Many investors think that finding the right companies for their portfolios is the only way to promote Kingdom values. But could we do more? Are there other ways to help the world and its people feel God’s love through our investments? Values-driven investing can be a powerful force for making a difference in our world and enabling us to glorify God with the resources he entrusts to us. We’ll talk about that with Chad Horning of Praxis Mutual Funds on this MoneyWise.
- Praxis manages its funds through a process you call Stewardship Investing. What are the overriding goals and values? It’s an approach that seeks to help investors achieve real-world impact in support of Kingdom values with as many impact strategies as possible.
- Here are the values we seek to support: (1) Respect the dignity and value of all people, (2) build a world at peace and free from violence, (3) demonstrate a concern for justice in a global society, (4) exhibit responsible management practices, (5) support and involve communities, and (6) practice environmental stewardship.
- Many faith-based mutual funds focus primarily on screening. At Praxis, we say that by investing together we can impact the world. We do this through a wide range of Kingdom impact strategies. Like many others, we actively screen our funds and seek to avoid companies involved in a range of negative activities, such as abortion, adult entertainment, alcohol, firearms, gambling, nuclear power, predatory lending, tobacco, and military weapons. We also seek to avoid companies that fail to effectively manage and address their risks and impact in environmental, social and governance areas. As a result, we effectively exclude approximately 14% of the weight of the S&P 500 index. But it’s our impact strategies beyond screening that really allow us to make a difference for Kingdom values in our world today.
- Screening is only part of what we do at Praxis. We also direct funds toward investments that do remarkable things for individuals and communities while still generating a competitive return on investment. This set of impact strategies have to do with what some call “Embrace.” These are opportunities through our funds—even our passively-managed index funds—to tilt investments toward those that actively reflect God’s concern for people, communities, and all of creation.
- Corporate engagement is now a major part of values-based investing and Praxis has a long history with this work. We call it “shareholder advocacy” coupled with proxy voting. Shareholder advocacy is one of the most effective ways to bring about Kingdom-oriented change through investing. By leveraging our rights as share “owners,” partnering with other like-minded institutional investors, and positively engaging senior management within corporations, we’re able to raise issues, share information, and promote positive change where it’s most needed. Praxis, along with many others in the faith-based investing community, has helped achieve real change on issues such as modern slavery, predatory lending, and the expansion of renewable energy options.
- Learn more PraxisMutualFunds.com
On this program we also answer your questions:
- Should I diversify my IRA? I have $100,000 in it. My house and car are paid off and I have a four-month emergency fund. I’m set to retire in about 3 years.
- My home’s paid for and I want to ensure that my two adult children are on the title. I don’t want to have them go through a probate court, pay a lot of fees, etc. I want to pre-plan this. The deed has my name of it from the county. Is there a better way to do this? What about a revocable trust?
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