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Retaking ESG Investing With Robert Netzly

MoneyWise | Dec 27, 2021

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Show Notes

David answered God’s call and went out to slay Goliath. Do we have a similar calling with our investments? Some decidedly ungodly elements have taken over the sphere of corporate engagement with investing. How should Christians respond? Robert Netzly joins Rob West to help answer that question today on MoneyWise.

  • Robert Netzly is the CEO of Inspire Investing, an underwriter of MoneyWise.
  • Christian investors have been quick to abandon and reject the rapidly growing so-called ESG investing movement because of its worldly ideology, but Robert’s here with a different calling for Christian investors.
  • WHAT IS ESG INVESTING?
  • ESG stands for Environmental, Social, Governance. Radical left-leaning activists have used it to push woke liberal ideology which Christians and conservatives have rejected or disengaged from.
  • Examples include Larry Fink/Blackrock and the Equality Act, and companies like GoDaddy opposing pro-life legislation.
  • As a result, many Christian and conservative investors are remaining on the sidelines of ESG because of its liberal bent. But while ESG investing has been used as a tool for liberal ideology, it needs to be countered by Christians to redeem it to glorify God.
  • God frequently uses evil times like ours for His own purposes. Genesis 50:20 Joseph says to his brothers who sold him into slavery, “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.”
  • A biblically informed approach to ESG investing is our opportunity as Christians to have the ear of major corporations, the yellow brick road to the wizard behind the curtain.
  • Instead of tearing up the road, we should be packing the streets with God-honoring perspectives on environmental, social and governance issues so we can be salt and light in the boardrooms.
  • HOW CAN CHRISTIANS USE ESG?
  • First, we need to know what we are investing in so we can invest in the good and not support the bad. That’s why we built Inspire Insight.
  • Next, we can get busy engaging with companies on issues that are important to us, and more importantly, to God. God cares deeply about our stewardship of the environment, how we relate to others socially, and about corporate governance.
  • For the environment we have Leviticus 25:4. It reads, “But in the seventh year, there shall be a Sabbath of solemn rest for the land, a Sabbath to the LORD. You shall not sow your field or prune your vineyard.”
  • Jesus, of course, often talks about our social calling: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
  • And for governance, there’s Jeremiah 22:13, “Woe to him who builds his house without righteousness And his upper rooms without justice, Who uses his neighbor’s services without pay And does not give him his wages.
  • If you can't spend the time engaging with companies yourself, then you should invest in a Christian fund company that will engage with companies on your behalf, advocating persistently for biblical values to be respected by the companies you own.
  • If a company refuses to listen, then we need to personally and collectively have the conviction and backbone to eliminate their stocks and bonds from our portfolios.
  • If Christians don’t actually care enough to dump investments in woke companies, why should any company ever listen to us? We can’t endure if the enemies of faith and freedom have deeper convictions than our own.

On this program, Rob also answers listener questions:

  • How do you determine the best time to begin drawing Social Security benefits?
  • Are government property tax sales a wise investment?
  • Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000 or email them to Questions@MoneyWise.org. Also, visit our website at MoneyWise.org where you can connect with a MoneyWise Coach, join the MoneyWise Community, and even download the free MoneyWise app.

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