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[Fin Talk] The Genius of “AND” in Managing Money and Faith

By Arlyn Tan


Growing up with a set of parents who are in business where profitability is important for them to bring food on the table and studying in a catholic school where charity and generosity are the general themes, I ended up confused which concepts can help me achieve financial success.

Here are two bible verses that had guided me in my pursuit of wealth creation,

  • Matthew 6:24 No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.

  • Proverbs 11:28 He who trusts in his riches will fall, but the righteous shall flourish as the green leaf.

I tried to balance the two based on my two preferred careers: Physical Therapist and Financial Advisor. As a physical therapist, my goal is to help the physically challenged to be able to do their activities of daily living as independently as possible. When I shifted to the financial advisory practice, I was introduced to the methods of multiplying wealth. In the course of helping people to grow their wealth, I learned how spiritual beliefs can affect the speed of accumulation.

Getting to know Cathie Wood, the ARKK CEO, provided fresh inspiration on how faith can be integrated In ones relationship with money. Wood is a devout Christian , a mother of three, who relies on her faith on the investment philosophy . She named her fund ARKK Invest Fund with reference to the story in the Book of Exodus. As of date, it has an asset under management of 42.4B Although it has fallen over 6% this year because of rising rates and inflation, the fund has soared 150% in 2020.

Wood’s investment is heavy on innovation stocks which are disruptive and can change the future. According to Cathie, “it’s not so much about me and my promise. It’s about allocating capital to God’s creation in the most innovative and creative way possible.”

Locally, we have witnessed how spirituality had helped Henry Sy Jr, one of the country’s wealthiest tycoons, cope with the death of Jan Catherine, his daughter, last March 2021. In his eulogy, he said that the family is reeling from the pain of separation, he is comforted that she is rejoicing and safe in heaven.

In one of the interviews, he said, the concept of eternal judgment and hell did not even occur to me as I reason out that as long as I did not rape, kill, or commit major sins, and as long as I think I am a good person, God will understand and let me through into His kingdom…. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?,” Written by Jim Colliins and Jerry Porras , Built to Last illustrated the “the Genius of And,” where one can still thrive while holding two opposing ideas. For some, money is seen as a source of evil but for others, money is a resource that can enable one to be a steward of God’s goodness. Finding successful people like Cathie Wood and Henry Sy Jr who can reconcile physical wealth and God’s kingdom can be good models of money management. We can adopt their belief system of passion, purpose, and profitability in motivating us to pursue financial stability and success.

Arlyn Tan is a Strategic Wealth Consultant. She helps individuals and organizations on how to maximize the value of their money through risk, health & wealth management. Her mission lies in making sure that clients achieve 3 things. First, they reach their milestones on time with sufficient resources. Second, they protect them from the impact of economic losses secondary to unexpected events. The third and most important is that they enjoy meaningful and balanced lives.

LinkedIn/Twitter: Arlyn Tan

FB/IG: @pinnaclefinlitcoachph

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