7 Reasons to choose a Christian financial advisor

7 Reasons to choose a Christian financial advisor

At Sound Stewardship, we’re passionate about guiding our clients toward confidence and contentment through faithful financial decision making. We get a lot of questions surrounding that “faithful” part of our mission, both from prospective clients who are proactively seeking a Christian financial advisor and those who just want a good, trustworthy planner. Here’s how I explain what a faith-based perspective can bring to your financial planning conversations:

1. A Christian financial advisor wants to understand your values.

The most important thing I tell people is to find a like-minded advisor who shares your values. You want to find someone who gets you and wants to understand what’s important to you. We talk to so many clients whose past advisors weren’t able to join in their enthusiasm about tithing or becoming more generous. They got a lot of blank stares. Not here: if you want to honor God with your money, we’re going to be excited to help you meet that goal.

That doesn’t mean you have to be a Christian to work with us. About a third of our clients don’t identify as Christians, but our financial values still line up well. They share our commitment to the Sound Stewardship Principles, even when we don’t share the exact same faith.

This goes the other way as well: a fish symbol slapped on a business card doesn’t guarantee excellence. We’ve all heard stories of really bad “Christian” advisors. You should do your due diligence, ask for recommendations, and ask a lot of questions. Hold out for that alignment of values.

2. Faith-based financial advice puts planning over product.

It’s the age-old advisor question: Are you a customer or a client? When you are talking to your advisor, is the answer always a product? Or is the answer solid planning advice? At Sound Stewardship, our services are flat-fee only: We don’t sell financial products; we offer holistic, unbiased advice.

3. Faith-based wealth planners encourage generosity.

I’m always surprised at how many people come to me who don’t know how to use the wide variety of gifting tools available to them. Generosity is a core Sound Stewardship principle, and it’s a key part of the conversations we have with our clients. Like our Managing Partner Matt Syverson often says, “It’s hard to lead somebody somewhere you’ve never been,” and that definitely applies to giving. We’ve spent a lot of time thinking about how to give wisely, and we help our clients do the same. In fact, we started The Sound Stewardship Foundation to allow employees to give out of company revenue!

4. A Christian financial advisor can integrate your ideals with your investments.

Faith-driven investing is a movement that both avoids companies that are doing harm in the world and embraces companies that are leading to human flourishing. It focuses on investing in companies aligned with Biblical principles (even if they may not be run by Christians). Sound Stewardship can help you invest in businesses that treat their employees with high regard and do good for their communities and the environment via “Biblically Responsible Investing.”

5. Bible-based wealth planning gets beyond money to what matters.

At Sound Stewardship, we don’t just look at your balance sheet. We ask the deeper questions. We want to know the whys behind your financial goals and habits, including what “money scripts” might have a stranglehold on your financial decision making. We are able to have important conversations about identity with our clients—that our identities don’t come from wealth. Yes, money can provide some security and some joy, but all the money in the world can’t keep you from getting older, getting sick or losing a loved one. Money can’t protect you from the things that can impact you the most, and we keep that in perspective.

6. Certified Kingdom Advisors® (CKAs) are trained in wise decision-making.

When I became a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER practitioner, I was trained in all sorts of financial facts. But facts are different than wisdom. One of my favorite elements of becoming a Certified Kingdom Advisor® was their module on wise decision-making. The CKA® designation trains advisors to “integrate technical expertise and Biblically wise counsel” that goes beyond the facts of the CFP®. It has really good, practical training on how to help clients look at big decisions that have both financial and life implications.

7. Christian financial advisors should hold themselves to a high level of integrity.

In theory, you would expect faith-based wealth planners to be striving for superior ethical standards. That doesn’t mean non-Christian planners can’t also have integrity—or that seeing “Christian” in someone’s background guarantees they are trustworthy. However, as a believer, I hold myself to a higher bar than the SEC does. “Legal” or “non-legal” isn’t my threshold for whether I’m doing the right thing or not. Am I loving my clients as my neighbor? Am I serving the Lord with the quality of my work? More than just being honest, am I also being loving? That’s a different bar.

Wondering if faith-based financial advice is a good match for your life and goals? Start the conversation with one of our wealth advisors today.

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