charis23 wrote: ↑
Fri Jan 03, 2020 2:19 pm
Hi, are there any Christians or other religious folks that take their faith into account when making investment decisions? I'm a Christian and recently came across the idea of Biblically responsible investing (BRI) and am curious if other believers have considered adjusting their portfolios. For example, it may not be pleasing God to profit from the sale of unethical products which if you owned a total stock market fund (VTI/VTSMX), you would potentially profit from. There's been a lot more development in the ESG space with funds catering to socially conscious or religious people but right now most do not have very long track records and/or high fees.
One definition of BRI I liked found https://christianinvestmentforum.org/bi ... about-bri/
"BRI is an investment decision making process that applies Christian values to issues facing shareholders and stakeholders regarding moral and social principles. This coupled with traditional financial analysis provides a platform for investment decisions that allows us to be faithful stewards of God’s gifts and respect the foundational beliefs of our shared Christian faith."
Hopefully this topic is allowed since I felt like it might be quite relevant to a subset of Bogleheads.
This is very similar to ethics based investing. While I would want to invest in ethically based mutual funds, companies or products, I have concluded that this is nearly impossible, for several reasons:
1. Many, many large companies have so many product lines, there are little or no "pure plays" today.
2. As far as mutual funds are concerned, their choices often do not match mine. For example, I might view nuclear power plants as "good" because they do not use fossil fuels - while others view them as bad because of the risks of nuclear energy. Or, I might view defense contractors as bad because they sell war products, while others might them as good because such products defend us from attack and those companies may also make commercial airliners. Some may not invest in meat packers because they believe production and consumption of meat is very bad for health and climate.
3. My one, nearly clearcut, opinion is that tobacco companies are bad. Even there, some tobacco companies are part of larger entities that make food products, etc.
Maybe (?) some kinds of investing/stock ownership can give you the opportunity (as a stock holder) to oppose a corporation's actions. Some Catholic orders of nuns are doing this.
As far as "Christian Values", I have concluded that there are many, varying conclusions and opinions are as to what "Christian Values" includes and does not include. Or, perhaps, might having "Christian values" exclude businesses with a large number or percentage of "non-Christians" - such as Muslims, Jews, Hindus, and so on. Finally, you might ask whether any investment choices you (and those like you) really make.