Pursue righteousness and find prosperity – Proverbs [21:21]
The Bible is the world’s most underrated finance book.
In fact, Christianity makes the importance of your finances for your spiritual well being crystal clear.
But many believers separate their investments from their faith these days. Or they don’t know how to invest in alignment with their values in the first place.
That’s where a Certified Kingdom Advisor comes in, who combines the knowledge about financial planning with Biblical wisdom regular advisors ignore.
And in today’s episode, Roger Stukkie, one of our advisors, shares the advantage of Certified Kingdom Advisors, what makes biblical investing so lucrative, and the timeless financial wisdom of the Bible you can use today.
Show highlights include:
- How to tell if a Christian financial advisor is genuine and competent ([2:49])
- The weird way this Christian core value makes your investments succeed ([5:18])
- What sets all “Kingdom Advisors” apart from financial planners with average results ([5:42])
- How value-based investing supports your community (instead of feeding shady corporations) ([8:46])
- How Biblical investors combine generating wealth with generosity for the people close to them ([11:57])
Do you want a wealthy retirement without worrying about money? Welcome to “Retire in Texas”, where you will discover how to enjoy your faith, your family, and your freedom in the State of Texas—and, now, here’s your host, financial advisor, author, and all-around good Texan, Darryl Lyons.
Darryl: This is Darryl Lyons, CEO and co-founder of PAX Financial Group, and you’re listening to Retire in Texas. Thanks for tuning in. As always, I want to give you the legal disclosure. This information is general in nature only. It’s not intended to provide specific tax, legal, or investment advice. Visit PAXFinancialGroup.com for more information.
And for those that need to speak to an advisor, just text the word “TEXAS” to the number 74868, and you’ll get a 15-minute consults, a heart of a teacher, just a good way to find out if it’s a good fit or not—and, in fact, today, we’re going to have one of our advisors on here, because I want him to help the listeners to understand something called a CKA, and it may not have much relevance to you, but you guys have got to know something that’s not talked about a lot. [01:16].3]
I know we’re worried about the values that are important to the Body of Christ no longer having the footprint that it had even five years ago. But I want to tell you, there’s a growing army of people in the marketplace that are pushing back, that are doing some incredible things, and I see it all the time, guys. I can give you story after story after story in the marketplace that God is doing an amazing thing. The CKA is evidence of that. So, we’re going to talk about the CKA, letting that acronym kind of linger for a second, but we’re going to talk through what is happening in the marketplace today. [02:08].5]
Roger, thanks for joining me.
Roger: Good to be here.
Roger: I was born in Michigan and then we moved down to Dayton, Ohio, around ’07. I grew up there, spent 10 years in Columbus before I made my way to San Antonio in 2013 to marry what I’m happy to still call my bride.
Darryl: Yeah, she’s wonderful. Now, what I love about Roger is, if I need a good joke, he’s always there for me. Do you have any good jokes today?
Roger: Oh, man.
Darryl: I’m totally putting you on the spot.
Roger: I spent all my time thinking about other questions.
Darryl: I don’t have to put you on the spot that way. But just the other day, let me just say, Roger is a joy and a pleasure to work with and our clients love him as well. But instead of me putting you on the spot, let’s get into the content. The content: the question I have is, what is a CKA designation? Can you tell people? [03:04].2]
Roger: Yeah, the CKA stands for Certified Kingdom Advisor, which is a designation you can pursue and get through the Kingdom Advisors Organization.
Darryl: Yeah, does it have any credibility? Because over the years I’ve been doing this, and it’s like you get a designation, you get a free toaster with it. I see these guys out there and they have designations. I’m like, Did you even take a test or is it like . . .? Really, there’s designations that are moneymakers and they mean nothing and the consumer doesn’t know anything, because they’re like, Oh, this guy is smart. He’s got letters after his name.
Being in the industry, I’m like, Those letters mean absolutely nothing, and I’m not being arrogant about it, but I just think that is misleading. In the CKA, I come with the same skepticism. Is there any legitimacy in the program at all? Was there a challenge? Was it rigorous? Were there peer reviews? What went into it?
Roger: Yeah, I mean, simple answer. I would say, yes, and they’re very adamant about making sure that designation itself has a high level of credibility to people out there. It’s not “Hey, I’m an advisor and I’m a Christian, so I can go online and sign up and get a certificate.” [04:08].2]
There has to be a level of competency in the financial world itself. For example, you have to have a CFP or a ChFC, or you have to have been an advisor for 10 years to even be considered to sit through that process.
Darryl: Okay, I didn’t know that.
Roger: So, there’s that dynamic, because you have to be competent in the field of what you’re trying to add that to.
Darryl: And there is a peer-review part of it.
Roger: There is at the end of what’s the process to get through it. There are 19 modules or classes, if you will, of which every one of them consist of some videos, and then you have to write a case study and each case study is building on the previous of “How are we helping people in their financial world?” Also, just as a mission, in general, that we get to spend time with these people from God’s perspective. [05:01].0]
Darryl: Yep, that makes sense.
Roger: So, when you get all the way to the end, there is one big large case study that you do and take a test, and that gets submitted off. And then there are three different unique people that will review it great, give feedback on it to make sure that you meet criteria to pass, I was going to say.
Darryl: No, that makes sense. See, the thing I push back on, the Christian community for not doing things with excellence, and I think for the most part, there’s attempts to do it. But we’ve seen over the years, the movies or whatever, and I understand there’s budgets there, but I really don’t want it to be a lack of effort. I want things to be done in the Christian community with excellence, for obvious reasons, and I’ve been impressed with what I saw. The rigor that you had to go through was awesome.
Roger: I may arguably say I had to put more effort into completing the CKA than I did for my CFP.
Darryl: That’s crazy.
Roger: Not necessarily from a content dynamic, but the CFP, you’re just in a straight steady mode to learn and retain information, and the CKA forced you to not only learn, but apply it. You had to show the applicability of what you were learning before you could move forward. [06:06].7]
Darryl: Let’s talk about Kingdom Advisors. They’re the ones that facilitate the CKA. Who are they?
Roger: Kingdom Advisors are . . . they would say they’re the leading advocate for the Christian financial services world. I wish I knew when they started, but I mean, they’re doing–
Darryl: They’ve been around a while.
Roger: They have, and I got introduced to them last year, in 2022, when you invited me to go to their conference out in Orlando.
Darryl: Yeah, so that was the second conference I had been to. The first conference I went to the Kingdom Advisors, again, I’m a skeptical guy because I’m an advocate for my clients, and so I’d go after a friend of mine was bugging me for years. I’m like, Fine, I’ll go. And I was imagining it was just going to be a lot of people that weren’t going to have an appreciation for the details. I don’t know why, that was just my perspective and it was wrong with me. But I was impressed. I mean, there were some what you would consider big ballers in our industry that were there, like people that had been the CIO for BlackRock. It was really impressive academically, so it changed my thinking and a lot of research went in there. [07:06].8]
There were thousands of financial advisors that had made a commitment to do business in a Christ-like way. And then, after I went, I was like, Roger, you’ve got to go, and we went, and that’s when you were first exposed to it, huh?
Roger: Yeah, and it was incredible. I mean, even from the simple dynamic, if you’ve ever been to a conference work-related, general sessions, which everyone is a part of and there’s different breakouts and whatnot. But when we went out there and the whole thing launched with the general session, and the opening of the general session was a worship band and 1,500–2,000 other Christian advisors, sitting there worshiping together, I was like, Is this a work event?
Roger: But beyond that, the content, the expertise, the passion, the attention to detail in what we’re doing as financial advisors, it was there at a high level to . . . [08:02].8]
Darryl: I think of a lot of people went to that conference, even if you’re not a Christian or if you’re skeptical of Christians, or if you call yourself Christian, but just haven’t really been engaged in a Christian community and you went to a conference like that, you might think, Okay, there’s going to be a bunch of people that you may call then MAGAs or Republicans, or people that are just going to be angry. It was not that sentiment. It was a sentiment of digging in the Word, and a lot of giving stuff, so there was a lot about giving, how do you effectively give. And the only person I think that would have taken issue with that whole conference was the IRS, because we’ve been able to develop some advanced giving strategies.
Now, we have been able to adopt through the conference biblical responsible investing and created some great solutions there. This is a little bit off what we had planned to do, but do you adopt biblical responsible investing when you’re with clients, and what’s that receptivity like?
Roger: I do. We use a phrase, which often when I’m telling people about PAX, and I say, “Who are we?” I’ll say, “We’re a fiduciary that honors Judeo-Christian principles,” and then people will say, “What do you mean by that?” [09:06].7]
The honoring Judeo-Christian principles dynamic is anywhere that we can partner and work with people who have like mind, like faith, who are also producing excellence. We want to partner with them. But you can’t just offer something that’s a “Hey, they said they’re a Christian, so we’re going to use it,” if it’s a crap product.
Roger: And that’s where the fiduciary dynamic comes in and has got your best interest at heart, and so there’s a fine balance between that. But there’s a growing need for people who share our values, who want to work with somebody in line with their values, but then, also, that can put their money behind some of those values as well, and that’s where the BRI starts really coming into play.
Darryl: Very well said. If somebody comes to you and says, “Hey, I don’t want BRI,” how do you handle that?
Roger: That’s okay. But the funny thing is, I might even use it still, because if you don’t care about BRI, you might just not be worried about having money aligned with the values, but you still want your money aligned with good returns. [10:07].6]
Roger: And they’re doing an excellent job in their financial management of their portfolios. There are still some spaces that make sense to use, just trying to help you reach your goals financially.
Darryl: Now, I know I’m putting it on the spot, but what if somebody said, “I refuse to own biblically-responsible investing,” then what do you do?
Roger: Then that’s okay.
Roger: Obviously, somebody’s going to have to pray for them, but outside of that, I mean, we partner with so many different portfolio managers.
Darryl: Yeah, yeah.
Roger: We could still provide excellence, help reach their goal, but I would never want to push someone away from that, because how can I have an influence in their life if I’m not working with them?
Darryl: Yeah, that’s kind of our approach. Part of our core values is to respect everyone’s unique life story, so we understand that people are on different spectrums on their spiritual walk. I’ve learned sometimes the hard way. In fact, there was a time years ago that one of our top clients, he is an atheist, I mean, just did not believe in God, we just developed this great relationship, just loved the guy. [11:00].2]
We went to lunch and I overstepped, and I didn’t realize I overstepped. I was talking from my heart and I was telling him about my faith and how important it was, and how he was going through a tough time and I felt that that was a solution, like there was something missing in his life that he needed and I want to tell them. But I overstepped and he fired me. So, that hit me and I just realized I needed to respect everyone’s unique life story. And I understand there’s a place.
Do I regret that? No, because that’s what we’re called to do, go make disciples of all nations, even at the risk of losing clients, so I don’t regret it necessarily. But I do reflect on could I have done it maybe in a way that was more respectful? And I probably could have. So, to your point, we’re fiduciaries who honor Judeo-Christian values and then one of our key values is to respect everyone’s unique life stories.
Darryl: You had asked me the question, so I had . . . yeah, sorry.
Roger: A great answer.
Darryl: So, besides BRI, biblically-responsible investing, are there any other solutions, maybe like financial advisory solutions, or thoughts or strategies, that are unique to Christians? [12:06].7]
Roger: Maybe you can get back to . . . you were talking about generosity earlier.
Roger: We’re commanded to be generous and to give back, which is interesting. One of the dynamics in going through the whole process of learning the CKA, a lot of us who might come from legalistic backgrounds have the 10% number locked in our head, like if you’re going to tithe, that’s got to be 10%, like tithe legit means 10%.
But coming out of that, it helped that we should all peripherally see how much we’re supposed to be giving to God, and back into the different kingdom work, I’ll call it. For some people, it’s less. For some people, it’s more. But helping people figure out what God’s calling them to do in a space of generosity then helps us do the financial part.
We have partnerships with the National Christian Foundation where we can do donor-advised funds, and there’s all these different spaces where we can get creative and we could expand the dollar, not only from what they’re giving, but sometimes even benefits to the giver from tax benefits and whatnot. [13:04].7]
Darryl: For sure, yeah. Is there anything personally that helped you going through this curriculum that you said, “You know what? I’m going to make some changes or adjustments,” or maybe even just intellectually you’d learned from this curriculum, CKA?
Roger: Maybe two things stood out. One, if I stay in the space of generosity, I really felt challenged that maybe I’m not as generous as I thought I was.
Darryl: Okay, yeah, that’s good.
Roger: And how can I encourage others to be generous if I’m not following that same space? And which, now I’m just tossing it out there, and I assume my wife will listen to this, so I’ve now just required myself to be more generous.
Darryl: Yep, yep, this podcast costs you money.
Roger: She’ll be happy, I finally line up with her heart. She’s a super-giver.
Darryl: Yeah, awesome.
Roger: But the other dynamic was, you think about being a Christian, or just your life to God, we often put Him in different spaces and compartments, and trying to be a Christian who is an advisor, helping people. Turned out, that’s much different than being a Christian advisor, helping people, and that really forced me to dive into the Bible—and there’s a lot it says about money. [14:14].1]
Darryl: Over 2,000 Scriptures.
Roger: Yeah, and then you can get some of the simple ones where it talks about debt or where you store your treasures. But then you start looking even more. The whole Bible starts with Genesis 1:1: “In the beginning, God created,” and if you just pause there, that means everything that comes back after that, which is everything, belongs to God, and so that really helped us frame more than money.
My time, my talents, my energies, all of my things belong to God of which I should be stewarding well and I have to come from the mindset that God owns it all. I guess it’s just, you know that, but this really helped reinforce that and it’s just changing how I look at a lot of things. [14:56].0]
Darryl: That’s great to hear, and so for those that are listening and saying, “Roger is the type of advisor that I need,” if you’re with PAX, you probably have a good advisor. But I will also say this, and we’re careful about this because we don’t want to solicit this, but if you have an advisor that you’re working with at PAX and you think maybe, I’ve been thinking about leaving PAX and going somewhere else, we shift clients a lot. Not a lot. I mean, three or four times a year where somebody says, “Hey, I need to reset,” and you think Roger might be a good fit, let us know. But, more importantly, it’s if your advisor outside of PAX doesn’t have this approach, I think Roger is a good fit.
I didn’t mean to come and solicit you, but I do want to make sure people know that you’re available—and you have a limited number of seats on your bus, so we have to be careful about who comes on and works with Roger because he is in demand, so that’s a good thing.
Last question. What’s your favorite salsa?
Roger: This has evolved, and I hadn’t even thought about salsa until I moved to San Antonio.
Darryl: What did you eat, like with chips? How does this work?
Roger: I mean, we had salsa, but it wasn’t such a special thing like down here. But funny enough is, for a long while, I just liked the H‑E‑B Chunky Hot Salsa. [16:03].6]
Darryl: Okay, you’re a hot guy.
Roger: And we actually had a salsa competition here at PAX once and my wife made salsa, and she made her own fire-roasted salsa and it was better than anything I’ve ever tasted. I would have to say that that is my favorite now.
Darryl: Your wife’s?
Roger: My wife’s.
Darryl: You are getting a lot of love for this podcast right now. Good job. Well done, Roger.
Roger: But I can speak it in truth, too.
Darryl: That’s right, yeah, yeah, I know. I know you’re sincere guy, so that’s good.
Roger: I’ve got a daughter that will confirm, it’s amazing.
Darryl: That’s great. You’re going to have to bring it on the next salsa contest.
Roger: I’d be happy to.
Darryl: Thanks for joining us today.
Roger: Thanks. Thanks for having me.
Darryl: This has been good. And thanks for everyone tuning in to the end. You’re listening to Retire in Texas.
Again, if you need to speak to an advisor, or Roger, specifically, just put in “TEXAS” to 74868. That’s “TEXAS” to 74868. We’ll have one of our advisors connect with you for 15 minutes. It could be Roger. If you want Roger, ask for him. If it’s somebody else, we’ll be happy to– In fact, most, I’d say, really, all of our advisors honor and respect Judeo-Christian values. You can expect that at PAX. It’s a part of our culture. So, text the word “TEXAS” to 74868.
And, remember, you think differently when you think long-term. Have a great day. [17:10].2]
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