Click below to listen to Episode 18 – eVALUEator Tool With Guest Dave Hart

Episode 18 – eVALUEator Tool With Guest Dave Hart

Learn more about the eVALUEator® investment screening tool.

This week, Bob and Mary Jo interview David Hart, the president of sales and marketing for eVALUEator®. eVALUEator® is a tool for screening investments according to morally and biblically-responsible values. It is a tool for giving investors knowledge and the ability to be a good steward and stay away from various activities.

The eVALUEator® tool screens around 30,000 companies for corporate activities supporting areas like:

  • Abortion
  • Pornography
  • Nontraditional marriage
  • Entertainment
  • Christian rights
  • Alcohol
  • Tobacco
  • Gambling

 

Christian Financial Perspectives goes in depth with Dave Hart explaining the history behind eVALUEator®, those who typically use the tool, and how they find various activities that different corporations are supporting.

Learn more about eVALUEator® by visiting www.evalueator.com or www.moralscreening.com

GUESTS: Dave Hart of eVALUEator®
HOSTED BY: Bob Barber, CWS® and Mary Jo Lyons, CFP®

Mentioned In This Episode

Christian Financial Advisors
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Bob Barber, CWS®, CKA®
[dt_soc_icons soc_icon_gap_between=”4px”][dt_single_soc_icon link=”url:https%3A%2F%2Fchristianfinancialadvisors.com%2Fwho-we-are%2Fabout-us%2Fbob-barber%2F|target:_blank” dt_soc_icon=”icomoon-the7-font-the7-login-02″ soc_icon_border_width=”0px” soc_icon_color=”#ffffff” soc_icon_border=”n” soc_icon_bg_color=”#7ac9ab” soc_icon_border_hover=”n” soc_icon_bg_color_hover=”#014a8f”][/dt_soc_icons]
Mary Jo Lyons, CFP®, CKA®
David Hart
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eVALUEator®
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EPISODE TRANSCRIPT

[INTRODUCTION]

Bob: Welcome to Christian Financial Perspectives, a weekly podcast where we talk about ways to integrate your faith with your finances. This is Bob Barber.

Mary Jo: And I’m Mary Jo Lyons.

Bob: Are you ready to learn how to apply biblical wisdom to everyday financial decisions?

Mary Jo: Join us as we look at integrating your faith with your finances. If it’s your first time listening, welcome to our podcast, and if you’re a returning listener, welcome back.

[EPISODE]

Mary Jo:
This week, we would like to welcome a special guest to our podcast, David Hart with eVALUEator. It’s a tool for screening investments according to morally and biblically responsible values. Before we bring David on, let’s start off with God’s word. So, Bob, what do you have for our listeners this week?

Bob:
Well, Mary Jo, I was looking at some scriptures and I came up with Matthew 16:26, it says, “What will you gain if you win the whole world, but destroy yourself. What would you give back to your soul?” Another scripture was from Psalms 119:14, “Obeying your instruction brings as much happiness as being rich or wealthy.” So I think these scriptures speak to the fact that when it comes to investing, and what we’re going to be speaking about this morning, if we really believe that God owns it all, which is another scripture from Psalms 24:1 is, “The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it.” If we truly, truly believe that, then even our investments belong to God. And we’re going to speak this morning about how your investments can bring glory to God by the way that you invest. A good friend of mine, Dave Hart, who I’ve known for about 20 plus years. Is that about right, Dave? Have I known you that long?

Dave:
That’s about right.

Bob:
Well, we’ve had a lot of good times together, haven’t we Dave?

Dave:
Yes, we have. We have, certainly.

Bob:
Dave, welcome to the podcast today. We are really looking forward to you educating our podcast listening audience about the eVALUEator. This is truly an issue that is dear to my heart. We’re glad to have you as one of our first guests on Christian Financial Perspectives. Dave is the president of sales and marketing for a eVALUEator services. So Dave, welcome to the program. As always, I like to start with a little background perspective. So, why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself and how the eVALUEator came about?

Dave:
First of all, thank you for having me. I hope that we are able to help you and help your listeners. I’ve been working in this market now for over 27 years teaching financial advisors how to present moral investing to clients and how to show clients how to be good stewards of their money. I’ve been in sales most of my life, I’m kind of getting long in the teeth. But I’ve been in sales my whole life. And this has absolutely been a joy in my life to be able to serve the Lord in this way.

Bob:
So, we have this eVALUEator program that we’re going to be educating our listeners about this morning. What does the eVALUEator do?

Dave:
We look at what company activities are and what they actually support.

Bob:
Tell us about some of those screens that you use.

Dave:
We screen companies that support abortion, pornography, or are involved in it in some way; non-married lifestyles and non traditional marriage; Christian rights; alcohol; tobacco; and gambling.

Bob:
How many companies are you able to screen?

Dave:
We can look at over 30,000 companies, and that includes some private companies as well.

Mary Jo:
Wow, that’s a lot. So what percentage of those companies actually fail these screens?

Dave:
This is probably a shock to most people. Less than 7% of those companies fail our screen list, and out of the exchanges that are offered, probably about 1400 companies.

Bob:
One of the questions I have is so you screen for companies that are supporting abortion, pornography, non traditional marriage, entertainment, Christian rights, alcohol, tobacco, and gambling? I just wanted to emphasize all that, that you’re screening for again. But like for pornography, I know that none of us as Christians would ever want to invest in a company that is producing pornography, but you go a little bit deeper than that, don’t you?

Dave:
We do. And what we do is we dig down into the company activities. We look at their 1099’s. We look at and we partner with several different watchdog groups. One of those is “Life Decision International”. Planned Parenthood has watchdog websites, and there’s many others that we’re able to see what these activities are. A lot of these activities they’re very proud of and they post them. Those are the things that we’re looking at that are showing what these companies are supporting.

Bob:
So in other words, let’s say you’re screening for abortion. It’s not actually a company that’s producing abortion, but it could be one that is supporting abortion or one that is supporting pornographic material. Is that a good way to say it?

Dave:
Yeah, they’re supporting it by financial dollars. Maybe they’re making a board efficient that they’re providing to the hospitals and so forth.

Bob:
Dave, I had a client of mine I was doing an account review with about six months ago. We have two major distribution systems up and down Interstate 35 here, one towards Austin and one towards San Antonio. And I’m not gonna mention the name of the company, but I’ll say this, that a lot of folks are buying from this company on a daily basis. They can get a package to you within hours. So that’s enough said about who that company may be. You can just go determine that yourself. But I found out their daughter has a friend that’s a strong, strong Christian. She went to work for this company. And she said that she was putting massive amounts of pornography in boxes that were going out and being delivered to people’s homes. She was amazed that this company had so much pornography that they were delivering. Even though the company was not producing pornography, they were selling it.

Dave:
Happening in a lot of cases. But the part about it is, is most of these companies, for example, a company that makes the desk you’re sitting at, that’s what they do. They make a desk. They’re trying to make money for their shareholders, trying to make money for their company, and they’re trying to make a competitive product. They’re not out here trying to change anything or affect the culture. They’re making a desk. So we’re really looking for companies that are minding their own business.

Bob:
Oh, okay. That they’re doing what they’re supposed to be doing and not involved in, I guess, could we say those are political agendas that they could be involved in too? Maybe supporting like non traditional marriage lifestyles?

Dave:
That’ll work. That’s right.

Bob:
So there’s about 30,000 companies that you screen. You said the percentage of those companies is only 7%, which that’s a good thing. But I’ve noticed that when we look at large cap companies, like in the S&P 500 index, that we see about 50-60% of the S&P 500 index, though, are involved in some of those agendas that we named. Am I correct in saying that?

Dave:
That is correct. And the reason a lot of these mutual funds and these other companies violate these screens is because those are the companies they’re choosing. Instead of going out and doing a little bit of homework and finding companies that are in those industries that they could invest in, they’re copying what everybody else is doing. And they’re putting them in the small cap and they’re putting them in the large and mid cap. They’re putting in the aggressive. They’re putting the exact same companies in all these things. They’re not really diversifying clients at all.

Mary Jo:
Clients think they’re diversified because they have different funds, but those funds are replicating the exact same portfolios. You have a lot of overlap without realizing it.

Dave:
Absolutely.

Mary Jo:
Now, we’ve talked about some of these other issues. Do you screen for gun rights? That’s another polarizing area.

Dave:
We really don’t screen for gun rights. We haven’t found anything in scripture that says anything about guns and war and so forth. I mean, God sent his people to war many times, so they’ve had to have weapons and so forth. We don’t consider that a biblical screen. Therefore, we don’t have those in there.

Mary Jo:
Oh, interesting. Okay. Now, you’ve talked about some of these political agendas. Do you really think you’re going to change anything? Do you have any success stories you can share with us?

Dave:
We have had some success stories. We’ve had some success stories back here a short time ago when we had some companies that were challenged, and they’ve quit. So, we have had some success in that. We had one company, they were surprised and did not even know that they were doing that. They said that they would discontinue that and not be involved in that. So yes, we have had some companies that have done that.

Bob:
We can have a positive effect when we find out that companies are involved in agendas that violate biblical principles. We need to let them know, and many times more than not, they’ll stop supporting that agenda.

Dave:
In eVALUEator, we have a letter. We have a good letter and a bad letter. Simply click on that, pull up that letter. It has a corporate address on it, and you could download it into a word document and send it to the company. Tell them whether you like or dislike what they’re doing. You could do it as a financial advisor. You could also share that letter with a client, and they actually would have two letters coming to them. We’ve had some results from them. We’ve had a couple of fund managers that have called us and said, “We didn’t know we were doing that and we don’t need to do that.” And they’ve discontinued owning that company in that portfolio.

Mary Jo:
Dave, that was one of the questions I had. I would imagine that a lot of times the CEO and the board of directors are so far removed from the day to day business that they could not be aware of some of the things that the company is supporting. What’s on the website, for example. So do you find that that can be true?

Dave:
Absolutely, and some of these people in the HR for these companies are very liberal, and they make those choices. The company doesn’t even know what’s happening.

Mary Jo:
I can see how that would happen. You look at different initiatives for the company donations. A lot of times you get forced to contribute to these, or they have these funding campaigns in a major corporation. What if you personally don’t support that? I think that the human resources department is making a lot of these decisions, and the leaders of the company may be the last to know.

Dave:
Absolutely. You are correct.

Bob:
We’re talking about the eVALUEator. One of the things I want to point out with the eVALUEator, it is a computer program that we use. You can let us know what mutual funds that you own, what stocks you own. And we’ll put those ticker symbols in our eVALUEator program that we subscribe to here at Christian Financial Advisors. And we can let you know what involvement you might have in abortion or pornography or non traditional marriage lifestyles, or entertainment, alcohol, tobacco, and gambling. I will tell you, Dave, over the years, and Mary Jo, as I’ve done these eVALUEator reports, it’s like putting the light on the table, like it says in scripture, and really shining your light on what that’s involved in. And then, we can make good, Christian choices about finding companies that are not involved in those agendas and mutual funds that are not involved in those agendas. And one thing that I’ve noticed over the years, Dave, is some of the companies that fail the screens, many times, it’s that same company that is six months or even a year or two later, that is in the news that has done something else that would cause their stock to drop dramatically because of other agendas they might be in. It’s kind of interesting that once they get involved in that slippery slope, it kind of takes you down that path.

Dave:
How right you are. I can remember back when all those companies went down. All of those companies had been on our screen list from the beginning. We weren’t surprised that they were having trouble with dishonesty in their group if that’s the kind of people they were.

Mary Jo:
So Dave, another question is who uses your services? Who can have access to the eVALUEator tool?

Dave:
Financial advisors use us. We have some third party investment corporations that are using us. We have a free website that’s called moralscreening.com that an individual can go on and look. They get a limited look of companies. We will guide them to a financial advisor such as Bob and Mary Jo, and they can help them. Not only can they show them what they’re invested in, but we show the alternatives that they could use to not do those things.

Bob:
Well, exactly. We don’t want to say that you cannot invest in a Christian way cause you can. There’s more choices today than there’s ever been pretty much in the history of the markets. I remember when the first biblically responsible mutual fund came out many years ago, and now there’s many other choices to choose from. I remember Dave, when the Timothy Plan started and there was one fund that was available. This is not a solicitation to buy or sell the Timothy Plan, but I remember it was just one or two funds. It was like a small cap value fund and a bond fund. And now, they’ve got every kind of fund you can imagine to pick from. And there’s been other families that have started out of the movement that the Timothy Plan started many years ago in the biblically responsible choices.

Dave:
20 years ago when I started, there was $23 million invested in this way. Today, with all of these other companies and things, there are billions of dollars, but you know what? We’re not going to make an impact on the companies until we’re in the trillions. So, we’re still working toward our first trillion.

Mary Jo:
And why do you say that? Why is a trillion dollars the magic number?

Dave:
It’s not really a magic number, but people follow the money. It’s always about the money. Not sometimes. Not once in a while. Not occasionally. It’s always about the money, and if they see the money going away because of the way that they’re handling their funds, they’ll stop.

Mary Jo:
I think in so many areas of life, if we celebrate the good and we really shine that light on those companies that are doing good, that are following family based values, and we lift them up and we vote with our dollars for those good companies, the others will soon wake up. They’ll either choose to stop what they’re doing to be part of that, or they won’t. That’ll be our sign for who we want to invest in. So, I think that celebrating the positive is such a great approach rather than dwelling on the negative and those that aren’t. Let’s really celebrate and lift up the companies that we want to do business with.

Bob:
I agree with you, Mary Jo. And Dave, I know you’d like to comment on that as well.

Dave:
I love to tell a story that people who stand in good, we don’t understand people who stand in evil. We don’t understand why people want to kill policemen and why people want to cut off somebody’s head to prove a point. We don’t understand it, but you know what? They don’t understand people who are standing good. They don’t understand what our problem is if somebody says a four letter word in front of our children. They hear it on TV. We’ve heard that before. What is our big problem? Well, our problem is, simply, we pursue good. We watch what we say. We watch how we say what we say. We watch where we go. We watch who we do business with and certainly who we should invest with the money that God’s entrusted us with. We should be watching that as well.

Bob:
So Dave, as we come to the end of the program, I would just like you to emphasize that a little bit more. For somebody that’s been listening to us, maybe this is the first time they’ve heard about biblically responsible investing. We’ve had entire programs on values based, biblically responsible investing in the past. If you’re hearing this podcast for the first time today, you can go look in our archives and see where Mary Jo and I have had a complete program on that. But today, we’re just talking about the computer program that we use to help us be biblically responsible. Dave, speak from your heart to someone that they’ve heard about this the first time and what they should do. I just want to hear it directly from you because you’re my brother in the Lord. I’ve known you for years.

Dave:
What I’d like to say is a real mission that I have in my heart is to be able to change what people are doing and be able to show them how to be good stewards and how to be obedient to God and how to speak the love language to God. I believe that where people’s hearts are, there also should be their treasures. And that’s what we’re about. Showing how to put your treasures where your heart is.

Mary Jo:
And God does own it all after all.

Dave:
He owns it all.

Mary Jo:
Oh, I love that. I think that’s just a great thought as we wrap up today’s show.

Bob:
I want to thank you for joining us today on Christian Financial Perspectives. I know that this is a podcast that probably no one has ever heard anything like this. I know it’s created some curiosity, and we want to help you. Go to our website, CISwealth.com, scroll down, and you’ll see about halfway down the page where you can click on and get a free evaluation of your portfolio. We would like to give you a free evaluation. There’s no obligation to do business with our company. We just want to shed God’s light on that. We want you to be pure in how you’re investing, and I believe that God’s going to honor that. If he doesn’t honor it here on earth, he’s definitely going to honor it in heaven, but I believe he’s going to do both.

Mary Jo:
There are a few additional thoughts we want to leave you with. Money decisions are really spiritual decisions. As you said, money is one way we work out our belief system, our values, our goals, and priorities. There is a current ad campaign running that always makes me kind of reflect on this when I hear it. So what is in your wallet, or rather, what is in your investment portfolio? As a conservative Christian, do you talk the talk, and more importantly, do you walk the walk? Do your investment choices reflect your values?

Bob:
At Christian Financial Advisors, we work with clients just like you who want to integrate their faith with their finances. If you’d like to learn how you can implement BRI in your investment portfolio, give us a call.

[DISCLOSURES]

Comments from today’s show are for informational purposes only and not to be considered investment advice or recommendations to buy or sell any company that may have been mentioned or discussed. The opinions expressed are solely those of the hosts, Bob Barber and Mary Jo Lyons. Bob and Mary Jo do not provide tax advice and encourage you to seek guidance from a tax professional. Investment advisory services offered through Christian Investment Advisors Inc. DBA Christian Financial Advisors, a registered investment advisor.