At Seedtime & Harvest Wealth Counsel, we have a few specialties. One of these is Moral and Faith-Based Investing, or Biblically Responsible Investing (BRI). The goal is to provide advice to help investors align their investment choices to their Biblical and/or moral values. This is similar to Socially Responsible Investing in that both seek to align values with investments, but differ in the screens that are used to construct a portfolio. You might be wondering, "Is this only for those with Biblical values?" "What does this look like?" and, "Is this actually possible?" It is not only for those with a Biblically based faith, but is for those who have similar values or morals they wish to align with their investments, it is possible, and it involves a three-step process.
This first step is eliminating some companies as investment options. This is done by screening and avoiding companies that profit from activities that are contrary to one's moral or Biblical values or that actively activate for or donate to causes contrary to these values. We utilize technology to search databases and financial records and examine a company's business practices to try to learn as much as we can to see if a company should be screened.
The first step usually happens at the same time as the second, which is building a Biblically responsible portfolio. To explain that briefly, as we put together a portfolio, we determine whether a company we are considering needs to be screened out.
If a company is not screened, and we believe it to be a sound company to invest in, we will consider it for an investment portfolio. Believe it or not, after the screening there are still plenty of companies to invest in from which to craft a well diversified portfolio to generate growth for investors. As with all investment portfolios, returns are not guaranteed, but looking back historically returns need not suffer as a result of investing in a manner consistent with Biblical values.
The third part of BRI is engaging companies we are invested in if they make a decision, perhaps a donation, that is contrary to scriptural values. As shareholders, we can engage with the company to educate and attempt to get change. It won’t always work but approaching a company as an investor is different than approaching them without being an owner. If the companies don’t change, they are screened from portfolios.
We are called to be stewards of what has been entrusted to us. This involves all areas of our lives. We are to be stewards of our time, our abilities, our talents, our wealth, and our investments. BRI seeks to provide quality investment portfolios that are in harmony with being stewards in this area as well.
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