117 E Elm Street
“What do we owe you? You can’t do this for nothing!” I had just told the couple that there was no charge after a two-hour conversation. Their response was fairly typical and I am asked that a lot by the individuals and couples I work with. I usually just politely inform them that we as a firm stopped charging up front fees for these conversations several years ago. We had felt the growing need to remove roadblocks to anyone who had a sincere desire to get answers to financial questions. It has turned out to be a very good thing to do and is a win-win situation.
“How do you protect yourselves from being taken advantage of? How do you make a living?” These are the usual follow up questions and they are very proper to ask. At the same time we stopped charging fees for our conversations, we started requiring interested parties to take the time to fill out a questionnaire before we met. We felt that if someone is really interested in investing in their financial future then a little effort on their part is warranted. If they cannot accomplish at least a start in this direction, then it probably isn’t the time for a conversation. We do not put a deadline on this and sometimes there is a period of time between the first request for the meeting and the actual conversation. We have a saying: “Life happens and we get it.” That is why there is no pressure from us to move quickly. The client always initiates the timing of the first meeting. The longest time between the first request and initial meeting was about 5 years!
When there is follow through and the questionnaire is filled out, an appointment is scheduled. Through the questionnaire and the first conversation, I am able to gain a big picture overview of the financial situation. The client has prepared themselves to listen because of their participation in the process. That combination makes for a very productive and profitable conversation.
“How long will this take?” is a question that used to be asked. But when people take time to fill out a questionnaire about their finances it usually leads to a desire to get answers no matter how long it takes. We do not put a time limit on these initial conversations but they typically run 1-2 hours, and have had many run to 3 plus hours. Since I am just responding to questions and not selling anything, there is no pressure whatsoever. Our office diligently strives to maintain a no “sales pressure” environment. This leads to folks being comfortable to ask about a lot of things they might not normally feel free to do so. The truth is we take as long as needed and as long as there are questions. We are very privileged to help folks who care about their financial outlook, make the effort to fill out a questionnaire, and take the time to talk. We do not take that lightly! We tell everyone they are free to ask anything they want and they will receive an honest opinion, for what it is worth.
“I’m not sure I even know what questions to ask because I don’t understand anything!” The nice part is that you don’t have to come in with all the answers or even the right questions. We really appreciate clients that are teachable and willing to learn. If you don’t know what to ask, you can come in and start to tell your financial story -- where you work, what you do, how you view retirement, what your needs and concerns are, and so forth. The questions will usually take form from the conversation. Of course, if you have specific questions, that’s fine too.
“How do you get paid? You have to earn a living!” These are also good questions. Our firm gets paid the same way as most other financial advisers. We broker financial products and services. We just do it a little differently on the front end by not trying to sell anything. We respond to these questions like this: If during our conversation there are some particular needs that come up in regard to financial products or services, and if there is a desire for help in filling that need, and if we are requested to help with a recommendation, and if that recommendation satisfactorily meets the need, and if the parties want to get that product or service through us, then our firm gets paid.
It is a calculated risk we take when we “give away” our expertise and experience, which includes 29 years in financial services. We do this without charge to help people meet their goals and find peace in their finances…and quite often, we develop a relationship with clients that is mutually beneficial and results in us receiving compensation. We gladly take that risk because our Savior took a risk for us. We enjoy humbly following His example.
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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 a quick email to firstname.lastname@example.org 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 are really eager to give, then it isn’t important how much you have to give. God wants you to give what you have, not what you haven’t.
2 Corinthians 8:12 Living Bible
See www.gleanerlife.org for more details. If you are not a Gleaner member and would like to know more about life insurance protection for you or your children and grandchildren, please let us know.
We are aware that many continue to experience the loss of very dear loved ones. We want to share a pertinent book, Appointments with Heaven by Dr. Reggie Anderson. As an emergency room doctor, he shares the precious stories of the last moments he has shared with critical patients who died in the Lord. The story is told through youthful zeal, shocking loss, rejection of faith, challenge, ultimate conversion, and life purpose fulfillment. If you are facing an imminent loss or struggling through the heaviness of a death, do consider this for yourself or those you love.
Congratulations to Chari of Lima, OH & Ralph of Oak Hill, WV, the most recent winners in our referral drawing. Twice a year, we look at where our new clients and friends are coming from and we acknowledge those who have taken the time to talk about us with their friends. Each referrer is placed in the drawing and the winners receive a $100 VISA gift card — as a simple way of showing our thanks.
Our business grows by referrals and we really appreciate it when you tell folks about us. Feel free to direct people to our website www.myfaithinvestments.com or give us their basic contact information so we can send an introductory letter or email to them. As you know, we are committed to a no-pressure environment!
The gospel is infinitely more than a ticket to Heaven. It is a message that changes not only a person's destination in eternity, but also a person's heart and mind here and now. The gospel transforms more than a person's relationship to God. It also transforms a person's relationship to everything else.
For example, after the greedy Zacchaeus was converted, he said to Jesus, "Behold, Lord, half of my possessions I will give to the poor, and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will give back four times as much" (Luke 19:8). Today as then, the gospel of Jesus Christ turns lovers of money into lovers of God.
That's why one of the most reliable evidences of conversion is when a person begins looking for ways to use time, talent, and treasure in service to the gospel. This testifies to the value one places on the gospel, that they treasure the God of the gospel above all.
Sin makes us selfish and wasteful with all that we have and all that we are. But "the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ" (2 Corinthians 4:4) helps us to see that knowing Him is infinitely more important and valuable than grasping the clock and the dollar for ourselves. It causes us to find spiritual pleasure in using these things to meet the needs of others, and to enable them to hear the gospel and turn to Christ. Coming to know Christ through the gospel leads us to evaluate our resources on the one hand and the souls of lost people on the other, and say with the Apostle Paul, "I will most gladly spend and be spent for your souls" (2 Corinthians 12:15).
excerpted from www.lifeway.com Understanding Biblical Stewardship by Donald S. Whitney
Gary and Shannon Reese recently attended the Fall Conference of cfd Investments in Kokomo, IN. This annual conference allows Gary to complete required continuing education courses, connect with other advisers, and stay informed on changing regulations.
Kokomo was deeply affected by the recent tornadoes that hit the Midwest and we are glad that cfd and its offices were unscathed. The home office staff was involved on a community and personal level, assisting storm victims. Kudos to all who helped out!