January 4, 2021
ORLANDO, Fla. — How do individuals “abstain from every form of evil” regarding their investments? What strategies could be utilized? National Association of Christian Financial Consultants (NACFC), (www.nacfc.org), states the most utilized process is called screening. An investor can do this by either participating in investments that promote positive Biblical values (positive screening) or by avoiding those investments that participate in activities that they believe would be offensive to God (negative screening).
“Someone who wishes to use ‘positive screening’ as part of their investments selection criteria would start by composing a list of measurable ‘positive’ attributes of companies that demonstrate values and actions they believe are in alignment with their Biblical principles,” said Mark Minnella, NACFC co-founder, and author of “The Wall Street Awakening.” “The attributes on this list would need to be observable and/or measurable, otherwise it would be impossible to discern whether a company possesses the right stuff to be an investment candidate.”
Minnella explains that investors can make that “right stuff” discernment, if they consider how an investment company does the following:
- Cares for their employees by paying fair and respectable wages.
- Respects their vendors by paying their bills as promised.
- Serves their clients by delivering products and services that actually do what they advertised they would do.
- Honors their stockholders by honest accounting and responsible corporate stewardship.
- Illustrates proper discernment in what, where and how it participates in charitable events and giving.
- Creates products and services, that promote and increase healthy and productive lifestyles.
“A ‘positive’ screening methodology would then utilize a list similar to the previous defined positive attributes to sort through the maze of companies available and identify those companies that demonstrate these attributes as potential investments and eliminate those that do not,” says Minnella. “The final step would be to evaluate the financial qualities of the stocks that passed the positive screening process for possible inclusion in their portfolio.
A similar process would be used by those who would use a “negative” screening methodology. “One who desires to utilize ‘negative’ screening would begin by defining the ‘negative’ attributes of companies that demonstrate values and actions they believe are in conflict with their Biblical principles,” continues Minnella. “Just like ‘positive’ screening the attributes on this list would need to be observable and/or measurable, otherwise it would be impossible to discern whether a company, by its activities, eliminates itself from being an investment candidate.”
Minnella explains that such definable activities could include:
- The use and abuse of individuals for sexual activities such as pornography and prostitution.
- Abortion-including the production and distribution of abortifacients.
- The production and promotion of products and services that harm or even destroy the consumer. This could include alcohol, tobacco, drugs, and gambling as well as any other addictive products and services.
- Entertainment and publication that promote, desensitize, and program our society to reject God and the Bible.
- Human trafficking.
- Additionally, screens for some may include abusive labor practices and abusive environmental activities.
“A ‘negative’ screening approach to investing would strive to eliminate companies based on their negative activities, leaving a pool of investments that could then be evaluated for their financial possibilities,” says Minnella. “It is important to understand that negative screens are as valid and useful as positive screens. Both screening processes can produce informative insights that may help you to invest more purposefully. Many of today’s professional money managers with a desire to invest with Biblical integrity utilize both.”
The mission of the National Association of Christian Financial Consultants is to teach, train and encourage financial professionals to learn, share and instruct biblical stewardship to individuals and families believing that “it profits a man nothing to gain the whole world and lose his soul” (Matthew 16:26). Members will glorify God by impacting their world for Jesus Christ through teaching and practicing biblical stewardship.
To interview leadership for the National Association of Christian Financial Consultants or for information about the 2020 conference, contact Media@HamiltonStrategies.com, Nick DiFazio, 610.584.1096, ext. 104, or Deborah Hamilton, ext. 102.