Mississippi Christian Living would not exist without a steady stream of revenue, and we are so grateful to each and every one of our advertisers for choosing to use MCL to promote their businesses and organizations. Here is a closer look at just a few of our advertising partners. Thank you for helping us make it to 20 years!
Belhaven University: Only at Belhaven
Submitted by Belhaven University
Belhaven University is now gaining national attention for two unique offers that are a first in the United States. The Free Online Master’s Degree and Double Major Promise are two new groundbreaking programs the university is offering to traditional-campus students.
The Double Major Promise offers students the ability to earn a double major with free tuition in their fifth year of study. This promise enhances learning experience by encouraging a double major or degree and providing an extra year to finish tuition-free if you need it.
The offer allows students to enhance their marketability and significantly broaden their knowledge by combining majors. For example, pairing a business degree and a STEM major is the most lucrative combination, according to the National Survey of College Graduates. While taking on two college majors may mean more work, it can also bring a much greater reward.
In another first for universities in America, Belhaven is providing a free online master’s degree for traditional-campus students who complete a minimum of 60 consecutive hours. Those students can choose from high-demand master degrees in business, health administration, education, biblical studies, leadership, public administration, or sports administration. Because the master’s is online, students may earn their next degree from wherever they live and at the time best suited for their career goals.
Mascagni Wealth Management:
Finding joy in helping others
MCL Editor Katie Eubanks recently sat down with Randy Mascagni, founder of Mascagni Wealth Management, to talk about his business and how it impacts people’s lives.
Katie Eubanks: How did Mascagni Wealth Management get started?
Randy Mascagni: (When I was) 23, just two years out of college, my father died suddenly. Forced to sell his small business, I then worked with an attorney friend to move some money to a trust for my mother. From that point I started working with a stockbroker to manage the trust for my mom. Through that process, I learned the need for financial planning and investing … and I loved it. Eleven years later, I changed careers.
KE: What did you do for those first 11 years?
RM: Right out of college I worked at McCarty Farms, a Mississippi chicken company. My boss taught me how to run a business and introduced me to investing. At some point he encouraged me to read Money magazine. My favorite TV show was Louis Rukeyser’s “Wall $treet Week” and I tried not to miss a show. My wife noticed how excited I got watching this show on all things financial.
When I decided to change careers, I had friends who said, “Yeah, I could see you doing that.” And my wife said, “Yeah, that is you.” So, at age 34 with a wife and two young sons, I decided to change careers and went to work for a local financial planning firm for a couple years, and then we decided to open my own firm (then Mascagni & Company) in 1990.
I had no intentions of being big — just wanted to be the right size for the clients that needed us, whatever clients God sent our way. Over the years we have grown to manage now over $300 million for our clients.
KE: Tell me a little about what you do.
RM: We provide financial planning such as retirement planning, estate planning, and the similar, as well as manage client investments.
We see our work as somewhat of a ministry. Sure, we are here to make a living and do what we enjoy. But what drives us and brings us satisfaction is helping our clients.
Many times, a new client walks in wanting to invest a sum of money, but we slow the process down and review their overall situation first. This helps us see what needs really exist, and then we are able to work with the client to address those needs and develop appropriate strategies to accomplish their goals.
Usually when somebody seeks advice from an advisor, there’s been a major change in their life — a job change, retirement, their spouse is suddenly gone, or for whatever reason they have come into a sum of money. For some of these we try to pay off their mortgage if possible. Yes, they save interest, but (more importantly) their fear has calmed and now they are ready for the next positive step.
Some people will ask, “Is it too late (to invest or plan for retirement)?” but actually it’s never too late.
A common fear we see people express is believing, “I’m going to outlive (my money).” And in markets like this, you want to offer good, solid, objective advice. (Otherwise) people get in a market like this and go to cash. Some time ago Vanguard did a study and found that folks who don’t have an advisor tend to make more mistakes that cost them later.
We’ve never had a client run out of money — unless they have continued some bad habits and wouldn’t do what we advised them to do.
KE: How would you suggest someone choose a financial advisor?
RM: One good way is to ask family and friends who they use, or ask your CPA who they would recommend. Also do some of your own research on any referrals by reviewing their website, calling them and even having an initial meeting with them. Yes, you need someone who is competent and experienced. But you also need someone that you can trust, someone you can talk to, and a professional that is known to be a good “fiduciary” for their clients. Additionally, you can go to www.letsmakeaplan.org and find a list of Certified Financial Planner (CFP) professionals in your area.
It’s unfortunate that many think “it’s too expensive,” or they don’t need a professional (to manage their investments, get financial advice, etc.). For some, they have a feeling of guilt paying someone. And there are some that can do their own investing or planning for a few years. But at some point, things get more complex and Google doesn’t have all the answers. People tell us they are tired of the 1-800 calls and they want someone that they can go in and sit down with, face-to-face, to get help. Clients want and need that person they can trust, and who also understands them.
Remember that one costly mistake “avoided” can make it worth what you pay a professional, not to mention the peace of mind it can provide.
KE: What’s been the hardest part of running your own financial firm?
RM: It’s times like this when we have market corrections, 20 percent or greater market drawdowns. No one in our business likes to see their clients’ investments decline. Part of our work is to take the emotion out of the situation, draw on our experience and make the correct decision. The other difficult part is when you want to expand your business and need to find the right new person to hire. The recent pandemic has made hiring new people even more challenging.
KE: What brings you the most joy in your work?
RM: Probably the most joy is to see when you have helped somebody. For instance, a client who is recently divorced or widowed may find that their spouse was the breadwinner and handled the finances. They may really need someone to depend on, and they are in a vulnerable situation: In short, they need someone to help relieve their financial stress and make work what “little bit” they have left. These are situations where Julie at our office helps walk alongside the client and even grieve with them, while the rest of our team is busy implementing the financial plan and providing any needed investment management.
KE: What are the characteristics of your most successful clients?
RM: They’re open to advice, know they need help, and appreciate someone helping them.
Also, this is someone who gives us good information and tells us what we need to know to help them.
You know … It’s not always how much money you have. Everyone’s “harvest” is different. Rather, it is more about doing the right thing over time that can provide the most peace and the best outcome.
C Spire: Welcome to C Spire Country
Submitted by C Spire
What is C Spire Country? The easy answer: We make customers’ lives easier. And smarter. And faster.
In C Spire Country, we improve lives through technology. It begins in our schools, where we fought to make computer science education available to all K-12 students — and then donated $1 million so teachers have the training they need to make it happen. You can see it in the kids who participate in our C3 Coding Challenges, and in the students who prepare for rewarding tech careers at BaseCamp Coding Academy and the C Spire Software Development Pathway.
We believe that technology not only levels the playing field but also advances the people and businesses under our watch. To realize that mission, we are constantly building and improving a wireless network that knows no barriers and adding high-speed fiber internet access stretching from our cities to the heart of the rural South. We do all this, every day, with the speed that ensures no person or business is left behind.
Welcome to C Spire Country, where progress reigns.
St. Dominic’s Hospital
Submitted by St. Dominic’s
For decades, the Springfield Dominican Sisters have answered God’s call to care for the Jackson community. Since arriving in 1946 to operate the then-named Jackson Infirmary, St. Dominic’s has welcomed thousands of men and women to share in its ministry of compassionate care to Mississippi families.
St. Dominic’s has served as an enduring sign of strength—of hope and healing—as our community and healthcare have grown and changed. Embracing new services, technology and access while remaining grounded in our attention to the poor and vulnerable, we extend the healing ministry of Jesus Christ to each person in need. Faith sustains St. Dominic’s strength and service to all.
We are humbled to answer God’s call today and grateful for the trust our patients and community place in us each day.