By KAREN L. WILLOUGHBY, Managing Editor
ALEXANDRIA – Financial investing is just one way of being a good steward of your resources, says Wayne Taylor, Executive Director of the Louisiana Baptist Foundation.
Taylor, celebrating fifteen years with the Foundation, said his parents taught him to tithe and instilled in him the need to be a good steward in every aspect of his life. He also learned from them the importance of family.
He learned at Calvary Alexandria “that it was my choices that determined my life.
“It’s a God-given responsibility to take care of your family,” Taylor said. “I love [my children] and I want them to have lots of opportunities to be the best at what God has planned for them.”
That doesn’t mean giving them life on a silver platter, Taylor said. He learned to work by helping his grandfather tend his garden. He understood early in life the relationship between investment (hard work) and return (harvest).
Taylor, an Alexandria native and 1981 graduate of Louisiana College, learned about financial investing during the time he was a representative for a school yearbook publishing company. He checked out cassette tapes on money management and investment from the public library and listened to them while he drove as much as six hours a day to various schools across southwest Louisiana.
“Being a better steward was more my motivation than was making money,” Taylor said. “Over 10 plus years of learning on my own … I realized I would like to work with investments.” Before Taylor came to the Foundation, he was a full service investment broker.
The career change from yearbooks to investments came the year after his daughter, Kat, was born. She’s 20 now, recently married and a student at Dallas Baptist University. Taylor and his wife, Joanna, who met at Louisiana College, also have a son, Will, a Junior this fall at Alexandria Senior High School.
Taylor enjoys golf as a pastime for several reasons: the challenge of the game, being “out in nature,” and the camaraderie with others, the Foundation Executive Director said.
While he first picked up a club when he was 10, Taylor said he didn’t “get serious” about golf until he was out of college.
He usually scores in the low 90’s but one week in 2006, he shot 81. “I was with Dr. [David] Hankins; he can verify that,” Taylor said with a grin.
Two weeks later, he made a hole-in-one. His only hole-in-one in 25 years of “semi-serious” recreational golf, and because of the lay of the land, he didn’t even see the ball go in the hole.
That hole-in-one happened on hole #7 during a scramble at Alexandria Golf and Country Club, a Calvary Baptist Church of Alexandria golf tournament.
Taylor has about 70 “logo” golf balls saved from courses he has played – with date and partner’s names so he can relive the memories – but his “pride and joy” ball is his hole-in-one.
His greatest joy in his work is “getting out and talking with people and helping them understand their estates and how to be a good steward of it,” Taylor said. “Helping them think through what God would have them do with their assets, helping them prepare documents that will accomplish their goals, I find that most satisfying.”
“I get to deal with a lot of things,” the Foundation Executive Director continued. “In addition to stocks, bonds and mutual funds, I get to work with real estate, timber, row-crops, vehicles, rare coins, businesses and more.
“I do get to talk with individuals about end-of-life issues – death, dying, heaven, dealing with the loss of loved ones ….” Taylor’s voice trailed off. “Sometimes I end up being a counselor before I talk with them about their estate.
“The one-on-one attention is what the Louisiana Baptist Foundation is known for,” Taylor said. “We often help individuals process the loss of loved ones or touchy family situations before we can begin the estate-planning process.
“We start with some basics that we all know but don’t like to think about: ‘We are all going to die and when we do ‘we can’t take it with us.’ I call it giving out of your left-overs.
“We encourage individuals to pray about what God wants them to do,” Taylor continued. Family comes first, and that takes wisdom. Some family members might need lifetime care; others might be more hurt than blessed by a windfall.
“Our target market is people who realize their assets actually belong to God already and wish to direct the left-overs to ministries, especially Baptist ministries,” Taylor said. “When it comes down to the latter stages of their life, we can step in and pay their bills [for] one week, or five years or more.”
The Foundation helps Baptists think through the best process and documents to accomplish their estate stewardship goals and the best transition of assets.
“As long as 20 percent [of their charitable assets] go to Southern or Louisiana Baptist causes, the Foundation can benefit them even more by fulfilling the role of Executor and/or Power of Attorney,” Taylor said. “We’ve got to be good stewards of our time and money.”
During the 15 years that Taylor has been Executive Director of the Foundation, the total assets under management grew from $55 to $137 million. The LBF is supported by the management fees it collects, and by gifts through the Cooperative Program.
One of the hallmarks of Taylor’s 15 years at the Foundation was his conception and creation of the Foundation’s accounting software program that records the ownership of clients’ assets.
“Bob Purvis, Barbara Bell, Tami Willis and Mandy Hair did the real work,” Taylor said. “This has streamlined the accounting process and saved the Foundation a lot of money over the last 10 years.”
One of the Foundation’s services is its “Short Term Fund” (STF), which is an interest bearing savings account for ministries that helps them be better stewards of their money.
Rather than a church keeping its money in a non-interest checking account, or locked up in a CD, the church can deposit money with the Foundation and have daily access to it. The STF fund has about $70 million invested in it.