This book is a guide for financial advisors on Faith Driven Investing, written by Chad Hamilton and produced by the Denver Institute for Faith & Work in partnership with the Christian Investment Forum and our Member firms. While the core audience for this book is advisors, there is plenty of content very accessible for Christian investors seeking to learn more about how they can have a positive impact on our culture through their investing.
CIF is very excited to be collaborating with the Denver Institute for Faith & Work on this project and expect to expand upon this initial offering with more in depth content for each of the chapters.
To get an e-book copy for free, please go to the DIFW website by clicking HERE
Here’s a brief summary of the e-book and its content. The content is structured to cover three main aspects:
THEOLOGICAL CASE – Though it’s woven throughout and is foundational to all of the material, this is particularly laid out in chapters 1-3 which articulate how the gospel has a ripple effect that impacts how we think about all of life (including institutions, business, and investing).
EMPIRICAL CASE – Chapters 4-6 look at industry trends and research to consider how faith-based investing fits within the broader world of financial planning and ESG/SRI. They assess the different forms of faith-based investing and the potential impact it can have on risk/return as compared to a more traditional portfolio.
PRACTICAL CASE – Chapters 7-10 approach it from a practice management perspective. What types of screening tools are available and how do you go about constructing a diversified faith-based portfolio? How do you overcome common objections and ultimately use this to differentiate your practice and deepen client relationships?
OVERVIEW OF CHAPTERS
CHAPTER 1 – THE GOSPEL: This will be an exploration of the Gospel story (creation/fall/redemption/consummation) and both its institutional implications and individual implications. It will lay the groundwork for the subsequent discussion of business within this broader story of redemption.
CHAPTER 2 – THE GOSPEL AND BUSINESS: If a business were operating with Christian principles, what would that look like? How would that shape the work it does and how it goes about that work? By considering business as part of the biblical narrative, we will challenge the prevailing view of business as just a means for maximizing shareholder returns, including secular assumptions often accepted even by Christians.
CHAPTER 3 – IMPLICATIONS FOR THE INVESTOR: If the Bible speaks both to how we use our money and the proper nature and purpose of business, then what does that mean for Christian investors today? What does the Bible have to say about investing? How should we think about the opportunity and responsibility to provide capital for businesses (by investing)?
CHAPTER 4 – MAJOR INDUSTRY TRENDS: Large, successful firms are realizing the way to compete in the age of Vanguard and robo-advisors is to advise clients about where their lives and money intersect — or what has been called financial life planning. In recent years, there has also been a massive increase in interest in integrating values with investing.
CHAPTER 5 – THE CASE FOR INTEGRATING VALUES: In addition to reiterating and elaborating on the biblical basis for integrating values into investment decision making (Chapter 3) and the business model case for it (Chapter 4), there is also an increasing amount of empirical data showing that not only does it not hurt performance over the long term, but that it may ultimately help improve returns and reduce risk. Financial planning is increasingly values based; why shouldn’t investing be values based as well?
CHAPTER 6 – DIFFERENT FORMS OF FAITH-BASED INVESTING: This chapter will introduce the different forms of faith- based investing and compare with the broader realm of SRI/ESG/Impact Investing along with defining SRI, ESG, Impact Investing, and Sustainable Investing. What are the similarities and differences between these approaches (that are gaining more widespread acceptance in the industry) as compared to faith-based investing? This chapter will explain that the broader goal should be to align investing with the greatest commandments: to love God and love neighbor, with a particular concern for the vulnerable.
CHAPTER 7 – ETHICAL OR MORAL SCREENING OF PORTFOLIOS: What are the different approaches to screening and the integration of values into the investment process (i.e., exclude, endorse, and engage)? What are various tools and software that can be used to perform the screening and what should you know about how the screening is done?
CHAPTER 8 – PORTFOLIO CONSTRUCTION: What should we consider in putting together a diversified portfolio? What are some different ways to do this (i.e., Core/Satellite, passive, active, etc.)? This section is designed to help with the tactical aspects of implementing a portfolio.
CHAPTER 9 – OVERCOMING OBSTACLES & OBJECTIONS: This is an exploration of the common problems advisors encounter when seeking to implement a faith-based investing strategy — for example, “my clients aren’t asking for it,” “it doesn’t really make a difference,” not knowing how to start the conversation, performance concerns, etc. Part of the answer is a need to understand that effective differentiation is contingent on challenging unexamined assumptions of the industry. This chapter will contend that the process of dealing with these objections is actually an opportunity for discipling clients by confronting their financial fears and ultimately helping them to move toward greater freedom, contentment, and peace.
CHAPTER 10 – DEEPENING CLIENT RELATIONSHIPS: This provides practical help for advisors in facilitating conversations with clients about faith-based investing both early on in the relationship and also on an ongoing basis. Here we will explore the idea of redefining and reframing portfolio review meetings so that they focus not just on financial returns but also social returns of a client’s portfolio. It will foster thinking about “what could be” and the exciting opportunity to transform investment conversations from the realm of the abstract to something really meaningful and tangible.
To get a free e-book copy, please visit the Denver Institute website HERE (https://denverinstitute.org/faith-based-investing/)