Stewardship, Bags and the Bottom Line

Bryan Gum recently began his time at Triune as our resident in Financial Planning. It’s great to have him on board. Here, Bryan shares some insights from a conference we recently attended.

As some of you may know, many of us were out of the office for a week in February. Triune’s advisors and partners attended a four-day conference in Orlando, Florida, hosted by Kingdom Advisors (KA). KA is a community of Christian financial professionals intent on integrating faith and biblical principles into their practices. Their goal is to equip advisors to offer meaningful, eternally-focused counsel, and to have a positive impact on the financial paradigms in our culture — and more than 900 people were in attendance at last week’sImpact 2015 Conference!

We’d like to share with you some of our key takeaways, and perhaps illustrate why belonging to Kingdom Advisors is such an important part of who we are at Triune.

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The Role of the Steward

While there are many definitions of the word “steward”, none more broadly captures the role a steward plays than this: “A steward is responsible for taking care of the passengers on a vessel.”

Like a flight attendant on a plane, a parent driving a carpool or a quarterback leading a team, it is our role as stewards to care for our clients’ well-being. Now, let us not mislead you; it is NOT the steward’s role to bend over backwards to give those under his or her stewardship whatever they want. A steward uses wise discernment to achieve an outcome that brings lasting contentment — not instant gratification. A steward is willing to invite others down a path less traveled for a more meaningful outcome. A steward is not as concerned with being rewarded for good works, but is keenly focused on generating intrinsic value for those he or she serves.

As we were reminded of our role as stewards last week, we at Triune were infused with renewed vigor to help our clients “think well” and gain lasting contentment.

“What’s in the Bag?”

Think of a time in your life when you had a duty, but you had no clue how you would pull it off. Really, think about it.

Now think of a time you had the opportunity to make an impact in another’s life, and you had no idea what you were capable of, or had inside you, to actually make it happen.

In those moments, were you not a messenger? Were you not a servant to a greater calling? When duty meets opportunity, there is a bag. This bag holds that which we cannot know, but only recognize as impact. You may be dealing with a struggling child, and you know you must speak with them, teach them, so that they may grow as a result of their hardship. But how often have you knocked on that child’s bedroom door not knowing what you’re going to say? That is what’s in the bag. Being obedient and dutiful, combined with opportunity, grants you the ability to have an impact in peoples’ lives. We don’t always get to know what to do, but we have the opportunity to trust in a greater power.

So the next time something is demanded of you, do not wonder “how will I pull this off?”, but marvel at the idea that something INCREDIBLE is in the bag. (unless of course, you’re Jeff Jaworski and your bags get put on another airplane and arrive six hours late . . . )

“The Bottom Line is NOT the Bottom Line”

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This is not intended to be confusing, but it’s a great quote and makes for a clever title; let me explain. There are many things in this day and age that cause us to wander from our beliefs and values. This is called “The Craving.” It is tempting, but leads to pain. Money magazines, Jim Cramer, Mad Money and CNBC get this better than anyone. They LOVE to prey on our cravings, but we mustn’t be tempted. We are led to believe that if we make more money, we will be wealthier. The truth is that lasting wealth comes from being content with what we have.

The Bottom Line is simply defined as: “Peace of mind, contentment and a clear conscience.”

Many Americans today consider the “Bottom Line” to be their net worth, or the rate of return on their portfolio. Here is what we learned at the conference about achieving the realBottom Line:

  • Know your PI. Your PI is your very own Personalized Index. Ask yourself, “what do I need to make my life work?”
  • Strive for a large ROL. This is your Return on Life. It’s about “getting the best life you can with the money you have.”
  • 10-Year Rule. Ask yourself, “In 10 years, how will I look back on this decision?”
  • Understand Me + Now. Stop fretting about the past and worrying about the future. Planning is important, but you’ll enjoy your life more when you remember, “this is the only ME that’s ever going to be, and the only NOW that I’m ever going to live in.”
  • Know who to ask: This is about knowing where real answers come from. “Don’t ask money to do for you what only God can do.”

We feel absolutely blessed to have attended the Impact 2015 Conference, to have made memories as teammates, partners and friends and to have learned from wise speakers and advisors. We look forward to continued growth as a firm and as individuals, so that we may better serve you, your family, or your team. We are honored to be your “Partners in Conversation.”

If you have any questions or would simply like to know more about our Kingdom Advisors Impact 2015 Conference experience, please don’t hesitate to contact us.