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FearlessFixxer

The Church has $32 Billion in the Stock Market

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https://mormonleaks.io/newsroom/2018/05/30/mormonleaks-compiles-information-connecting-mormon-church-to-32-billion-of-investments/

Before everyone jumps my bones and tries to tell me I am trying to make the church look bad....

This is about transparency.

This can be seen from a faithful perspective, a negative perspective, and a neutral perspective.

Personally, It matters not to me how much the church has in the stock market, but I think their tithe payers have a right to know.

 

Cheers
 

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I don't understand a thing about Stocks and the Stock Market but now I know we should be getting better goodies at firesides and baptisms and stuff🎂🍩

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6 minutes ago, Duncan said:

I don't understand a thing about Stocks and the Stock Market but now I know we should be getting better goodies at firesides and baptisms and stuff🎂🍩

 

Yup, I stopped buying the generic brand of Doritos for youth activities long ago.   We can afford the good stuff!

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3 minutes ago, The Mean Farmer said:

 

Yup, I stopped buying the generic brand of Doritos for youth activities long ago.   We can afford the good stuff!

or like those "coloured hoops"............................ you mean, "froot loops"? we know you got cash now!

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Posted (edited)

40 million a year to the poor and the needy sounds silly in light of this stuff.

1 billion spent on the mall doesn't sound like that big of deal anymore.  

Edited by stemelbow

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26 minutes ago, FearlessFixxer said:

Before everyone jumps my bones and tries to tell me I am trying to make the church look bad....

Only $32 billion?!? Clearly, you're just trying to make the Church look bad. I would expect the figure to be much, much higher otherwise. :(

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, FearlessFixxer said:

Before everyone jumps my bones and tries to tell me I am trying to make the church look bad....

This is about transparency.

Yes, you are trying to make the church look bad about transparency.  

(And perhaps the church has that much precisely because it limits the amount spent on activities to enough to cover generic chips --- though we all know that the church financial people are not into that much detail.)

Edited by rpn
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37 minutes ago, FearlessFixxer said:

https://mormonleaks.io/newsroom/2018/05/30/mormonleaks-compiles-information-connecting-mormon-church-to-32-billion-of-investments/

Before everyone jumps my bones and tries to tell me I am trying to make the church look bad....

This is about transparency.

This can be seen from a faithful perspective, a negative perspective, and a neutral perspective.

Personally, It matters not to me how much the church has in the stock market, but I think their tithe payers have a right to know.

 

Cheers
 

Is there evidence that the money in the stock market comes from tithing?

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1 hour ago, FearlessFixxer said:

https://mormonleaks.io/newsroom/2018/05/30/mormonleaks-compiles-information-connecting-mormon-church-to-32-billion-of-investments/

Before everyone jumps my bones and tries to tell me I am trying to make the church look bad....

This is about transparency.

This can be seen from a faithful perspective, a negative perspective, and a neutral perspective.

Personally, It matters not to me how much the church has in the stock market, but I think their tithe payers have a right to know.

 

Cheers
 

Very interesting.  I would actually be surprised if it was only $32B.  With annual revenue estimated in the $30B range, I wouldn't be surprised if they had much more money in stocks and bonds.  Of course they have billions in real estate assets as well.  

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35 minutes ago, bluebell said:

Is there evidence that the money in the stock market comes from tithing?

Yes. On May 22, the church disclosed in a press release that it has investment reserves consisting of stocks, bonds, and other assets. Addressing the question, "Where does the money for the Church’s reserves come from?", it said, "the vast majority of Church operations are funded through the sacred tithes and offerings given by members. The Church operates within its means and sets aside a portion of its funds each year." So yes, that constitutes evidence that a portion of the tithing it receives every year is invested in the stock market. 

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1 hour ago, FearlessFixxer said:

https://mormonleaks.io/newsroom/2018/05/30/mormonleaks-compiles-information-connecting-mormon-church-to-32-billion-of-investments/

Before everyone jumps my bones and tries to tell me I am trying to make the church look bad....

This is about transparency.

This can be seen from a faithful perspective, a negative perspective, and a neutral perspective.

Personally, It matters not to me how much the church has in the stock market, but I think their tithe payers have a right to know.

 

Cheers
 

 

How about a group vote to block your posting on this board? I normally would never suggest such a thing, but for you I am willing to suggest it. 

I suggest it because you do not engage in dialogue or discussion. Your posts are only to drive traffic to your website. If your contributions were more than drive posting to drive traffic to your website, my thoughts would be different.

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Posted (edited)
27 minutes ago, ksfisher said:

What right do you have to decide that someone or some organization other thsn yourself should be transparent?  People and organizations have a right to privacy.

What would be the downsides of the Church choosing to be transparent about its financial dealings and records?

My understanding of the Mormonleaks posting referenced at the start of this thread is that it is publicly available information that’s been pieced together. So “forced transparency” isn’t in question here.

Edited by Marginal Gains

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And some portion of that has to be covering of employee retirement plans, too, which I presume that the church (unlike many governments) has fully funded.

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Just now, Marginal Gains said:

What would be the downsides of the Church choosing to be transparent about its financial dealings and records?

For many that are opposed to the Church being financially transparent, when things do change and the church becomes more financially transparent in the future, I expect that these same people will be in favor of that transparency.  For some, its all about allegiance to the current practices of the institution.  

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50 minutes ago, bluebell said:

Is there evidence that the money in the stock market comes from tithing?

One must wonder, if he really cares?

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32 minutes ago, ksfisher said:

What right do you have to decide that someone or some organization other thsn yourself should be transparent?  People and organizations have a right to privacy.

Because taxpayers give the Church subsidies through various tax breaks, taxpayers have a reasonable expectation of transparency.

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Investing in the stock market is a sound principle of managing financial assets.  Here's a nice summary of this issue (written by an accountant):

Quote

What About The Church’s Other Businesses?

Here comes a bigger sticking point: does the Church really need all these other businesses?

This is a point where reasonable people can disagree. I believe all the businesses, or at least virtually all of them, were started back in the day when the Saints could only rely upon themselves. Many are good organizations and can be used to help others (i.e. Deseret Industries, Orange Farms out in Florida, etc.). Some are designed more as Public Relations item than anything else. The biggest example of that latter point is the $1.5 billion mall in Salt Lake City. Was it necessary? I don’t know. What I do know is that downtown Salt Lake City represents the LDS Church in many people’s mind, and if it’s run down, dingy affair, many will see the Church as run down, dingy affair. It may not be fair and it may not be right, but that is the way it is.

Back to the point, are these business necessary? My guess would be “no.” It’s not really related to this transparency conversation, but as long as they’re not losing money or distracting from the missions of the LDS Church, it seems unnecessary to jettison them.

This is where the claims of "I'm all about transparency" go a bit off the rails.

Quote

Besides, selling them off and giving all the money to the poor might be a nice one year boondoggle, but if you run the business so you can continually help people, it seems like it’s all the better.

Like Jesus said, we have the poor always with us, even if we give out a Scrooge McDuck-worthy pile of money (he might not have said that last part).

"If you run the business so you can continually help people..."

Yep.

Quote

I had my dad read through this article before posting since he has a lot of experience with finances, and he made another good point that should be added here. Like many charitable groups or scholarship funds, the Church prefers to invest its cash and run operations off generated interest. It’s a good way to run things when you want to be conservative (small c) with your operations and more or less guarantee a set amount of money to keep things going every year.

Investing cash to generate interest, then live off the interest rather than burn through the principal?  Sounds pretty smart to me.

Quote

So how do you invest that money? Well, you could buy real estate, you could invest in stocks and bonds, or you could put the money in the bank.

The Church does all of three of these things.

Quote

Each one of those has a downside (real estate market could crash, company could be caught up in a scandal or release a caffeinated drink, etc.). The safest, of course, is a bank, but the funds are only insured up to $250,000, and they don’t pay very much in interest (a little over a percent right now).

So there seems to be a middle road to be traveled here.  Investments in real estate and stocks, but not so much as to create substantial risk. 

Quote

And what will the bank do with the money? Invest it in real estate and stocks and bonds, taking a large percentage of the interest generated for their time and efforts.

Why not invest the money yourself, which removes the bank’s portion, giving you more to help with your goals? That’s basically what the Church did with the City Creek Mall, with the added bonus of giving them control over the downtown area. Plus helping generate jobs for those hired by the mall isn’t a bad benefit, either.

So the Church seems to be managing its resources fairly well.

Thanks,

-Smac

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1 hour ago, bluebell said:

Is there evidence that the money in the stock market comes from tithing?

In the Church Finances thread you stated

Quote

It kind of is the point though.  If the money isn't your's, it doesn't matter who manages it or how transparent they are.  You wouldn't think it was appropriate to demand transparency for someone else's money, regardless of who managed it, would you?

I get why some people want transparency, but acting like the transparency we want with our own money means something in regards to transparency with someone else's money doesn't make a lot of sense.  Wanting transparency from the people who manage our money is a completely different issue than wanting transparency from the people who manage someone else's money.

So now you have me wondering why you are asking if the money in the stock market came from tithing. If what you said above is true, why do you ask?

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Posted (edited)

So, if tithe players were to follow the guidance in Smac’s post, they should: invest their disposable income until such a time as they can afford to pay their tithing out of the interest earned off the principal. That would be constitute sound financial management and proper self-reliance.

Edited by Marginal Gains

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57 minutes ago, bluebell said:

Is there evidence that the money in the stock market comes from tithing?

 

The disclaimer on the donation slip allows the Church to do whatever it wants with donations.

Quote

Though reasonable efforts will be made to use donations as designated, all donations become the Church's property and will be used at the Church's sole discretion to further the Church's overall mission.

Even with this disclaimer there seems to be a need to proclaim that tithing funds weren't used for this or that. The existence of the disclaimer suggests that all the money is really just put into one big pot.

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41 minutes ago, hope_for_things said:

Very interesting.  I would actually be surprised if it was only $32B.  With annual revenue estimated in the $30B range, I wouldn't be surprised if they had much more money in stocks and bonds.  Of course they have billions in real estate assets as well.  

Yes, but I suspect the $32 billion in stocks is just a small portion of total investments and assets. When throwing in real estate and commercial holdings then total invested $$ is likely staggering (as if $32 Billion isn't :) )

If we had any idea about the church's annual expenses we might have a better idea how much of this money is just padding the pot and how much is needed for operational considerations. IOW- If the church puts all donations into investments and receives $10 billion annually from investment income while its expenses are only $7 billion, then we know they are adding $3 billion annually to the next egg. (I'm totally using made up numbers here as an illustration so no calls for CFR please.)

It does make me wonder how much of a hit the church could take in another sharp economic downturn and stock market adjustment. The church is usually very conservative which is why I think this $32 is such a small fraction of their diversified portfolio. I don't think they'd risk the financial health of the church to the stock market...unless...financial revelations are coming more dramatically than we suppose.

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Posted (edited)
42 minutes ago, smac97 said:

Investing cash to generate interest, then live off the interest rather than burn through the principal?  Sounds pretty smart to me.

It should be remembered that according to the Church, "the vast majority of its financial resources comes from the tithes and offerings of Church members."

This might be a tangent, but it necessarily only possible for a privileged few to "invest cash to generate interest, then live off the interest." The rest of us simply must work. The Church says it is doing nothing more than what it advises its members to do, but if we all saved money so we could then indefinitely live off of the interest, nobody would be working to produce the useful goods and services we need to survive. God may have been on to something when he said we should eat our bread by the sweat of our brow.

Edited by Analytics

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