Catching the BRI Wave
There is a wave of momentum building around Biblically Responsible Investing (BRI) movement, as more and more investors consider how to integrate faith into their investment choices. Also known as faith-based investing, BRI has been a passion and specialty area of our firm for the past 8+ years. Now, it is starting to capture the attention of mainstream media as well. In the last two years, articles about faith-based investing have appeared in Barrons, Fox Business News, Financial Planning Association Magazine, US World and News Report, the Christian Examiner, and LifeZette*, to name a few.
The grass-roots efforts of investors to glorify God in all that we do – including in how we invest – is catching fire. The following is an excerpt from the second edition of my book, Investing with Integrity: How Investment Choices Can Be an Act of Worship, which released this year:
"In recent years, several BRI fund managers have received Lipper Fund Awards—kind of like the Academy Awards of Wall Street—in various categories based on total return and other criteria. Others have been named "Category Kings" by the Wall Street Journal. The Category King Award recognizes the top ten funds in each equity category for one-year total return. Note that I have not listed the names of the mutual funds that received these honors. The purpose of this section is not to recommend the purchase or sale of any security. Rather, the purpose is simply to illustrate that it is possible for BRI funds to keep pace with the benchmarks."There are many talented fund managers demonstrating excellence in the specialty of BRI. The CEO of one such BRI mutual fund family commented, "We are pleased with the results, yet more importantly, proud of how they were achieved. We seek to invest in companies that create value for their customers, employees, suppliers, communities, the environment, and society broadly - as well as for our investors. In fact, we believe investment performance is the natural result of companies whose products and practices best serve the needs of others."10 Keep in mind that all investing involves risk, and investors should consider the investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses of the investment company carefully before investing."**
While performance isn’t the primary motivation for investing this way, it is an important consideration in the equation of seeking to be good financial stewards. I write more about this in the updated and expanded edition of my book, “Investing with Integrity: How Investment Choices Can Be an Act of Worship,” which was just released this year by Kingdom Life Publishing.
*Leslie P. Norton, “Sustainable Funds Prove a Magnet for Money,” Barrons. January 31, 2018
*Fox Business, "Having Faith in a Biblically Responsible ETF Strategy”, April 3, 2018
*Stephen C. Brody, “Understanding the Role of Spirituality in Financial Life Planning,” Financial Planning Association, May 1, 2018
*Kayleigh Kulp, “6 Things to Know about Faith-based Investing”, US News & World Report, September 25, 2018
*Van Richards, “Investing in Sin; Is it Ever Okay?”, Christian Examiner, September 11, 2018
*Robert Knight, “The Faithful Have an Opportunity to Use Their Investment Dollars to Promote Christian Values”, LifeZette, March 29, 2019