The Wall Street Journal recently ran a PIECE about a study from the widely respected Wharton School that looked at the performance of social impact investing funds and the larger market returns. Their findings showed that market returns were achieved while also using impact investing values in the process. This is a similar result that has been seen in many other research studies that looked at the relationship between socially responsible investing and financial performance. Socially responsible investing is a broad term that includes using Christian faith based values in the investing decision, which is oftentimes called Biblically Responsible Investing. The overwhelming finding is that incorporating values into investing has a slight positive relationship to performance. What is more important is this dispels the common perception that investing with values comes at the expense of pure financial returns.
This study from Wharton, which can be found at Wharton’s Social Impact Initiative website HERE , takes a look at the world of impact investing, which is a subset of the broader values based investing universe. Impact Investing is usually meant to be direct private investing into companies or projects that will have a positive social impact on the community or public at large. This field of investing is newer than the broader public market values based investing, and this study is one of the first to look directly at Impact Investing. As such, it is valuable to show similar results to what has been found in the public mutual fund and institutional investing markets.
The Christian Investment Forum has performed some of its own research on the specific area of Faith Based Investing in mutual funds compared to the broader mutual fund performance indices. That research also confirms the results from Wharton. CIF’s research is highlighted in the research article “CIF Study on BRI Funds Performance”, which can be found HERE.