Faith Based Investing
We specialize in the growing area of Faith-Based Investing, also known as Biblically Responsible Investing (BRI). BRI seeks to help clients align investment choices to biblical values as part of our vital act of worship. As Christian believers, we strive to honor God in our relationships and how we love our neighbor. We also strive to honor God in how we spend money, give and pay down debt (our cash outflows). BRI extends this same heart of worship to a third area – how we earn and invest money.
This concept is approached in a spirit of love and compassion, seeking out investments that honor God and make a positive impact in the world. It is not a legalistic obligation, but rather an opportunity to make investment choices part of our act of worship. It is also not a perfect process, just as our efforts to honor God in relationships and spending can sometimes be messy. But it is worthwhile, because of the love He first showed us in accordance with the gospel of grace.
How BRI Works
Investment managers who implement BRI are looking for great investments, just like any other investment manager.* The difference is simply that BRI managers add an extra layer of due diligence to their research process, by running moral “background checks”— that is, using BRI databases to screen for moral issues based on biblical values.
Copyright 2018 © Loran Graham. All rights reserved.
How does BRI compare to Socially Responsible Investing (SRI)?
In many ways, BRI and SRI are closely related to each other. Both approaches generally seek to avoid investing in companies whose products or services:
- Feed on the addictions and weaknesses of others (i.e. alcohol, tobacco, and gambling).
- Take advantage of the poor (i.e. pay-day loan centers at usurious interest rates).
- Violate human rights or are degrading to women (i.e. human trafficking, pornography).
- Demonstrate poor environmental stewardship (i.e. unsustainable practices).
Naturally, BRI adds some issues that SRI does not address because its screens are based on biblical principles rather than on prevailing social attitudes.
- For example, BRI seeks to avoid investment in the abortion industry, including pharmaceutical companies that manufacture abortifacients and companies that contribute donations to Planned Parenthood.
- Another difference is in the area of environmental stewardship. While SRI may avoid the energy sector entirely, BRI allows for investment in natural resources such as energy, timber, and mining companies that demonstrate sustainable harvesting practices and good stewardship of the earth. (see Psalm 24:1).
While there are some differences between SRI and BRI, it is interesting that many of the biblically based screens have also been identified by SRI as harmful to society, resulting in the overlap. For this reason, BRI and faith-based investing are generally considered to be a subset under the broad umbrella of "socially responsible" investment options.
For the Christian believer who is striving to honor God in every area of life – including relationships, business ethics, personal finances and good stewardship – BRI creates an opportunity to make how we invest and save for the future an extension of our ongoing, vital act of daily worship (see 1 Corinthians 10:31). BRI seeks to help clients align their investment choices to biblical values in a spirit of love and compassion by avoiding companies that profit from activities that are not honoring to God or that cause harm to their neighbor.
To understand how we layer BRI principles with time-tested industry best practices, click here to learn more about our overall investing Philosophy.
Ron Blue Institute, LPL Financial, and LORAN GRAHAM Co. are not affiliated.
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.
All investing involves risk including loss of principal. No strategy assures success or protects against loss.
SRI, BRI and Faith-based investing returns may be lower than if the adviser made decisions based solely on other investment considerations, but they could also be higher.