Moral Investing A Growing Field
Social activists have been using their power as stockholders to impact corporate policy for years. Biblically Responsible Investing (aka Moral Investing) is a subset of Sustainable and Responsible Investing (or Socially Responsible Investing), which is a broad effort to encourage companies toward socially responsible behavior.
That area of investment is “growing exponentially, rising 76 percent between 2012 and 2014 to represent a total of $6.57 trillion of investment capital,” according to a Biola University study.1
Nearly $16 trillion is invested in mutual funds.2 About 68 percent of that is held by Christians, as well as 41 percent of all money invested in securities.3
Many activist movements represent less than 1% of the population. With less than 1% of our population effecting change within our nation, imagine the possible impact of Christians investing with purpose beyond monetary return.
Moral investing is a proactive, inoffensive way of making our voice heard where it matters the most, in the deep pockets of corporate America.
“My whole practice is based on BRI,” said Mark Minnella, president of Integrity Investors, LLC, based in St. Louis. “As an advisor, I’m an ambassador for Christ in this world. So If I advise someone and don’t tell them how their investments either advance or oppose biblical values, I haven’t done my job representing the Kingdom of God.”4
At an annual conference in 2017 sponsored by the Christian Investment Forum, a survey of attendees indicated a sharp increase in awareness of BRI among financial advisors.5 Almost 90% of advisors who responded felt “somewhat educated” about BRI with 57% feeling “well educated.” A comparable survey in 2013 found only 33 percent felt they were “well educated.”6
Respondents were asked whether they agreed with this statement: “Faith-based Investing can meet the fiduciary requirements of their clients, and is a credible and appropriate method to invest in a professional manner.” Only 4 percent disagreed, while the vast majority – 83% – agreed.7
More than 88% of the advisors who responded “were interested in recommending investments that align with client values, with over 61% saying they were very interested. This interest came from those that already are using BRI as well as those that have not yet begun offering it to clients. For those that aren’t offering BRI, over 67% of them are interested in learning more so they can consider it more closely,” the report said.8
In 2013, a little over a third (35.6%) of respondents were using BRI for their clients. In 2016, more than half (53%) were doing so.9
The Biola University study noted that employers are increasingly interested in adding BRI elements, often at the request of employees:
“Along with the boom in the BRI trend, new options are opening for employers desiring to implement BRI in their retirement plans, along with others which have been available for some time,” the study said. “For instance, Timothy Plan mutual fund company timothyplan.com), has been providing their funds inside of 401(k)s and 403(b)s since the 1990s.”10
Before investing, consider Each funds’ investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses. a prospectus containing this information is available through your Financial Advisor or funds’ website. Please read it carefully.
1 Shane Enete, “Inspired Investing: An Introduction to Biblically Responsible Investing,” Crowell School of Business, Biola University, p. 8 at: www.inspireinvesting.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Inspired-Investing_Intro-To-Biblically-Responsible-Investing.pdf.
2 2015 Investment Company Fact Book, 55th Edition, Investment Company Institute, Washington, D.C. (www.ici.org)
3 2014 Religious Landscape Study, conducted June 4-Sept. 30, 2014. Pew Research Center (www.pewforum.org).
4 Telephone interview on January 26, 2018.
5 “Survey of Financial Advisors on Faith Based Investing Awareness and Use,” Christian Investment Forum, April 2017, at: www.christianinvestmentforum.org/content/uploads/2017/04/Exec-Report-CIF-2016-Survey-of-Financial-Advisors.pdf.
6 Ibid, p. 3.
7 Ibid, p. 3.
8 Ibid, p. 3.
9 Ibid, p. 4.
10 Enete, p. 10
YOUR CHOICES COUNT: THE CASE FOR BIBLICALLY RESPONSIBLE INVESTING
Article 1 – A Brief History of Socially Responsible Investing
Article 2 – God’s Financial Advice
Article 3 – Biblically Responsible Finance from 1976 to the Present
Article 4 – Moral Investing – A Growing Field
Article 5 – BRI Historical Returns: Comparable–or Better
Article 6 – Impacting the Kingdom.
A writer for Timothy Partners, Ltd. He is a regular weekly columnist for The Washington Times and Townhall.com and is frequently published by AmericanThinker.com, DailyCaller.com, OneNewsNow.com, and others. He has authored the following books: “A Strong Constitution: What Would America Look Like If We Followed the Law” (D. James Kennedy Ministries, 2018), Invested with Purpose: The Birth of the Biblically-Responsible Investment Movement, and A Nation Worth Fighting For: 10 Steps to Restore Freedom.