How Can People of Faith Impact the World with Their Investments?
According to Wharton School of Business Study, Investors Who Take Their Faith to Heart Do Not Have to Sacrifice Their Bottom Line
ORLANDO, Fla.—Scripture often reminds believers that while money is important, earthly and eternal security lie in relationship with God. As Solomon cautioned in Ecclesiastes 5:10, “Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income.”
But Christians must still seek to impact the world through their God-given resources, and Biblically Responsible Investing, or BRI, is one avenue to realize that impact.
Timothy Plan helps investors achieve their financial goals while investing in a biblically and morally responsible manner by thoroughly researching each company to determine the actions of the firm on several levels. For instance, Timothy Plan does not invest in companies that support pornography, the abortion industry or have other agendas contrary to the teachings of Scripture, or that are actively participating in activities that have proven to be destructive to our communities-at-large.
The ethics of Socially Responsible Investing (SRI), the precursor to BRI, are not new. In fact, they can be traced not only to specific Bible verses but also to Jewish interpretive writing in the Talmud stretching back before Christ.
Although with the rising number of SRI funds, including some based on religion, there wasn’t really an option for Christian conservatives or pastors to invest without compromising their beliefs, including the sanctity of life and wholesome family values. In March 1994, Timothy Plan unveiled its fund aimed at evangelical Christians. Despite some initial opposition, Timothy Plan founder Art Ally has had a leadership role in steering investments toward biblically responsible outcomes for 24 years.
“Today, Christians are benefitting from BRI because they don’t aid immoral activities, while encouraging good corporate behavior and receiving a competitive return,” Ally said. “The immediate positive impact is on the Christian investor, who no longer worries that his or her dollars are funding immoral activities. Society also benefits, as companies take notice that many of their shareholders don’t want their investments aiding anti-family, anti-marriage and anti-morality causes. And it’s good for the financial advisers, too.”
BRI authority and nationally syndicated host Dan Celia of Financial Issues Stewardship Ministries agrees.
“As people become convicted of being biblically responsible investors, they are the best clients to have,” Celia said. “They are at peace; they’re not going to call every time the market goes down. Every day, people comment on how grateful they are and how blessed they are to have peace of mind that their money is invested in areas that are not grieving the heart of God. For the first time in most of their lives, they are not worried about money. They know that God will honor their commitment.”
Likewise, Celia has little patience with advisers who try to steer clients away from BRI-focused portfolios.
“If a financial adviser tries to talk you out of it, fire him,” he added. “Advisers shouldn’t question someone’s convictions. They should be helping their clients fulfill their goals and their objective of being responsible with God’s money. If they don’t find an adviser who can help them do this, they should keep looking.”
Plus, there’s no reason a financial planner shouldn’t feel comfortable advising in BRI. A 2016 study at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business found that screened investments performed favorably against unscreened investment funds: “Impact funds in the sample that seek market-rate-returns demonstrate that they can achieve results comparable to market indices, while still reporting mission preservation in the vast majority of their exited investments.”
The study, “Great Expectations: Mission Preservation and Financial Performance in Impact Investing,” posited that, “Market-rate-seeking impact investments in the sample, therefore, may be financially competitive on a gross basis with other equity in- vesting investment opportunities. This financial performance may be why impact fund managers often assert that there is little inherent tension between profits and purpose.”
The first of its kind, Timothy Plan is a family of mutual funds that screens its funds to ensure that no money is invested in companies that are supportive of ideals that are contrary to their biblical, moral imperative. The trend of biblically responsible investing, or BRI, is growing rapidly. In fact, last year, Timothy Plan alone reached $1 billion of assets under management.
Since 1994, Timothy Plan has existed to help advisers and investors achieve their financial goals through a pro-life, pro-family approach to investing—not only to benefit the investor but the broader culture. Timothy Plan is firmly committed to running a mutual fund company with the integrity, excellence and wisdom that brings honor and glory to Jesus Christ and is a beacon for Godly stewardship in the financial community.
Mutual funds are available through a prospectus by contacting the fund or a financial professional. When considering a mutual fund, investors should always carefully read the prospectus before investing to analyze the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses.
Timothy Plan is distributed by Timothy Partners, LTD a member of (FINRA).