Do your investments line up with your values? Do you know what companies you own in your mutual funds?
Biblically Responsible Investing, or BRI, is a movement that seeks to consider not only the financial return of an investment, but also its social impact on society.
You are an owner.
Let’s say you are passionate about the pro-life cause. But when you look at your investments, you own stock of a pharmaceutical company that manufactures abortion drugs.
True—you aren’t supplying money to that company. Since you likely didn’t buy that company’s initial public offering, your money isn’t funding their operations. However, by purchasing their stock, you are now an owner in that company. You profit when the company does well. In this case, you profit when their abortion drugs are used in your community.
This is the predicament. You want your investments to do well. But do you want that company to do well?
You have a choice.
When you buy a mutual fund, you don’t get to decide which companies you want, or don’t want, in that mutual fund. That’s the job of the mutual fund manager. Sadly, this means you will profit from the companies you wouldn’t otherwise support.
Fortunately, you have a choice in which mutual funds to invest!
More than ever, there are companies focused on providing quality investment options so that you can align your portfolio with your values.
How does it work?
Not all approaches to BRI are the same. The most basic approach is to apply a “screen.” This filters out companies who provide products or services contrary to traditional Christian values. Other examples of companies that could be screened out include alcohol and tobacco companies, casinos, and certain entertainment companies. Some screens also look at where companies direct their charitable contributions.
Some providers of BRI take it a step further and actively look for companies to invest their clients’ dollars. Instead of passively screening out the “bad actors,” these investors find companies that promote human flourishing, create value, and do good.
Lastly, some mutual fund managers engage with the companies they own through shareholder activism. They can leverage the power of their shares to promote social change.
What impact do your investments create?
It’s hard to know what companies you own in your mutual funds. Fortunately, we have a tool called the Impact Score to measure what positive and negative impacts are present in your portfolio.
To request your Impact Score report, simply email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Impact Score.”