An extremely entertaining program, based on historical legend, recently concluded on the History Channel. It’s called Vikings, and you can catch it on Amazon Prime.

It tells the story of Norwegian Vikings who raided England and France before fending off raiders from Eastern Europe themselves.

For the Viking, raiding was a form of economic activity. They saw what others had, and they took it. Initially, it was for tangible valuables like gold, silver, and jewels. It turned to land as they noticed other parts of the world had better climates and soil for farming.

As you can imagine, the show has more than its share of violence. Like most good dramas, there aren’t too many truly good people. And the ones that are… well, you know what happens to them.

As a financial advisor, here’s why I find the show fascinating. Back then, wealth was obtained largely through brute force. Land was the most valuable asset, so armies existed mostly to expand the territory of their leader.

For all its flaws, free-market capitalism is dependent not on force, but on cooperation. Rather than invade the French, the Vikings would have done themselves better to trade with them. Better life for both countries and a lot less carnage.

Eventually, the world woke up to that reality, but it took quite a long time.

Rather than traveling to France to steal from a large Paris company, you can buy a piece of it without leaving your home. The French and Norwegians trade goods and services today without any threat of violence.

As we see today, wealth is not a zero-sum game. One’s wealth does not come at the expense of others, and resources to achieve wealth are no longer finite.

To discover how we help clients benefit from this new age of cooperative trade, click here or call 513-563-PLAN (7526).

Nikki Earley, CFP®