Click below to listen to Episode 34 – Interview with Robert Netzly of Inspire Investing

Interview with Robert Netzly of Inspire Investing

Learn about Inspire, a Christian, biblically responsible ETF company.

You have heard Mary Jo and Bob talk many times about Biblically Responsible Investment Strategies on the podcast. On this episode, they interview special guest and friend, Robert Netzly, the founder and CEO of Inspire Investing. Robert and Bob have known each other for quite a few years now, and Robert even flew from California to visit Christian Financial Advisors for a few days.

Robert started his own wealth management company Inspire Investing, a Christian, Biblically Responsible ETF company. Inspire focuses on biblically responsible investing with a goal to “inspire transformation for God’s glory throughout the world by building low cost, biblically aligned investments that create meaningful change in the lives of people across the globe”.

GUESTS: Robert Netzly
HOSTED BY: Bob Barber, CWS® and Mary Jo Lyons, CFP®

* Robert Netzly is not affiliated with Christian Investment Advisors Inc. DBA Christian Financial Advisors

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®
Robert Netzly
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Inspire Investing
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Inspire Insight
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Inspire ETFs
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Christian Investment Advisors
BRI: For God’s Glory And Your Joy
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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:
Matthew 25:21, “His master replied well done good and faithful servant. You have been faithful with a few things. I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness.

Bob:
Today, I’m really excited about an interview we’re going to be doing. And you’ve heard Mary Jo and I talk many times here on Christian Financial Perspectives about biblically responsible investing. Today, we have a very special guest, good friend, good Christian brother of mine, Robert Netzly with Inspire Investing. So let me give you a little background on this first. Robert and I have known each other for quite a few years now. And Robert even flew from California to visit us two years back. It’s more than a few years now. It’s been many years back to visit Christian Financial Advisors for a few days, and even was a guest in our home during that time before starting his own wealth management company Inspire Investing, a Christian biblically responsible ETF company.

Bob:
So Robert, welcome to our podcast.

Robert:
Thank you. Thanks for having me here.

Bob:
So Robert, tell our listeners a little bit about your background and how you got to where you are today with Inspire Investing.

Robert:
Yeah, well my background is at Wells Fargo product client services down in Carmel, California, and was just kind of happy as a clam and then stumbled across this whole biblically responsible investing concept by accident. The Lord convicted my heart on that, and just really quickly couldn’t do my job anymore, really. And then I came across you and your team. The Lord led me to you guys, and you were such an instrument in helping me wrap my arms around this whole biblically responsible investing movement, and one thing led to the other. And here we are eight or nine years later. And to meet this really growing demand in the BR movement, we’ve launched a number of ETFs and index based investment products that are all designed for BRI parameters. So, that’s the short version.

Bob:
And you’re going to hear us speak a lot to BRI. That’s an acronym for biblically responsible investing for those of you that don’t know. So I just want to mention that.

Mary Jo:
As well as ETFs, which is exchange traded funds, which are a little bit different than your traditional mutual funds. So we’ll talk a little bit more about that as well. So Robert, who is Inspire Investing and what do they do, and what motivated you to start the company Inspire Investing?

Robert:
We’re an asset management firm, and we manage money. All of it is according to biblically responsible investment guidelines for families and institutions and wealth managers globally, really. Our focus really is identifying the most inspiring, biblically aligned companies in the world to invest in. Companies that are making a positive impact with their business activities. They are blessing their communities, their workforce, the world in general, and really operating in line with biblical values. It doesn’t mean that they’re “Christian companies”. There really isn’t such a thing, but companies that are operating in light of biblical values, and that includes avoiding bad actor companies that may be involved in, say, manufacturing abortion drugs or distributing adult entertainment content, or other issues like that. So, we avoid the bad. And then we really look for those best companies, companies that are creating clean water solutions, companies that are working on cures and treatments to cancer and other diseases, and really operating with best of the best in their industry and put those together into low cost index-based investments, wrap them up in a variety of different delivery vehicles, whether it’s an exchange traded fund or it’s a separately managed accounts or other types of investments. And that’s what we do.

Mary Jo:
I love the way you use that phrase, bad actors. You also touched on index funds. So, what is an index based approach and what are the advantages to that?

Robert:
Well, this kind of goes back to the growth of the investment world towards a lower fee approach over the past 20 years. And so an index based approach is where you’re seeking not necessarily to outperform the market with your investments, but really trying to track the performance of a broad base of stocks in a certain industry or a certain market capitalization segment and a certain size of a company. So for example, many people are familiar with the Dow Jones, right? So that’s a few dozen, large, US companies. So that index tracks the performance of those stocks and gives you a kind of a barometer for the US stock market. The other would be the S&P 500, which is basically the 500 largest companies in the United States. Now, there’s also international and emerging markets. There’s different sectors you can index, but the general idea is that you have a number, usually several hundred, if not thousands, of individual stocks that all make up this index. So, what we’ve done is we’ve taken those indexes, like the S&P 500, like the Russell 2000 on a small cap basis, international and whatnot. And we have filtered those through, what we call, our Inspire Impact score methodology. And that’s just our fancy name for how we identify those biblically aligned, positive, inspiring companies. And we invest in the highest Inspire Impact Scoring companies in those broad indexes, again, excluding the bad actors and even excluding those that maybe they’re not involved in anything particularly heinous, but their scores are very low. And so, we focus on those higher scoring companies. And then we typically equally weight them, give each company an equal representation in the portfolio, and manage that ongoing. So it gives the investor a very efficient, lower cost way to access the return profile of those various indexes. And you can use those indexes in all different sorts of ways. You can just buy it and hold it, or you can actively trade it through an ETF or something like that. So, you can overlay different strategies, but the basic building block is this low cost, index based, biblically responsible fund.

Bob:
You and I both know what biblically responsible investing is. And I know we’ve already defined what that is, but a question I’m always getting, and you probably get it too, is if I’m going to be biblically responsible and you’re building these ETFs, how many stocks are you having to throw out, and are you truly giving me a diversified ETF if you’re having to be biblically responsible? Can you speak into that?

Robert:
Yeah, absolutely. And that was really one of the big questions I wrestled through and not just me, but many other advisors who’ve gone through this BRI transition in their practices and their professional life is so, if I’m going to limit “myself” to only investing in companies that are aligned with biblical values, who is left over, right? I mean, that’s just a big question. Is there anybody leftover? Are there any companies in the world that are doing anything that align with biblical values. If you watch the news, you’ve got to wonder sometimes, but thank God in his grace, that there are plenty. In fact, the overwhelming majority of publicly traded companies make the cut even on the most stringent, diligent, biblical screens. So to give you an example, out of the Russell 3000, which is basically just about every company in the United States, so it’s large companies, mid-sized companies, small companies, and publicly traded, so 3000 of them. Close to 90% of those pass all those screens. So, there’s really no shortage of quality companies to invest in. You just have to know how to find them and then have the skill and methodologies to put those together into valuable portfolios.

Bob:
When I hear you say that, then it really kind of takes out the excuse of not being biblically responsible for a Christian.

Robert:
I think so. The interesting thing about BRI is we kind of throw that word around, movement. The word movement is usually kind of thrown around lightly in a lot of different ways, but with the BRI movement, it really is a movement, and it’s a movement of God in the hearts and minds of his people, and what I’ve seen personally in the past 10 years, and also anecdotally, as I’ve met with thousands of investors and financial advisors across the world over the past several years, is the Lord is really waking people up, his people up, to the fact that it’s important to him that his people manage his money, put into his values, for his glory, and for their joy. And for decades, we’ve been blind. Like we just haven’t thought about it, and it’s not a guilt or shame issue. For me personally, it never even crossed my mind to give a second thought to what the companies in my portfolio are doing from a biblical morality perspective. And then lo and behold, I look into my portfolio one day about nine years ago, and here I am the president of our local pro-life pregnancy center, and I own three stocks of companies that are manufacturing, abortion drugs. The Holy Spirit gripped my heart in this, and it just doesn’t make any sense. And so, praise God that more and more, thousands and millions, of Christians are coming awake to that idea that, wow, I can find out what’s in my portfolio, and it’s not a good picture and I can clean that up. And like you said, there’s really no excuse these days. There are so many options and so many tools and technology, the road is paved. Folks like yourself, Bob, who have plowed and done the hard work for decades now, making that a reality, is where we’re at today. So yeah, there’s really no excuse. And we just welcome everybody to get involved.

Bob:
Well, I must say, I remember in the beginning there was like one equity fund. Today, there’s so many choices.

Mary Jo:
You’ve done a great job. I just love your explanation about biblically responsible investing. And one question I have, so what difference does it make to investors whether they follow this approach or not?

Robert:
Well, I mean, there’s a few different ways you can answer that question, and I’ll just answer it personally. The number one issue for me is I just have a burning desire to honor my Lord with everything that he’s given me. And I know that I’m not the only Christian that feels that way. That is our burning desire as believers and followers of our Lord. And when I realized what was going on in my personal portfolio, and then as an advisor what I was recommending my clients to buy – abortion drug companies, pornography companies, human rights violators, and all the way down the list, it was convicting. I just couldn’t see myself standing before my Lord one day and being proud like, Hey Lord, aren’t you proud? Look all this money I made for investing in abortion drugs. So to me, the number one thing that I get out of it is by the grace of God and even as flawed and imperfect as I continually am, this is another way that he’s showing me that I can just bring him glory, you know? And so, there’s satisfaction that. Number two in the same vein, I know that as we, as believers, invest according to biblical values, it is sending a loud, a very loud, message to corporate America and to Wall Street that people actually care about biblical values. Again, for decades, the liberal left has done a very good job at engaging corporations in the boardroom for shareholder activism and other means to really tilt them to support things like LGBT activism, for instance, and abortion for that matter. But they have not heard in the boardroom from Christians. We’ve kind of done the boycott thing and other means of having our voice heard, which are important, but oftentimes at these big companies, it’s not as effective. Many companies, on any given day, have a number of people protesting out on their front doorstep, and they’re just deaf to that. But a few years ago, we were able to send an email into the investor relations department of a company, which prompted a discussion about their support of abortion related philanthropies, which within a matter of a couple of months, it was open to stopping their donations to this particular abortion related philanthropy. And we could have boycotted them for years and never got the time of day, but that’s another area where as investors, we can make an impact. And it doesn’t matter if you have a few bucks or a few million bucks or a few billion bucks, you’re a shareholder and your voice can be heard.

Bob:
You shared with us that one story. I know you have many stories. Do you have just one or two others that you could share with our listening audience so they will know what a difference it’s making?

Robert:
Yeah, sure. I’ll share a one success story and maybe one cautionary tale if that’s okay. A couple years ago, I’d bet a year and a half ago I guess it was, we had been investors in this company, warehouse shopping company that so many people love, especially those with many teenage boys in the house. You can get a lot of food for a lot of money. And so, we’ve been investing in this company and then through our routine screening process, we noticed that they had begun a couple summers ago, again, donating money to a few different gay pride parades in different cities throughout the country. And obviously that is of concern to our investors and shows an activist stance, purposed company who takes a proactive stance and actually support and sponsor really something that has nothing to do with their business and taking a side on social issue with biblical morality at stake. So I reached out to their investor relations department, left them a message, and I kid you not, within two hours, I had a phone call back from the chief financial officer. I just left the message on the general voice box and let them know who I was. I represent Christian investors and we had this issue and we wanted to discuss it with them. He was actually getting on a plane. He’s calling me from the airport on a cell phone, getting ready to get on a plane, but it was that important to him to call me back. And so that was awesome. I had a wonderful conversation with him, had subsequent conversations and emails over several weeks with this gentleman as we explained that we’re not trying to have this company come out and paint crosses on the front of all their buildings, but also it’s a problem for us if they are going to take sides in the marriage debate, right. And I don’t think they really want to be painted as taking sides in that debate. And he agreed and he says, no, it’s not our intention. We really don’t want to, again, go outside of our business and kind of cast our vote one way or the other here. We just want to stay neutral. We want to just do a good business, serve our customers well, and be a good company. And so within, again, about a month and a half, he wrote me back. Their executive team had met, and they agreed not to give money to gay pride parades or other politically and socially charged philanthropies or organizations in the future. So, we celebrated that success. We kept this company in our portfolio, and that just shows the power of being a shareholder. You actually have a voice inside this company. Now, another company, I’ll mention a cautionary tale, is out here in California. Last fall, I was at the annual shareholder meeting for a big utility company that runs essentially all the utilities for the state of California, which is a massive undertaking. If you’re watching the news, you’ll notice that we’ve had massive wildfires the past couple of years, completely disastrous, some of the most deadly and destructive wildfires in the history of our state. And it just so happens that a number of those were sparked by faulty equipment from this company, and they were on the hook for those damages. As a result of this whole whirlwind, their stock had declined 70% as of this last meeting I’m referencing. They had eliminated their shareholder dividend. They previously were paying a very generous dividend, which was a lot of retirees and others were depending on that as a large source of their income, they eliminated that dividend because they didn’t have the money. They were on the verge of bankruptcy. Meanwhile, in the past year or so, a colleague of ours had been interacting with this company because they’ve also been a very large supporter of Planned Parenthood over the years and very vocal in their support of the abortion industry and all of that, which of course is a problem again with our BRI perspective. So, we took that opportunity. We were invited to speak at the annual shareholder meeting, and my question was, okay, the stock has fallen 70%. You’ve eliminated a dividend because you’re on the verge of bankruptcy, and you can’t afford to pay your shareholders. Can you give us your word that you’re also going to stop donations to Planned Parenthood? I mean, if you can’t pay your shareholders, that would make sense, right? And hello, it’s kind of like a no brainer. However, the executive sitting on stage looked at me and said we are very committed to supporting our communities, including Planned Parenthood and supporting blah, blah, blah, and just complete defiance, right? And it was in complete defiance of all sound logic, all sound judiciary obligation to their shareholders, even. And just to see that blindness, and we know we don’t battle this flesh and blood, we battle against the spiritual forces of darkness in this world. And it was just, in that moment, it was so clear to me, really just compassionately seeing these people. They don’t know what they do. And they have been enslaved really by the enemy and to do his will. So there was that. And several months later, I read a blog article about this. They now have declared bankruptcy and really just went down in flames, this big hullabaloo over here in California. So that’s just a cautionary tale that’s based on not just their donation to Planned Parenthood. It’s kind of a telltale sign, but there was such political cronyism going on there. And that diehard commitment to Planned Parenthood was not just because they care about women. I mean, let’s be honest, it’s because the California political system and all of this incestuous relationship between these nonprofits and the government and the utility company is bad business. It’s business ethics violations, and then not spending the money they should have spent to keep their community safe with their power lines and everything has sparked these fires. It’s just this whole soup of somewhat subjective issues. Some people would say, well, how do you measure that? But this culture of bad ethics, right, unbiblical values, resulted in their bankruptcy. So as investors, if you’re looking out for companies that have that pattern and you’re avoiding investments in those companies that are kind of slipshod in those ways, you avoid getting burned in cases like this company. So, those are two examples.

Mary Jo:
You talked about fiduciary. That’s something Bob and I talk about quite often on the show and as fiduciaries, that’s part of our responsibility to our clients is to be a fiduciary when it comes to managing those portfolios. So, how much more of a fiduciary can you get than being biblically responsible? I think that was an awesome story and really supports that notion. Don’t you think, Bob?

Bob:
Yeah. And as I hear that story, Mary Jo, it reminds me of the scripture John 10:10, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I have come that they may have life and have it to the fullest.” And it just goes to show when we are in darkness the things that can happen because we allow the thief to come to destroy, steal, and kill. And that’s what happened with that company, it sounds like. Let’s go in another direction now. An exciting thing happened a couple of years ago, and that’s when Inspire got to go on Wall Street and ring the bell for opening up their ETFs. So can you tell us your experience about that and what that was like? You invited me to that and like a dummy, I didn’t go.

Robert:
Next time, right? It was quite the event. It certainly wasn’t something that was on my bucket list, but it should have been, in retrospect. The New York Stock Exchange is such a historic building and iconic piece of American history and in the investment world obviously has a lot of meaning. And so, when we launched our ETFs, they’re trading on the New York Stock Exchange. As part of that, we get to ring the closing bell and up on the stage and about 4 million people every day watch the closing bell ringing on CNBC and other outlets and whatnot. They put our company name all over the screen. I mean everywhere, all over the place. And so that was cool, but the best thing about that whole event was when we got there with our team and then a small number of guests, financial advisors that we were able to invite and bring along with us to celebrate, they gave us a tour of the building and there’s just a whole lot of history there in that building in New York. And we had a reception in what they call the big board room, which used to be like the exclusive club area for back in the day. And there’s just, again, lots of history, there’s a space there that’s from the czar of Russia in the 1800’s and this clock that they use to open and close the bond market with doesn’t actually tell time. It’s special symbols, and it’s hundreds of years old. It’s just remarkable. I got to preach a sermon, kinda, in the big boardroom to everybody and all the NYSE staff are there and they’re listening. And then we go out to the trading floor and our guests are down on the trading floor and we’re up on the podium, and there’s just this excitement and clapping and we ring the bell, and it was just this time to worship the Lord. And they have pictures of our teams raising their hand and worshipping the Lord. And when you get off the podium, you’re going down these stairs kind of behind the wall there, and the hallway and the stairwell are all marked up. So, you get to sign your names. Ring the bell, you get to sign your name on the wall, so there’s signatures everywhere. So I tell my team, hey, don’t waste this opportunity. Let’s write something meaningful. Our names aren’t that important, but let’s put something that actually is. Right now on that wall, there’s a number of scriptures that are written in the wall right behind that podium when you’re watching the bell ring. There’s scripture written on the wall there. And some of the comments from the New York Stock Exchange staff afterward were really inspiring because they were kind of in awe that the event staff and everybody who does this every day, twice a day for huge companies all over the world, they said we just love watching your group. Like everybody was here, not just on time, but early. Everybody showed up. That usually never happens. And usually, we have to kind of get them excited so it looks like it’s exciting. You guys were like cheering before the cameras are even turned on. And like, this is just great. And I was able to tell them, well, you know why? Because we’re not here celebrating money. Like we’re not here celebrating our success. We’re not here celebrating the launch of a company or an IPO. We’re here giving glory to our Lord because this is so obviously from him and for him and to him, and we’re celebrating our God. And so anyway, for the past two years, we’ve had this really cool witness to the New York Stock Exchange staff and affiliated people when it’s just another opportunity that we as believers in the BRI movement can shine light into the hearts, into the very heart of the world’s economic system. The New York Stock Exchange, inside on the podium, on the trading floor, and that’s for God’s glory.

Mary Jo:
You’re giving me goosebumps, and to take it in even a different direction. I know you’ve written a book and you’re pretty excited about it. It’s been out for awhile now. Bob and I both enjoyed it, and it’s titled “Biblically Responsible Investing for God’s Glory and Your Joy”. So why don’t you talk to us a little bit about that and share with our listeners how they can find the book?

Robert:
Yeah, thank you. So my mom says it helps her sleep. So if you have a sleeping problem, I’m not a doctor, but you can pick it up and hopefully it helps you too. No. It’s a book on the biblically responsible investing and really just, it’s a compilation about the movement. There’s not a whole lot of dry “how to” investment jargon. It’s really from our perspective, how we’ve seen God move in the financial industry and a lot of these similar stories that I’ve been sharing here today. We’ve got more stories in the book and really just an inspiring picture of what God is doing around the globe, truly around the globe, to just exalt his name through the financial world and how his people invest their money for his glory. And there is some instruction on how to get started with biblically responsible investing, some basic principles, if the Lord is working in your heart there, and it’s not very long, it’s a short book. Most people can read it in about two hours. And so my heart with that, putting that out, is really just to get the story out because still more people need to know that this is even a thing, right, that we should be looking at and thinking about what’s in our investment portfolios. It matters to God and it’s an opportunity to glorify him and what’s happening around the globe and these stories need to get told. So anyway, that’s why I put that in the book. I hope and pray that it’s an inspiration to people as they read it and just encourages them to not only get themselves involved and join the movement, but help spread the word and get others involved in the BRI movement as well.

Mary Jo:
There was one particular quote that I liked a lot, and that was called “The end doesn’t justify the means in God’s economy”. I thought that said it all.

Bob:
So Robert, as you’re talking about biblically responsible investing. Then, there’s the book, and we’ve been hearing about the ETFs. How could a person know if their investments are biblically responsible?

Robert:
That’s a good question. talk to a Christian advisor who specializes in biblically responsible investing and just show them what you own. Here’s a statement from my account at XYZ firm. Those advisors who, again, who have experience and know what they’re doing in the BRI world, which is not a lot of Christian advisors, I’ll say. It’s a quickly growing number, but finding those folks and they can run reports and really educate you on what you own. And again, it’s not a guilt and shame thing. It’s just an educational thing. Here’s what’s going on in your portfolio. And then they can take that next step in showing you how to clean that up and align it with biblical values and how that will continue to help you work towards your financial goals and all of those things. If you’re more of a do-it-yourselfer, we’ve actually released a technology platform that’s free to the public, inspireinsight.com, and it’s still in beta. So, there’s some bugs, and if you go on there, please let us know if you find something that’s not working. Again, it’s a beta version, but the core functionality is working. And so you go to inspireinsight.com. You can type a ticker symbol in of a mutual fund or an ETF or a stock that you own, and it’ll tell you all the good stuff, all the bad stuff, all the ugly stuff that those companies that you own are involved in from a values perspective, and it will also give you some performance information and we’re continuing to develop that. In a couple of months, we’ll have a much anticipated version with some great enhancements, but I just welcome everybody to go to inspireinsight.com, check it out, or even better talk to an advisor who really specializes in BRI to get educated.

Mary Jo:
And that brings us to another question that was on our minds. We’ve got so many Christian advisors out there that call themselves Christian financial advisors. So why would anybody choose not to invest in a BRI portfolio if they position themselves as a Christian advisor? And there’s so many available BRI investment options now to choose from.

Robert:
Right? Good question. And one of the answers is that not every Christian advisor has access to all those options. Every firm has a little bit of a different profile. Some firms are very limited in their platform as far as what their advisors can offer. And even some of the biggest firms in the nation have almost nothing available. In some cases, they have nothing available that is biblically responsible. Even some of the largest Christian firms in the nation, names that you would all probably recognize if we mention them on the air, don’t have robust or even existent BRI options. And so those advisors, they just don’t have the ability to offer those things. For those advisors in the independent channel who maybe have their own firm or operate on a platform that is more open architecture, usually it boils down to education. Again, these advisors just because we’re Christians and we’re financial advisors, doesn’t mean that we are really experienced or knowledgeable about Christian investing. Unfortunately, I was one of those. I’m first to raise my hand. I was sitting there all day long down at Carmel advising my wealthy clients to invest in abortion drugs all day long. I was totally oblivious. It wasn’t that I didn’t care. I just was oblivious. And so there’s a lot of education that needs to happen. And listen, those investors out there that are hearing this, you can be a huge lesson to your advisors and other people in your life if you will bring this up to them, because usually they’ve not heard about it or have not thought about it. Or, if they have heard about it, they just haven’t really looked into it. They might think none of my clients care about this and not just Christians, but secular advisors, too. You can be a witness to those folks. Other than that, it’s the Lord that works on our hearts and I’m not here to play the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit did his work in convicting me on this issue, and he’s going to do his work in convicting others on that issue as he sees fit. And as more advisors and more investors hear about it, that’s exactly what’s happening. Praise God that there are a plethora of quality, BRI investments to choose from, and you just need to know where to find them.

Bob:
Robert, this is coming to the conclusion. I just have one last thing I want to say here. And you’ve really touched a lot of people with what you’ve been doing, and I am just so excited to have had you on our podcast today. And what’s it like to be involved in this arena? Robert, you’re probably like me. Maybe you thought you were going to be a pastor at one point, right? What’s it like to go every day to work knowing that you’re glorifying God with your investing?

Robert:
It’s really, really awesome, and it’s not something, you’re right, it’s not something that I had thought. I mean, my plan was to be a fourth grade teacher, which is also a very great option for any fourth grade teachers out there. And you can glorify God as a fourth grade teacher. God has other plans. We make our plans, but God directs our steps, and here I am in the financial world, but it’s just so awesome when you can come into work and work with a team like we have here at Inspire who every single one of them – the man and woman on our staff – are so completely sold out to the glory of God. And they oftentimes have made great personal sacrifices, especially when we were a young company to come on board and to do this thing together and really be faithful in what the Lord is calling us to do, despite all odds.

Robert:
I mean, looking back, we’ve been very successful by the grace of God. When we were starting, everybody thought we were going to fail, like everybody in the media and all the financial gurus and everybody else. There’s hundreds of articles in some of the largest magazines and newspapers of the world mocking us saying that nobody cares about biblical values anymore. Nobody’s gonna invest in these funds, and we’ve grown faster than most funds ever have. Again, five years of God’s movement that he’s doing, but to come to work with those kinds of people that have been through the fire, we rejoice. We just serve the Lord. It’s just awesome. We pray together. We cry together. We laugh together, and it’s truly a blessing.

Mary Jo:
Well, on that note, we want to thank you for joining us today, Robert. That’s all the time we have for today’s show. And if you want to learn more about BRI, we encourage you to get a copy of biblically responsible investing by Robert Netzly.

Robert:
Thanks so much.

[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.