations. That's his weekly investment commentary.

You'll find it at crossmarkglobal.com. All right, Bob, what do you make of this market and this week? What are you watching? Watching what's going to happen with all the crosscurrents related to the Fed. That's an important meeting this week. We'll be watching carefully the dot plots. That's where each of the Fed governors think rates are going to progress from here to the end of the year. Do they reduce the number of cuts that are expected on the part of the Fed? That'll be a key moment for the markets. And then just the usual trading around earnings and inflation and all those good things.

Eventually, maybe politics will get in the way. Last I checked, we have a little election coming up here in November, Rob. I think that's exactly right. No doubt about that, and it's going to be a wild one for sure. Hey, Bob, obviously that PPI number was a bit of a surprise. Is that alarming to you? Yes, both the CPI and the PPI. Now, this is the second month in a row that the numbers were worse than expected.

Many are arguing that this is a seasonal thing that is going to end with the next report. I suspect there's some of that, but inflation is showing itself to be sticky. Remember the Fed's target, Rob, was 2%. We started at 9%, we got it down to 4%, and it's kind of stuck there. Our view at crossmark is we probably can see our way to 3% inflation, but I don't think we're going to get to 2%. So the Fed will be disappointed, which means the number of cuts are going to be less than expected. Yeah. Bob, does that automatically lead to stagflation, that slow growth, higher than normal inflation environment that nobody likes?

Not necessarily. First, I'd argue that 3% inflation is actually normal. That's not a high number.

High in U.S. history would be, you know, 5, 6, maybe the high 4s. So 3 is kind of the long-term number, and that's kind of where we see things going. Now, growth, which is the other part of that equation, growth is slowing.

There's no question about that. And the question is, how slow will growth get? Watch the employment numbers, watch consumer spending.

They're the two things that have been stronger for longer than most of us expected. We're seeing some signs of slowdown in both those variables, Rob. Yeah. Now, obviously, a lot of this hangs on the earnings numbers coming in. You've been saying that you feel like double-digit growth on the part of companies is just really going to be challenging this year. I would assume you maintain that position, right?

Yeah. The number for this year is 11% growth, and for next year, as if we have any clue, is 13%. That's the consensus number. My guess is going to be kind of half that, which is the long-term normal that people forget about. They think double-digit earnings growth is normal. It's not.

Remember, the U.S. is a reasonably mature economy, so if we can grow our earnings as we have over the long term in the 5, 6, on a good day, 7% compound growth rate, that's pretty amazing. Yeah. Bob, obviously, a lot of changes going on in the real estate market right now with this big announcement from the National Association of Realtors related to commissions. Do you think that moves the needle at all in this housing market, just given these high prices?

Well, it's possible. Look, housing is another one of those items, housing prices, that have defied gravity. They've held on strong, and we know the reasons. Not a lot of turnover because people have a mortgage at 3%. Why are they going to move? We've also seen that the supply, the addition of new housing, has been a lot lower than the demand from all kinds of people, including baby boomers that want to move out of their parents' basement. And that's why real estate prices residential have stayed pretty strong.

Yeah, very good. Bob, as we look at this last question related to gold, obviously a big rally over the past few weeks. Just give us your take on where we go from here in the precious metals.

Yeah, we've been arguing that we are in an inflation environment that we haven't seen in quite some time, even if we get down to three. Therefore, if you have a little gold in your portfolio, it's okay. It's almost as if you wish everything else in your portfolio did really well, in which case gold might not. It's a hedge.

It's an insurance policy. So the gold has risen, shouldn't surprise anybody, and it often is associated with a decline in the U.S. dollar, which we've seen some of since the first of the year, and we'll see if that continues. Gold has moved up. Copper has moved up. Copper obviously is more of an economic indicator.

We call it Dr. Copper. The way the copper price goes is often the way the economy goes. So it's signaling the economy is okay. Yeah, and then obviously Bitcoin was moving along with it, but with a lot more volatility, right? Yes, that's for sure.

Many of us would argue, and maybe in an old-fashioned way, that there's still more speculation in those sorts of things than there is in copper and even gold, but people have made a lot of money, and you don't hear about it so much, but people have lost a lot of money in those transactions. Yeah, that's exactly right. All right, Bob, we're grateful for your time today. Thanks for stopping by, my friend. Have a great week, Rob. All right. That's Bob Doll. He's chief executive officer and chief investment officer at Crossmark Global Investments, where investments and values intersect.

You can learn more at crossmarkglobal.com. All right, as we head toward the end of the program today, let's try to sneak in one or two, possibly more questions, to Boca Raton, Florida. Veronica, you're next up. Go right ahead. Hi, Rob.

This is Veronica. Thank you for taking my call. I have a question about retirement. I'm 47 years old, and I don't have retirement. My work doesn't offer 401K, and I would have to do a Roth, but my husband and I, we have a debt, a school debt, $45,000 total between both of us. We're trying to pay as much as we can, but the thing is, I have a situation with my mom and my father that my father, you know, he can't support himself. So we are jumping in support him like quite a while already. And my mom, she's getting older and she is not working right now.

She loves her job. And so now all my sisters and I, we have to jump in and help. And so seeing the situation of both of them, I don't want to be like that, you know. So I was just thinking, I know I have a debt, and we studied Dave Ramsey before we got married with my husband. And you cannot have a 401K until you pay all your debt. My husband has, because he doesn't agree with that, and he started like maybe four years ago with a 401K, and he's aggressive. He has 10% in the Roth and 5% 401K.

So he's doing 15%, but I don't. And so I was looking, because he told me, go and look in the online. I heard about a tax-free retirement account. So I went and I typed online tax-free, and then it showed me the IUL site. And I filled it up, you know, my name, my phone number, my email, and the guy, you know, sent me a text.

And, you know, then we talked. And so he explained that a tax-free retirement account is a compound interest, which he told me that when the markets go down, I will not lose money. I will not go down. When the markets go up, I will go up.

So it's like he works... Sure, I'm familiar with the IUL. Let me give you some thoughts, because unfortunately, I don't mean to cut you off, Veronica. This is really helpful background information, but I want to be sure to give you some thoughts before the program's out here.

A couple of things. Number one is I love you all getting out of debt, but I also want you to be saving for the future, because these are really important earnings years where you can get the compounded growth. I love the fact that you all are taking care of mom and dad because they don't have the resources. I would just be honest with your siblings about your own financial situation and make sure everybody's doing their part and make sure you all are going in together.

But I can certainly understand how you don't want to end up in that situation. Part of that means entering retirement at the very least completely debt-free. And that means let's look at, you know, between your current age and retirement to try to get out from under this student loan debt. What did you say your age was today? Forty-seven. All right. And your husband about the same?

Well, he's going to be 50. Okay. Very good.

And based on your current trajectory, just if you all continue doing what you're doing right now with the student loans, how quickly will you have that paid off? Do you know? I don't know. Will we maybe five, seven years, something like that? Yeah.

Okay. If you can do that and have that paid off in the next five to seven years, I would just stay on that current plan. Even if it backs up to 10 years, I'd be okay with that. And then I love the fact that your husband's putting 15% between his traditional and Roth 401k.

That's great. I'd love for you, rather than the IUL, the Index Universal Life, which is an insurance policy where you're going to give up some of the upside potential in exchange for downside protection. I don't think that's in your best interest right now.

I want you to get 100% of the upside and I don't want you to have the fees and the complexity of an insurance product. Most of those products are sold, not bought. Typically, it's not people going out looking for them.

It's people selling them. And although they do have a place in some situations, I don't think it's ideal for you. So what I would do is try to make sure you get that student loan debt paid off in the next seven to 10 years. Have your husband keep putting the 15% away. And if you could put in the $7,500 or the $8,000 that you can put in a Roth IRA. In fact, you can put in $7,500 for 2023 if you haven't filed your taxes in a Roth. Now you've got the Roth, his retirement plan, you're debt free in seven to 10 years, if not sooner. And you guys have some retirement savings that you can lean on alongside Social Security when you got that season of life.

That, I think, gives you the best of both worlds. Unfortunately, I'm out of time. Call back anytime if you have more questions today. God bless you, Veronica. Faith in Finance Live is a partnership between Mooney Radio and FaithFi. Thank you to Dan, Amy, Jim, and our call screener today, Lisa. We'll see you tomorrow. Bye bye.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-03-18 19:41:47 / 2024-03-18 19:59:23 / 18

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