Join us today for Part 1 of the Interview with Jared Williams, host of the Biblical Wealth Podcast...
This is Part 1 of the interview I had with podcast host and Biblical Wealth Advisor Jared Williams.
In today’s interview with Jared Williams, we talk about what the approach to finances called Biblical Wealth is. We also talk about stewardship and the stages of financial freedom as well as resources you can use to have better stewardship of your finances.
Join in on the Chat below.
00:00:00 Thanks for joining us on episode 716 of the inspired stewardship podcast. I'm Jared Williams with biblical wealth solutions. I challenge you to invest in yourself, invest in others, develop your influence and impact the world by using your time, your talent and your treasures to live out your calling, having the ability to invest without compromising your Christian values is key. And one way to be inspired to do that is to listen to this,
00:00:27 the inspired stewardship podcast with my friend, Scott Mader stewardship. But for me, the definition I landed on after quite a lot of reading and studying. And my definition is that the stewardship is the responsibility and opportunity, you know, to manage all that God has entrusted to us for his glory and for the benefit of others. And that for the benefit of others was a really important piece and something,
00:00:57 honestly, that would surprised me a bit as I began studying scriptures, but that's my definition. Welcome. And thank you for joining us on the inspired stewardship podcast. If you truly desire to become the person who God wants you to be, then you must learn to use your time, your talent and your treasures for your true calling and the inspired stewardship podcast.
00:01:21 We'll learn to invest in yourself, invest in others and develop your influence so that you can impact the world in today's interview with Jared Williams, we talk about what the approach to finances called biblical wealth really is. We talk a little bit about stewardship and the stages of financial freedom, as well as sharing some resources that you can use to have better stewardship of your finances.
00:01:52 One reason I like to bring you great interviews. Like the one you're going to hear today is because of the power in learning from others. Another great way to learn from others is through reading books. But if you're like most people today, you find it hard to find the time to sit down and read. And that's why today's podcast is brought to you by audible,
00:02:13 go to inspired stewardship.com/audible to sign up and you can get a 30 day free trial. There's over 180,000 titles to choose from. And instead of reading, you can listen your way to learn from some of the greatest minds out there. That's inspired stewardship.com/audible to get your free trial and listen to great books the same way you're listening to this podcast. Jared Williams is on a mission to revolutionize Christian personal finance.
00:02:48 And for those of you that have been listening for a while, you know, that's right up my alley, Jared began a Christian financial advisory firm called biblical wealth solutions where he and his team Help families achieve financial freedom. But here's the neat part using biblical and non wall street investments so that they could have freedom to do what God has uniquely called them to do.
00:03:12 Jared also hosts a great podcast called the biblical wealth podcast, and he started the building biblical families podcast as well, two great shows that all have links to, and that you can check out in the show notes. Most importantly, of course, Jared and his wife homeschool their three children and enjoy reading great books together as a family. Welcome to the show,
00:03:34 Jared. Thanks, Scott. I'm glad to be here. Well, so we just talked about it, biblical wealth solutions. The, I think the obvious question and let's kind of start with this foundation is what makes biblical wealth different than other avenues of investing for Christians? Yeah, so, so I think there's two, two main things that make it different.
00:03:56 And this was why I started biblical wealth solutions in the first place. One was to focus on, you know, what, what we call biblically responsible investing in the industry. So there's, you know, there's, there's now really an entire industry around this idea of being biblically responsible with our investments. And so what that means is that we are mindful about screening out or avoiding investing with companies who support or even profit from unbiblical activities,
00:04:25 things like abortion pornography addiction, which, you know, you may be surprised to hear is actually pretty common in a lot of the stock market based investments in particular. So, so that's the one piece is, is, you know, being focused on stewardship, you know, in our investing. And there's a number of firms out there who do that.
00:04:43 So that was an original thing to me, that was an idea that was introduced to me and, you know, something that I was really trained in from others, but also as years went on in being a financial advisor, I began finding really a number of problems with what I call the typical financial approach, what most of us are taught to do and started studying,
00:05:06 you know, what were other approaches, what were other ways we could go about achieving the same goals, but allowed us to avoid, or, you know, offset or, you know, mitigate these risks, these problems with the typical approach. And there really wasn't anyone that I know of, you know, who was focusing on biblical investing or biblically responsible investing,
00:05:26 and also, you know, this alternative approach, what I call now, my biblical and better, you know, financial approach. And since there wasn't anyone doing it, I, I really had to figure out how to marry those two things. And, and that became biblical wealth solutions. So let, let's dive into that a little bit more, let's start with the risk.
00:05:46 Cause that was just what you were talking about. Can you give an example of something that, that you view as a risk in the typical way of doing things that may be doing this the biblical way helps mitigate? Yeah. I, I make, I make a distinction between what I call maybe risks and that's a corny name, but it gets the point across.
00:06:04 So maybe risk and, and a definite loss. And, and I find that in the typical financial approach, you know, we, we, we have both of those and most people, most advisors use the term risk, you know, interchangeably for, for these two things. But really there are some risks like early death, like disability, like a stock market crash,
00:06:22 like, you know, poor market timing. And the first few years of retirement, those may or may not happen to you. So those are, you know, maybe risks they could happen. They could be devastating. They, they probably won't, but we need to consider them. And then there's the, you know, the, the definite losses and those are not hidden per se,
00:06:40 but most people seem to be a tend to be unaware of them, or at least they don't realize how impactful they can be. So the first one that really got my attention was, was market volatility, you know? And, and so that's not a, you know, 20, 30, 40% crash or anything like that. It doesn't mean, you know,
00:06:58 a bad sequence of return or bad market timing at retirement, but just the normal ups and downs of the market that I honestly had always kind of thought of as an opportunity, you know, with rebalancing, you automatically, you know, buy low, sell high, you know, with doing that. I had always seen it that way, but, but I,
00:07:15 I tested something one time just out of curiosity and was shocked at the Results and, and realize the difference in that that test was volatility. So I went and built a big spreadsheet, a calculator to really test and isolate the impact of volatility and miss shocked to see how much, no loss of wealth or loss of wealth potential families would experience just with normal volatility,
00:07:38 you know, of being in the market over a long period of time. But the second problem was, you know, fees and investment costs. And of course, some of those are good and, and, you know, in some instances necessary, but they were very impactful. You know, those two alone, you know, without any maybe risks without anything going wrong,
00:07:56 just volatility and phase normal volatility and phase could get caused a family to lose more than 50% of their wealth potential or what they could have had had they had some way to lessen or avoid volatility and less than, or avoid those fees. And so using not biblically screen mutual funds, cause the same thing applies there, but using non Washington investments was a way of avoiding or minimizing the impact of those two losses.
00:08:24 And even if otherwise returns were, were the same, just avoiding those two losses would have a significant impact on a family's no final, final financial outcome. Hmm. Okay. And, and you know, the other one, the focus on biblically responsible investing part. Now I sat on the board of pensions for the United Methodist church in this comp in the conference that I'm in,
00:08:46 in South Texas. So I'm not unfamiliar with this idea because actually by in the Methodist church, it's actually a requirement that all money invest has to be invested in a biblical responsible way. And so we work with, you know, like you said, there's companies out there that do this, we work with one of those companies and make sure that that happens.
00:09:05 But would you explain to somebody where maybe they're like, wait a minute, what do you mean? You know, how can my mutual fund be invested in a way that's not biblical? What does that look like for the average consumer? Yeah. So, so like you said, the average consumer has mutual funds. You know, most of us invest primarily if not exclusively in mutual funds.
00:09:25 It's rare that I see people with individual stocks or certainly, you know, non wall street investments. And so inside those mutual funds, you know, there's typically hundreds of companies, if not thousands. And we typically own a handful of mutual funds. And so it's easy to get into the thousands of companies owned. It's certainly more prevalent in your large cap stocks,
00:09:42 your big companies, where we see this, it can happen. You know, it can be there with any size company, but typically your large companies is where you see it. But for example, you know, a pharmaceutical company who, you know, they may make all sorts of other drugs, but along with those drugs, they may also make abortion drugs and they profit.
00:09:59 And thus the shareholder profits, whenever abortion drugs are being sold, you may be invested in a hospital chain or some kind of healthcare chain that does perform abortions for profit or, you know, many of the companies, especially in the S and P 500, that again, the large companies, you know, are making donations and supporting organizations like planned Parenthood,
00:10:20 as, as an example, certainly know, tobacco companies are an easy one to think of. And, you know, it's not my concern, whether someone smokes or not use tobacco, like that's not my issue, but it's pretty clear as you look into the hood that, that many of those companies, you know, they rely upon the addiction, other companies to be profitable,
00:10:40 same with certain alcohol, you know, manufacturers, distributors and things. Again, not, not all of them necessarily are what I would call predatory, but it certainly can be there, you know, going in and introducing cigarettes to children and, and third world countries and getting them addicted at a young age is certainly predatory in my opinion. And you know,
00:10:58 and just not how I would, It's an actual, it's an actual business practice that they'll talk about, you know, it's in there, it's in their annual report. And so if you don't believe me, go read them. You can find online that, you know, our, our market expansion in India is driven by the under 18 market. Cause they're,
00:11:14 it's legal. So, you know, it's not, they're not breaking the law. I mean, to be clear, they're, they're not breaking the law, but if you, as a Christian feel like that's not the right way for them to be operating, you know, it kind of gets back to the vote with your dollars idea only in this case,
00:11:32 it's your investment dollars instead of your consumer dollars that you're spending at the grocery store, if that makes sense. So within that, you know, you referenced the word stewardship a couple of times. So I've learned over the years that as I talk to different people about stewardship, everyone kind of has their own little take on it or their own definition or the way they put into words.
00:11:53 So would you talk a little bit about how you define that word stewardship and what it means to you personally? Yeah, so I spent quite a bit of time working on this for the podcast, you know, for my podcast and really diving deep beyond what I had been taught was the definition of stewardship or beyond thinking about stewardship as you know, from just an investing standpoint and really what does scripture say about it?
00:12:18 And so, you know, obviously the scripture says that God is the owner of everything. He, as the creator, he is the, as the owner of everything and, you know, early in Genesis, we see that God gave man stewardship over his creation. And so I think that's the, you know, the basis of, of stewardship. But for me,
00:12:33 the definition I landed on after quite a lot of reading and studying, and my definition is that, but the stewardship is their responsibility and opportunity, you know, to manage all that God has entrusted to us for his glory and for the benefit of others. And that for the benefit of others was a really important piece. And something, honestly, that surprised me a bit as I began studying scriptures,
00:12:55 but that's my definition. So one of the things that I've heard you referenced before in listening to the podcast and following you for a while now is what you call the five stages of financial freedom. And that, you know, this is kind of a framework that you use when you're talking to clients. And when you're, when you're working with people, can you kind of walk us through those stages and what they are,
00:13:20 how they apply to people? Yeah. So I developed this too, to have, like you said, a process, I, a path for people to follow because when you think of financial freedom, that can be difficult to define. And actually I spent some time trying to define, you know, what I thought that match, well, how do you know when you've achieved financial freedom?
00:13:41 And I think I landed on a pretty good definition there, or at least description of what that looks like. But even then there's so many options that we have with our money that I wanted to have, again, a clear path, a clear process for people to figure out where they are now to, you know, to achieving financial freedom. And so there,
00:14:01 there are five stages and they are, the first is preparing to build wealth. And so those people who, you know, they're excited, they're motivated, they're wanting to be making progress, but they're, you know, they're just getting started. So they're there there's people, I guess, even farther back, you don't care, you know, who aren't even trying to,
00:14:19 but these people who are preparing to build wealth. And so that may mean, you know, beginning to save, getting disciplined with their finances, trying to stop using debt. So not even paying off at this point, just no longer using it for their day to day lives as much as possible and getting into a position to build wealth. The second stage is beginning to build wealth.
00:14:38 And so this is when we are now actively saving, you know, you're, you've gotten disciplined with your finances. They're organized, you know, where your money's going. You're no longer dependent upon that. Now you're focused on tithing, saving, paying down that and just kind of getting things, laying that foundation to then, you know, began building wealth.
00:14:57 The third stage is what I call being an early investor. And so by this stage, you should have, you know, a good sufficient emergency fund saved up. You know, all of your risks are protected against you're free of unproductive debt. So I don't necessarily think you need to have paid off your mortgage by that point, but, you know,
00:15:13 credit card debt and other, you know, higher interest debt has been dealt with and you're ready to begin investing. So whether that's investing in an IRA or investing outside of wall street or investing, you know, with, without any kind of retirement account, just investing on your own, you're ready to begin investing. The fourth stage is being an experienced investor.
00:15:32 So at this point, you know, family should have, you know, a portfolio of investments and in my opinion, ideally cash flowing investment. So not just, not just dumping in money and watching it grow over time, but actually having cashflow because that's a really important piece of being financially free and knowing when you're there, you know, we don't have to wait for a certain age.
00:15:51 We can know we're financially free among other ways when our cashflow from investments exceeds our living expenses and we could, you know, no longer need income from a job. So at that fourth stage, you're focused on, you know, continuing to grow the cashflow, getting control of your money. If it's, you know, locked into retirement accounts or otherwise it's out of your control,
00:16:10 trying to regain control, you're focused on minimizing taxes and getting yourself set up so that you could live financially free. And of course the fifth stage is being financially free. And so at that point, we're continuing to monitor things, you know, grow, address, risks, and so forth. But now there's much more freedom of time to focus on,
00:16:30 you know, being a good steward of, again, all that God has entrusted to us, not just our money, but our time, our time talents treasures, I'll say our time, our relationships in our gifts, even the gospel itself as something that we steward and, and having an impact. So that was breached, but that's the, the five stages to financial freedom.
00:16:48 So, and, and again, you know, for folks that are listening, this isn't even an age dependent thing. I'll just call that out. In other words, cause a lot of times people hear these sorts of stages and think, you know, young, middle aged, you know, in your fifties, retirement, but technically you can be at these different stages at different ages too.
00:17:11 You know, I know folks that have started on the path to financial freedom very late in life. I know people that have reached it at a very young age, you know, through different, sometimes good events that have happened to them of various sorts. So it it's it's. And then I also know people that have gotten to a financially free stage,
00:17:29 but because they didn't lay that foundation well, they then back sled to earlier stages, you know, or kind of have to redo it and reset and do it again because they, they messed it up the oftentimes because they haven't really built that foundation of behavior and discipline around it, that allows them to keep that this is the, You know, we've all heard the stories of the NFL player that makes 14 bazillion dollars.
00:17:54 And then, you know, four years later it's bankrupt and it's like, how's that happen? Well, yeah, it can, it can really happen. So when you think about people, you know, one of the ways that we use the word invest here, we've been using it about money, but, but it's also, you know, we talk about people investing in others,
00:18:13 investing in themselves in terms of relationships. So if folks are interested in developing themselves or investing in themselves over time, what are a few re and, and maybe they want to learn more about this idea of biblical wealth investing, what are some things that are some resources that you could suggest that they could use to kind of begin thinking about the way they're investing differently?
00:18:36 Well, I think, you know, books and now podcasts, you know, used to books would have been the obvious answer, but today podcasts can be, you know, emotional. Yeah. So yeah, books and podcasts are a great way to, you know, to learn more. And there are podcasts out there, you know, besides mine that talk about,
00:18:53 you know, investing with stewardship in particular, and they're there, I don't know of any that again are coming from the, you know, financial approach that I'm taking, but certainly there's plenty out there that will talk about biblically responsible investing or investing this way. You know, I guess beyond that, I think, you know, having, having a coach or a mentor and advisor having,
00:19:12 you know, those one on one conversations is a really great way to continue to increase your knowledge of biblical investing and I'll, and I'll share this too, Scott, we biblical West solutions offers a stewardship report where you can actually see what's going on behind the scenes of your own investments. If that's something that would be of interest to you, if you do have stock market based investments,
00:19:35 there are tools where we can run analysis of all those funds and show you what's denim. And, and what is going on from a, from an ethical, from a biblically responsible standpoint. And it's just an informational tool. You know, there's no hard sales or judgment, you gotta do this or, you know, anything like that, just here's what it is.
00:19:53 Do you have any questions and, you know, let us know how we can help, you know, that's the extent of that, but, but that is a free report that's available. That's actually really useful. Cause honestly, I can say one of the hardest things that when I've had conversations with people about, you know, biblical investing in this kind of thing,
00:20:11 the hardest thing is that information is hard to find, you know, you have to round it up. If you have to do it yourself again, if there's 200 companies in, in a mutual fund and you own three mutual funds, that 600 companies that you then have to go investigate, you don't have time to do that as an individual. Usually it's just not,
00:20:30 not practical or possible. So that's awesome. You can find out more about firstname.lastname@example.org. You can shoot him an email if you've got questions or what other email@example.com or set up a call to get more information on his company and working with him, I'll have a link to that over in the show notes to setting up that discovery call and as well, Jarrett's offered that ebook available to all body listeners and I'll have a link to that,
00:21:01 but it's at biblical wealth solutions.com inspired stewardship with Scott Mader, and that should be available. And again, I'll have a link in my notes to that as well. So Jared, is there anything else you'd like to share with the listener, Scott? I appreciate everything you're doing through inspired stewardship and for giving me the opportunity to talk with you and with your audience,
00:21:23 you know, as Scott saying for anyone who wants to learn more about, you know, what I'm doing, I would encourage you to download the ebook, you know, and, or check out the biblical wealth podcast.
00:21:47 but act on what you've heard and find a way to live your calling. If you enjoyed this episode, please, please do us a favor. Go over to inspired stewardship.com/itunes rate. All one word iTunes rate. It'll take you through how to leave a rating and review and how to make sure you're subscribed to the podcast so that you can get every episode as it comes out in your feed until next time,
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Stewardship is the responsibility and opportunity to manage all that God has entrusted to us for his glory and the benefit of others. - Jared Williams
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