FAITH BASED INVESTING
When it comes to your money and investing, what are the first thoughts that come to mind? For most, it’s Wall Street, the DOW Jones, the stock market, and increasing your finances without too much risk, i.e. what is the safest, most efficient option? However, today’s investment world is a much different place. The same companies and products that make your money grow are also the ones that your money is supporting, whether your values line up or not.Think of it this way, if a company is known for their paper products, most people want to know that the trees are being sustainably sourced and not tearing down entire ecosystems. The same can be said for virtually any other company in which you invest.
Various Types of Values Based Investing
Here are some of the different types/genres of values based investing that you may have heard of before:
- Faith Based Investing
- Biblically Responsible Investing
- Values Driven Investing
- Ethical Investing
- Values Based Investing
- Socially Responsible Investing
- Sustainable Investing
- ESG Investing (Environmental, Social, and Governance)
- Impact Investing
- Sustainable Investing
All of the aforementioned are different branches of the same tree, and they all boil down to the same concept – you are investing in companies that reflect your values instead of just focusing on growth. However, there are a few differences in the list above. The first half is based on religious values, and the second half is based on secular values. Yes, there will be some overlap, but there are also differences.
What Is Faith Based Investing and How Did it Get Started?
Consumers and investors want to know what they are supporting either directly or indirectly. Refreshingly, today’s culture is more aware in wanting to know not only WHAT their financial assets are doing, but WHO they are supporting. Thus, faith based investing has become more and more popular, especially in the Christian arena. As a Christian, don’t you want to support God honoring companies that reflect Christian values? Because of this demand for faith based investing underneath the values based investing tree, there are now endless options and opportunities for Christians to line up their investment portfolios with their biblical values.
How Is It Different From Secular Values Based Investing?
So, what is the primary difference between faith based and secular values based investing? It’s pretty simple, Christianity. Christian values can and do overlap with a lot of secular values. There is more to investing than just returns. Do the ends really justify the means, especially if you are supporting a company with anti Christian values? It is God’s money first and foremost, and we are just stewards of it (“The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it.” Psalm 24:1). For those in support of faith based investing, the Bible states that we have a responsibility to ethically invest our money into companies that are not supporting anti biblical values (Check out our page on “What The Bible Says About Finance”). It is important to ask yourself if what you are investing in is worth the moral implications.
Where can you find “Values Based” companies?
Here at Christian Financial Advisors®, we can provide you with a complimentary investment portfolio screening. This will allow you to figure out if your current assets are already lined up with your biblical values and discover those that are secular based and promote anti Christian agendas. There are several tools that we use to complete, what we call, a moral screening.
If you are ready to make the leap to faith based investing before or after our moral screens, then the Christian Financial Advisors® team will proceed to create a competitive portfolio for you that matches your risk tolerance while allowing you to make a positive impact on the world through your financial assets. It really is incredible what modern technology allows us to do in glorifying God even through our investments!
Is It Right For You?
The primary argument against faith based investing boils down to how much responsibility should we take on? No one is perfect, and it is difficult to try and confront the entire world, its companies, and their shortcomings. By not investing in a particular company that goes against biblical principles, doesn’t that also mean that we should not shop there and thus boycott the business entirely?
If a business provides health insurance that supplies contraceptives and abortion care to its employees, should you boycott that business? What about only supporting companies that don’t provide health insurance. That, in itself, is an immorality by not providing anything for their employees. Even government tax dollars might support many anti biblical values, but Jesus commands us to, “Pay to Caesar what is Caesar’s” (Mark 12:17). The argument can go on and on and circle back, presenting a neverending dilemma. How do you make a choice? Where does the morality checklist end? It’s all based on your personal convictions and beliefs.
How Far Do You Want To Go In What You Feel Is Your Responsibility To God?
What you need to figure out is how far do you want to go and what do you feel is your responsibility to God. It is an individual decision that you must feel convicted about. You can’t control what the government does with your taxes, but you can control what your money supports through your investments. It is a matter of individual, personal conviction.
Do what God calls you to do, not someone else. We all have different pursuits. Not everyone is meant to be a missionary overseas, but we are all meant to share the gospel. Whatever you choose, be faithful and obedient to God’s calling. Faith based investing is just one way to show your dedication to Christ through your finances with which He has blessed you.