Recently I sat in a client meeting where we were starting to map out a farm succession plan for a family and the husband quoted G.K. Chesterton by saying “Don’t ever take a fence down until you know the reason it was put up.”. It sounded catchy but it didn’t quite click so I asked him to repeat it. I have thought of this moment now several times since. This really speaks to the core of why we do financial planning. When it comes to money and investment decisions, too often we let our emotions get in the way. That is why at Bare Wealth Advisors we don’t just pick investments or stick our clients in products that fit us…rather we take the time to work on values and purpose to keep our financial goals in alignment. These life values and purposes are really the fence put up to give the framework for a financial plan. So, when the storms of life or the market cause mountains and valleys on the dot chart of our statements we can be here to remind you why the fence was put up in the first place. Having an advisor that can call you back to your values and to the plan is key when volatility seems to be the norm.
If you already partner with us on your stewardship journey, thank you for trusting us to help you build the fence. If you don’t work with an advisor that calls you to value based decisions we would love if you would consider us.
By Lamar King
As we continue to explore what generosity looks like this year, we found this video encouraging in regards to living in community together. Having close friends or advisers you can be vulnerable with in regards to finances can spur generosity and bring great contentment and joy. Please pass this along to others you know who will be inspired in their generosity.
This video is courtesy of Generous Giving. To learn more about Generous Giving, click here .
2019 is the Year of Generosity at Bare Wealth Advisors. Throughout the upcoming year, we will be sending out several videos that we have found to be inspiring. Please pass this along to others you know who will be inspired in their generosity.
This video is courtesy of Generous Giving. To learn more about Generous Giving, click here .
by Ron Bare
“When someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required.” Luke 12:48b
In this passage, Jesus begins by instructing them not to worry and first seek God’s Kingdom. In verses 33-34 Jesus says to sell your possessions and give to those in need, unlocking an important principle in money management, the principle of Generosity.
Generosity requires us take our eyes off our possessions and puts our focus on the Kingdom of God where it belongs. Later Jesus says “Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.” He seems to make the point that a generous life on earth (what we treasure) will help our hearts desire a deeper relationship with God and the advancement of His Kingdom.
The more we have been given the harder it can be to keep our focus on our love of God and not develop a love for money. By living a generous life, we invest into the Kingdom by helping people and furthering the work God has given all believers, to make disciples of all nations. Now that is a good return on our investment!
Bare Wealth Advisors is excited to announce the addition of Lamar King to our team! Lamar brings a passion for helping our community make wise financial decisions due largely to his time over the last 10 years at Fulton Bank. At Fulton, he worked primarily in the agriculture community, helping his clients make wise borrowing decisions to meet their business goals. Lamar will now bring that commitment to the Bare Wealth Team as he assists advisors in helping our clients make wise financial decisions in a broader sense than just lending.
Lamar and his wife, Grace, were married in 2006 and have four children. Lamar was raised on his family’s potato farm in Cochranville and met Grace at Cedarville University in Ohio, where he received his Bachelors in Finance and Accounting along with a Bible minor. They live together in Lancaster and are very involved at Millersville Bible Church where Lamar helps lead worship through music and lead as a member of the elder team. Some of the things Lamar enjoys are spending time with his family, playing guitar, volleyball, golf, cheering on Philly sports teams and journaling.
by Ron Bare
Early in 2018, I wrote that this year Bare Wealth Advisors was themed to be a year of purpose. If you have worked with us for some time, you know that we believe that all of us have a unique calling and purpose in life. However, living life on purpose means to live intentionally as we journey together through this life. At Bare we made a commitment to helping you achieve that this past year.
Here are some things we set out to do in order to help you live a life on purpose in 2018 – we hope these were a blessing to you and your family!
- Help you create a life mission statement or help you identify a few core values. If you have not been able to go through these exercises, be sure to bring it up to us next time you’re in for a meeting! We have received some great feedback on how these were helpful.
- Books and devotionals. We have given out many “Purpose Driven Life” devotionals and “Splitting Heirs” books for those working through the estate planning process. We are excited to talk to you next time you visit us to receive feedback on the usefulness to these resources.
- We have written blogs on how to live a life of purpose, how to retire with purpose and how to vacation on purpose. Let us know if you missed any or check out our website as all previous blogs can be found at www.barewealthadvisors.com
- Tee shirts! We had “Run with Purpose” tee-shirts made and have seen them being worn in the community. If you have not received one stop by anytime to pick one or two up as an early Christmas Gift.
We look forward to hearing from you and any stories you have on how living ON PURPOSE has helped you or those you care about. Blessings to you and your family as we enter the Christmas season! A time to be thankful and reflect on faith, family and friendships – the things that matter most!
by Ryan Kurtz
On September 29th of this year my wife and I had a date night, our own small retreat from our home and four children. We started the evening by eating “unlimited shrimp” at Red Lobster thanks to a gift card that was given to us. After eating myself almost sick from the unlimited shrimp, we headed to Lowe’s to do some shopping for the list of items we needed at home, ranging from light bulbs and toilet paper holders to furnace filters. When I first entered the store I was fear-struck with what lay before my eyes. To my right, barely inside the door and right beside the Halloween “Must-have Merchandise,” was Christmas. Fake trees, lights, blow up lawn Frostys, and everything that comes out at Christmas was already on full display.
September 29th, 88 days, almost 3 full months before the holiday, Christmas preparation was already in full swing. I was genuinely shocked. I don’t know if it was the overindulgence of shrimp an hour earlier but I am beginning to feel as though I don’t really like Christmas anymore. I am now 40 years old so the child like excitement for Christmas has worn off around 2 ½ decades ago but I always did enjoy the day itself. This, however, is beginning to push me a little bit over the line. The line that separates Hooray from Humbug.
We all know people who reside on both sides of the line. The “Hoorays” can grow more than a little annoying. These are the people who are always counting down the days to Christmas and throwing ugly Christmas sweater parties. The Hooray’s love to shop for The Day as well. Getting up at 1AM on Good Friday to fight with other Hooray’s over items that are “unbelievable deals” is a cherished and time-honored tradition for them. I am convinced that these are likely the people that are starting Christmas in September.
The Humbug’s I never truly could fully relate to. They are always upset with the Hoorays for being happy, never put lights out in front of their house and sleep in on Christmas morning like it is just another Saturday. I never could relate to them before, but with the aforementioned business on the evening of September 29th happening, I began thinking that maybe I can begin to see where they are coming from.
How about you, which side are you on? Hooray? Humbug? Somewhere in the middle? Whichever side you find yourself on, Christmas day will be here before we know it. Gifts, lights, food, and ugly sweaters will all be out in full swing to celebrate The Day.
So, if you are a Hooray and can’t wait to drink the eggnog, or if you are a Humbug and are just looking forward to a day off work, when you see the lights and ugly sweaters, whether you like the caroling and shopping or not, I would like to remind us all of something: This coming Christmas day, the preparation and anticipation is only because of one thing.
The Love of God for us.
God sent His Son into this world, being born as a baby, grew into man and died so we don’t have to. To simplify what has become a significant portion of clutter in our lives, minds and hardware stores, Christmas day really is just about celebrating the greatest birthday of the year. The birthday of Jesus.
You know, maybe the greatness of Jesus birthday celebration is worthy of starting to plan for Christmas in September after all? Maybe the real “Hooray” should be the cry of our hearts shouting out thankfulness this Christmas for what God has done for us by giving us a Savior.
Do you know the day we really should start planning to celebrate Christmas next year?
It doesn’t matter if I get shrimp heartburn from seeing Christmas lights all year long, Jesus birthday is really worth preparing for 364 days in advance.
So, if you are a Hooray or a Humbug, as we head into the last few months before Christmas, as you see the Christmas sweaters and large Frosty blow-up lawn ornaments, take some time to reflect with a thankful heart on the real reason we celebrate Christmas.
God’s inseparable, unmeasurable, unchanging love for you.
And by the way, if you’re looking for a gift to give me for Christmas this year, just get me a gift card to Red Lobster.
by Ron Bare
What is the purpose behind setting core values as a business? Did you ever wonder when walking into a business and seeing values on the wall how were they determined and does the company really strive for excellence, integrity or the other words listed?
At Bare Wealth Advisors we believe that core values are essential to have as an organization. These values help us determine how we will behave on a daily basis – they describe who we are as a company and keep us focused on acting in a way that aligns with the values we have established. The Bare Wealth Team recently spent time taking a deep look into the meaning of our values and have established some thoughts to go with each value. As our trusted clients, I thought it would be helpful for you to know what our values are and how these values help us fulfill our purpose as a company which is to: Help our clients intentionally manage wealth that aligns with their God-Given Purpose.
- Stewardship – We believe God owns everything and managing faithfully what is entrusted to us leads to growth in resources, responsibility, and influence for the purposes of God.
- Biblical Wisdom – Applying the timeless principles of God’s Word to our financial stewardship creates contentment, clarity, and freedom.
- Excellence – Upholding a standard of excellence compels us to give our best in unselfish service to others
- Integrity – Being authentic and transparent promotes wholeness and confidence in the trustworthiness of our stewardship.
- Generosity - Cheerful and generous giving inspires others in their purpose, enriches relationships, and expands the influence of the resources we manage.
By putting some thought behind each value, it provides additional meaning to the values we have set. This will help us continue to pursue excellence in our areas of expertise while making Biblical Stewardship a priority as we operate and provide advice. However, ultimately it is our sincere hope that these values help us help you be a faithful steward and make a difference with what has been entrusted to you!
by Ryan Kurtz
In a 4×100 relay race in the summer Olympics, just because a team has the four fastest runners does not mean they will win the race. If they spend their practice time only trying to get faster, they still may not have the winning team. Most 4×100 relays are won or lost in the transition of the baton. Similar to an Olympic racer, a business professional could spend their whole life “running” their business only to lose much of the value, if they are not prepared for the transition.
In working with a number of business owners through building and transitioning businesses over the years, we have found a number of things that can help you “Succeed at Business Succession”.
Here are 5 steps to take now to set yourself up for success:
- Begin Locating a Successor
This may seem very basic but we see many business owners that are unable to complete a transition of the business only because there is no one ready to transition the business to. Here are a few places you can look for a successor.
- Family members:
If you have a business, family members are often a natural way to transfer your business. A benefit of this type of transfer can be flexibility of the current owner to stay involved in the family business after it is sold. Selling to a family member can also create a situation where the older generation will sell the business in some sort of installment sale. This could benefit the buyer with favorable terms (i.e. low interest rate, reasonable payment schedule, etc.) and the seller with some possible tax benefits of receiving the sale proceeds over a period of time rather than all in one year.
One of the benefits of selling a business to your employee(s) is that it can be an incentive to keep your key employee(s) around. Stock ownership could be structured in the employee(s) compensation package, which also is a creative way to give bonuses or pay increases. This could happen in a way where a small portion of the company would be transferred to an employee each year.
- Outside business party
Selling to an outside party is always a possibility. Finding a competitor or someone looking to buy a business can be an option. This often will bring more changes to the business than the previous two options discussed and sometimes can be difficult for current employees.
- Make your Business Transferrable
Even if you are years away from selling your business, one thing you can do now is to work towards making your business transferrable. You should work towards having your business function without the owners involved. For a gauge of this, ask yourself the following questions:
- Do customers need the owners involved to conduct the day to day functions of the business?
- How long can the owners be away before it affects the business?
Having a business operate successfully without the owners involved is a great benefit to the buyer of any business. Remember, if you sell your business you will no longer be there, you just want to make sure the business still is.
Another key to making your business transferrable is having key employees that would stay with the business during a transition. Having key employees in place and having low employee turnover should be a goal for any business owner
- Establish a Personal Financial Plan
Having a personal financial plan in place before transferring the business is important as you make transition plans. This will help you to know what price as well as the timeframe in which you can sell your business. In addition, knowing if you need $10,000 versus $50,000 a year from the business for personal income is important. Working on your personal financial plan can give you a lot of clarity in business transition decision making.
- Plan for the Unexpected
Most of us think of business transition as how do I sell my business?
But, what if you would have to transition the business because of an unexpected death or disability? Having updated agreements in business partnerships is important in addition to having clear predetermined steps if something were to happen to the business owners. These can include predetermined values of the company or even naming a certain person as someone who would have the first right to buy the business if the owner would to pass away.
Considering life insurance coverage is one possible option that can be an inexpensive way to plan for the unexpected.
It is good to also have all your personal estate documents updated as well as this could go in hand with any business agreements which you have in place. These could include your Will, Financial Power of Attorney and Healthcare Power of Attorney documents.
It is good to remember: not planning for the unexpected could result in the forced sale of the business or loss of jobs for employees
- Consider a Consultant
Hiring a consultant that specializes in business transitions can be beneficial as you work through a business transition.
We recommend this person being someone who is not involved in the day to day work, has the ability to see your blind spots, and has experience working through relationship conflicts. The same way it benefits an Olympic relay team to have a coach, it can benefit a business to have one as well.
So how can you start planning for your business succession now?
- Begin looking for a successor.
- Take time away from your business – can it still operate without you?
- Prepare now before the possible event of a death or disability.
- Create a personal financial plan.
- Get help! Consider hiring a consultant.
by Curtis Burkholder
As we have reached the midpoint of 2018, it’s a good time to stop and reflect on the first half of the year and look ahead to the remaining six months. The New Year brings clear vision of goals and plans but often we lose sight of these intentions as the year goes on. However, if we want to see them become a reality, it’s important to review them before we reach the end of the year.
Our theme this year at Bare Wealth Advisors is a “Year of Purpose”. An important part of successfully doing things with purpose is to pause and evaluate the current state of our life. Our mission at Bare Wealth Advisors is to advise clients to intentionally manage their wealth in a way that aligns with their God-given purpose. Intentional means “done on purpose; deliberate”. To intentionally manage something implies there has to be an end goal one is trying to accomplish.
I believe now is a good time to step back and reflect on how the year is going in all areas of life. Here are a few questions to help get started on evaluating the first half of the year. Are you comfortable with the financial decisions you have made? Have there been unexpected expenses? What has been your greatest success? What has been your biggest regret? Is there a relationship that needs more time or energy? All of these questions can help us evaluate where we are.
I heard the analogy used that if you want to figure out where you are going, you need to know where you currently are. So, as we look ahead to the second half of the year, I believe this exercise in evaluating the first half of the year and our current status is important in setting the course for the upcoming months. After reflecting on the past and where we are currently, I believe it’s important to use the information we have gathered to help determine where we want to go.
Life is full of change and unexpected events so even though we lay out our well thought plans, something is bound to happen that will cause us to adjust our original plan. If we don’t make course corrections, we will end up far from where we originally intended to go. As you consider the remaining six months of 2018 consider these questions: What would need to happen for you to say the second half of 2018 was successful? What conversations need to be had? Are there things you need to stop? Are there things you need to start or restart?
Intentional choices are not only related to our finances. As you consider your life spiritually, emotionally, relationally, financially, pick one thing to focus on in the next 2-6 months. After this is accomplished, find another target. As you make these deliberate choices, you will accomplish more than you expected and can have a greater impact in life.