Is Biblically Responsible Investing a New Concept?


This biblical investing movement is exploding within the Christian community. But why is Biblically Responsible Investing only now becoming popular?

Although the concept of monitoring investments for biblical principals may seem new, this investment approach has actually been around longer than one would assume. The term “Biblically Responsible Investing” is relatively new, but the act of monitoring the morality of funds has been around before the early 2000s. While the terms, Biblically Responsible Investing (BRI), ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance), and Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) are new, the investment strategies that make up these terms are not new.

Why Are Christian Investors Only Now Beginning to Use Biblically Responsible Investing?

During the last two decades, the Christian investing movement has evolved substantially. But, Biblically Responsible Investing developed a slow start for a few reasons.

  1. There was a lack of awareness.

    Socially Responsible Investing began with a Christian foundation and dates back 200 years ago to the practices of the Methodists. But it wasn’t until the 1960s that this practice took off and was known as a way for investors to avoid “sin stock.” As SRI evolved over the years, many Christian investors felt that not all the investments screenings aligned with their biblical beliefs. Because of this, Biblically Responsible Investing began to take shape. Over the last 15 years, BRI funds have grown from about 5 mutual funds to over 100 mutual funds. BRI continues to gain momentum and build credibility due to increased awareness.

  2. There was a lack of understanding and demand.

    Most “average” investors are not aware that responsible investing exists. And let’s be honest—many investors don’t want to spend the time thinking about investment options. They know they should put money away for retirement, so they invest in their company’s 401(k) or in an individual retirement account. But unless an investor is educated on responsible investing, most will not know it’s an option. Thankfully, morally screened investment options are starting to become more prevalent in the retirement world. As Christians become more aware that this is an option, understanding and demand will also grow.

  3. Expenses started out high and were underperforming.

    As previously stated, BRI has evolved over the years. Part of this evolution is cost and performance. While some BRI funds started out high and underperformed, this is no longer the case. In fact, a recent study by the Christian Investment Forum shows that faith-based equity funds out performed their peers by .8% and faith-based bond funds out performed their peers by .4% per year.

It is no longer the case that one must give up investment performance in order to follow their Christian values.

To learn more about Envoy Financial’s Biblically Responsible Funds, reach out to one of our licensed advisors.

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