Make Your Financial Walk with Christ an Olympic Gold

By Eric Vogen


It’s the wonderful stories of the teenage stars of the London Olympics which are so inspirational. It’s also amazing to see the world come together in such a positive way. This year, the economic powers of the United States, China, United Kingdom, Russian Federation, and Germany led the medal count. Many of the solutions for the current global economic structural problems will continue to be led by these same countries, specifically the USA and China. Currently, most of the countries around the world are going along with the economic philosophy of reflating assets and reducing unemployment, through increased Government spending and Government liquidity intervention. Hopefully, the global financial leaders will be awarded metals for their efforts in the long run.

In the spirit of the Olympics, I decided to host a client appreciation day at the U.S. National Whitewater Center, a U.S. Olympic training site. My Vision Capital & Management Team and some of our clients and alliances spent the day negotiating the rapids together. If you are ever traveling to North Carolina, this outdoor sports facility on 400 acres of woodlands along the Catawba River is definitely worth a visit. Rapids range in difficulty from Class II and III, which are a fun and adventurous ride, to Class IV, which can be pretty scary, especially in a kayak, but still loads of fun.

Of course, I couldn’t leave this apparent analogy alone -- of how rapids relate to the financial world. We live in a time in which the levels -- the rapids of life -- have changed significantly. And new strategies and skills need to be developed for all of us to continue to love life during these changes.

This has been a good year in the financial markets for many investors, but I have seen a number of people going through very painful personal life rapids. Being a financial advisor to people in these situations has allowed me to combine my business skills with my heart for following Jesus and serving others. This is an important thing to find in your financial advisors. What I believe we are experiencing now is a cultural shift in some of the traditional challenges of life. For instance:

From Traditional Class 1-3 Whitewater Rapids
Common financial market volatility and changes in tax structures.

To New Class 4-5 Whitewater Rapids
Risks of “WMD” financial derivative, high-frequency computer trading, and unprecedented government debt levels .

How do you navigate these rapids, and aim for Olympic Gold?

1. Don’t be lured into an allocation beyond your risk tolerance.
2. Have a clear buy, sell, hold discipline.
3. Trust in the Lord more than your wealth, “If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches?” Luke 16.11

From Traditional Class 1-2 Whitewater Rapids
A lost wallet, house/car break-in.

To New Class 4-5 Whitewater Rapids
ID theft with issues like stolen computer/iPhone and financial data potentially leading to electronic impersonation and attempts to steal assets, and thus destroy your credit and disrupt your plans.

In working through these types of frustrations, how do you love your life and those who may harm you?

1. Develop appropriate technology protection systems.
2. Have multiple back up plans.
3. Build a team of trusted advisors, who will stand with you in periods of crisis. “Devise your strategy [enemy], but it will be thwarted; propose your plan, but it will not stand, for God is with us.” Isaiah 8:10

From Traditional Class 1-5 Rapids
Death, divorce, disability, employment changes.

To New Class 4-5 Rapids
Prevalence of deception due to increasing use of technology for communication, ease of travel, and overall, generally less accountability. In particular, this seems to relate to divorce, or other life-changing events, or illegal activities impacting the world such as ID theft or child trafficking.

In dealing with rejection or witnessing injustice, how do you love yourself and love those who may harm you?

1. Effectively and thoroughly plan for these potential life events with your advisor team.
2. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you what may be on your heart related to life changes or injustice. Stand up and ask the Lord to how you may help fight injustice in the world. Maybe there is a place or organization which needs charitable gifts to effectively fight this battle.
3. Pray for the full armor of God each day and trust that the Lord is in control, “Their malice may be concealed by deception, but their wickedness will be exposed in the assembly.” Proverbs 26:26

From Traditional Class 1-5 Rapids
Global economic changes with macro-economic regionally contained.

To New Class 4-5 Rapids
A perceived global economic structure “house of cards” emerging with some bank/government debt levels not easily financed without global coordination, potentially making markets more globally interconnected and volatile. Fears are prevalent that the global system is in constant intervention by governments.

How do you love God regardless of which cards are given to you, and aim for Olympic Gold?

1. Attempt to control what you can with your finances and realize that there are a lot of things out of your control. One thing which would be valuable to try to control would be your emotions related to your finances. For instance, it was difficult to start adding to stocks (and other risk assets) in March of 2009 when things looked bleak. If you are able to manage your emotions effectively, you may find it easier to have some success with investing.
2. Realize that no advisor can predict the future. Even those in Government, currently influencing the markets, really do not know how things will work out. And they cannot predict all of the unintended consequences.
3. Focus on walking with Jesus. Jesus is real. He really is!
“These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

If you are a Christian, believe the assurances that the Lord would love for you to find greater peace, love, and abundance in your life no matter what whitewater course you are trying to negotiate.


Eric Vogen
[email protected]



Eric Vogen is a Certified Financial Planner practitioner and President/CEO/CCO of Vision Capital & Management,, A Registered Investment Advisor firm located at 108 S. Main St., Suite E, in Davidson, NC 28036, (704) 894-9639. Securities are offered through FSC Securities Corporation, member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services are offered through Vision Capital & Management, which is independent of FSC Securities Corporation. The views expressed are not necessarily the opinion of FSC Securities Corporation.


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