Broker Check

COMING SOON - NEW Bluffton Location

117 E Elm Street

Bluffton, OH 45817

March 2016 - Romans 12 & Statistics and the Market

Hi Folks,

A few weeks ago I was invited to fill in for a local pastor who had an emergency situation on a Saturday and couldn’t preach the next morning.  Coincidently, I had already been reading several chapters in the book of Romans that morning, much more than I normally do.  I agreed to fill the pulpit and felt I should share from the 12th chapter of Romans, making the theme of my message, “A review of my life according to Romans 12!”  Romans chapter 12 was very impactful in my life as a teenager and could be considered among my life verses.

While I am not going to repeat my message here and have no desire to elevate myself in any way, I do have some points to share that might be pertinent to your life.  Take the good out of what I say and let the rest just roll on by!  :)

* Don’t wait too long to make a decision about whether or not you want to follow God.  If you decide to follow Him, do it diligently with passion and not half-heartedly.  Nobody likes lukewarm actions -- whether in families, sports, politics, or religion. Not even God. 

* It’s not true that you have to be an ordained clergy person to serve the Lord.  Most ministry takes place outside the church walls in the daily lives of regular people.  If you are taking in air (breathing!) and desire to serve Him, then do it starting right where you are!  You are either part of the solution or part of the problem in every situation where you are taking up space.

* Keep short accounts with others and with God.  Learn to forgive early and often.  Don’t burn any more bridges than necessary.  If you live long enough you will see many situations that come full circle and those you formerly had hard feelings for will be seen in a different light. 

* Don’t be arrogant, harshly opinionated, impulsively judgmental, and too stubborn to learn.  This is often a sign of deep-rooted inferiority and pride.  The scripture has a lot to say about both and none of it is good.  These are some of the deadliest of sins and we all struggle with them!

* We have two ears and one mouth for a reason!  (James chapter 4)

* If you are struggling with feeling sorry for your situation then just take some time to look around you for some perspective.  There certainly are challenging circumstances in life and you might have some of them, but I bet there are others worse off.  Our two God-daughters both work in some really tough situations at times in their respective callings.  They share real life stories that remind me I don’t have any problems in comparison.  Reading scripture also helps us keep a balanced perspective.

* Speaking of which, we are totally blessed beyond measure to be living in America compared to the rest of the world.  We should not be full of arrogant pride but humble thankfulness.  Work hard, be diligent in whatever you are doing, and don’t dare be passive about life.  You have a gift from God and it is your life.  In this great country, even with all its imperfections, you can still choose your path in life, overcome obstacles no matter how overwhelming, be totally passionate in what you pursue, and be a success – no matter how much government programs or politicians try to diminish you!  

Years ago Jesse Jackson had a program for inner city kids.  I don’t know anything about the program (and I’ll make no comment on his life in general) but he had a slogan the kids used to chant, “I am somebody!”  This is very simple but impactful.  I go back to my first point.  Make an intelligent decision to follow God early in life and be a ’somebody’ for God!  Romans 12:1-2

NEW STAFF AT FAITH INVESTMENT SERVICESRenea Zimmerman

We are excited to announce the addition of Renea Zimmerman as our new Office Assistant. 
 Renea began employment at Faith Investment Services in October 2015.  She is working as an Office Assistant in our downtown office where she answers phones, welcomes clients, maintains records, and provides general administrative and clerical support.  Renea is married to Brent and has two children – Caity and Bryan.

OFFICE NEWS

We have opened our new office at 122 N. Main Street, Bluffton, OH where Gary is available by appointment only.  This office is staffed most weekday mornings from 9 am—1 pm if you want to come in to arrange an appointment or pick up/drop off paperwork.  We believe that the best financial conversations are those that are planned and prepared.  When someone wants to talk with Gary, we first send (or give) him or her a Personal Information Questionnaire that is used to gather pertinent financial information all in one place.  After completing this simple form, a personal appointment or teleconference can be scheduled, depending on distance and desire.  We do not charge to have a conversation and these first appointments are often a time to ask questions and explain your situation or needs.   There is never any obligation to do business with us.  It is our goal to ultimately build a relationship with you, if you feel comfortable and interested in our services.  We proceed from there.  

It should be noted that our mailing address has not changed.   All mail should be directed to:  Faith Investment Services, 177 Hillcrest Drive, Bluffton, OH  45817    Our phone number remains (419) 358-4207 and our fax number remains (614) 559-4605.   Gary can be reached directly at gary.reese@cfdinvestments.com

We are happy to be a part of the downtown Bluffton community!!

ONE OF THE REGULATIONS IN THE FINANCIAL WORLD

SEC Section 17a3 is a regulation that requires our broker/dealer, cfd Investments, to send a letter confirming client financial information every 3 years. 

At the beginning of every year, we are given a list of clients who are due for this letter and we are given the option to help gather updated information, rather than having our clients receive the letter directly from cfd.  We prefer this pro-active approach since some clients find the letter coming from cfd to be somewhat confusing. 

Gathering the updated information means that we send out a ‘New Account Form’ to each client on the list and ask them to initial it in several places, sign it at the bottom, and also return a copy of their latest driver’s license.  We take this opportunity to update beneficiary information as well. 

We recently sent out these update requests for clients whose updates will be due in 2016.   If you received one and have any questions, please contact us.   If you are a client of ours and did not receive one, it simply means that your turn may be coming in the future!  (Note: Not all types of investments or insurance products require this update.)

Please realize that this is a government-mandated procedure — one of many that we operate under in the financial services industry.  You may have heard in the news about the Department of Labor’s proposed changes to fiduciary rules that could impose great hardship on your financial adviser’s ability to assist clients. If you are interested in these regulations, http://www.financialservices.org/issues/ is a good source for more information.

JUST FOR KIDS LIFE INSURANCE POLICIES

If you’ve been with us very long, you know that I very rarely recommend a product in a mailing.  I don’t believe in a one-size-fits-all approach to either insurance or investing!  However, I am making an exception because I really believe in this “Just For Kids” life insurance policy offered by Gleaner Life (to folks in AZ, FL, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, MI, MO, NE, OH, TN, AND VA.)  For a one-time payment of $125, your child or grandchild is insured for $10,000.  Twins or triplets combine to pay only one $125 premium.  This life insurance would be helpful in the event of the untimely death of the child, of course, but I believe the greater benefit is that the insurance is convertible up to $50,000 with NO medical examination at age 25.   So it guarantees the future insurability of the child until age 25 — regardless of health issues that may come up.  Unfortunately, I have seen many times over the years where a child becomes uninsurable for life because of a childhood incident, illness, or poor life choice.  Insurability is a great gift to give your children!

The facts:

  • Issued for children age 1 month through age 17.
  • Face amount $10,000
  • One time premium of $125 AND you can purchase up to 3 certificates per child (possible $30,000 coverage)
  • Convertible up to $50,000 face amount with no medical examination
  • The applicant must be the child’s parent, grandparent, or legal guardian.

Purchasing this life insurance for a child in your life makes you a member of Gleaner Life, a fraternal non-profit society. 

The benefits of membership include:

  • Discounted travel opportunities
  • Scholarship opportunities for students
  • opportunities to socialize, volunteer & perform good deeds in your community. With funding from Gleaner, each arbor (local service group) has the opportunity to support charitable organizations they believe in

If you live in a participating state and want more information, please call our office!

Statistics and the Market:

I am very aware a lot has been happening in the market recently and we are being bombarded with a plethora of statistical analysis.  I choose not to react too precipitously to all the news media.  Numbers can be interpreted to substantiate points of view in arguments, influence political elections, and give credence to life-altering investment decisions!  I learned a long time ago that the same set of research numbers could be used to prove both sides of an issue!  I am not being cynical because I believe data, research, and numbers are very important.  We need to be careful how we use this information, however.  Let me give you a couple of examples.

Most software programs that purport to help a person make social security decisions suggest that one should always look to “maximize” their SS income.  Not a bad idea but it is not all of the equation.  The programs have to assume a time of death to determine how much extra you can earn by making certain decisions.  Do any of us know for sure when we are going to die?  An assumption is not a fact and it could be wrong.  Another factor with these programs is how you quantify your quality of life.  For example, if you put off taking your SS until a later date to “maximize” your SS benefit, but are seriously undermining your current lifestyle, is it really wise to wait?  My answer is MAYBE.  It really depends on your particular situation. 

Let me share another example.  There is always a debate going on between the security and insurance industries.  The former favors products that are directly connected to the market based on the statistical assumptions that eventually the market over time outgains anything else you can invest in.  The insurance industry favors products based on long term, very conservative statistical assumptions that enable them to issue certain no-loss guarantees.  I read articles from both industries every month and it is interesting how similar economic data available to both sides winds up being used to support two opposite recommendations.  :)

One side touts the long term gains in the market from the 1930s as proof that their products would be better for you, while the other touts the ability to sleep at night knowing your future is secure because of the guarantees.  But I know those are just part of the whole equation because the market is not guaranteed at all and insurance products have a more limited upside potential because of the guarantees.

 I have worked in both industries for almost 30 years and have observed this as an ongoing debate that never gets solved.  Both sides have a great array of products and many of them are very good, IF you need that particular one.  The question that needs to be asked then is, “Are one side’s products better than the other’s?”  The answer is MAYBE.  It really depends upon your particular situation.

Fortunately, Faith Investment Services is not obligated to recommend any particular direction, product, or service.  We believe there is no substitute for talking through these issues with someone who listens with a heart to understand your unique situation.  Why?   BECAUSE there are circumstances that just cannot be factored by a statistical program!  Our strength is our independence and freedom to listen carefully before making any suggestions for financial directions.