Click below to listen to Episode 0 – Introduction to Christian Financial Perspectives
Episode 0: Welcome to Christian Financial Perspectives
Learn about Christian Financial Perspectives, why we started the podcast, and about our hosts.
The Bible can provide a foundation for all of our money management principles and all of the basics for financial planning and how to create a financial wellness plan for you and your family. All we have to do is look for it, and it’s there! Scripture speaks on how to invest, how to handle money on a daily basis, paying taxes, and so much more. There really are very few people talking about this right now, and we are excited to be bringing this information to people all over the world through our Christian financial podcast.
Over 20 years ago, Bob Barber was one of the original people involved in the Biblically responsible movement that came out of the socially responsible movement. He has 34 years of professional experience. He began in real estate in May 1984, and he worked his way into the financial advisory business in 1993. During the real estate years, he was involved in over 140 real estate transactions, which was great for experience because the biggest transactions individuals usually make is in real estate! Mary Jo Lyons has over 40 years of professional experience, and 20 years of that has been in the investment arena. She has been a CFP® since 2004.
Both Bob and Mary Jo put a lot of themselves and their passions into the podcast. Everyone has a past and a story to tell – especially when it comes to making financial decisions – and Bob and Mary Jo are excited to share these stories when it comes to making financial decisions that are more often than not also emotional decisions.
HOSTED BY: Bob Barber, CWS® and Mary Jo Lyons, CFP®
Mentioned In This Episode
Christian Financial Advisors
Bob Barber, CWS®, CKA®
Mary Jo Lyons, CFP®, CKA®
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Bob: Welcome to Christian Financial Perspectives, a weekly podcast where we talk about ways to integrate your faith with your finances. This is Bob Barber.
Mary Jo: And I’m Mary Jo Lyons.
Bob: Are you ready to learn how to apply biblical wisdom to everyday financial decisions?
Mary Jo: Join us as we look at integrating your faith with your finances. If it’s your first time listening, welcome to our podcast, and if you’re a returning listener, welcome back.
Bob: Psalms 24:1, “The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it.” Welcome to our first podcast. This is Bob Barber, along with my co-host Mary Jo Lyons, and Mary Jo, isn’t this going to be fun to get together and talk about what God’s word says about money every week?
Mary Jo: I’m so excited. I feel like we’re so blessed to be able to have this opportunity to share from our hearts our wisdom and to help people be able to integrate their faith and their finances. I just think that’s so wonderful.
Bob: Just tell them, to those, you know, this is the first time they’re listening to Christian Financial Perspectives. We’ve got to tell them why we’re starting this podcast, right?
Mary Jo: Exactly. I think it’s important that we share with our listeners why we started the podcast, what we plan to cover, why it’s different, and about what’s different about our approach and then a little bit of background on who they’re listening to and I think that would be helpful to get started. Bob, why don’t you share us a little history about the podcast and what you had in mind.
Bob: What I’ve had in mind for a couple of years now is actually bringing back the old radio program that I did for years called Christian Investors Daily. I did that for eight years. I was on in San Antonio, Houston, Austin, and Corpus Christi and built a really loyal audience over those eight years that just loved the program. Everywhere I went, I remember my kids going, “Oh no. They’re going to, somebody’s going to say, I recognize that voice.”
Mary Jo: You do have a preacher’s voice, Bob.
Bob: Oh, no, do I? I’ve had people tell me I have the Baptist hairdo to go along with it.
Mary Jo: Oh, that could be true. I’m not going to comment.
Bob: But over the past two or three years I’ve had people asking me, Bob, are you ever going to bring back your radio program? And as times have changed, I keep hearing how great podcasts are. I’ve started listening to podcasts myself.
Mary Jo: I know I do all the time as well. You know when I’m traveling, when my husband and I are traveling, or when I’m commuting, it’s a great way to fill the time.
Bob: It’s so easy, too, because when I had the program before, and I know you had a radio program too, if you weren’t listening at that particular time, you wouldn’t hear the program.
Mary Jo: Right? You missed it.
Bob: But with the podcast, I love this technology. With anyone, if they’re going to work at six in the morning or they’re coming home at six in the morning, they can pull up the podcast on their smart phone or iPad and just listen to it anytime. If they don’t have enough time to hear the whole thing, they come back in and catch up. I just think it’s really neat.
Mary Jo: Well that, and that’s the beauty of it. They can listen at their leisure as much time as they have to expose to it, and then they can always start back up whenever it’s convenient.
Bob: And you know, I’m really hoping that you and I, you have a heart for teaching. I can tell, and as I’ve gotten to know you, I love that heart. And you know, I had that same heart, and I’m really hoping that we can help people understand what God’s word says about money because it’s so rich and it’s throughout scripture. It speaks to everything from how we invest to how we handle money honestly on a day to day basis to how we pay our taxes to how we save. Just so many topics in God’s word that we can bring through a podcast that you can listen to on your way to work, on your way from work, on your way to the grocery store, or you’re waiting to see the doctor, wherever you’re going, or you’re just there in your own home while you’re cooking dinner or working out. You can listen to what God’s word says about money. And you know, Mary Jo, there’s very few people talking about this.
Mary Jo: Well that’s true. And you know, I always say it’s in there. The Bible has the best foundation for all our money management principles and all the basics for financial planning and how to create a financial wellness plan for you and your family. And it’s all based on God and his word. And so all we have to do is look for it. It’s there.
Bob: Mary Jo, I said already in the beginning of our podcast here that I was on the radio for eight years and had the program Christian Investors Daily, that was a daily program. Again, it was in San Antonio and Austin, Houston and Corpus Christi. Now, the neat thing with the podcast is it doesn’t matter where you are, you don’t have to be in the area to hear that, where you had to be in one of those areas, you know, within a hundred mile radius to hear it. But you were also on the radio yourself and had a radio program in North Carolina, or was it South Carolina?
Mary Jo: North Carolina. I was outside of Charlotte. My husband and I lived in Charlotte for a good number of years, and that was in my corporate days. And then once I left corporate life and I opened up my own practice in Charlotte before we moved back to Texas. And there it was Financial Strategies for Life and we enjoyed the radio show. And I did that with my colleague just like I’m doing with you Bob. And it was great fun. We really enjoyed it.
Bob: Well, you know, we hope to be bringing this podcast every week, so you’ll be able to rely on this podcast coming to you. You can subscribe to it by email, we’ll send it to you or you can just go to christianfinancialpodcast.com So, there’s a couple of easy ways to get there. And Mary Jo, you’ve got a lot of experience. I’m going to share my experience, but before I toot my horn I want you to toot yours a little bit.
Mary Jo: Well I’m happy to. You know, Bob, I don’t want to give away my age, but I will say that I do bring over 40 years of professional experience, and 20 years of that has been in the investment industry. I’ve been a Certified Financial Planner since 2004, and I think the reason that is important and we want to share that is we want our listeners to know that experience is important. And you know, it’s not our first rodeo. We’ve seen up markets. We’ve seen down markets. We’ve understood investment strategies that work out when the market is rocking and rolling. One of the things we’re facing in the future is rising interest rates. So how do you prepare for that? Well I’ve seen it before, and I think that’s a real value added that we can bring to our listeners.
Bob: I’m right there with ya. I don’t know if I want to share how many years I’ve been doing this myself because then it gives away my age. Bottom line, 34 years of investing experience. I started with real estate back in May of 1984, and then started in the advisory business in 1993. During the real estate years, I was involved in over 140 real estate transactions. So that helps a lot because you know, the biggest investment most people make is in real estate and I can help them a lot with that. Just this morning, I was meeting with a person and they were, you know, trying to figure out where they want to buy a home, and we were talking about should you buy a track home or an existing older home. And it was a great conversation and they got a lot of wisdom out of that. And I know that we’re going to have a podcast just on real estate probably in four or five weeks.
Mary Jo: Oh that’s going to be great. You know, earlier when we were talking, Bob, we talked about our experience on the radio and I shared I had been in North Carolina, but one of the things I did want to share with our listeners is that, you know, we both have our roots in Texas. I was born and raised in Corpus Christi, a native Texan. South Texas is near and dear and big part of my heart. I am a graduate of Texas A&M University at Corpus Christi and my husband and I have a place in Rockport. So, we spend a lot of time down there. And one of the things that we have been doing is rebuilding since Hurricane Harvey. And that’s another thing that I look forward to talking about – all the lessons learned through that, you know, crisis and the financial impact that that’s had. So I just wanted to kind of share that we can relate to those, but even though we are from Texas and natives of Texas, we’re reaching people all across the country.
Bob: And since it’s a podcast, actually, all across the world. So if you are listening from another country, welcome, we invite you to listen and you will hear a little bit of that South Texas twang coming out, though.
Mary Jo: I’ve never heard that before, Bob.
Bob: And like your husband said, and I’ve been accused of this, people will say, “You sound like a preacher,” but that’s okay.
Mary Jo: Yeah, absolutely.
Bob: I can be accused of sounding like a lot worse people.
Mary Jo: Well, and you know, one of the things, too, is we’re putting a lot of ourselves into the podcast and our passions and what fuels us. And as financial advisors, we all have a past. We all have a story to tell. And there are a couple things in my story that I think resonate with my clients all the time. And one of those is my history around Alzheimer’s. My mother just recently passed away after a 12 year battle. So, I do know firsthand how important it is to plan for the rising cost of healthcare and retirement. This is something that I’m very passionate about. I hear clients say and people say, well, it’s not going to happen to me. Well, how do you know it’s not gonna happen to you? The statistics are pretty alarming and I think we all want to have a plan and we want our families to know what our wishes are. So that’s something that I think is important for us to talk about. And me personally, I give a lot of my time to the Alzheimer’s Association, and it fills my heart and know that I have a lot of experience there. So, I hope to share that with our listeners. What about you? What do you think is something that you want to really share that comes from your background and from your heart?
Bob: Well, I have a very strong background in leading a lot of Bible studies over the years and even developing several Bible studies on finance. You know, I’ve taught the Dave Ramsey series. I’ve been very involved in Crown Ministries in the past. Both you and I now are involved in Kingdom Advisors. So my strong background comes from years and years of experience of applying biblical principles in my own life and helping others to apply those biblical principles into their lives. And I will tell you that a biblical worldview of finance is totally different than a secular worldview of finance. It’s truly one of coming from the perspective of God owns it all. And we are stewards. We’re managers with what he has given us. So that’s the perspective I’m coming from, and I have a strong background for many, many years going back, over 20 years in that, and was one of the original people involved in the biblically responsible investing movement that came out of the socially responsible investing movement. Even before the first biblically responsible mutual fund came out that was called the Timothy Plan Mutual Funds, I was already being very careful about what I wanted to invest God’s money, what companies we were investing in.
Mary Jo: Well, and that’s so important and I know we shared earlier that we’ve been working on a list of topics that we want to cover. And for the next session, our first real session that we’re going to be talking about, it is what God’s word says about money. And then from there, we do want to talk about biblically responsible investing and how that is under the umbrella of impact investing. So, those are coming up and I look forward to those. What else are some of the topics you have in mind that you want to address?
Bob: Well, I think another topic that’s very important and one that we’re going to share is “15 Virtues To Look For When Choosing A Financial Advisor”. In this day and time, it’s very difficult to choose who is going to help me with handling money God’s way. And we’re going to use the principles from the third chapter in Timothy that covers the virtues of an elder and a deacon. And those are fantastic principles to take and apply towards choosing a financial advisor, also. So, that’s going to be a lot of fun. We’re also going to be covering the following week estate planning from a Christian perspective, and we’re going to be talking about the right way to do estate planning and the wrong way. Most of us do it the wrong way, and we’re gonna share what that wrong way is in that episode.
Mary Jo: And you know, one of the things that comes up is how important communication is. All of these topics are important, but it’s so critical to be able to share your thoughts with your family and your loved ones and those that are, you know, coming along with you in this journey, so we’re definitely going to talk a little bit more about that. One of the things I think that is so fundamental to our role as Christian advisors is that when we’re talking with clients, and especially married couples, that they have to have unity. A big part of that is making sure they’re sharing their thoughts openly with each other so that they’re both on the same page and in agreement. Otherwise the entire financial plan breaks down. What do you think about that?
Bob: Absolutely. And that’s why if there’s a married couple, I always want to meet with both because it’s so important that they be on the same page. I mean they don’t have to be exactly on the same ,, but they need to be in agreement and in harmony and finance can sure get in the way of harmony in a marriage.
Mary Jo: Boy, isn’t that the truth? I’ve made it 36 years, but it wasn’t always easy and it’s been a lot of compromise over the years. But one of the things is is money, I do believe, is the root of many evils and it certainly can tear apart a marriage faster than just about anything. So, I think that that’s where we can kind of come in. We’ll be therapists, and we play that role a lot, don’t we?
Bob: We definitely will do that on the program and the podcast and we do that in real life. It’s not money that’s evil but it’s the love of money as it says over in the book of Timothy, and some other things that are so important when we talk about like investing is you can’t just isolate investments. You need to have estate planning involved in that, tax planning, planning for incapacity, giving strategies, multigenerational planning, all that needs to play into a full financial picture, not just isolating one thing off by itself.
Mary Jo: You’re exactly right, Bob. And one of the things that we want to look at and help our listeners look at is what we call integrating and correlating and coordinating their investments, their funds, and their managers so that their overall portfolio is working together. A lot of people will allocate their 401k, but then they’re allocating their wife’s 401k in the exact same manner, so they’re not looking at best in class investments and how not to overlap from one account to another account. We want to make sure that the entire portfolio is diversified and wherever the assets are, we’re capturing what is best in class about that company or that firm, and then complimenting that in the other accounts that we’re managing as well, too. And I think that’s a critical component of the overall portfolio strategy. I’m looking forward to talking more about that.
Bob: So, you mean I’m not diversified just because I have 10 different mutual funds and three different advisors helping me?
Mary Jo: Well, you are diversified, but you’ve got your eggs in a lot of the same baskets.
Bob: That’s true. Well, you know, Mary Jo, we don’t want to go too long on this first podcast. So, we wanted it to be an introduction, and we are so excited, aren’t we, about wearing this to our listening audience once again. There’s so many of you, I know you’ve heard this voice before. We’re really going to introduce this in a big way this first couple of weeks to those that are our old listening audience, but we want you to get the word out and share this podcast. Christianfinancialpodcast.com is the website that you can go to. Just click on it and you’ll be able to hear the podcast from anywhere you want to.
Mary Jo: Before we go, Bob, one of the things I did want to share is we talked a little bit about our backgrounds but you and I, we’re uniquely qualified to help our listeners integrate their faith and their finances. You addressed the Kingdom Advisor program earlier. We are both Kingdom Advisors, and I am a Certified Financial Planner and I know you have some special skills as well. I think that’s important to share with our listeners.
Bob: Besides being a Kingdom Advisor, I’m also a Certified Wealth Strategist, which means we don’t just look at investments in isolation, but we look at retirement planning, tax planning, estate planning, educational planning, even risk management like your insurance products and/or those covering you for the amount of your net worth, planning for incapacity like longterm care or if you were disabled, planned giving strategies which can involve incredible giving strategies to use in a year in which you had a high income and you want to help charities, but maybe over time instead of all at once, tithing and beneficiary designations, how you’re titling your documents, how you’re titling your IRAs for beneficiary status, multigenerational planning, which is working with not just the parents but possibly the grandparents and the grandchildren, the great grandchildren, maybe even the cousins, nieces, nephews. Another area of the wealth management phase for a Certified Wealth Strategist is essential document integration. Then for those that own businesses, business succession planning, then executive compensation for those that are highly paid with the major corporations. So as you can see, there’s a lot of different areas as a Certified Wealth Strategist that we look at and bringing that all together so that it’s all in harmony.
Mary Jo: Well, we’ve shared a lot today. One of the things we want to be sure is that we want to thank our listeners. Thank you for tuning in. We know you have a choice of where you spend your time, and we hope we’ve been a blessing to you and that you found this podcast both informative and inspiring.
Bob: You’re listening to Christian Financial Perspectives. Join us next week as we explore what God’s word says about money and don’t forget, you can sign up for our free newsletter at ciswealth.com or give us a call at 877-71-TRUTH. That’s 877-718- 7884. To make sure you don’t miss any of our podcasts regarding the truth about money, be sure to subscribe to Christian Financial Perspectives at christianfinancialpodcast.com for free. If there are any specific topics you would like to hear more about, we’d love to hear from you.
Bob: To make sure you don’t miss any of our podcasts, you can subscribe to Christian Financial Perspectives on iTunes, Google Play, or Stitcher. To learn more about integrating your faith with your finances, visit out website at ciswealth.com or call 830-609-6986.
Mary Jo: That’s all for now until next week.
Investment advisory services offered through Christian Investment Advisors, Inc DBA, Christian Financial Advisors, a registered investment advisor.