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Bluffton Location

117 E Elm Street

Bluffton, OH 45817

January 2018 - Memories

“Wow, I had forgotten about that! That was 25 years ago!” Memories were flooding my brain and it was hard to take it all in. I had been scanning a multitude of picture albums one sheath at a time as part of our overall downsizing project which started 5 years ago and intensified in last 3 years. (I am making real progress but not bragging!)

One of the pictures that elicited my surprise was of my old office in Findlay, Ohio from about 25 years ago. I had been in the securities business for about 5 years at that stage with a large national company and had just opened an outside office with another associate. That lasted a few years before we went to Russia in 1996. Upon my return, I entered management and did not get back to serving clients until October 3, 2003 when Faith Investment Services (originally Faith Financial Planners) was started.

It is interesting how some things change but other things do not. While I don’t look as young as I did 30 years ago (of course!), I believe I am more experienced, mature, wise, and capable. Back then I had some broad company support but it did not apply to my practice directly. Now I have a staff of 4 upon whom I heavily rely. Twenty-five years ago, I was restricted in the solutions I could offer by only using what was available through the national firm. Now I am independent and can draw from a large universe of solutions with little restriction.

There was always sales pressure in one form or another to produce numbers that would please a whole upward chain of mid-level managers. I am glad God moved me out of that scenario to a place where I can focus on helping people without any sales pressure and be a resource for information, direction, and solutions. That may sound “canned” but looking at those old pictures brought back a flood of emotions, memories, and thankfulness. I am glad I am not in that place!

As I reflect on where we are as a firm now and where I was all those years ago, I see a principle at work that has been consistent throughout those 30 years. Every opportunity to move forward, grow, and prosper has required preparation and planning. Don’t get me wrong. Every success we have had is a blessing from the hand of God, without a doubt. But those blessings have come with a responsibility to prepare, plan, and take some risks.

In our office, we try to see change as opportunity. It usually means a time of preparation and, as we call it, “ditch digging.” 2 Kings 3. When you expect God to bring a season of outpouring, you better have ditches dug (or jars collected - 2 Kings 4) in which to hold the overflow! So when we are unsure about what is next – be it change in regulations, products, tax laws, and so forth – we try to get into ‘preparation mode.’ One of the tools we use in our office is strategic conversations. We recommend for everyone in our newsletters to start a conversation because we practice that in our firm as well. These conversations often lead to insight when you are talk with someone who is listening and giving you feedback.

Is there change on the horizon in your life?

  • How do I plan for such a high stock market and the news about North Korea?
  • How do tax changes affect me?
  • When is the next market correction?
  • How much do I really need to retire?
  • What do I do about health insurance costs?

Is there preparation and ‘sweat equity’ that you need to start a conversation about?

  • How do I plan for retirement?
  • Can I retire?
  • When should I start saving for retirement?
  • What’s best -- a Roth or an IRA?
  • What is a 529 plan and how does it work?
  • How do I pick my funds in my 401k plan?
  • How do I get my money out of my 401k plan?
  • How can I avoid supporting things I don’t like or agree with my investment money?
  • Do I need life insurance? How much?

You have your own concerns/questions and they are just as important. We will listen if you start a conversation with us. Dr. Craig and Dr. Shenouda of Advanced Vision Care (see article on next page) have recently taken time to have some of these important conversations with us. We hope you also will be proactive and call today!


Have things changed for you — new home, new phone number or email, new child, family changes? Do you need to change or review your beneficiaries? Please take a moment and send an email to We may simply need to update our files, but certain types of information should also be reported to the companies who hold your investments. Let us help you stay up-to-date!

We consistently add people to our mailing list who we think may benefit from the material. If this is one of your first newsletters, WELCOME!! We hope you enjoy it! We try to be informative and share our thoughts and our lives with you. We know you are busy and also realize that perhaps you are served well by another adviser and don’t “need” to hear from us. If that’s the case and you’d rather not receive these mailings, feel free to email or call us at 419-358-4207 to ask to be removed.


Riley Creek Arbor held a Bingo Night for the residents of Maple Crest Senior Living in Bluffton, OH on January 5. Snacks, great gifts, and a good time were had by all!



2017 or 2018 IRA Contributions—It is not too late to make your IRA contributions for last year or planning ahead for this year. You can ask us for help or, if you send a contribution directly to your investment company, be sure to delineate which year the contribution is for. We’re glad to help if you need it!

Also, you might qualify for an in-service distribution from your company, which would allow you to have more control and direction over your retirement. All of our investments have moral implications as well as potential returns. What if you could have positive moral impact while not sacrificing potential returns? Would you want to know how? We offer free screening of your current investments to see how well they align with your values. Email Gary at or call 419-358-4207 to ask how!


Dry Eyes by Dr. Michael Craig and Dr. Mary Shenouda

We’ve invited Dr. Michael Craig and Dr. Mary Shenouda of Advanced Vision Care to contribute an article to this month’s newsletter. Advanced Vision Care is located at 2300 Baton Rouge, Lima, OH 45805.

Up to 30% of people over the age of 50 have dry eyes. Are you one of them? Not all dry eyes are alike. In fact, not all dry eyes feel dry. The following are some of the words people use to describe their eye symptoms - any of which could mean dry eyes for you, too:

The biggest reason for dry eyes is that nasty thing we call aging, although there are many other causes for dry eyes including certain medications, skin diseases, hormonal factors, eye injuries, allergies, poor blinking or eyelid closure, long-term contact lens wear, immune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis, chronic eye inflammation, and after some eye surgeries. In fact, types of dry eye conditions progressively lead to permanent damage to the eyelids and eyeball surface. So ignoring the condition or treating merely the symptoms is not wise.

So, what can you do on your own about your dry eyes? You can:

  • Humidify your house, especially in cold winter months.
  • Avoid air that is blowing directly on you.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Blink more frequently. Be sure your blinks are complete, not partial.
  • Change your pillowcase weekly.
  • Daily place a warm washcloth over your eyes for 8-10 minutes, then gently cleanse and massage the edge of your eyelids for 10 seconds.
  • Use an artificial tear drop up to 4 times daily.

But remember, these treatments only improve the symptoms. To properly address the root of the problem, contact your eye care specialist for an evaluation.

Neither Faith Investment Services, LLC nor the CFD companies is affiliated with Advanced Vision Care, Dr. Craig or Dr. Shenouda.