FAQListed are the most common questions we receive. We hope they answer some of your questions too. If not, please feel free to contact us!
Biblically responsible investing is taking 1 Cor 10:31 at face value. Whatever you do, do it all to the glory of God. Inspires approach to BRI is to threefold:
- Endorse companies making a positive impact on the world;
- Engage with companies to create positive Biblical change; and
- Exclude companies involved in immoral issues.
Check Biblically Responsible Investing for more information.
No, you do not. Good values and good returns are not mutually exclusive. While no strategy can ever guarantee positive investment returns, research from Oxford University, Biola University, Wharton and others suggest that investment performance has benefited from values-based investment practices, such as BRI. We discuss this topic more here on our blog post Performance Study on Inspire’s Biblically Responsible Investing Strategy
That said, the book of Proverbs teaches, “Better is a little with righteousness than greater revenues with injustice” (Prov 16:8 ESV). So, as Christians, if we had to choose between higher returns with immoral investments, or lower returns with God glorifying investments we should, without hesitation, joyfully choose the option that glorifies God no matter what the returns. (We're just sayin’)
This is a great question we get all the time. Inspire believes there is a biblical line between consumerism and ownership. As a consumer, you are only responsible for the product or service that you purchased, not for the actions of the company you purchased it from. An iPhone is not immoral, and neither is owning one.
But, as a shareholder of Apple or any other company, you are participating in the profits and all other corporate actions of that company because you are an owner of that company. It doesn’t matter how much or how little of the company you own, you are still an owner.
If that company you own is involved in immoral businesses, like abortion or pornography, or is donating corporate profits to support immoral issues such as giving money to Planned Parenthood, then you are responsible for that activity. It’s your company.
We encourage you to study 1 Corinthians 10:14-31 for a biblical perspective on this topic.
Yes, when you buy a stock you are providing upward support for the stock price of that company. And more importantly, you have now become an owner of that company and are profiting from and supporting all of its corporate activities.
Some argue that if you buy stock on the secondary market (ie: stock exchange) that you are not directly giving the money to the company, just like buying a used car does not give money to the car company. While it is true that your money is not going directly into the bank account of the company, your purchase is still benefiting the company via supporting its stock price and you are still becoming part owner of the company. (See question above on ownership vs. consumerism).
Read more on this in the Inspire Investing post Christian, Dirty Money & Financial Revival
Probably not. There is a widely held assumption that every Christian advisor or Christian fund company automatically screens for biblical issues. However, many if not most Christian advisors do not invest biblically unless their client specifically asks for it. And many Christian advisors have still never heard of BRI and/or do not have the tools available to them to implement biblical investing. It is always best to make sure to have a conversation with your advisor and let them know these values matter to you.
If you want to see if your current portfolio is screened for biblical values, you can see for yourself at inspireinsight.com.
That’s ok. We understand that not all issues are important to all investors; however, every issue screened does have a group of investors who do care about it. Therefore, in order to serve and be a blessing to those investors, we take all these issues into consideration.
Also, regardless of whether these issues are important to you or not, studies have found that implementing values-based analysis such as the Inspire Impact Score Methodology has benefited some portfolio returns. And who doesn’t like that?
See the Inspire Investing blog post Performance study of Biblically Responsible Investing. to learn more.
This is one of the biggest opportunities we see to inspire transformation. When a company we own violates a screen, our investment committee begins a detailed process of corporate engagement with that company to communicate our concerns and what actions are needed to correct the issue and prevent removal from our portfolios.
If the company responds positively and makes the necessary changes, we celebrate the transformation and keep them in our portfolios. If the company does not make the requested changes, they are removed from our portfolios. Click here to see a detailed infographic detailing our process.
The Inspire Impact Score Methodology begins by filtering companies through exclusionary screens and assigns negative points where violations are found. If there are violations found, then negative points are assigned based upon the scope of violations. If there no violations found, then positive screens are applied and positive points assigned. The result is that any company with a score above zero is considered investible from Inspire’s biblically responsible viewpoint, while any company with a score below zero is excluded from Inspire portfolios.
Chart of how scores are assigned
About Inspire Advisors
Inspire is different than other Christian investment firms in three ways:
- Inspire’s unique investment approach goes beyond exclusionary screens to include positive screening criteria. Inspire believes that just because a company is not bad, does not necessarily mean it is good. With the Inspire Impact Score we can find the most inspiring, biblically-aligned companies making the world a better place — companies you would truly be proud to own.
- Inspire’s Leaders in Biblically Responsible Investing — Inspire Investing donates 50% or more of our own corporate profits to Christian Ministries. That means that every dollar you invest with Inspire is helping to create meaningful impact in the lives of people all over the world – impact that will last for eternity!
- Inspire’s corporate engagement program advocates for transformation within companies by reaching out to companies when they violate exclusionary screens and advocating for the values of our investors. This is a powerful means of inspiring transformation not just in businesses, but across our entire culture.
- The Chandler Team within Inspire Advisors gives a portion of client’s advisory fees to Neverthirst to build wells and water projects in impoverished countries.