If you’re like me, you have a Trump-caliber wall erected between Sunday and the rest of the week.
Come Monday, it’s back to work and kids’ activities, without much reflection on whether our time and resources are being well spent for God’s glory.
Last Tuesday I was planning to go to New York to participate in the NYSE closing bell ringing, with Inspire Investing. As a Christian personal finance blogger, I had been invited to attend by the company’s CEO Robert Netzly.
Before I even knew what Inspire was, I was like “Heck yeah, I’ll be there!” As a college Economics major and MBA graduate and enthusiast of all things financial and Wall Street, I thought it was a pretty cool opportunity. How often do these things come along?
And Baltimore isn’t that far from New York by train or car, so I figured I could be up and back in a day.
But then a conflict came up and I had to cancel.
Still, I was curious, so I checked out Inspire. And that’s when I experienced a bell ringing without going anywhere. (Talk about saving money!)
My bell was rung by a fierce uppercut to the jaw: Retirement investments that I own are likely profiting from manufacturing abortion drugs, selling pornography, or using slave labor in their supply chains.
Then a brutal right hook: Biblically-responsible money stewardship requires that we examine where our money goes every day of the week, not just on Sunday mornings.
Then a bloody jab to the nose: Although investing from a Christian perspective can be lucrative, that’s not why we should do it. “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31)
Fortunately, you can invest from a faith-based perspective and still do really well.
Research conducted by Biola University’s Inspire Research Institute for Biblically Responsible Investing has found that applying the Inspire Impact Score methodology of security selection can actually result in better investment returns than investing in a broader, non-screened benchmark.
Taking a faith-based approach has certainly been a boon for Inspire. Their assets under management rose by 154% in 2017 and are approaching $150M. Minuscule compared to Vanguard, but growing rapidly.
Inspire uses their proprietary methodology to identify the most inspiring, biblically-aligned companies to include in their portfolios: Companies that are creating clean water solutions, curing cancer, giving generously to their communities and blessing their workforce. Inspire portfolios also pointedly avoid investing in companies involved in areas of concern for faith-based investors.
Not only does Inspire invest in good companies – it seeks to be one. It donates 50% or more of their corporate profits to Christian ministry every year, with a 10-year goal of donating $1B.
That’s something I can support every day of the week.