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Key Questions Christian Financial Advisors Should Ask Before You Invest

Talking to a Christian Financial Advisor

Does your Christian Financial Advisor care about you?


When looking for a Christian Financial Advisor for your retirement, there are some important questions they should be asking you. Here are a few:


  • How do you make financial decisions?

  • What changes do you see occurring in the next 5, 10, 15 years?

  • Putting finances to the side, what is the one thing you want to accomplish in your life going forward?

These are just 3 of the 5 questions we review in helping you decide on which Christian Financial advisor is right for you. It's a hard choice, but you don't have to go into a meeting unequipped. Have a seat, sip some tea, and be prepared, to be prepared.



retired couple reviewing their investments

 

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About Financial Advisors Say The Darndest Things Podcast:


As Christians, we were taught to be good stewards over our tithing and giving to the less fortunate. But when it came to our personal finances and investing we were left clueless on what the Bible says. What does the Bible say about managing debt, leaving a legacy, investing, and planning for your retirement? Mr. Christian Finance answers these and many other questions because we want to teach you how to become rich and righteous!


Meet A.B. Ridgeway:


A.B. Ridgeway with his hands up

A.B. Ridgeway, MBA (info@abrwealthmanagement.com) is the owner and Christian Financial Advisor with A.B. Ridgeway Wealth Management. With a decade in the finance industry, his goal is to give believers clarity around the most confusing topic in the Bible, money, and tithing. A.B. Ridgeway helps tithing Christians become cheerful givers but unlocking their money-making potential, so they can prosper and be the great stewards of the wealth God has entrusted them with.


Transcript is not checked for accuracy


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Welcome to Financial Advisors Say the Darnedest Things. I'm your host, AB Ridgeway.

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If you're looking for faith-based financial advice that you can actually understand, you've come to the right place.

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On this show, we demystify all the financial jargon that you may hear from your financial advisor.

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We leverage proven financial strategies, but use faith-based principles for guidance. And during this process,

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we pray for discernment so you can understand the things that work for you.

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This program is for the beginner. Those who want to learn about finances,

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but doesn't have the time or willingness to go get a Master's of Business Administration in Finance,

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or sit through an eight-hour online course to figure out what a bond is.

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So if you are like the other millions of investors that wish they knew what their advisor was talking about,

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be prepared to be prepared. Now sit back, relax,

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not if you're driving, as we get into this show.

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Hey B,

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yeah,

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cue the music. Let's make this happen.

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Welcome everybody. We are back for another exciting episode of Financial Advisors Say the Darnedest Things.

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Today, we're going to be talking about key questions that your financial advisor should be asking you.

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Over the past month, we have been discussing how to choose an investment advisor.

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And now it is time to start getting into the meat and the potatoes.

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For all of our plant-based and vegan friends out there, the tofu and grains.

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Now let's talk about the five questions that your financial advisor should be asking you.

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Yes, we do go into a conversation with millions of questions,

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but what should your advisor be actually asking you?

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Now this is not the time to be shy. We understand when you go into the office,

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sometimes you're there to listen because you want to get some information and you really don't want to ask any questions.

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And that's okay.

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But for you to really have a strong relationship,

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you need to start asking some questions.

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But that does not take your advisor off the hook for asking you questions.

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As we stated before, your advisor should be just as interested in getting to know you as you are into getting to know your financial advisor.

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But first, as always, let's start off with a scripture.

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Today's scripture comes from Proverbs chapter 3 verse 5 through 6.

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Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and do not lean on your own understanding.

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In all your ways acknowledge him and he will make straight your paths.

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See life is filled with uncertainty, but that does not mean that we have to live in fear.

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The man that knows something knows that he doesn't know anything at all.

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That in life we are constantly learning and growing.

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There was a quote that I love which goes, surround yourself with those seeking the truth and run away from those who said they found it.

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I love that.

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So that leads us into today's conversation.

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We are going to go over five important questions and their variations that you can use to evaluate your financial advisor.

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Question one, how do you make financial decisions?

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How do you make financial decisions?

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Hmm.

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I bet you never thought about that.

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But how you make financial decisions is very important.

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There's a quote that goes around.

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How you do anything is how you do everything.

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So it's very important for you and your advisor to know how you make decisions.

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Do you need to sleep on it?

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Do you like others to make decisions on your behalf?

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Do you consult a friend or family member?

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Do you weigh all of your options first?

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Or do you go with your gut?

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Now there is no right way to make a decision but by understanding how you make one you can make a better one.

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Your financial advisor will be able to provide the information you need so you can make a decision that is right for you.

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Now for example, you like to consult your spouse before making any major financial decisions.

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Perfectly fair.

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So if you are in a meeting without them and a decision comes up, your advisor knows that that recommendation will not be acted upon on that day or he or she will avoid decisions that need instant answers.

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That's a good advisor who listens, right?

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They will know to give you time to come to a decision or always recommend that both parties are present when presenting the situation.

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Now some clients are very technical and need to see the numbers.

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They don't care about the feel goods.

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They want to know in black and white that this is going to be a good decision.

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If they are going to refinance, they need to see how much they will pay not doing anything and how much they will save long term if they make a decision now.

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Also, they may want to know the risk of delaying the decision as well.

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Other clients go with their feelings.

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They are less concerned with the numbers and work based on trust.

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They are the clients that try restaurants based on friends suggestion.

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Even though they never would have thought of trying Indian food, they go because they trust the opinion of their friend.

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And you may be the client that trusts your financial advisor as well and willing to give them the freedom to present the best option.

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As I said before, there are no wrong answers here.

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The point is that both you and the financial advisor need to be on the same page when it comes to how you make financial decisions.

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If he likes to rush and you like to wait, it is constantly going to be an uncomfortable conversation whenever a decision needs to be made.

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Question 2. What changes do you see occurring in your life in the next 5, 10, and 15 years?

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Now usually the answer to this question is one of two things when dealing with clients over the age of 50.

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Retired or no?

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Those are the two answers.

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Either they see themselves as retired or no, they don't see any changes occurring in the next 5, 10, or 15 years.

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This is where your advisor will have to be skilled enough to do some legitimate digging into their personal life.

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Do you have children? Is someone getting married? Is someone having a baby?

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Do you plan on downsizing your home? Are you going to take more vacations?

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Are there any home improvement projects you want to work on?

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Are there any medical issues that you may have to resolve or check on the progression of?

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Will you increase or decrease your spending during retirement? Are you taking care of an elderly parent?

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Do you see how there is more to life changes than just work?

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The underlying theme of all these questions is cash flow.

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That should be one of our words of the day.

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Cash flow is the net amount of cash and cash equivalents being transferred into and out of a business.

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But for personal use, we just say like out of your checking or your savings account.

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If you have a retirement account and you get a thousand dollar income and you have $500 in expenses, we just say your cash flow is around $500.

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So when you have investments and savings, you can calculate mathematically at what point this reserve will be depleted based on your cash flow.

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And for my clients, it increases a sense of security.

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And they realize that knowing how much they have access to is more predictable than betting on that they have a job in the next 10 years.

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So the key takeaway is that we want to determine your cash flow needs.

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Understanding your inflows and outflows are better known as income versus your expenses.

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Now on to question number three, putting finances to the side.

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What is the one thing you want to accomplish in your life going forward?

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Now, why is this question important?

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Because money is nothing but digits on the paper and screen until we take it out and use it.

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With that said, success is not the accumulation of wealth, but the ability to fund the things we want to do in life.

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Bill Gates and Warren Buffett don't think in terms of money.

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They know they can afford any endeavor they dream of.

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And you can too.

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Now let's put it in perspective.

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Let's say that you have $750,000 in investment and you get a monthly income of about $3,000 a month.

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Let me ask you, do you check your bank account before you shop at the Dollar Tree store?

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I would say that you wouldn't.

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Why?

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Because we all know that you have enough money not only to buy what you want, but to probably invest in a franchise if you wished.

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So why is this analogy important?

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Because when we know that the assets we have can fund the lifestyle that we want, we can live with a little less anxiety.

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And that is what we really want, to live with less anxiety.

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So by determining your most important non-financial goal, we can figure out if we have enough assets to actually fund that goal.

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If we do, we call that financial success.

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If not, then we have some work to do until we get that done.

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But it's possible.

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Okay, guys, I'm going to give you a short break.

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But stay tuned because we still have two more important questions our financial advisors should be asking us.

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So please stick around because the last two are going to be very great.

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And you do not want to miss these.

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I hope that you're enjoying the show.

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During this break, we will listen to a story called Divine Timing, where a father is speaking to his son who wants to be rich and famous now about allowing God to determine when things will happen in his life.

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So sit back and relax.

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Now, if you're driving and I'll see you on the other side of this blessing.

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Good night, son.

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Good night, dad.

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Dad.

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Mm hmm.

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When I grow up, I want to be an actor and a singer.

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Well, maybe one day you will.

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God willing.

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But I want to be rich and famous now, though.

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Well, let me tell you a story first about Divine Timing.

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Divine Timing.

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It's never too late to do what you want.

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See, son.

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I believe how we are raised has a huge impact on how we view time and success.

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See, I remember elementary school and the first time that I realized that you could be held back a grade if you didn't pass.

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How does that make me feel?

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I know for me, I was scared.

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It made me feel like there was a time limit for something.

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It made me feel like there was a time limit for success.

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If you took too long to learn something, that you failed.

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You play basketball.

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You're down by one point.

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You have two seconds left and you don't score.

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The horn blows and the game is over.

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You only get so much time to win.

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And as we age and grow into adulthood, I think we carry this illusion with us.

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We must have a college degree by age 22 or we fail.

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If we're not married by age 25, we fail again.

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No kids by age of 30 still working at age 67.

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You get my point.

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But says who?

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We all had those moments of self-doubt, feeling it was too late to be successful.

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But success is on God's timing, not ours.

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I think we have erroneously confused urgency with efficiency.

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Ecclesiastics, chapter 3, verse 1 through 8.

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For everything there is a season and a time for every matter under heaven,

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a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to pluck up what is planted.

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That's divine timing.

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It's not that we have to rush to be successful,

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but we soon realize that maybe we aren't where we want to be

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because we're not using our time efficiently.

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We start to realize that things and the people we give our time to is not the best use of it.

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Remember, I said efficiently.

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Chasing what others have can be inefficient.

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Watching TV can be inefficient.

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Even reading can be inefficient if it's not the right season for that task.

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This is a time management issue.

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And let's be real.

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Even taking the time to speak to you tonight would be a waste of time

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if you didn't internalize what I was telling you about time efficiency and how to improve it.

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But for me, I've allocated this time to spend with you to teach you a few of the lessons that I've learned in my life.

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This 10 minutes was my season to dive into my heart

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and understand my concept of time and how I used it in my own life and share it with you.

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See, time is an abstract concept,

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and how we choose to use it will determine if we are slaves to it or if we're masters over it.

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See me, I'm trying to free myself from it.

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So don't let anyone time shame you.

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Be proud of what you've built for the time you were given.

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You want to start a business at age 50?

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Learn to win that basketball league and win a championship at age 45?

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Or learn to sing on stage at 55?

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This is your life and your divine timing.

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No one else's.

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They have their time and you'll have yours.

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Finally, if you don't take anything away from our talk tonight,

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take this.

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To beat the illusion of time, you must give your best to everything you do and use your time efficiently.

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Whether a task takes you one day or 100 years,

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just make sure it takes you that long and not just how long it took you.

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Because the completion of a task is the mark of the success, not how long it took you.

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Dad?

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Mm-hmm?

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I think I'm going to let God determine when I'm going to be rich and famous.

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You know what, son?

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I think that's a good idea.

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Welcome back.

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Are there things in your life that you are rushing?

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I challenge you to be patient and allow God to determine your steps.

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I encourage you to stay focused on Him as you do the work.

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And remember, faith without works is dead.

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Now back to our show.

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We already discussed questions surrounding our cash flow, our goals, and how we make financial decisions.

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Now we will discuss the final two questions.

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Question number four.

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What has been your experience with financial advisors?

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This question is beneficial for the client and the advisor because history has a tendency to repeat itself.

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So it is important that we take the time to figure out their history so we don't repeat it, or in some cases, that we do repeat it.

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Let me explain.

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If you tell them you had a wonderful advisor that called every three months, then that is something he would want to do.

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If you can't, then it might not be the right advisor slash client relationship.

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Also, if you had a bad experience, they can determine if that is something that they can fix.

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For example, if you didn't like your advisor because he made trades without consulting you, then the new advisor will know better.

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Or if the other advisor used too much financial jargon, and the advisor will know to simplify their speech.

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These types of adjustments are crucial if advisors are going to give a customized experience for you.

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In simple terms, it is setting the expectation of the relationship.

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So you know where they stand and they know where you stand. So there are no surprises.

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Now our final question, question number five.

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Drum roll please.

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Maybe they don't have a drum roll. We got to put a drum roll in here somewhere.

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We need a drum roll.

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If you could describe your perfect advisor, what would he or she look like?

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And we're not talking about physical here.

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We're not talking about color, race, or gender or any of that stuff.

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What we are talking about is character, spirit.

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This is a very powerful question.

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The reason it is powerful is because it expresses a sense of humility and servitude for the client.

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It is basically saying, how can I successfully serve you?

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One term I heard in my former life as an advisor with a huge firm was exceed expectations.

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But one of my gripes with the term was that you can't exceed what you don't know.

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You must first find out their expectations.

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We were asked to pull out chairs, make a lot of phone calls or smile and nearly hit a backflip every time you see a client.

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Now that's fine for tricks and it may impress someone at first, but it can get annoying.

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And because people are dynamic, the wow factor doesn't last that long.

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And how many times can you really do a song and dance throughout the day until after eight hours you're just tired of hitting that backflip.

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But this is what I always try to do.

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I try to figure out their expectations first.

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Maybe it was hot outside.

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We're in southern Louisiana.

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It could be 100 degrees outside with 80% humidity that makes it feel like 200 degrees and they were thirsty.

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I asked them what they like me to get them some water.

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Meeting expectations.

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And then I would bring them to that's exceeding expectations.

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They didn't care about the chair.

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They didn't care about the backflip.

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They cared about that water.

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And this is client centric.

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This is client focused service.

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And this is what we're talking about here.

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Or if they were waiting for a check to clear and it takes, let's say, estimate of five days and it was three days.

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So I called the back office just to check on it.

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They said, you know what?

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We can expedite this.

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We could put it through.

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Guess what I did?

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I called the client, which was meeting expectations because they were expecting the phone call.

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And I let them know that because I checked on it, it cleared in three days instead of the five.

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That's exceeding expectations.

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And you want your advisor asking you where your expectations are so they can exceed them if at all possible.

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But if they don't know where that line is, they don't know where they need to go.

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Now, some people may be asking me.

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Well, A.B., why won't you just give your best to every client?

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Well, I say this.

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Sometimes it's wasted energy.

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You want to make sure that you know where your client stands so you know exactly where you need to go.

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Well, that is it for this episode of financial advisors say the darndest things.

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I hope that you've been blessed and are equipped with some great questions to look out for.

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And if your advisor happens to miss these questions, please, please give them some grace and help them by answering the questions for them.

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Since these are questions that your financial advisor may be asking you, it is important that you take some time to answer them yourself.

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So you are not put on the spot and can give a good, honest answer.

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And yes, there are other questions that they can ask and in different ways, but the main ideas are still there.

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I hope that you've been blessed.

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As always, this episode was created by A.B. Ridgeway, owner of A.B. Ridgeway Wealth Management,

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a virtual and in-person fee only advisor that believes that financial advice should be custom made.

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If you need help figuring out your finances, feel free to reach out to us at 337-414-3686

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or visit our website at www.abrwealthmanagement.com and schedule a free consultation.

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At our firm, we practice what we preach.

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So if you need more information or a better explanation of what you heard today, give us a call.

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And we would love to have a discussion on how we can serve you.

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I am A.B. Ridgeway and I will see you on the other side of your blessing.

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A.B. Yeah, cue the music.

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These people got places to go and things to do.

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I want to go where the moon shines bright. I want to dance under the stars tonight.

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Olajuwon Ridgeway is an investment advisor representative and owner of A.B. Ridgeway Wealth Management, LLC,

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a registered investment advisor which produces the podcast show and makes it available on its website

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and through other distribution channels.

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Olajuwon Ridgeway and any guests on the podcast are providing their own views and opinions

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and are not necessarily the views and opinions of A.B. Ridgeway Wealth Management.

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Nothing on the podcast show should be construed as solicitation or offer or recommendation to buy or sell any Pacific security.

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Investment advisory services are only provided to investors who become clients of A.B. Ridgeway Wealth Management

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pursuant to a written investment management agreement.

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Clients of A.B. Ridgeway Wealth Management may hold positions and securities discussed in the podcast.

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Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

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All investments involve risk and may lose money.

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Financial advisors say the darned distinct podcast is for informational purposes only

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and should not be relied on for any investment decisions.

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Instead, please consult with a financial advisor, accountant, attorney, and or conduct your own due diligence.

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