RI Video Series [4]: Faith-Based Investing

Organizations with a faith-based mission have specific mandates to uphold in all practices—including investments. From faith-based ETFs and mutual funds, to customized direct indexing, separately managed funds, and a wide variety of private funds, the opportunity for an organization to align its investment portfolio with its values has never been greater. FEG Managing Director Gary Price discusses FEG’s depth of experience in faith-based investing and some of our recommended best practices for investors looking to promote their values through their portfolio.

Faith-based or faith-driven investing is a unique segment of investors within the arena of responsive investing. Historically, faith-based groups commonly referred to this as Socially Responsible Investing or SRI. While faith-based investing has been around for many years, the ability to align your own values with your investment portfolio has never been greater.

At FEG, we believe that investors do not have to sacrifice their performance goals in order to integrate their values. FEG has been serving faith-based institutions for over 30 years. While some have a longer history than others, the core concept is about encouraging and promoting their social values and faith principles through the investment portfolio. Some examples include Catholic values, Christian values, and Jewish values among others.

When looking at the Catholic faith, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, commonly referred to as USCCB or The Conference, advocates for investors to exercise faithful, competent, and socially responsible stewardship. The USCCB initially released their guidelines in 2003. These guidelines are currently under review, and FEG was among a group of advisors selected to provide input on the potential revisions.

Christian values can include groups such as Evangelical, Baptist, Methodists, or Nazarene, to name a few. A common theme among these faiths is an emphasis on no sin stocks, which includes screening out companies on alcohol, tobacco, gambling, pornographic materials, and abortion industries.

While there is no Jewish equivalent to the USCCB guidelines, some key considerations of the faith often include righteousness, duty to repair the world, justice, fairness, kindness, compassion, and hope.

Some key questions for all of these investors are, does our faith drive our investing? What values or viewpoints do we want to adopt and promote? Ultimately, how do we think about implementing them in an investment portfolio? We've seen significant growth in the investment options available to align your portfolio with your faith-based values from ETFs and mutual funds, customized direct indexing and separately managed accounts, as well as a wide of private funds, all designed to promote human flourishing.

FEG offers deep experience in managing investment portfolios for faith-based investors. We look forward to sharing our ideas and solutions with you.