Explaining Financial Lingo


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Financial lingo can sometimes sound like a foreign language. What are indexed annuities? What is an amortization schedule? How ’bout a no-load fund? Well, if you sometimes hear financial terms and you don’t quite know what they all mean, don’t worry, you’re not alone. Let’s look some common financial terms.

What are large cap stocks and small cap stocks? What does all that “cap” stuff mean? Cap is short for capitalization which simply is the total value of the company’s shares. Large cap stocks have a market value of $5 billion or more, and small caps have market values of between $50 and $500 million.

What’s a mutual fund, and how does that differ from simply buying a stock? A mutual fund typically holds ownership in maybe hundreds of different companies. If you buy a stock, you buy ownership in just one company.

What is a growth stock mutual fund? It’s a mutual fund where the primary objective is appreciation of the stocks it holds.  It may not payout much of a dividend.

What’s definition of an IRA and a Roth IRA, and what is the difference? They are Individual Retirement Accounts that are tax advantaged and both grow tax free.  When you invest in an IRA you get a tax deduction on what you put in, and you pay taxes on what you take out. With the Roth IRA, you don’t get a tax deduction on what you put in, but what you take out is tax free.

What’s an amortization schedule? An amortization schedule is simply a loan repayment schedule for a real estate mortgage.

What is a will, and what’s a trust? What’s the difference between the two? Both wills and trusts name one or more people to manage an estate and direct how the assets are to be distributed. The biggest difference is that a trust does not have to go thru probate.

Learn and understand these terms and you will have passed your first test in Financial lingo 101!

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The Importance Of Budgeting


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When you hear the word budget, what’s your reaction? If you’re like most people, confining orcomplex come to mind . . . a financial straightjacket that’s going to require hours of tedious bookkeeping.

That’s why we call it a Spending Plan – because it’s simply a way to make sure you spend your money in ways that are most important to you instead of getting caught up in impulsive spending. Proverbs 27:23 says, “Know well the condition of your flocks, and pay attention to your herds; for riches are not forever, nor does a crown endure to all generations.” These days fewer of us have flocks and herds, but the principle of staying on top of your finances still applies.

So, the first step is to decide the best type of spending plan for you to use. You might choose to use a pencil and paper budget, a software program, or a popular online budget like www.Mint.com which is free.

Then, track your income and spending for 30 days to develop an estimated budget where you’ll break down your spending by category; for example, giving, housing, food, and transportation. You can visit www.compass1.org to see suggested percentages of what you should be spending for each category.

Once you start your Spending Plan, you’ll realize that it’s dynamic as your income changes and as life happens – you’ll always be tweaking it to make it more accurate.

A budget – a spending plan – is the most effective financial tool to help you make real progress on your journey to true financial freedom.

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5 Ways to Raise MoneyWise Kids


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After sharing the Gospel, one of the most important things you can pass on to your children is how to handle money God’s way. The trouble is, a shocking percentage of parents fail to pass along strong money management skills to their kids.

Here are 5 money lessons your kids should know, and fortunately, it’s never too late to start teaching them.

  • Kids need to know that credit cards aren’t free money! Yes, a bill comes every month and if you don’t pay it in full, interest piles up fast. Teach by example and pay off your credit cards every month.
  • The biggest “secret” to managing money is to live on less than you make. Otherwise, you can’t save for emergencies or invest for the future. Teach your kids to save every time they receive income.
  • Giving. Jesus was right when He said, “It is more blessed to give and to receive” (Acts 20:35).  Young children naturally think they’re the center of the universe. Teaching them to generously help those less fortunate is an important life lesson.
  • Teach them to manage a bank account. It’s not rocket science. Help them set up an account and teach them how to record transactions, keep the register balanced, and reconcile the account.
  • Finally, paying back student loans isn’t fun. In the past, students could borrow their way through school, get a good job and pay back loans quickly. No more! Today jobs are harder to come by and student debts are a lot higher. Teach them to borrow as little as possible. This will help them choose a major or a minor that gives them marketable skills so they can land a job after graduation.

Remember what Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.” Teaching your kids to manage money God’s way is a gift that will last their whole lives and impact their children as well.

Warmly in Christ,

Howard Dayton

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5 Things to Remember When Buying a Used Car


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Listeners to our MoneyWise radio program often ask us about the best way to buy a used car. How much should they pay? How can they be sure that it’s in good running order and won’t have any major problems?

There are 5 things to remember when making a used car purchase:

First, do your homework and decide on the make and model of cars that will meet your needs. For example, a family of six is going to need a very different vehicle than a single person.

Second, visit www.Edmunds.com to get a good idea of the sales prices of the used cars that you’re considering.

Then, Google the make and models of these cars with the word “problem”, and you’ll soon see if there are recurring problems with any of the cars.

Next, remember to check out some online reviews on the dealership from whom you are considering buying the vehicle. Small used car dealerships often get their inventory from car auctions. These vehicles may appear to be in good running condition, but may also have costly problems that you will be dealing with after purchasing the car and driving it off the lot.

Which brings me to my last point……..before you pay for a car, have a reliable mechanic check it out for problems. This is super important! That’s why we are so thankful for our auto mechanic, Slim. He’s been repairing our type of car for more than two decades and . . . Slim is really HONEST! I’d never consider buying a used car without Slim going over it carefully and giving me the thumbs up to go ahead and purchase it.

And if you don’t know an auto mechanic like Slim, ask the Lord to help you find just the right one. Then ask your friends and neighbors for recommendations until you find a mechanic that you feel is fair and credible.

Following these simple guidelines will help ensure you a positive experience when looking to purchase a used car!

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Glance then Gaze


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Last week was a difficult week for Bev with her bone cancer and the side effects from a more powerful chemo treatment taking a toll. It was also emotionally challenging for me as her husband of 45 years and now as her caregiver.


During my prayer time, the Lord brought to mind another challenge Bev and I had experienced together 37 years ago. We were in the process of adopting a beautiful new-born son we named Andrew. When he was about three months old the doctors discovered he had been born with only a fraction of his brain because his birth mom had been taking narcotics during her pregnancy.


At nine months, Andrew was in unrelenting pain and crying 24×7. Bev was at the end of her emotional rope so we decided to admit Andrew for a couple of months to a wonderful facility that specialized in caring for profoundly handicapped children. In the reception area there was a large picture of Christ. When I looked at Andrew I wept, but when I focused on the picture of Jesus I experienced amazing peace.


Isaiah 26:3 tells us, “You [Lord] will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You; because he trusts in You.” A friend counseled me, “You should glance at the problem, but gaze on Christ.” He was right. We should glance at the problem by identifying the issue and doing all we can to solve it. But we should gaze and focus most of our attention on the problem solver who loves us like crazy. Jesus Christ!


And when we have our minds “stayed on Him” the Lord Himself will give us His peace. Not just regular peace, but perfect peace.


Warmly in Christ,


Howard Dayton

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What Happens To The Money I Give?


A tithe plate with money in it. Black and white.

Several months ago a major story concerning a well-know non-profit organization serving wounded vets dominated the news. Claims were made alleging that donations were used for high salaries and expensive parties rather than for helping the wounded.


We’ve had MoneyWise callers express disappointment that their church leaders are not transparent with how the finances are handled. From a biblical point of view, it is imperative for all churches and ministries to be transparent with how donated money is used.


A example is the Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 8:19-22, “. . . he [a trusted brother] was chosen by the churches to accompany us as we carry the offering, which we administer in order to honor the Lord himself . . . We want to avoid any criticism of the way we administer this liberal gift. For we are taking pains to do what is right, not only in the eyes of the Lord but also in the eyes of man. In addition, we are sending with them our brother who has often proved to us in many ways that he is zealous.”


People in Paul’s day were wondering how donations were being used, and guess what? That hasn’t changed!


Paul wanted to avoid criticism and questions about how this gift was used. He wanted to handle it in such a transparent way that it would please the Lord and also those who had given. That is why no one person handled the money; other trusted people administered the gift.


Churches and ministries should make their budgets, tax returns and audits (if they conduct one) available to their members and donors. When people realize finances are handled with integrity, they are encouraged and often become even more generous.

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Markets surprised by British voters’ stunning vote to exit the European Union and British Prime Minister David Cameron’s sudden announcement that he would step down sent global markets plunging with the British Pound at a 31-year low. The Brexit vote shocked investors who were counting on early polls that supported remaining in the EU.

As I’ve read the experts conflicting forecasts of the potential impact, I keep returning to several Biblical truths that should be the foundation of our thinking in any global crisis.

God is in control. “EVERYTHING in the heavens and earth is yours, O Lord, and this is your kingdom. We adore you as being in control of EVERYTHING” (1 Chronicles 29:11). The markets may have been surprised by the vote, but the Lord knew exactly what would happen because He ultimately orchestrated it.


Compared to God nations are powerless. Isaiah 40:15-16 tells us how God views even major nations. “The nations are like a drop in a bucket, and are regarded as a speck of dust on the scales . . . all the nations are as NOTHING before the Lord, they are regarded by Him as less than nothing and meaningless.”

Let that sink in for a minute. When the Lord evaluates the world’s most powerful nations, He compares them to a drop from a bucket or speck of dust. Acts 17:26 makes it clear who is in complete control of countries. It says, “The Lord . . . . scattered the nations across the face of the earth. He decided beforehand which should RISE and FALL and WHEN. He determined their boundaries.”


Investments are uncertain. In 1 Timothy 6:17, these words are written, “Instruct those who are rich in this present age not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the UNCERTAINTY of riches, but only on God.”


During any financial crisis, it is a reminder that we should be faithful stewards of whatever the Lord entrusts to us, by being generous, consistently saving and getting out of debt.


Warmly in Christ,






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