Broker Check

Bluffton Location

117 E Elm Street

Bluffton, OH 45817

November 2022 - Messy or Clean?

“I was clinging to my father’s back as he reached out and grabbed a hold of the airplane as it was taxiing and then grabbed a couple other family members as the plane lifted off.  The rest of the family was left behind.  Most of them died.”  This was a Christian Missionary and Alliance staff person sharing a brief part of her testimony to a few of us standing around after a board meeting recently.  I had not been paying that much attention as she was just responding matter-of-factly to some of my wife Shannon’s questions.  All of us were stunned!  We had no idea this was part of her past history.  She was giving praise to God for where He had her now, many years later, as a former missionary to China, now helping to manage a large missionary force around the world.

 Proverbs 14:4 says, ‘Where no oxen are, the manger is clean.  But much increase comes by the strength of the ox!”  I have a handwritten note in my Bible from 2006 that says about this verse “Life can get dirty, messy, challenging!” (Yes, I write in my Bible all the time!)  We have seen this truth over the years at Faith Investment Services because we regularly meet with folks whose lives are not perfect.  Just to be clear, that means 100% of the meetings we hold are with non-perfect people.  That is what the proverb is talking about.  Non-perfect people living their lives as God leads them and dealing with all facets of life, which involves some messiness at times. 

 But the truth of that proverb does not lead us to stay focused on the negative aspects.  Not at all!  The very fact that there are oxen in the manger, even though it causes a certain amount of natural messiness, causes much increase.  It is better to deal with messy oxen than to have a clean stall!

 Messiness (loose ends, unanswered questions, unmet goals, regrets) is a great reason to start a conversation with us.  Many people think their lives should be so disciplined that they never need to talk to anyone about their finances — and so they never do.  Their financial stalls are perfect, clean, and totally in order.  Others know better but are so ashamed of their messiness that they don’t want to be embarrassed or exposed.  May I suggest that both attitudes are wrong.  Nobody knows everything and you don’t know what you don’t know.  Recognizing you have some financial issues can be the first step to INCREASE! 

We have this truth from Proverbs on the wall of our new conference room.  Everyone that works at our firm sees this on a regular basis.  There is never any judgement from us as we see that this is a truth in all our lives.

 May I encourage you with some principles from a recent devotional by our friend mentioned above:

  • “When we become adopted children of God, we are entitled to all God’s benefits.”   
  • “As children of God (she was talking to Christian believers) and heirs of God, He has so much to give us, but we often don’t even know how to ask for them OR receive them!  Though we are children of God, we still live and act like orphans of this world.”

 We are here to listen, assess, and give recommendations.  And it starts with a simple conversation.  No judgement from us.  Many people have “oxen in the stall” but are intimidated to put them to work.  We can help!


Have things changed for you — new home, new phone number or email, new child, family changes?  Do you need to change your    beneficiaries? Please email

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! If you don’t wish to receive our mailings, you can email the address above to opt out. 

Do your Medicare options confuse you?

We believe that knowledge is power.  Would you like to sit down and better understand your Medicare options, prior to signing up for a plan? The open enrollment period for those turning 65 is 3 months prior to the month in which you turn 65, your birthday month, and 3 months after. We can help you learn about and consider your options! Please call our office at (419) 358-4207 to schedule a no-obligation appointment.


Aren’t you being nosey? Why do you need to know about all of my assets when I’m just moving an old 401k? I don’t like to give out my private information.

 Believe us, we get it. Money is a very personal subject and sometimes hard to talk about—without all of the nitty-gritty details! Yet, even though we  understand how you feel, we still need to ask for personal information. Why?

 We are required by FINRA and the SEC to “know our client.”  This accomplishes several things and, even though it can seem invasive, it is good and good for you. What does “knowing our client” mean:

 1) We must be able to prove that you are an actual person we have interacted with and that you are not a terrorist or involved in money laundering. We cannot blindly move financial accounts around without knowing the legal ownership and history of the account.

2) We must be able to prove that we are acting in your best interest.  We cannot just pick a favorite product or investment and “sell it” to everyone we talk to.  Is it good for you?  Does it tie up too much of your  money with restrictions to access? Is it too aggressive for you or too conservative? This means we have to know how your entire portfolio is invested, even if we will not be managing the entirety for whatever reason.

3) We have to know your timeline for needing the money as well as your tolerance for risk. We do want to know your goals and dreams—and we are required to take your personal needs, budget, and expenses into consideration.

 Please know that we hold all of your information in the strictest confidence.  Our office employees and the back office support staff who help service your accounts are bound by confidentiality agreements. We see a lot of financial information in a week’s time so we are not really phased by one set of “dollar signs” over another set.  We process and research the information you give us so that we can make the best recommendation possible for your situation—your personalized, private situation.

 If there is ever anything you are uncomfortable sharing with us (especially early in our meetings—in the “get to know you” phase), we encourage you to say so. We want to be as respectful as possible, while still complying with our industry regulations. 


 The flip side of this issue is that some clients are willing to share details, but they have a hard time accessing the information.  They don’t keep track of statements, don’t have a log-in to their account websites, and they struggle to know what they really have. Take heart! 

 We specialize in helping clients get their house in order.  We can help you find the details you need, with your cooperation. We also offer our clients access to software that can help keep all of your financial details together in one place. If you are our client and haven’t gotten signed up for FIS Home, please contact us to ask how to get started.  If you are not our client yet, today is a good day to start a conversation.  Call us! 


We see retirement income as a multi-legged stool, where each leg is a different income source.  Just like a stool, your income situation is much more stable if it has multiple legs.  For most retirees, the legs can be things like: 

  • Social Security
  • Government pension (like STRS teacher’s retirement or OF&P fire and police retirement)
  • Pensions from their employers (although these are increasingly rare)
  • Investment income (these vary based on your risk tolerance, income needs, tax situation, etc.)
  • Passive income (rental properties, cash rent, etc.)
  • Work or consulting or “gig” work

 When you begin to think about transitioning into retirement OR you change or diminish the type of work you have been doing, there are several factors to consider.  We can help you explore: 

  • Healthcare coverage and costs
  • Which “legs of income” to turn on—and when to do so—and how to be tax efficient in the process
  • How part-time work (if doing so) affects your Social Security
  • Getting prepared financially, mentally, and emotionally. 
  • How a long-term care event would impact your retirement income and whether to seek long-term care insurance
  • What steps to take to pass your assets to your heirs in an efficient manner and how to include charitable donations in your legacy, if you choose to do so. 

 Since you don’t retire every day, why not let our retirement planning team help you?