Recently I got a prospectus from a faith-motivated advisory firm that outlines what they invest in as Christians. On one level, the responses were predictable. They don’t invest in alcohol, cannabis, pornography, or weapons. And they do invest in companies that have ethical leadership, policies that value employees, and a “positive societal impact.” But after reading the prospectus, I had to pause and say to myself: this is really, complex stuff. On one level, investing is quite straightforward: capital should be used to bring about returns. Yet, what is positive societal impact? What companies are “ethical” and which aren’t? Aren’t all companies – like people, a mix of good and bad, moral and immoral? How do you even think through ethics? And which societal impacts are primary, and which are secondary? Why? I’m not trying to be esoteric. Here’s an example for you for you make an investment decision, shared with me by a dear friend and leader in the faith-based investing space. Example 1: Building materials company The...Read More
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