November 4, 2019
Today marks an important milestone as Ronald Blue Trust celebrates 40 years of providing Wisdom for Wealth. For Life. To celebrate, we are sharing some memories from an interview with our founder, Ron Blue.
In addition to founding our firm, Ron Blue subsequently founded two other successful organizations, Kingdom Advisors and the Ron Blue Institute. He has authored 18 books, including Master Your Money and Splitting Heirs, and is a noted speaker across the country. He and his wife, Judy, have five grown children and 13 grandchildren.
Ron, how do you feel when you look back at the past 40 years and see what God has done with this company?
Well, it’s really unbelievable. When I look back, the only thing that I can really say is, “God had bigger plans than what I did.” And He always does things beyond what we can think, ask, or even imagine. And for sure, He’s done it with this company.
I would call Ronald Blue Trust the proof of concept. I started my career on Wall Street and then opened my own accounting firm. When I started this financial planning firm aimed at Christians, I knew what the best of the professional world was through my experience with Wall Street and my accounting firm, and I realized that almost everything good that I had seen, in my previous 10 years in the financial services world, was rooted in Scripture. So, the proof of concept was that when you take the best professional knowledge and apply it with biblical wisdom, it works. It allows people to accomplish their goals and objectives.
Lastly, having had the good fortune of spending almost a month in the National Office in Atlanta recently, I realized the consistency that the firm has maintained and the missional aspect of it has not changed in 40 years. I wrote Master Your Money back in 1985 and as I would talk to people in the office, I would hear things that I wrote 35 years ago being repeated. It wasn’t that I had written it, but it was the fact that this was God’s wisdom, which transcends time. I remember a lot when I think back over the last 40 years and feel extraordinarily blessed to have seen it all happen at God’s hand.
What are some highlights from your time at Ronald Blue & Co.?
The highlight for me was the clients that I got to work with and the staff. The clients and staff are still friends after many, many years. I got to work alongside of, and with, people that were really the best of the best, in terms of who they were, their character, and their commitment to the Lord.
As I look back, when I started Ronald Blue & Co., financial planning really didn’t exist, let alone Christian financial planning. I’ve learned as an entrepreneur that it takes 10 years to build something, because you don’t know what you don’t know and so you make a lot of mistakes as you’re finding your value proposition. We made a lot of mistakes, but we learned from those mistakes, and God, in His grace, allowed us to continue to build the firm. But we never looked at the mistakes as failures. We looked at them as learning opportunities. And I think that’s really one of the keys to the continued growth of the firm and the reputation of the firm.
What message would you like to share with the company’s current clients and others who receive this blog?
God’s principles have three characteristics: 1) they’re always right, 2) they’re always relevant, and 3) they’re never going to change. I think one of the reasons for the success of the company is that they make recommendations based upon biblical principles. Those principles are right, they’re relevant, and they’re not going to change. I believe the gift clients have is that they are dealing with advisors who know God’s principles of money and money management.
The Wall Street Journal offers financial knowledge, and unfortunately you have to read it every day or you’re out of date. The Bible is 3,000 years old and it hasn’t changed in 3,000 years. Now the Bible is something you should read every day also. I used to tell the advisors, and I would tell clients this too, “You don’t have anything to share with anybody, if you haven’t spent time with the Lord that day.”
What are your hopes for Ronald Blue Trust’s next 40 years?
I would love to believe that Ronald Blue Trust will be competitive with the secular trust companies and as well-known as those trusts, mainly for the quality of services they provide.
I think that the whole Christian financial planning industry needs to grow dramatically. It’s estimated that there are 10 million households in the United States with over $100,000 to invest that would like to work with a faith-based advisor. That’s going to take thousands of advisors, and right now, there’s probably less than 1,500 advisors that have either been trained by Kingdom Advisors or are at Ronald Blue Trust.
I believe that the company, through the leadership of Russ and now Nick, is really the standard in the industry of what a Christian financial planning company should look like. And my prayer would be that it would remain that way. So, I’ll be cheering from heaven in 40 years!
This article will be one of several stories featured in the anniversary edition of our Wisdom for Wealth. For Life. newsletter, which will be posted to our library page in the next few weeks. If you would like to add your name to our newsletter mailing list, please contact your Ronald Blue Trust advisor or email us at [email protected].