Join us today for the Saturday Night Special with Leo Marte a CFP for Christian professionals...

In this episode Leo Marte about his journey to becoming a CFP for Christian professionals...

In tonight’s Saturday Night Special I interview Leo Marte.  Leo shares with you how he launched his own advisory firm to work with Christian investors and how his faith journey intersects with this decision.  Leo also shares why investing should be different as a Christian.  I also ask Leo to share with you why you may want to work with a professional to help with your money and how he can help you to do it yourself.

Join in on the Chat below.

SNS 180: Saturday Night Special - Interview with the CFP for Christian professionals Leo Marte

[00:00:00] Scott Maderer: Welcome to tonight's Saturday Night special episode 180.

[00:00:05] Leo Marte: I'm Leo Marte. 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 work to transfer more than just.

[00:00:22] But values is key, and one way to be inspired to do that is to listen to this The Inspired Stewardship Podcast with my friend Scott Maderer.

[00:00:38] And God wants you to be a co participant in the work that he is doing, and part of that is using the resources that he has given you through your talent and through your individual work. Cuz there is there's both parts to that, right? If you do nothing, you can be the most talented person, but you will not be very successful if you just sit on [00:01:00] your couch all day and do nothing.

[00:01:02] Scott Maderer: 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. In the Inspired Stewardship Podcast, you will learn to invest in yourself.

[00:01:21] Invest in. And develop your influence so that you can impact the world.

[00:01:34] And tonight, Saturday Night Special. I interview Leo Marte. Leo shares with you how he launched his own advisory firm to work with Christian investors and how his faith journey intersected with that. Leo also shares why investing should be different as a Christian, and I also ask Leo to share with you why you may want to work with a professional to help with your money and how he can help you if you want to do it yourself.

[00:01:58] One reason I like to [00:02:00] bring you great interviews, like the one you're gonna hear today is because of the power in learning from others. Another great way to learn from others is through reading. 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.

[00:02:20] Go to inspired 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 to get your free trial and listen to great books the same way you're listening to this podcast.

[00:02:47] Leo Marte runs an investment advisory firm as a certified financial planner that provides personal CFO services to Christian professionals. He helps you plan for the future, invest your assets, and manage your [00:03:00] taxes so you can honor God and build generational wealth. He currently resides in North Carolina with his wife and two beautiful children.

[00:03:08] Welcome to the show, Leo.

[00:03:10] Leo Marte: Hey, thanks for having me, Scott. Appreci.

[00:03:13] Scott Maderer: Absolutely. I mentioned a little bit in the intro about that you're running your own investment advisory firm as a cfp and you're working with Christian professionals. Can you talk a little bit about what brought you to the point of doing that work and focusing on Christian Prof professionals, what did you do before and what brought you.

[00:03:35] Leo Marte: So for a little over a decade before I started my firm, I worked at a very large company, Vanguard, which most of your listeners are probably at least familiar with, or if not, have at least heard that name on the street. And when I was working in that firm Vanguard has always been focused on.

[00:03:53] Serving the masses. It's it's really a model for scale. It's [00:04:00] narrowly focused on cost, diversification, some of those principles that apply to everybody everywhere. And I learned a ton in my experience there. I loved working there. I felt like the, specifically the ethics of the firm aligned very strongly with my passion to serve people and treat them fairly as I was maturing in my career.

[00:04:22] In the advice space specifically, I realized that I really enjoyed developing relationships with my clients and going deeper than what the Vanguard model at the time would allow me to do. Because Vanguard is focused on serving. At scale I wanted to focus on serving a smaller book where I had deeper engagement.

[00:04:43] And particularly I felt called to be in a space where I could live out my faith and my principles openly. And that's why I decided to start my firm oriented to working with believers. Now not all of my clients are believers. Sure. , just for the [00:05:00] record 50% of my clients roughly are what you would consider to be devout Christians.

[00:05:05] And the other the rest are people who are at least friendly towards the faith. They don't have any particular objection against it, but they're not what they they wouldn't consider themselves to be church people or frequent church goers which is great. It's fine.

[00:05:19] I love serving people that come to me regardless of their faith background, but I just want 'em to understand who they're working with and where. Planning principles are coming from and what kind of experience they can expect when they work with my firm. And that, yeah. I coach in the faith-based community and you know about, I'm the same way really about probably 50% of my clientele is describe would des self-describe themselves as a Christian and then the other 50% would probably not necessarily use that term.

[00:05:49] Scott Maderer: But it sounds like we're very similar in that, what I've been told by people. We're, we came to you because you know who you are. Not because it necessarily matches a hundred percent with who we are, but [00:06:00] it's still in alignment with what they want. So it sounds like you've had some of that same experience.

[00:06:06] So how did your faith journey bring you to this point? How did the work you were doing as a Christian both at Vanguard and then, and now, why, how did that play a PO part in this?

[00:06:18] Leo Marte: I think from a faith standpoint as I mentioned in. in, in my, in the introductory chat that we just had my faith had a lot of influence in the way that I look at money and the way that I look at planning.

[00:06:32] Some people ask me why h why is it different to be a Christian planner or planner for Christian people than people who are not? And the re the reason there's a difference is because to what end are you accumulating wealth and building wealth?

[00:06:51] Most people who consider themselves, Christians see money as an, as a means to a different, to an end, right? So they [00:07:00] don't see the pursuit of the building of wealth as a goal in and of itself just for the sake of enjoyment. Although there's nothing wrong with enjoying wealth and the product of your work, but they look at wealth as a tool to.

[00:07:13] Influence change to impact people's lives, to continue the work of the gospel. And I think that's where really my faith had a strong impact in my decision to start my own firm as well, because I did want to focus on helping people. influence beyond just themselves through the creation of wealth.

[00:07:35] And by being wise stewards of wealth, I think that they can impact their families, their business fears, their communities and beyond. You just mentioned that Christians kinda look at money a little different. As they look at it as not the goal, but as rather just a tool. How do you actually explore that with folks?

[00:07:57] Scott Maderer: Because there's also, I think within the Christian community, [00:08:00] a lot of feeling of, at least I've experienced it money is bad. Money always corrupts you. If you do have any wealth, it automatically must mean that you're evil in some. and then the converse of that, having no money somehow makes you more holy.

[00:08:14] How has your experience been when you think about that kind of view within the Christian community?

[00:08:21] Leo Marte: The way I look at it is I first tried to ask a very simple question or set of questions to help me understand what your money philosophy is, because you'd be surprised that depending on your denomination faith background, whether you came to faith as a child or as an adult there's a lot of different sources of knowledge around.

[00:08:42] In the Christian Church. That may or may not align with what you just said, right? So there are people who come from faith backgrounds that believe that entrepreneurship and create, and wealth creation is the way to. move the kingdom forward. [00:09:00] You, there are other people who come from denominations that strongly believe in about poverty.

[00:09:05] So it there is no homogenous belief around money in the Christian Church. But what, but one thing that I do try to do is just determine where are people starting from and then, Coach them through the process of either augmenting that belief or perhaps challenging some of those beliefs to help them live a more abundant life.

[00:09:31] So if, for example, you operate out of a mindset that poverty is holiness, chances are you're gonna get to your elderly years without having enough money. because you're not doing the work today to be able to save so that when you're not able to work anymore, you can live off of that nest egg.

[00:09:54] So sometimes it's a job of enabling, encouraging and [00:10:00] sometimes it's also challenging not based on the belief itself, but believe based on the outcome. Cuz that's where I think people start thinking about money in a different way. When you start really putting clear. outcomes. Hey, if you continue in this trajectory, if you continue saving X amount of money, this is what retirement is gonna look like.

[00:10:21] This is what college is gonna look like for your kids. This is what's gonna look like when you have to go into a nursing home unit. So when you start putting clear specific outcomes, I think that's how you help people. who may not have the healthiest views on money, start shifting their views in a more healthy direction.

[00:10:42] Scott Maderer: So how once, once someone's been working with you, or if someone comes to you and wants to partner with you, how do you see Christians living out? [00:11:00] their money life differently. When it's working well, in other words not when there's a problem, but when it's going the way it should.

[00:11:07] What does that look like? Paint a picture of that.

[00:11:10] Leo Marte: To me, the word that comes immediately to mind is balance, right? So when I look at a Christian who's exercising healthy, biblically based money principles is someone who is. Saving for emergencies, saving for the future. Their expenditures are monthly budget reflect their belief system as well.

[00:11:36] They're giving regularly they are living below their meat so that. No, they're not incurring consumer debt. So all these things that I just mentioned may sound to you like generic principles that just about everybody could a apply. But if you look deeper into each of those principles, there's actually a wealth of.

[00:11:58] Biblical foundation [00:12:00] behind that of wisdom that has been tested for thousands of years that it works. So to me it's a picture of balance and the best illustration that I can think of is the imagery around a large tree. Where birds and animals of all kinds come to get shaded onto this tree to get fruit from this tree.

[00:12:26] And that is ultimately what I love to see. Christians who are successful with money end up becoming that tree. For their families, for their communities, for their churches, for their businesses. They're seen as people who are wise and people flock to them because they're generous, they're giving and they're open-handed with their blessings.

[00:12:47] And that is a beautiful image that I think translates really well from from scriptures into. .

[00:12:53] Scott Maderer: Yeah. I've actually joked with people that if you want an MBA, rather than go to school and get an mba, just read [00:13:00] Proverbs over and over again. And it's pretty much everything I learned in my MBA program.

[00:13:04] I dunno about you. It's it's actually in there, it's it's pretty much in Proverbs, more or less it, so the, this idea then of. Abundant giving of being. So it's wealth creation, not so that you can quote, keep it or hoard it or that doesn't mean you don't have it.

[00:13:23] Some of it that doesn't mean you don't enjoy it and that kind of thing. How do you think that fits into this idea of creating generational wealth and what's your view around around creating generational wealth versus. Doing something else with it. As a family, I

[00:13:41] Leo Marte: think that generational wealth is a natural outcome

[00:13:45] Of the same principle that we discussed upfront, which is if you hold a healthy view of money, money is a means to an end.

[00:13:55] So it is not ultimately the goal to accumulate X amount of money. [00:14:00] That money will enable you to do certain things. So when we look at patterns of wealth creation in the Bible, like a great example is the patriarchs, right? So when we start with the store of Abraham, then Isaac, then Jacob these are men who are incredibly blessed materially that.

[00:14:19] Very hard to cultivate that wealth as well. They still had to put in the work, but God blessed them with material resources for a purpose. And that they put a strong emphasis on transferring that wealth from one generation to the next so that it's almost. you get to point A and then the next generation's job is to get from point A to point B, and then you pass the baton again, and the next generation's job is to get from B to C.

[00:14:52] And that is how I look at generational wealth. The purpose of your being [00:15:00] blessed with material. Material wealth in this world transcends you so equipping your children and your grandchildren and transferring values, not just transferring money. Cuz guess what? Transferring money is very easy.

[00:15:15] You just have to die. and somebody's gonna take your money. Whether it's the state, whether it's people who you may or may not agree with, or people who you agree with,

[00:15:24] Scott Maderer: taking money. If you got a will and a plan and then a estate plan, it's gonna happen. And if you don't, it's still gonna happen.

[00:15:29] It's just gonna happen. It's no different.

[00:15:31] Leo Marte: It's gonna happen to whom you choose or to whom you didn't choose. So transferring money is not hard. Transferring values is very difficult because each generation and each individual. It's a product of its own experiences and its own life journey.

[00:15:46] So by dedicating time to training your children and then your children training your grandchildren in transferring those values, then you can guarantee that no matter how much money you pass down is not gonna [00:16:00] break them. , right? That's how you protect yourself against the proverbial person who gets a 5 million inheritance buys a boat and lives on the lake all day long just catching the sun cuz they don't have to trust fund babies.

[00:16:16] Exactly. . So

[00:16:19] Scott Maderer: the negative connotation, doesn't it? You hear the words and immediately people are like oh, I know what those people are. I don't want those people.

[00:16:25] Leo Marte: It grinds you. But I think what people confuse is that they think. , everyone who inherits money ends up like this and that can, that couldn't be further from the truth.

[00:16:35] People who are intentionally building a values inheritance in their family are, can be very successful at transferring successful businesses portfolios, farms whatever it is that your family is invested in if you follow the right steps over time to train those next generations, you're absolutely gonna be successful at transferring that [00:17:00] wealth successful.

[00:17:01] Scott Maderer: Well, an intentionality, I think was the key word there, because it doesn't happen by accident. Nope.

[00:17:08] Leo Marte: Yeah. Big success never happens by osmosis. It's not just Hey I was just sitting on my porch and then I turned out to be in the Super Bowl. That never happens. .

[00:17:18] Scott Maderer: I was just sitting on my porch and turns out I'm Michael Jordan.

[00:17:21] Yeah, exactly. Everyone thinks of and that's actually a good example cuz people think of someone like a Michael Jordan. an incredibly gifted natural athlete, and he is but he himself talks about standing out there on the front area making free throw after free, throw after in high school, in college practicing, always being there early, always staying late.

[00:17:45] He took what was already a natural gifting and by cultivating it and being intentional with it. What we all think of as quote Michael Jordan. So I'm showing my age with using him as an example. I'm sure there's better [00:18:00] examples from the current athletes, but there you

[00:18:02] Leo Marte: go.

[00:18:03] I think he is well known enough that the example is relevant. And I'll translate that, that last piece that you mentioned about. , the free throws and the natural gifting. So let's translate that to the area of money. Let's say that you are a senior executive in a large corporation with substantial compensation, right?

[00:18:24] Or just usually the types of clients that I tend to work with. You have a natural gifting in certain things. Whether it's leadership analysis, communication God has given. Gifts, right? And it has put you in a position of influence. But if you're not doing those daily free throws with money, that is the daily mechanics of saving.

[00:18:48] Living below your means, avoiding debt. Investing for the future. Diversifying. If you're doing, if you're not doing those free throws, you're gonna end up at the end of your life [00:19:00] having essentially wasted potential, right? Even though you were naturally gifted at all these things, and you ended up making a ton of money over your lifetime, you'll end up at the end of your days, one wishing that you could get a do-over, so that you could have saved more, so that you could have a more comfort.

[00:19:17] Retirement with dignity or maybe bless your grandchild with X or Y and Z. So I think that translates really well because money discipline is not something you achieve overnight is 30, 40, 50 years of doing those three throws after the game to make sure that you're becoming that Michael Jordan.

[00:19:37] Scott Maderer: And it's again, to, to the point, because you also mentioned you tend to work with people that, for example, have a very high income. I often work with people that have a very high income. However, the people I'm working with are not ready for you yet, because oftentimes they're still at the point of yeah, they make good money, but they're still [00:20:00] spending three times what they actually make, or they're still and they're in that stage of let's set some foundational steps. very quickly. They can get to a point where, okay, now we can we've laid the foundation. Now we need to start thinking and building for the future as well. But oftentimes they're, yeah, I I it's always amazing to me cuz it's not just an income issue. I've had people that make $37,000 a year that are investing regularly for the future and I've had people that make 350 that are like, I can't find enough money to invest and it.

[00:20:36] how's that possible , yeah. You'd be surprised in my journey of working with clients over the

[00:20:43] past

[00:20:44] Leo Marte: 13 years, how many everyday people I've met who are millionaires, just because they invested steadily for 30, 40 years, police officers, firefighters, teachers the people whom you would think don't make enough money [00:21:00] to end their life being quote unquote rich.

[00:21:02] And then to your point, people who are making multiples of that and have very little saved ver almost

[00:21:11] Scott Maderer: nothing to show for it at the end of the day. Yeah. So I wanted to circle back to a couple of things we've mentioned and I. I want to go to that. How do we pass some of those values to the future?

[00:21:21] But before we go there, we mentioned a couple of times giving generosity that idea. How do you think giving fits into Christian money management? Because you're talking about doing those daily reps. Where does GAR giving fit into that mindset giving

[00:21:40] Leo Marte: is. a principle that I think reflects both changes your heart and your view on money, but also reflects where your heart is and your views on money.

[00:21:51] So it's like a cyclical skill that you know you gain, you also get changed in the process. I think [00:22:00] most people have heard of the tithe which is you. 10% of your increase giving to your local church. That's a guideline and a principle that was inherited from the Old Testament when Israel lived in a primarily agrarian society.

[00:22:18] So we've, we transposed that principle into the modern era as a way to give people a starting point forgiving. And some people do focus on that 10% at the expense of paralysis, right? So especially with people who are new to the faith or people who, you know, ha, who for some reason their faith journey just it is just not there yet for them to make that decision.

[00:22:45] I think people sometimes focus or obsess to the point where it becomes counterproductive. So my, my, my guidance to people is out of everything that you. , I want you to think [00:23:00] about giving something. Not because you have to or because there is a law that says that you have to give something, but because it's good for your soul, it's good for your heart.

[00:23:09] And it's actually gonna, it is going to set a clear message of where your heart is. Ultimately. And hey, if that is 2% and that's all your heart is able to give right now, start. . And then let's stretch you and let's challenge you over time. So maybe when you get your next raise out of that next three, 4% increase.

[00:23:32] Hey, how about we, we amped that up, 2% higher. Now we're at four. And then over time, , I don't want you to stop at 10%. I want you to give even more if that's where God's leading your heart to go. But I think sometimes people focus too much on the number instead of focusing on the principle. And I think ultimately what God wants is the heart, not your money.

[00:23:53] God is not out for your money. God doesn't need your money. .

[00:23:55] Scott Maderer: And if God wanted your money, God could just

[00:23:59] Leo Marte: take your money, , [00:24:00] take it. Yeah. And sometimes people think of God as the irs, right? Like you just get your money taken out before it even gets to your hand and you know you have no voice or vote on it.

[00:24:10] And God wants you to be. a co participant in the work that he is doing. And part of that is using the resources that he has given you through your talent and through your individual work. Cuz there is there's both parts to that, right? If you do nothing, you can be the most talented person, but you will not be very successful if you just sit on your couch all day and do nothing with it.

[00:24:34] But I think there's a, there's gotta be a recognition that if money is a means to an end, as the Bible teaches. Then therefore we must start thinking and operating in that way, even if it's progressively over time. And then put you in a situation. Cuz quite frankly, not everybody is in a position, as you just mentioned, to give 5, 10, 15, or 20%.

[00:24:59] A [00:25:00] lot of consumer dad living above your means. Like we need to fix a lot of things before we even get to the giving conversation because I want you to. in a way that is a blessing to you and others, not in a way that puts you in hardship and increases your debt load and potentially takes you down a different path.

[00:25:18] Scott Maderer: Yeah. The only thing I would add to that is I if for some reason that is a challenge right now, still find other ways to give correct. Because the other thing I think that we lose track of is we look at the tithe as income and like you said, it's from the principle. Increase and growth, and you may have skills, you may have knowledge, you may have time, you may have other things that you can give that still add value.

[00:25:48] Again if you're a cpa, , go volunteer or do some pro bono work for a nonprofit. You know that they, because trust me, they need accountants. I don't, I've never seen a nonprofit that's not oh [00:26:00] yo, we don't need that. No, they need it. That kind of thing. There's other ways you can find a give that aren't just writing a check.

[00:26:07] It's the other thing I would challenge. So let's talk more about the kids thing. How do you see it as what do we do for those folks that. Kids that are thinking about generational wealth in that way, cuz there's other ways to look at passing on wealth. But let's focus on the parents out there.

[00:26:27] How do you keep your kids from being the trust fund babies? How do you keep, how do you pass on the values of being wise with.

[00:26:38] Leo Marte: I think it, it depends on the stage of life that your kid is at, right? So what you would do with a four year old or five-year-old is very different to what you would do with a 17 year old or a 30 year old.

[00:26:50] So let's start with when kids are young. So I have two kids, one in the way. So I have a five year old, soon to be five year old boy and a three year old [00:27:00] girl. And we have a baby coming soon. And when I, when I. teach 'em about money. I do it in age appropriate ways, right? So we're now talking about large amounts of money.

[00:27:12] We're talking about dimes, quarter. Pennies. But I'm teaching my son from early on. That money comes from work, so he has his little chores that really don't take that much effort. But there are certain things that my kids do because they're a part of the family and they it's part of their contribution as a family member, like helping mama to cook or helping clean up after themselves.

[00:27:34] But there's some things that we incentivize by giving them a little bit of money that they can then use to buy their own toy. And because there's not enough money every week to buy something they have to exercise that muscle of saving. They have to split their money between I'm gonna give a quarter this Sunday and that's something I do every Sunday cuz I make money every week and I have some money that I save for a particular goal or toy.

[00:27:57] And then there's some money. Spend [00:28:00] and you cannot give everything, save everything or spend everything in a given week, you have to split it somehow. Maybe they buy a little snack an extra treat that they buy with their own money. But what that does is it associates earning money with.

[00:28:16] performing an action, being rewarded by doing something, and ideally something with excellence. So that's like what you do at the very early years. And as kids grow, you also increase their level of responsibility. Hey if you broke something by accident, that's okay, I'll take care of it.

[00:28:34] If you broke something because you were reckless after I had told you to not do this or that, then now you're gonna have to pay for part of that. Maybe it's a $10 houseware. Hey, we're gonna split the cost. You're gonna pay two to $3 and then I'll pay the rest. Because you don't have enough in savings to really buy this big object, right?

[00:28:56] But that's another example where they say, okay, now my [00:29:00] actions or mis deeds have consequences. And those consequences translate themselves into money. And that as they grow and become teenagers you have to also, Build on those steps to then increase their level of ownership over everything they do.

[00:29:20] Like maybe that's paying for a cell phone or maybe that's when they start driving, Hey, you gotta work now, you gotta pay for part of your insurance. , it's all about progressive responsibility and developing habits that last a lifetime. Because what's hap what's happened, what happens is at age 21, 22, a kid graduates college, and then one of two things is gonna happen.

[00:29:43] There's no middle ground. They're either gonna go on their own and be productive members of society, right? Or they're gonna move into your basement .

[00:29:52] Scott Maderer: That's why don't have a. Your

[00:29:56] Leo Marte: shed. Or your, not darn it, ,

[00:29:59] your man [00:30:00] cave, your she shed, whatever it is that you have. Whatever space. Spare bedroom.

[00:30:04] Yep. . Yeah. But what you're trying to do is you're trying to build those principles so that when they stand on their own, they can operate out of muscle memory. and out of recall memory instead of trying to figure out, oh my goodness, I'm 21 years old. How do I write a budget? I've never called a bank to ask any question.

[00:30:25] How do I divvy up my paycheck? All those things have already been taught if you've started early. Now, Scott, I recognize that a lot of people listening to this podcast do not have the luxury of time anymore, and they have already passed those years, and now they're looking for how to train their adult children.

[00:30:45] and what I encourage them to do is maintain a good relationship above all things, because that is the primary vehicle to transfer. also as you make large financial decisions, bring in where appropriate and at [00:31:00] the right time, your adult children to be part of that conversation.

[00:31:03] if you're giving X amount of dollars to a number of charities, maybe bring in your adult children and say, Hey guys, like I'm seeing this. This family's wealth. And we are

[00:31:16] gonna

[00:31:17] Leo Marte: dedicate these resources to do X, Y, and Z with these different organizations. What do you think, do you have any organizations that you would like me to consider as part of this decision?

[00:31:27] Give them a seat at the table. So that as you're managing that multimillion net, net worth in your sixties and seventies, they're seeing you, how you operate, how you manage this money, and when they get, then get that money transferred, they'll feel that burden of the values that their parents put on this.

[00:31:47] And they're not gonna go out and just burn it at in, in Rodeo Drive and buy a whole bunch of things, right? They're gonna be like, huh, man, my daddy taught me. , I have to be giving some of this income every year. Hey how [00:32:00] am I gonna do that this year? Now that daddy's gone, right?

[00:32:03] And having those again recall memory and muscle memory is way more effective than trying to learn something new when you have to actually get it done. So that's what I encourage people to think about, especially if they are already in that later phase in life.

[00:32:16] Scott Maderer: And I would add to that, I think you know as well, you're getting to see.

[00:32:22] how they think about money and what are they viewing. And I say that not in a gotcha way. Not in a oh, you're not doing what I want you to do, therefore I'm not gonna give you money. But at the same time not every child is bent the same way. Not every child has the same you.

[00:32:40] You have situations where you have a child that has special needs, how are you gonna set up the situation to take care of them? And they may not be capable of managing the money piece and what does that look like? So it gets very complicated very quickly. Yeah. And you've, it's almost.

[00:32:59] if you can do [00:33:00] that while they're still training wheels and practice time, even if they're an adult. You get to see how that plays out and then develop the. accordingly. If that makes sense. And it's

[00:33:10] Leo Marte: all about transparency, Scott. I've worked with people that are the second generation of like very successful businesses.

[00:33:19] Like we're talking 20 million plus, right? And they have no idea what their parents' state plan says. They have no idea. How much money they need to plan for because they have their own estate plan and they're successful in and of themselves. right. Like they have their own stuff going on and all of a sudden a parent passing trips, all sorts of alarms and triggers with the I R S and with their estate taxes and everything, and they have no idea.

[00:33:46] What's going to happen? And I think transparency is so important, especially as you get older, because incapacity starts to rear its head. We gotta recognize that we're not gonna live forever and setting our [00:34:00] families to, to be why stewards means you're training them and you're helping make their life easier too.

[00:34:06] Not leave a mess for people to find out paper receipts under your mattress and to know where your accounts are.

[00:34:12] Scott Maderer: And. By the way, regardless of the size, of what's being passed on or lack of. Have those conversations. ? Yes. The whole reading of the will in the lawyer's office that happens in movies is not re

[00:34:28] Don't do that. that's a, that's not a, that's not a good thing. I think people see that in movies and they think, oh, that's what I'm supposed to do. It's no. This is bad. Don't

[00:34:38] Leo Marte: do that. That is an example of Mo in movies about what not to do about every scene that starts that way, ends with somebody somebody gets murdered or something.

[00:34:47] Somebody gets murdered or something. Because there's this agreement about how the money got div

[00:34:51] Scott Maderer: up. Yeah. And yeah I think. that it's important for the parents. It's also important for the children to un to have those [00:35:00] conversations. And I will tell you that I've also coached people that need to have that conversation with their parents.

[00:35:06] And that's a tough conversation too, when you're the one starting it as the kiddo of not I wanna control you mom and dad, but I just want to know what's going on? What do I need to plan for? What is it gonna look like? Because. , everyone wants to have that conversation. So with that in mind, when when do people I think a big question that a lot of folks have is now they see there's robo-advisors and there's do it yourself firms and there's do it your own way things.

[00:35:36] And then there's professionals, CFPs and others that work with people in a professional capacity. a wealth and management. What are some of the things that people need to think about when they might want to engage with a professional and sit down with them versus diy? It? Yeah, so I have two answers to your [00:36:00] question.

[00:36:00] Leo Marte: So there's an objective criteria and then there's a subjective criteria. Subjectively, I'll start there. Do you have the willingness to do it? You may. You may have assets or may have income you just focus on your career and your profession and you don't want to deal with this money thing, like you're just not interested in doing the nitty gritty and monitoring your portfolio day-to-day.

[00:36:24] Do you have the ability, so you may want to do this but reasonably do you have the level of education? Oh, and are you and you have the time to to go learn what you need to do. to actually get it done. And then there's the, there, there's the desire, right? You may have Hey, push comes to shove.

[00:36:46] I can do this on my own. I'm smart enough to get it done, but I just want to have somebody to do it for me. It's like home improvement project. Yeah. I'm willing to paint a. I have the knowledge on how to do it, but if I [00:37:00] can afford to have somebody else do it for me, why would I do it myself?

[00:37:02] So I think those are the subjective criteria that people need to walk themselves through to understand willingness, ability, and desire. But then there's some objective criteria where your hand may be forced, so to speak, depending on your life situation. People start coming to me and the type of service that I offer when they exceed around $250,000 in income or when their net worth exceeds a million dollars.

[00:37:32] And the reason for that is because on the income side your tax situation starts getting complicated and usually your compensation includes some sort of equity. So stock options, restricted stock, which are very complex to figure out on your. Very few people earn over 250 in straight cash, right?

[00:37:51] That's relatively rare. And then people who may, who have over $1 million in net worth then start exceeding their [00:38:00] own comfort level. with managing their life savings by themselves without professional assistance, right? When you're building you're at 100, 200, 300 yeah, that's a lot of money.

[00:38:12] Don't get me wrong, a lot of people listening to the show probably don't have more than 50 to their name, but, Really when you start hitting that 1 million is when there is a little bit of a voice inside of you that starts doubting that you can actually do this on your own because there's a lot of money on the line and any mistake has multiple zeros after it.

[00:38:31] So that's when people usually also start looking at somebody like me that can have a steady hand and have the experience to help them manage and not outlast their money. That's their biggest concern is, Hey, I don't have another 30 years to build another. Like this, milling has to last me until I die.

[00:38:47] And that's when they come

[00:38:49] Scott Maderer: to me. You also have a little bit of the Marshall Goldsmith has a book written for leaders, but I think it applies to money management too. The, and the title of the book is What Got Me Here Won't Get me there. [00:39:00] And the idea is if you get middle manager level, but you wanna be a ceo, , you gotta learn a whole nother set of skills.

[00:39:06] The skills you've learned to get you to this point aren't the same skills that'll get you to the next point. Um, And I think when you start getting to that 250 K income 1 million net worth. Yeah. But there's another set of skills you need to learn to of get. To the next level or get to the next travel point, so to speak.

[00:39:25] And oftentimes having a professional in your corner helps with that. And use me as an example. We, my wife and I use a professional. I have the knowledge to do it. I have the background that I could do it. I have, it's just, it's easier, it's more efficient, and I don't have to go spend time and energy there.

[00:39:45] I could go spend my time and energy. , I'm gonna do that every single day. it's like hiring someone to mow your yard versus mowing it yourself. Or paint a room. Exactly like you said. It's like there's times where it's just yeah, I could do it, but I really don't want to . [00:40:00] So here you go.

[00:40:01] One question I ask all of my guests my brand is inspired stewardship. I run things through that lens of stewardship. You've used that word a couple of times as we were talking today. As I've worked with it, I found out that's a word kinda like leadership that a lot of people use, but they sometimes mean it different things by it.

[00:40:20] So what does the word stewardship mean to you, and what has the impact of that word had on your life?

[00:40:27] Leo Marte: to me, stewardship is if I go to the root of the word, which is a steward, right? A steward is somebody who manages an estate or resources on behalf of an owner. And I think the word stewardship helps me maintain a healthy view on what my relationship with money should.

[00:40:49] God has given me resources, whether that's my talent or business revenue or my family, my children, right? He's given me those things, but I'm not the owner [00:41:00] of those things. I am expected to. Take some of the benefit of that for my own enjoyment in re in, in the reward for the work I'm putting in, but I'm really managing these resources on God's behalf.

[00:41:14] So as I make decisions throughout my life, whether that is buying X, selling y, moving here, doing that, am I seeking God's direction in managing the resources that he has given me? And have having that constant reminder that, hey, I'm not the owner. I'm not the owner of this. I am just a manager.

[00:41:35] helps me maintain that healthy view of money, cuz believe it or not, even though I live and breathe this stuff all day long, I also need to remind myself of these principles. I need to get them done myself. I have to eat my own cooking like I tell my clients, I'm not gonna ask you to do anything that I'm not doing.

[00:41:53] So long as it actually applies, right? Everybody's different in terms of their life. Sure. Some, those general principles I have [00:42:00] to apply myself to. I have to live below my means. I have to maintain low or no levels of debt. I have to invest, I have to make sacrifices. So all those things apply to everybody, but that's what stewardship means to me.

[00:42:12] It's putting the owner in the right seat and taking the manager's seat to have a healthier view on money decisions. So this is my favorite question that I like to ask though some guests tell me it's not their favorite, so we'll see how you feel about it. If I invented this magic machine and with the power of this machine, I was able to pluck you from the seat where you set today and transport you up into the future, maybe a hundred fifty, two hundred fifty years.

[00:42:39] Scott Maderer: And through the power of this machine, you were able to look back and see your entire. And see all of the relationships, all of the connections, all of the impacts and ripples that you've left behind. What impact do you hope you've left behind in the world?

[00:42:58] Leo Marte: That is a very insightful [00:43:00] question and. something that is a little bit difficult to re to answer, which is why I'm not, why I'm not surprised. Some people don't like it when you get it, but I actually really do like it cause I spend a lot of my time thinking of the future. There's a lot of research and a lot of work that's been done in the area of belief believers and what likelihood do you have of having a, either believing or God-honoring or positive offspring versus having having a family tree, that perhaps is not what you hope for, and more often than not.

[00:43:36] People who are doing the right things throughout their life and transferring those values end up having very good levels of success with their heirs and subsequent family generations. So I would say my number one investment in the future is my children. So if I can do everything that I can to teach 'em everything that I [00:44:00] know and to pass the values and to teach 'em and raise them in the fear of the Lord.

[00:44:06] then my hope is that is all I need to do and they'll take the baton. And when I come back 200 years from now, if we're still on this earth and not in God's presence, I can look back to them and I can see a direct line between me and all the subsequent people that have lived up to that value.

[00:44:30] and that's it. There's money's going to disappear. My name is going to be forgotten. There's, it is highly unlikely that I'll be one of the 1% or less of humanity that has their own Wikipedia entry. I it's highly unlikely that I'll be that. But what I can guarantee you though is that if I make the right investment three out of four.

[00:44:51] Of those, of all those people 200 years from now are probably gonna live up to the same value system. And that's my hope, is that I leave a legacy of values. [00:45:00]

[00:45:01] Scott Maderer: So as we kick off the new year, what's coming next for you and your firm as you continue on this journey? .

[00:45:07] Leo Marte: This is an exciting moment for abundant advisors because I started this firm with the idea of creating a small book feel for my clients, and I wanted to focus on serving a small number of families.

[00:45:19] As far as my aspiration in the short term know, I'm probably about halfway through to. To completing the number of families that I plan to serve directly. And I think that's gonna elicit a lot of questions, right? Like, where does Scott want me to go? Does Scott want me to stop at where I'm at and really just invest and influence these families that he's put in my way?

[00:45:42] Do I need to expand and hire. other people to teach the same financial planning principles and be able to bless even more people. Should I be investing more in serving people at scale where I'm not putting the actual time of my schedule, but I'm producing content and [00:46:00] value for people to consume while I can serve that small group of clients.

[00:46:04] So it's a. Questions that the near future brings to me. And I think that'll all depend on where God takes the business over the next 18 months. Because if we get to that point within that timeframe, I think it's gonna be a, along the way, God is gonna make it very clear as to where he wants me to go.

[00:46:22] And that's gonna determine largely what the future will look like. And then on a personal level our family's growing from four to five, right? We've gotten used to just being my wife and I, my two kids, and now we have a third on the way, and that is going to change substantially the dynamics of our home.

[00:46:42] So we're gonna have to learn new habits, new routines how to Invest in each child to the degree that we can to set them up for success. And then what does life look like at the other end of that transition? So that's like what the immediate future has for me and [00:47:00] the business.

[00:47:00] Scott Maderer: If you could follow Leo on LinkedIn is Leo Martha, that's m a r t e, or find more about him and the services that he offers over on his Of course, I'll have links to that over in the show notes as well. Leo, is there anything else you'd like to share with the listener? So

[00:47:20] Leo Marte: for those of you who are thinking about your financial journey and you've heard about the work that I do and perhaps you're either not ready to start working with an advisor you're still building your way up there or you prefer to do it yourself, and you are very comfortable and have the willingness, the desire, and the ability to do and I've developed some content. In the form of a masterclass that can help people understand those biblical principles as they relate to the foundational aspects of financial planning. And the easiest way to access that is to go to abundant [00:48:00], and that'll take you to the course page.

[00:48:02] You can see everything that I offer. There is a pretty robust course. We have about 12 different. Units within the course, that's about five hours of video content, di iy templates tools. You get to peek into the pi, into the pilot's cabin where I show you some of the tools that I put into practice with my own clients.

[00:48:24] And that's my way to. , Hey, make this information more broadly available to people that are just not able to afford working with me, but also because I do feel a calling to share some of these biblical planning principles to a broader audience of Christians who are looking for that information. And hey, if you're not even ready to go into a masterclass and commit to that, we also have a quick start on my website as well.

[00:48:47] You can go to abundant That one is completely. and it's a shorter version of the larger masterclass that gives you that introductory principles. And then when you're [00:49:00] ready you can move up to the masterclass and then commit to learning those principles to have an abundant future.

[00:49:06] So I hope that everyone who's listening to this Gives it a try and checks it out. Cuz I think there is the responses for the people that have gone through it. People are really excited and appreciate the knowledge they gain they really are on their way to transform their finances.

[00:49:23] Scott Maderer: Awesome. Of course, I'll add links to both of those in the show notes as well, but you can find course for the full course or abundant for the Quickstart guide. Leo, thanks so much for being here. Thanks.[00:50:00]

[00:50:10] Thanks so much for listening to the Inspired Stewardship Podcast. As a subscriber and listener, we challenge you to not just sit back and passively listen. But act on what you've heard and find a way to live your calling. If you enjoyed this episode please do us a favor. Go over to inspired

[00:50:36] 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, invest your time, your talent, and your treasures. Develop your influence and [00:51:00] impact the world.

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Got wants you to be a co-participant in the work that he is doing.  And part of that is using the resources that he has given you through your talent and your individual work. – Leo Marte

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Helping people to be better Stewards of God's gifts. Because Stewardship is about more than money.

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