The big question we don’t think to ask when choosing our investments:
As a follower of Christ you probably have an understanding that God is the owner of everything (Psalms 24:1) and we are the stewards, or managers, of the money and possessions He has entrusted us with (Psalms 8:6). But when it comes to choosing investments for your retirement accounts, college savings accounts, variable annuities, and other investment accounts, have you ever considered what you are profiting from or promoting with the investment dollars God has given you to manage?
How would you feel if you discovered that you were unknowingly participating in activities that contradict your faith convictions because of the investments that you own?
Many companies profit from or financially support activities that are in direct opposition to the values and convictions of Christian investors. Many Christian investors are unknowingly invested in these companies. I help people make investment choices to meet their long term financial objectives while aligning their investments with their faith convictions. This is called Biblically Responsible Investing, sometimes referred to as Faith Based Investing.
What is Biblically Responsible Investing, and how does it work?
Biblically Responsible Investing (BRI) is first and foremost about stewardship. In my opinion, one of the best definitions of stewardship is, “the use of God-given resources for the accomplishment of God-given desires, goals, and objectives”. I believe that one of the foundational scriptures on stewardship is Matthew 22:36-40 (the Greatest Commandment) where Jesus said, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind…”, and, “… Love your neighbor as yourself”. That’s the purpose and objective of BRI, to love God and to love others through the investment choices we make.
The Nuts and Bolts
While striving for the best returns based on your individual risk tolerance, BRI is an approach to investing that seeks to eliminate investing in companies that participate in activities that followers of Jesus Christ would conscientiously object to as being in opposition to God’s will. This is done by screening out companies that profit from or promote activities that violate the values and convictions of Christian investors, such as abortion.
Will BRI affect my returns?
This is a common question asked when people first learn about BRI. When comparing any investments against each other, one investment may do better than the other from one year to the next, and vice versa. You’ll also find that many ‘household name’ companies satisfy Biblical screening criteria. They may not necessarily be companies that promote Christian values, but are companies that choose to remain neutral on these issues. While past performance is no guarantee of future results, the bottom line is that over the long term, Biblically Responsible investments can offer competitive returns when compared with unscreened investments.
For more information about Biblically Responsible Investing, please visit our website at www.ChristianFamilyFinancial.com, or ‘Like’ us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ChristianFamilyFinancial. You can also call (231) 642-8001, or email me at Jeff@ChristianFamilyFinancial.com
Jeff Beebe is a Certified Financial Planner™ and a Certified Kingdom Advisor® who has worked in the financial planning industry since 2003. He founded Christian Family Financial in 2014 with a mission of helping Christians ‘Make Money Meaningful’. He has been married to his wife Nicole for 14 years. They have two daughters and three sons and live just outside of Traverse City.
Securities & investment advice through G.A. Repple & Co. a registered Broker/Dealer & Investment Advisor; member FINRA & SIPC Supervisory Office: 97 Chase Dr. Hurricane, West Virginia 25526 Phone: 304-760-8715