The Good Book is regarded as the ultimate life guide, which you may have been raised reading or referencing. Maybe you recall your favorite teachings or stories and how they show up in your life today. Perhaps you have branched out to learn other practices of living well while you still glorify God – strong in faith.
Whether you’ve been a lifelong follower, or have renewed faith, Biblically Responsible Investing (BRI)* can bring more peace and joy to your family. As a solid foundation built upon love and goodwill, this popular movement in the financial services industry is something we like to share with investors, especially before creating a retirement plan.
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Christian investors are sharing this movement in significant ways. Please note that this does not exclude or remove relevance from other religions.
Faith-based investing is for everyone.
What is Biblically responsible investing, and why does it matter for your retirement savings?
As investors from all backgrounds are beginning to realize and capitalize on the social impact they can have with their money, BRI is coming to light in more lives.
Also known as “faith-based investing,” Biblically responsible investing:
- Combines upholding Bible-based values and results-driven investing in a mutually agreeable way instead of mutually exclusive
- Takes into consideration an investor’s religious beliefs and moral values in screening potential companies or funds to invest in
- Gives you the power to use your investment dollars to increase your net worth and affect positive changes in your communities and the world (similar to Socially Responsible Investing)
- Avoids investment in so-called “sin stocks”
Temptation is all around you, which is why you understand the importance of applying God’s law to everything you do. As an investor, your primary goal is to grow your wealth as much and as quickly as possible. You can live well, give generously, receive humbly, and retire like royalty.
Many inventors practicing BRI choose to avoid investing in so-called “ sin stocks, “ not wanting to profit from immoral businesses or businesses with ties to immoral practices. Sin stocks are typically companies in the alcohol, tobacco, gambling, and pornography spaces and those involved – however loosely – with human trafficking, funding terrorism, promoting violence, distributing abortifacients, and so on.
Companies that pass the Biblically responsible investing test have business practices and corporate philosophies that align with your values and meet your standards.
Staying strong in faith makes you a worthy investor.
When planning for retirement with BRI, you honor God and live with a clear conscience. Don’t put yourself on the back burner, thinking you must live with less. You can retire in luxury, give, invest wisely, and offer good deeds as you always have. It’s important to know that having abundant blessings does not make you selfish.
How to invest in a way that reflects your values
When you take a Biblically responsible investing approach, you’ll likely filter out funds, organizations, and companies that are involved in some way with issues that conflict with your beliefs and values, like gambling, abortion, or the covenant of marriage.
Begin by looking at your current portfolio; check your existing investments. You may need to shift some things around. If you’re not sure how to determine the moral value of your current holdings, check them with an online Biblically responsible investment scoring tool or talk to your financial advisor.
You can also tell your financial advisor you would like to invest in faith-based investment funds. (If your financial advisor doesn’t support Biblically responsible investing, it may be time for a change in that regard as well.)
You will probably find that objectionable investments and others fall into a somewhat gray area. It is up to you to determine where you draw your moral line in the sand.
For example, consider the value of your investment as it compares to the total market cap.
- Will divesting your holdings affect any change?
- What percentage of your overall portfolio represents this investment?
- What impact would buying, holding, clearly objectionable investments, and others that or selling this stock have on you financially and spiritually, and what impact would it have on the company itself?
Imagine yourself sitting down at a table with God to discuss your portfolio. Based on your knowledge of the companies and holdings, would you feel comfortable justifying each investment? Ultimately, those are the only judgments that matter.
This way, you can honor your own religious and spiritual beliefs without giving up the ability to maximize financial gains.
The benefits of Biblically responsible investment and why you should get on board
Besides making money and feeling good about it, you should expect your BRI to perform as well (or better) as traditional investments. This wasn’t always the case in the past, but recent studies indicate Biblically responsible investments’ average long-term returns are similar to or better than traditional investments.
With Biblically responsible investing, you’re doing more good behind the scenes by using your resources to encourage the companies you invest in to be a positive force for change. In other words, your investment dollars help further causes you care about and support companies whose practices and philosophies you can get behind.
You may also find that BRI frees you up from some of your investment decision-making stress and provides you with more financial peace and satisfaction.
However, it’s worth mentioning that just taking a Biblically responsible investing approach in and of itself is probably not going to punch your ticket to Heaven. It’s just one part of living a life based on faith and God’s love. After all, God cares more about what’s in your heart than what’s in your portfolio.
Choosing a Biblically responsible financial advisor in Texas
If you’re not sure where to start, you’re not alone. A financial advisor who is experienced with Biblically responsible investing can help you determine your social and economic investment selection criteria and choose investments that have historically performed as well or better than traditional investments. Some advisors even specialize in BRI and other socially responsible investing approaches.
- Ask your friends, neighbors, and church fellows for financial advisor recommendations to find someone locally.
- Try searching online for an advisor near you, with the Certified Financial Planners Board or National Association of Personal Financial Advisors.
- Vet any potential advisors’ background and experience with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Broker Check or Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Advisor Check.
Talk to your top selections of investment advisors in Texas who align with your faith. Understand their fee structure, and most importantly, their values and beliefs. When your financial advisor is a kindred spirit, you know you’ll be held in the light.
Let your gut and heart tell you what is out of alignment as your ethical compass. Biblically responsible wealth advisors conduct business with a clear conscience, with your money – that matters.
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*Biblically Responsible Investing(“BRI”) involves, among other things, screening for companies that fit within the goal of investing in companies aligned with biblical values. Such screens may serve to reduce the pool of high performing companies considered for investment. Investing involves risk. BRI investing does not guarantee a favorable investment outcome.
This material is provided by PAX Financial Group, LLC. The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. The information herein has been derived from sources believed to be accurate. Please note: Investing involves risk, and past performance is no guarantee of future results. Investments will fluctuate and when redeemed may be worth more or less than when originally invested. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty. This is neither a solicitation nor recommendation to purchase or sell any investment or insurance product or service, and should not be relied upon as such. All market indices discussed are unmanaged and are not illustrative of any particular investment. Indices do not incur management fees, costs and expenses, and cannot be invested into directly. All economic and performance data is historical and not indicative of future results.