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Posted by on Jun 1, 2016 in Finance, Work | 0 comments

Stocks, Bonds and Mutual Funds

Stocks, Bonds and Mutual Funds

Months ago I first ran into Tim Weinhold, one of the speakers at next week’s “Stocks, Bonds & Mutual Funds: How Theology Can Renew Investing and Wealth Management.

After I read one of his articles, Business: Engine of Biblical Blessings, I decided to reach out for a phone call. After chatting for 20 minutes, I learned he was a Harvard grad, faculty member at the Seattle Pacific University, and co-founder of four businesses. But what struck me as strange was his current role: Director of Faith & Business at Eventide Funds.

What kind of a mutual fund, I wondered, hires a guy to think about and write articles on Christianity and business?

Months later, I met Robin John, the CEO at Eventide, and his associate, John Siverling, the CEO of the Christian Investment Forum, for happy hour at Yard House in Park Meadows. Over chips and salsa they riffed on topics like “socially responsible investing” and a new term I had never heard before: “biblically responsible investing.”

I was a novice — and knew I needed to learn more.

Before I met the guys at Eventide Funds, and now my friend Chad Hamilton at Mariner Wealth Advisors, I hadn’t given much thought to the $28 trillion dollars currently invested in mutual funds, much less where my own retirement fund is invested.

But these guys made me pause: do I believe in these companies (or even know what companies are in my mutual funds)? Are they doing good in the world — or harming those God cares about? Can I be smarter about where I put the small amount of money entrusted to me?

Here are five reasons to attend “Stocks, Bonds and Mutual Funds” on June 8:

  1. Scripture is not silent on God’s purpose for business, and, thus, God’s view on wealth creation and investing.

Tim Weinhold will speak directly on God’s purpose for business, and what it might mean for how we think about investing. From Mosaic law to Wall Street in 20 minutes—that’s no small leap.

  1. The vast majority of Christians — myself included — have never thought twice about where our money is invested, as long as we get a financial return.

I’m guilty as charged, here. Months ago I simply chose the robo-investor that promised highest returns for the least amount of work. But have I erred? Might I be promoting businesses that are actually causing the problems my charitable giving is addressing?

Oops.

Perhaps taking the mercenary approach (earn a bunch so I can give it away) isn’t quite right. And maybe it’s overlooking the “social return,” as Chad Hamilton says, business are already having right now.

  1. The event will help to clarify a host of perspectives, like “socially responsible investing”, “values based investing,” “biblically responsible investing,” and “impact investing.”

Mystifying. What’s the difference between all of these? What does it mean when a company is “extracting value” vs “creating value?”

There may be no 100% clean answers, but can I at least get clear on the options out there so I can make a more faithful decision with my finances?

  1. We’ll dive into the tough questions related to faith and investing, like “How responsible am I for the business decisions of companies I invest in?” and “What is the best way to do good through investing?

It gets complicated. Once we find out what exact companies are in those mutual funds, what then? What are business practices I wouldn’t want to support? What are ones that would be a good idea to invest more in?

And can I still make at least a significant return on my money for retirement? With four little kids at home I feel old age fast approaching….

  1. We’ll have the chance to examine the values that drive our own investing, and what different choices we might make with the capital entrusted to us.

So how much should I give, save, spend and invest? And why?  Do I want to retire early because I’m just burnt out on work? If so, will that make me happy? What values do I want my kids to adopt about money? How will I teach that to them? What does it mean to have real impact in the world with my portfolio?

Investing for Social Impact from Chad Hamilton on Vimeo.

We’ll dive into these questions on the evening of June 8 at the Commons @ Champa. I hope you’ll join us for a bright conversation on faith, money and investing for good in the world.

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