Founder's Letter

When I turned 18 years old, I asked my father to give me the contact information for his financial advisor.  It was high time I started investing for my retirement and, by my math, I was 18 years behind schedule!  I waltzed into the local financial advisor’s office with a folder of my research.  It was clear to me the best path to investing in the stock market for someone my age was in a Roth IRA.  And I had an idea of the investments I wanted to buy.  And a few signatures later, my personal investment plan was off and running!

When I attended college at the University of Missouri, my course of study was never in question.  I would study business to learn about money.  I wanted to know who had it, how they made it, how they grew it, and how they protected it.  As my friends were reading their psychology textbooks, I was endeavoring to learn the language of finance in the daily Wall Street Journal.  When I graduated, I found a job as a financial advisor.  In my first couple of years of full-time work, I was saving and investing about 70% of my income.  And I was writing financial plans for myself to be a millionaire by age 40.

When I moved to San Diego in 2008, two important things happened. 

First, given my aggressive investment nature and the ravages of the Great Recession, I watched my investments lose 42%.  As I watched my investment account values go down month-by-month, it wasn’t yet clear to me how tight of a grip money had on my heart.  Losing money was synonymous with death to me, and I didn’t see the problem.  My self-worth was tied to my net worth.  I literally started feeling less valuable of a person as my financial value decreased.  I had no peace. 

Second, in early 2009, after the recession, I found a church that had a finance ministry that taught biblical stewardship.  As I sat through the course, my mouth hung open each week as my financial perspectives were challenged by the Word of God.  I was rocked by the words of Solomon in Ecclesiastes and the teachings of Jesus in the Gospels.

As my selfish ambition, discontentment, and greed began to come to light, I began to feel there must be a better way to think about money and how to manage it.  At 26 years old, only four years into my professional career, I began to realize the damage that the love of money had done to me.  My heart began a process of transformation as it wrestled with the truth about money as revealed through the teachings of the Bible. 

The self-constructed prison walls I had formed around my soul began to fall.  Life-sucking stinginess was replaced with a desire to be generous.  Chronic greediness was replaced with contentment.  A heart condition that craved the stockpiling of more and more money slowly gave way to a heart that began looking for ways to give.  I realized that financial peace is a heart condition, not a financial position.  And, finally, I held the key to walk out of my self-constructed prison cell through an Open Door to financial peace.  Now, my calling and purpose through Open Door Financial is to help people honor the Lord with their finances and guide them into financial peace, too.

Jason M. Batt