Where Money and Ministry Merge
Timothy Plan Identifies God-Honoring Investments for Christians Worldwide
May 11, 2020
ORLANDO, Fla.—People from all walks of life have found their way to Timothy Plan, the pioneering family of biblically responsible mutual funds and ETFs.
Sometimes, they learn about it on the radio from interviews with Timothy Plan founder Art Ally. Others hear about it from popular radio finance show host Dan Celia of Financial Issues Stewardship Ministries.
For instance, at a home school conference, Celia was presenting a breakout PowerPoint session on behalf of Timothy Plan. He listed some funds that were “socially screened” but which are “very different from moral issues that we screen for.”
As a particular fund popped up on the screen along with some of the immoral causes it backed, a woman in the audience broke into tears.
“That’s the primary fund in my husband’s medical retirement fund in a pediatrics office,” she said. “We had no idea that we were investing in and profiting from abortion. Here we are trying to save lives and bring new life into the world.”
She and her husband vowed to move their money to funds screened for companies that don’t make money off abortions.
The Socially Responsible Investing movement, which favors liberal issues, has taken off in recent years. While many tuck Biblically Responsible Investing under that broader rubric, BRI has a far different focus.
“There are lots of socially conscious funds that don’t account for moral issues,” says Brian S. Mumbert, vice president for Advisor Relations at Timothy Plan. “ESG (Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance) is a big movement. In fact, Morningstar now has an ESG rating system. This makes us more prominent as well.”
ESG rates factors like how companies approach climate change, sustainability, diversity, inclusion, consumer protection, corporate structure and animal welfare. But it does not encompass the kind of moral issues Timothy Plan screens.
There’s even an investing category geared to “sin stocks.” Called “vice funds,” these specialize in companies that profit from alcohol, tobacco, gambling and other ventures that Timothy Plan and other Biblically Responsible Investing firms screen out.
The fact that Timothy Plan has an entirely different focus—pleasing God and being a good steward—is what attracts Christian investors. In fact, Timothy Plan’s investment specialists get to do some things unheard of in other offices.
“Many times, when we call somebody, we didn’t know of an immediate death in the family,” says Investor Relations Director Stephen Mumbert. “Or they’re going through something else that’s difficult. We get the opportunity to pray for them and put them on a list for morning devotional prayer. We get to have Kingdom impact.”
It’s not always easy to persuade financial advisors—even Christian ones—to sell Timothy Plan to their clients. The idea of screening out some stocks “can be a big roadblock,” says Zachary Covert, Director of Advisor Relations.
“It can be a lightning rod,” he says. “They don’t want to offend. But we encourage them to see it more like a mission field, not that we’re judging anybody. Even non-Christians can relate to some of the screens. Take someone who had alcoholic parents who saw their family torn apart. They’re open to not wanting to profit from alcohol.
“When we discuss their goals, sometimes I ask, ‘Is there anything you don’t want to invest in? Ninety percent of the time, they ask, ‘what do you mean by that?’ Then I can offer them options. Some advisors take it all the way, converting all over to BRI, and others move some of their investments into the screened funds.”
Timothy Plan always has someone—not a machine—answer the phone during business hours because every caller may need to talk to someone who can share the love of Christ with them.
“People are broken,” Covert says. “We need to service them differently.”
For 25 years, Timothy Plan has lived by and promoted BRI—and, in fact, was the pioneer of the movement—while helping clients invest in a way that aligns with both their values and retirement goals. A foundational principle is that God owns everything, and Timothy Plan leaders are firmly committed to managing a mutual fund company with the integrity, excellence and wisdom that brings honor and glory to the Lord.
Through its subscription to the one-of-a-kind eVALUEator, Timothy Plan uses this biblically based dynamic and moral investment screening tool to reveal immoral corporate activity. Using eVALUEator, Timothy Plan screens companies to avoid owning those firms that are actively involved in or profiting from immoral practices such as abortion, pornography and other anti-family causes.
Before investing in any fund, consider the fund’s investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses. Contact your financial professional, call 1-800-846-7526, or visit timothyplan.com for a prospectus containing this and other important information. Please read it carefully. Mutual funds distributed by Timothy Partners, Ltd., member FINRA.
To interview Timothy Plan founder and president Art Ally, contact Media@HamiltonStrategies.com, Patrick Benner, 610.584.1096, ext. 104, or Deborah Hamilton, ext. 102.