Biblically Responsible Investing Movement Exploding

The Biblically Responsible Investing (BRI) movement is exploding — in a good way.

Demand from Christian investors desiring to align their portfolios to support biblical values is powering asset growth among fund companies and advisory firms focused on providing biblically responsible investment solutions.

Earlier this year, Ambassador Advisors, a $520 million advisory firm serving the Christian investor market, made headlines by converting all of their assets under management to align with biblically responsible investing best practices, recognizing that investors want alignment between their investments and their deeply held values and beliefs.

As Ambassador Advisors’ Chief Investment Officer, Christopher Coolidge, CFA®, puts it, “We believe you shouldn’t have to compromise performance to live your values. There’s more to making money than just making money. Biblically responsible investing allows Christians to apply their stewardship and the belief that all money is God’s money, not only for budgeting and giving purposes, but all the way through investing and legacy planning.”

My own firm, Inspire Investing, which is entirely dedicated to investing in the most inspiring, biblically aligned companies in the world, has increased assets under management from $250 million to over $400 million since the beginning of the year. We were also nominated as a finalist for “Best Thematic ETF of the Year” award in the annual ETF.com Awards.

God is at work in the hearts and portfolios of His people, and all glory goes to Him.

Timothy Plan ETFs Expand Biblically Responsible Investing Options

And recently that growth in demand has prompted yet another increase, this time in the supply side of the market with the launch of two new biblically responsible Timothy Plan ETFs. Timothy Plan is a long-standing leader in the BRI marketplace and offers a fully diversified suite of mutual funds all designed to support biblical values.

The new Timothy Plan ETFs are welcome additions to the growing lineup of world-class biblically responsible investment options available to Christian investors. The BRI movement is spreading like wildfire around the globe, and we need more high-quality, innovative, BRI solutions introduced to effectively serve this vast market and truly transform the way every Christian invests around the world for the glory of God.

How Big Is The Christian Investment Marketplace?

The size of the Christian investment market in the United States is estimated at over $21 trillion, according to research we have conducted at Inspire Investing. This marketplace includes investors identified by researchers as “Evangelical”, “Catholic” and “Mainline Protestant”, and is based on data sourced from Pew Research, Economic Policy Institute and the US Census.

Notably, this number includes only retirement assets such as 401(k) and IRA accounts, indicating the actual figure could be much higher if non-retirement investment assets were included.

Using the same data set, the total US investor marketplace of retirement assets, including faith-based and non-faith-based investors, is approximately $31.4 trillion dollars in size. Data from the Investment Company Institute’s “2018 Investment Company Fact Book” pegs total US retirement assets at $28.2 trillion at the end of calendar year 2017, adding confidence that these numbers are reliably close.

Sleeping Giant Awakening

The Wall Street establishment has no idea about the size and magnitude of the Christian investor market. Most secular firms dismiss Christian investors as an obscure, irrelevant niche population. But the reality is that Christian investors control more than two-thirds of the retirement assets in the United States, and this sleeping giant is waking up to biblically responsible investing.

Can you imagine the impact we Christians can have if we all just invested our money (God’s money) in alignment with biblical values?

What if we all just stood up and said, “Hey, Wall Street! We’re not going to invest in companies that manufacture abortion drugs, sell pornography, exploit child-slave labor or conduct any other blatantly immoral business practice anymore! We actually believe in the values taught in the Bible and we care about the glory of God, and we want investments that enable us to glorify our God in everything we do!”

Could our voice actually get noticed?

Bringing Down The Wall

The Bible tells the story of Joshua and the battle of Jericho, and how the Lord commanded that after the Israelites had marched around the city seven times, “then all the people shall shout with a great shout, and the wall of the city will fall down flat…” (Joshua 6:5).

It’s time for all of God’s people to shout with a great shout and bring down Wall Street’s “wall” of greed, corruption and immorality and usher in a new culture of investing for the glory of God.

Will you join us?


Robert Netzly is the CEO of Inspire Investing and frequent contributor on FOX, Bloomberg, New York Times and other major media. Read more from Robert in his #1 bestselling book Biblically Responsible Investing, available at Amazon.com and other major retailers.

Follow Robert on Twitter and LinkedIn and get inspired!

Image result for twitter logo Twitter.com/robertnetzly
Image result for linkedin logo LinkedIn: @Robert_Netzly

Advisory Services are offered through CWM Advisors, LLC dba Inspire, a Registered Investment Adviser with the SEC.

Planned Parenthood Supporter PG&E Files Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy Burn

California’s largest utility, Pacific Gas & Electric Company, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Tuesday, January 29th. The filing comes as a result of $30 billion dollars in wildfire liability incurred by the company as their equipment ignited at least 17 of the 21 major wildfires that roared through California state in 2017 and 2018.

Last summer, I attended PG&E’s annual shareholder meeting to challenge the executive leadership regarding their philanthropic support of abortion giant, Planned Parenthood. I shot a video on location to recap PG&E’s response.

At the time, PG&E was under intense pressure due to the wildfires which were still burning. PG&E stock had plummeted and the company had eliminated dividend payments to shareholders (many of whom were present at the meeting and expressing their concern due to their reliance on the previously substantial dividend to cover their retirement living expenses).

Given the dire straights of the stock, the mounting liabilities from the fires and the fact that the company had stopped paying dividends to shareholders, my question to the executives was would they also stop donations to Planned Parenthood?

Their answer was, “no” they would continue to donate to Planned Parenthood (despite not being able to pay their investors).

Bad Business

I did my best to point out to the executives how ridiculous that was. Never mind the despicable nature of Planned Parenthood’s abortion business, just from a financial fiduciary standpoint of acting in the best interest of shareholders it makes no sense to pay Planned Parenthood instead of a dividend.

I wasn’t surprised by their answer, however. The staunch persistence of abortion activist executives to advance the abortion issue against all reason or business sense is astounding.

And now they are filing for bankruptcy.

Stark Example

PG&E should serve as a stark example to all investors. If a company is willing to donate shareholder dollars to activist causes like Planned Parenthood, can you really trust them to make ethical, moral or just plain reasonable business decisions? Do you really want to invest money into a company run by people who would rather give the last penny to Planned Parenthood instead of elderly retirees who depend on the dividend to buy groceries?

“How long, O simple ones, will you love being simple?
How long will scoffers delight in their scoffing
    and fools hate knowledge?
23 If you turn at my reproof,
behold, I will pour out my spirit to you;
    I will make my words known to you.
24 Because I have called and you refused to listen,
    have stretched out my hand and no one has heeded,
25 because you have ignored all my counsel
    and would have none of my reproof,
26 I also will laugh at your calamity;
    I will mock when terror strikes you,
27 when terror strikes you like a storm
    and your calamity comes like a whirlwind,
    when distress and anguish come upon you.” (Proverbs 1:22-27)

As unfortunate as it may be, and although I would never wish such a catastrophe on anyone, PG&E executives might just deserve what’s coming to them as their careers go up in flames. But the investors left holding the bag deserve better than what these executives gave them.

Don’t Date Calamity

So, what about the companies that you own? Are there any “PG&E’s” of a different flavor lurking about in your portfolio waiting to file financial bankruptcy because of their ethically bankrupt decision making? You can find out for free at www.inspireinsight.com if you are curious.

PG&E’s date with calamity is just one more example of why I believe it is best to invest in inspiring, biblically aligned companies with a track record of ethical behavior.

What do you think?


Robert Netzly is the CEO of Inspire Investing and frequent contributor on FOX, Bloomberg, New York Times and other major media. Read more from Robert in his #1 bestselling book Biblically Responsible Investing, available at Amazon.com and other major retailers.

Follow Robert on Twitter and LinkedIn and get inspired!

Image result for twitter logo Twitter.com/robertnetzly
Image result for linkedin logo LinkedIn: @Robert_Netzly


Advisory Services are offered through CWM Advisors, LLC dba Inspire, a Registered Investment Adviser with the SEC.

Magnify Messiah

What has God done for you this year?

As Christmas is upon us and year winds to a close, it is proper for us to reflect on the year behind. Often our reflections lead us to major crises that we endured, or possibly narrowly avoided, and hopefully some major accomplishments and joys that we have celebrated. But do our reflections take us deeper than just the “what” and lead us to the “why” and, more importantly, the “Who” that is behind every detail both great and small of our life?

Fleeting sorrow, everlasting joy.

If you are celebrating the joy of a new birth, or a successful year in business, or a breakthrough in your personal life, do you recognize that it is God who has done these things? Moreover, that it is God who has done these things for His glory and your joy? How much greater is our joy when we remember and rejoice in our God, who has blessed us by His grace! How greater is our gratefulness when we realize that our own hands have not done these things, but God’s hands!

If you are suffering the sorrow of a lost loved one, personal or professional failures, or any number of trials and temptations that surround us in this life, do you recognize that it is also God who has allowed these trials and sorrows to come? And that it is He who has sustained you through them and drawn near to you in them as light in the darkness? How great is our joy, even in our sufferings, because of the glorious mercy and comfort of our sustaining Savior! And what confidence we find in knowing that no hardships will ever befall us but that which is allowed by our good Father, who is faithful to also deliver us through and from them!

He who is mighty has done great things!

So, as we reflect on the year past and dream of the year to come, may we magnify our Messiah as did Mary, when caught in a rapture of praise declared,

“My soul magnifies the Lord,
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant.
For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
for he who is mighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.
And his mercy is for those who fear him
from generation to generation.
He has shown strength with his arm;
he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts;
he has brought down the mighty from their thrones
and exalted those of humble estate;
he has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel,
in remembrance of his mercy,
as he spoke to our fathers,
to Abraham and to his offspring forever” (Luke 1:47-55)

Grace and peace be yours in abundance this Christmas, and joy immeasurable in the year to come as you place all your hopes in our only real Hope, Christ the Lord!

 

Blessings,

-R

 


Robert Netzly is the CEO of Inspire Investing and frequent contributor on FOX, Bloomberg, New York Times and other major media. Read more from Robert in his #1 bestselling book Biblically Responsible Investing, available at Amazon.com and other major retailers.

Follow Robert on Twitter and LinkedIn and get inspired!

Image result for twitter logo Twitter.com/robertnetzly
Image result for linkedin logo LinkedIn: @Robert_Netzly

Advisory Services are offered through CWM Advisors, LLC dba Inspire, a Registered Investment Adviser with the SEC.

facebook earnings drop

Facebook’s $120 Billion Dollar Bad Day

Facebook, the Goliath social media platform, took a historic $120 billion fall on Thursday, winning the top spot for the largest one-day loss of market cap ever on record.

Interestingly, this massive 19% wipeout was heavily related to ethical missteps related to user privacy and data security practices, providing a strong reminder that ethical and moral analysis of a company is not just a feel-good activity, but can help investors identify real, tangible financial risk in an investment.

Scorching Decline And Murky Waters

The scorching decline was sparked by the company’s quarterly earnings call where Facebook’s CFO detailed decreasing user growth, shrinking profit margins and challenges related to new privacy laws in Europe which are hindering Facebook’s growth, engagement and ad revenues in the region.

Facebook’s epic evaporation of shareholder value also comes on the heels of the bombshell Cambridge Analytica scandal which put CEO Mark Zuckerberg in the hot seat before Congress and shed light on the murky waters of Facebook’s privacy and data security practices. That scandal also took a big bite out of Facebook’s share value.

Translation: robust privacy laws make it harder for Facebook to grow and earn a profit. Food for thought.

Ethics As Risk Management

Companies that stretch the boundaries of ethical business practices, or even outright cross them, may find short-term financial success. But, eventually their chickens come home to roost. Facebook — and everyone who owns Facebook stock — is finding this out the hard way.

Financial analysts would explain this by saying that corporations which externalize the cost of ethical issues (such as privacy concerns) are by definition over-monetized. Eventually those externalities manifest themselves in the company’s balance sheet, the over-monetization is corrected and shareholders pay the price.

The Bible says it this way, “Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.” (Galations 6:7)

Jesus And Financial Advice

Sometimes biblically responsible investors are mocked by the Wall Street establishment as bleeding hearts that focus too much on “soft” or “subjective” issues, instead of the cold hard facts of financial analysis. My question is, if focusing only on financial data is supposedly the highest and best way to invest, why did so many of these investing experts just take their share of a $120 billion bath in Facebook stock? Why didn’t they see this coming? Why did they get hit by this bus while biblically responsible investors stood safely on the sidewalk?

Because of ethical concerns, such as Facebook’s data privacy issues, as well as other moral problems like Facebook’s corporate support of abortion and jaw-dropping lack of concern for fighting child pornography which runs rampant on their platform, Facebook stock has never been included in any of the portfolios we manage at Inspire.

As biblically responsible investors, we look at both the financial and moral issues related to a potential investment. Only when both areas of analysis are satisfied do we take a position in a stock. As Jesus said, “Be as wise as serpents and innocent as doves.” (Matthew 10:16)

As it turns out, this is not only great advice for your spiritual life, but for your financial portfolio as well.

Maybe Wall Street should start reading the Bible.

 


Robert Netzly is the CEO of Inspire Investing and frequent contributor on FOX, Bloomberg, New York Times and other major media. Read more from Robert in his #1 bestselling book Biblically Responsible Investing, available at Amazon.com and other major retailers.

Follow Robert on Twitter and LinkedIn and get inspired!

Image result for twitter logo Twitter.com/robertnetzly
Image result for linkedin logo LinkedIn: @Robert_Netzly

Advisory Services are offered through CWM Advisors, LLC dba Inspire, a Registered Investment Adviser with the SEC.

 

Inspire 5th in "Top 50 Fastest Growing RIAs" - FA Mag

Inspire Investing Ranked #5 in the “Top 50 Fastest Growing RIAs” by Financial Advisor Magazine

Biblically responsible investing firm Inspire Investing came in at number 5 out of the top 50 fastest growing registered investment advisory (RIA) firms in the US in Financial Advisor Magazine’s annual report.

San Jose, California, May 23, 2018 – Inspire Investing, a leading biblically responsible investing (BRI) firm, ranked number 5 in the Financial Advisor Magazine (FA) “Top 50 Fastest Growing RIAs” annual report. FA’s 2018 RIA Survey and Ranking report is an annual survey that ranks firms’ based on percentage growth in assets from the previous calendar year and is the premier industry ranking of independent RIA growth.

Financial Advisor Magazine is a major publication targeted to financial professionals that aims to deliver essential market information and strategies to help advisors better serve their clients and grow their firms.

“We are incredibly thankful to our raving fans around the globe who have helped make Inspire one of the fastest growing investment firms in the nation. Our growth is a testament to the incredible momentum in the biblically responsible investing movement and the increasing numbers of investors who are making changes in their portfolios to support biblical values. Wall Street is totally unprepared for what is coming. We are just getting warmed up,” said Robert Netzly, CEO of Inspire Investing.

Inspire’s Rapid Growth And Innovative Approach

Inspire Investing made headlines across the globe last year with their innovative approach to biblically responsible investing, giving investors access to faith-based ESG investments that are low cost, index based, and aligned with biblical values. Inspire’s assets under management rose by an impressive 134% in 2017 and is currently nearing the $250-million-dollar mark. Inspire uses their proprietary Inspire Impact Score Methodology to identify the most inspiring, biblically aligned companies in the world to include in their portfolios.

“Investors are discovering that they can invest in companies they believe in, inspiring companies that are doing things like working to cure cancer, creating clean water solutions, and blessing their employees and communities they operate in, instead of companies like those that manufacture abortion drugs, violate human rights, and exploit their communities. And they don’t have to sacrifice performance to do it,” commented Netzly.

Inspiring Transformation Around The World

Inspire Investing not only invests in inspiring, impactful companies — they also strive to be one. Inspire donates 50% or more of their corporate profits to Christian ministry every year with a goal of donating $1 billion over their first 10 years. Last year alone Inspire built a clean water well for impoverished villagers in Nepal, provided relief for Syrian refugees and Hurricane Harvey victims, sent Bibles into North Korea and shared the hope of Christ with thousands of youth in America. And this year, Inspire has begun work transforming an entire village with clean water, schooling, a medical clinic, vocational training, child sponsorship and a church building in the mountains of Guatemala. With Inspire Investing, your money can help you work towards your financial goals while also making an impact in the lives of people across the globe.

For more information on Inspire Investing, please visit: www.inspireinvesting.com

For media inquiries or interview requests, contact: inspire@inspireinvesting.com

About Inspire Investing

Founded in 2015 and headquartered in the Silicon Valley of California, Inspire Investing seeks to create meaningful impact in the lives of people across the globe by providing low cost, biblically aligned investments that support Christian ministry and is a leading authority in the Biblically Responsible Investing (BRI) movement. For more information, visit www.inspireinvesting.com.

Business as a calling

Business as a Calling

CAN BUSINESS BE A CALLING?

For many years, Christians in business have aimed to do the Lord’s work when they are “off the clock” and do their boss’ work when they are “on the clock.” This separation of faith and business has led to confusion and misunderstanding among the Christian church about the role of business as it relates to one’s ministry, or as some would say, “calling” in life.

From what I can observe, much of this struggle seems to surround the topic of making and retaining profits in business. In the culture of the American Christian church, the process of creating and retaining profit seems to be associated with greed and is therefore discussed negatively. To support this thinking, many people will point to scriptures such as 1 Timothy 6:10 which talks about how “the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil.” However, confusing the “love of money” with the desire to make a profit is a fundamental flaw in modern thinking.

This faulty position soon leads to the conclusion that God is not pleased with profits and would certainly not “call” a person into business as a means of ministry. If we take a moment to unwind this flawed reasoning and reexamine the actions, intentions, and fruit of profit, we will find that for-profit business can be, and often is, one of the most proliferate vehicles used by God to bless the earth and expand His kingdom.

THE ENTREPRENEURIAL VOCATION

Reverend Robert A. Sirico writes about this issue in an essay titled The Entrepreneurial Vocation. Sirico states that the role of business people in the Kingdom of God is a noble and crucially important vocation, especially entrepreneurship. He argues that many church leaders have skewed the concept of Biblical stewardship and have created a guilt-centered reprimand for the “greedy business person” to make amends for their greed by giving their money to the church and to missions.

Sirico points out that clergy often have basic misunderstandings about markets and profit leading to their flawed perception. He highlights that many religious leaders believe that there is a finite amount of money in the world and that if one person gets more, then someone somewhere got less. This is called a “zero-sum game.” If this were true, then the re-distribution of wealth remains the key to peace and mutual prosperity. However, the truth about capitalism is that wealth can be created and does not need to take from one person for another to profit. This is a concept that is not often taught in theological seminaries thus leading to a grave misunderstanding between business people and clergy. If this concept were made clear, then pastors would take the pulpit from an entirely new perspective about financial stewardship and avoid much of the conviction and discrimination against business people in the church today.

Instead, Sirico argues that the creation of profit is not only permissible but required of Christians in business. He cites Jesus’ parable of the talents and illustrates that God will require a return on his investment regarding the resources and abilities that He has entrusted to each of his children and that business people making a good and honest profit, in activities that uphold Biblical values, are simply providing their Maker with an excellent return on His investment. Sirico acknowledges the efforts of entrepreneurs and praises them for their creative ability to use the gifts that God has given them to be a blessing to people everywhere by creating opportunities for workers to grow in their own gifts and abilities.

RULE AND SUBDUE THE EARTH

In addition to creating wealth, entrepreneurs succeed in creating jobs for workers, new technologies and resources for the public, and innovation in medicine and science. Without the role of for-profit business, humans would fail to fulfill the command to rule and subdue the earth which was given to Adam in the Garden of Eden. I emphasize for-profit business because this activity and benefit would not be possible without the creation and retention of profit. If a company does not make and retain a profit, they will go out of business and these blessings will disappear with it. Therefore, sustaining a solid profit is a crucial component to honoring God through business and ought to be praised rather than frowned upon.

BUSINESS IS A CALLING

I believe that God does call men and women into business to do His work and be a blessing to the world just as he calls others into vocational ministry. One is not greater or more holy than the other. While there are certain businesses a Christian ought to avoid – such as producing pornography – no single role or position is more important to God’s purpose than any other. If the business person dedicates their life and career to the Lord and works “as unto the Lord” (Colossians 3:23), I believe God is honored and pleased and rejoices in the obedience of His faithful children. As Christians grasp this reality and carry this message into the church, I believe that we will see a revitalization and redemption of for-profit business for the Kingdom of God that will bring a new season of growth and blessing to the world.

Socially Responsible business of blessing

Economics of Building Businesses of Blessing

SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE INVESTING TREND

The modern trend of Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) has placed business practices of corporations in the spotlight and provided a new lens through which investors view their investment selections. As this trend grows, there seems to be an increase in public interest in the differences between companies that rank well on SRI screens versus those that rank poorly.

A common characteristic that many high-ranking companies seem to share is a benevolent “economic philosophy” that seeks to provide the greatest amount of good for the most amount of people, especially the company’s stakeholders (ie: employees, customer, investors, community). An “economic philosophy” is a system of beliefs that governs the decisions and behaviors of an organization. This is not often stated or identified by the company but is evident in the decisions and actions of the leadership and management teams and becomes a framework for operations within the business. To understand how this works, let’s evaluate two good examples: formalism and utilitarianism.

THE SOUL OF BUSINESS

Author and CEO, Tom Chappell, writes about these philosophies in his book, The Soul of a Business: Managing for Profit and the Common Good. Chappell’s company, Tom’s of Maine, is designed to be a business of blessing to their stakeholders. Key to their success is their economic philosophy which Chappell identifies as formalism. Chappell defines formalism as “the inner sense of obligation and human connection that people feel for their friends, neighbors, and family.”

Chappell compares this against the most popular economic philosophy called utilitarianism defined as “the moral view that a good course of action is calculated on the scale of what gives the greatest number of people the most pleasure of greatest happiness.”

PEOPLE AND PROFITS

The differences between these philosophies is best illustrated by how profit is obtained. A utilitarian process treats all members of an organization, including resources and supply chain, as tools to be used or discarded. If the tool is useful (as a utility) then it is employed, but if a more efficient tool (better utility) is available, the prior would be easily discarded in exchange for latter.

Chappell argues that, since people are of higher value than profit and relationships are more important than efficiency, this philosophical world view runs contrary to scripture and must be avoided in order to participate in business as a ministry and a blessing to the earth.

By contrast, formalism views all members of an organization, including resources and supply chain, as intrinsically valuable and directs courses of action based on whatever provides the greatest good (as opposed to greatest pleasure). The business decisions directed by this philosophy would look at several different “bottom lines” (not only company profit) in order to provide the greatest good as an outcome. Chappell writes that this philosophy allowed him to see his career at Tom’s of Maine as a position of influence to provide the greatest good possible for the greatest amount of people.

THE NEXT GIANTS

I would suggest that this perspective should be the aim of corporations around the world as the trend of Socially Responsible Investing continues to grow. I believe that the businesses that are more closely aligned with a formalism philosophy will be the giants of the next generation on the international stage, outlasting the companies that seek after profit at all costs. As the bar for ethical conduct is pushed up through investor demand, companies who have designed a culture of benevolent economic philosophy will be better suited to withstand scrutiny through the SRI lens and likely receive more investor preference in the marketplace over time.

Inspire Investing rings the New York Stock Exchange closing bell

Inspire Investing Surpasses $200 Million Assets Under Management

Biblically responsible investing (BRI) firm Inspire Investing breaks above $200 million in assets under management on increased buying volumes and positive performance.

San Jose, California, May 23, 2018 – Inspire Investing, the biblically responsible investing (BRI) asset manager that gained prominence last year with the launch of several new investment offerings geared toward serving faith-based investors, just passed a major milestone in the continued growth of their firm.

Positive performance and a surge in buying volumes propelled Inspire above $200 million AUM, just four months after Inspire CEO, Robert Netzly, and his team rang the closing bell of the New York Stock Exchange for the second time in less than twelve months. That represents more than a 50% increase in AUM for the faith-based investing firm since the start of this year.

Inspire’s total discretionary assets under management were $207,392,054 as of market close on May 21st.

Growing Awareness For Biblically Responsible Investing

Netzly attributes his firm’s asset growth to an increased awareness among Christian investors of the opportunity to align their investments with their deeply held biblical values, as well as the low cost, index approach to biblically responsible investing that Inspire has championed.

“Christian investors are discovering that they can invest in companies they believe in, inspiring companies that are doing things like working to cure cancer, creating clean water solutions and blessing their employees and communities they operate in, instead of companies like those that manufacture abortion drugs, violate human rights, and exploit their communities. And they don’t have to sacrifice performance to do it.”

Robert Netzly, CEO of Inspire Investing.

Inspire’s Data Driven Approach To Biblically Responsible Investing

At the center of Inspire’s approach to biblically responsible investing is their proprietary Inspire Impact Score methodology. Using a wealth of environmental, social and governance (ESG) data from some of the most respected data providers in the world, Inspire analyzes companies from the bottom-up with a rules based, methodology driven process through the lens of a biblical values worldview.

The result of this objective, data-focused process is an Inspire Impact Score that ranges from -100 to +100, with scores closest to +100 representing greater alignment with biblical values. Inspire invests in those companies closest to +100 and never invests in companies with scores lower than zero in any of their strategies.

“We believe that companies more closely aligned with biblical values represent higher quality investment opportunities, and the number of our strategies outperforming their benchmarks seems to be supportive of that thesis,” says Netzly.

A brief video with more detail about the Inspire Impact Score process and criterion can be found on the company’s website at www.inspireinvesting.com.

Inspiring Transformation Around The World

Not only does Inspire Investing seek to invest in the most inspiring companies in the world, but they also aim to be one of the most inspiring companies in the world. As such, Inspire donates 50% or more of their corporate profits to Christian ministry every year. Last year alone Inspire built a clean water well for impoverished villagers in Nepal, provided relief for Syrian refugees and Hurricane Harvey victims, sent Bibles into North Korea and shared the hope of Christ with thousands of youth in America.

For more information on Inspire Investing, please visit: www.inspireinvesting.com

For media inquiries or interview requests, contact: inspire@inspireinvesting.com

About Inspire Investing

Founded in 2015 and headquartered in the Silicon Valley of California, Inspire Investing seeks to create meaningful impact in the lives of people across the globe by providing low cost, biblically aligned investments that support Christian ministry and is a leading authority in the Biblically Responsible Investing (BRI) movement. For more information, visit www.inspireinvesting.com.

tobacco stocks burn

Investors Get Burned By Tobacco Stocks

Tobacco stocks lose big

“Big tobacco” company Philip Morris’ stock recently registered it’s biggest drop in a decade, plummeting 18% on April 19th. The sharp decline came on the back of news that the cigarette giant’s newest ploy to hook another generation on nicotine  — a heat-not-burn tobacco device they call iQor, which heats a tobacco plug instead of lighting it on fire — fell far short of sales projections.

The new iQor product, and several other new attempts at taking tobacco beyond the cigarette, are being brought to market as the smoking industry finds itself struggling to attract new customers…and as their loyal, longtime customers die by the millions due to lung cancer, heart disease and other smoking-induced diseases.

Global smoking statistics are gut-wrenching:

  • Tobacco kills up to half of its users.
  • Tobacco kills more than 7 million people each year. More than 6 million of those deaths are the result of direct tobacco use while around 890 000 are the result of non-smokers being exposed to second-hand smoke.
  • Around 80% of the world’s 1.1 billion smokers live in low- and middle-income countries
  • (source: World Health Organization )

Investors hooked on tobacco (stocks)

And yet, investors seem to have no qualms about profiting from the death of millions as tobacco stocks remain among the biggest holdings of some of the largest mutual funds and ETFs in the world. A quick survey of the most popular smoke stocks show companies like Vanguard, American Funds, SPDRs/State Street, DFA Funds, T. Rowe Price, TIAA CREF, iShares, Fidelity and others as their biggest investors.

Click below to see a list of the biggest investors in these three tobacco stocks:

Tobacco stocks wise stewardship?

Some investors justify their investment in tobacco companies with the excuse that excluding them from a portfolio might not be “wise stewardship” because their returns might suffer.

I’m sorry, but give me a break.

Since when did “wise stewardship” include profiting from the sale of an intentionally addictive product that kills half the people that use it? Do we really care more about our profits than people?

And for Christian investors, we should be very aware that an investment in tobacco companies runs counter to Jesus’ command to “love your neighbor as yourself”. If you love your neighbor, you don’t sell them cigarettes.

Christians quit tobacco stocks

Thankfully, despite tobacco stocks continuing to be embraced by some of the largest mutual funds, ETFs, pension funds and other investors, there are a growing number of investors who are kicking the tobacco stock habit and creating demand for tobacco-free investments. For example, the biblically responsible investing movement is adding to that trend as more and more Christians are realizing that they can align their investments with their biblical values.

Additionally, research from major universities such as Oxford, Wharton and Biola are finding that investing with a values based approach does not require a sacrifice of performance. And if the recent stock price struggles of big tobacco are any indication, investors might consider making a “wise stewardship” decision and purge their portfolios of tobacco faster than you can strike a match.

Will you kick the habit?

 

 


Robert Netzly is the CEO of Inspire Investing and frequent contributor on FOX, Bloomberg, New York Times and other major media. Read more from Robert in his #1 bestselling book Biblically Responsible Investing, available at Amazon.com and other major retailers.

Follow Robert on Twitter and LinkedIn and get inspired!

Image result for twitter logo Twitter.com/robertnetzly
Image result for linkedin logo LinkedIn: @Robert_Netzly

Advisory Services are offered through CWM Advisors, LLC dba Inspire, a Registered Investment Adviser with the SEC.

 

Inspire team on NYSE bell podium

Ringing The NYSE Closing Bell: One Year Later

Days are long and years are short. It was one year ago today, April 20th, that I pushed the big red button at 4pm Eastern and rang the closing bell of the New York Stock Exchange, surrounded by my amazingly talented team at Inspire Investing and our amazingly beautiful wives. It was an experience like no other.

Not only did we ring the closing bell in front of over 100 million viewers worldwide to signal the end of the trading day, but we also rang in a new season for our growing company and the biblically responsible investing (BRI) movement around the globe.

Miraculous Milestones

The days have been long since the clanging of that bell sparked global interest in Inspire’s low cost, index based biblically responsible investing solutions. Our team has been fairly inundated with investor demand from both the retail markets and institutional markets from countries all across the world. We have added new talent to our phenomenal team, attracted capital to fuel our growth and made headlines in hundreds of media outlets around the globe.

But the year has also been short. So much has happened, there have been so many meaningful milestones, and yet it feels like just yesterday when we were standing on that platform above the heart of the world’s financial system, praising God for all to see. Below are just some of the miracles, big and small, that God has blessed us with since we rang the closing bell of the NYSE:

  • Grown assets under management (AUM) to nearly $200 million
  • “Best New ESG ETF – 2017” Award finalists
  • “Best New ETF Issuer – 2017” Award finalists
  • Launched new biblically responsible investing products
  • Earned a place in the portfolios of multi-billion dollar asset management firms
  • Hired several new members to our team of rock-stars
  • Attracted private capital to accelerate growth
  • Featured on FOX News, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Financial Times, Bloomberg and other major global media
  • Rang the NYSE closing bell a second time on January 30th, 2018

And even better than that is the impact that God has allowed us to create:

  • Drilled a clean water well for the entire village of Birendranagar in Nepal
  • Provided relief for hundreds of Syrian refugee families
  • Helped mothers choose life for their unborn babies
  • Gave emergency relief to Hurricane Harvey victims
  • Influenced numerous large corporations to stop supporting unbiblical issues, such as abortion and LGBT activism
  • Helped countless investors align their investments to support biblical values

Only The Beginning

These lists could go on to mention the dozens of encouraging emails we have received from investors all over the world, thanking us for giving them the ability to invest for God’s glory, the numerous “transformation stories” of people’s lives changed through their interaction with our company, financial advisors who have transitioned their entire practice to align with biblically responsible investing, and many more.

We could not have accomplished any of this on our own strength; God has been so gracious to us! We are so thankful for His grace and for the overwhelming support and encouragement from our raving fans around the globe who are cheering us on and inspiring transformation for God’s glory throughout the world by investing with their values.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you. We have only just begun.

Blessings,

-R


Robert Netzly is the CEO of Inspire Investing and frequent contributor on FOX, Bloomberg, New York Times and other major media. Read more from Robert in his #1 bestselling book Biblically Responsible Investing, available at Amazon.com and other major retailers.

Follow Robert on Twitter and LinkedIn and get inspired!

Image result for twitter logo Twitter.com/robertnetzly
Image result for linkedin logo LinkedIn: @Robert_Netzly

Advisory Services are offered through CWM Advisors, LLC dba Inspire, a Registered Investment Adviser with the SEC.