Gotta Have Faith: A Biblically Responsible Investment Strategy

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As the investment community matures, more are branching beyond traditional market cap-weighted fund investments and are considering alternative ways to gain market exposure, such as crafting a diversified investment portfolio that mirrors one’s own values and beliefs.

On the upcoming webcast Tuesday, April 3, Gotta Have Faith: A Biblically Responsible Investment Strategy, Matthew Watson, Portfolio Manager for James Investment Research, and Mike McGraw, Director of Marketing for James Investment Research, will consider ways for financial advisors to diversify an investment portfolio with a biblically responsible investment strategy.

Specifically, the James Biblically Responsible Investment ETF (Cboe: JBRI) tries to reflect the performance of the James Biblically Responsible Investment Index, which is comprised of large and mid-capitalization U.S. stocks of biblically responsible issuers.

Unlike traditional market cap-weighted indexing methodologies, the companies within JBRI's portfolio are selected based on the eVALUEator Biblically Responsible Index, which uses a rules-based, biblically responsible screening tool.

What Defines the Christian Investment Theme

The rules-based indexing methodology screens out or excludes companies engaged in activities that are objectionable from a biblical perspective, including abortion; entertainment companies with products or practices that promote sexually graphic, violent, profane material; glorify the use of drugs and alcohol; or create propaganda or content intended to undermine positive family values parents are trying to instill in their children; pornography; companies with products or practices that promote gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender/transsexual, or questioning lifestyles, including through advertisements or marketing campaigns targeted to those with such lifestyles; alcohol; companies that use methods to support terrorist organizations, undermine human rights, undermine workers’ rights, or persecute Christians; tobacco; and gambling.

Related: James Investment Research Steps Out with Biblically Responsible Investing ETF

This type of indexing methodology may be considered as a type of subset of the broader socially responsible investing branch of investments where investors try to  achieve profitable investment goals while still adhering to one's principles.

"In many ways, this is a return to the early days of SRI when the first such investors were affiliated with Christian endowments and institutions. For example, Kingdom Advisors is a network of financial professionals whose objectives are to invest in accord with their Christian conscience," according to James Investment Research.

Potential investors don't have to sacrifice performance to achieve a Christian-values-based investment strategy. At James Investment, they employ a rating system that incorporates relative value, relative strength and profitability when selecting component holdings.

"We believe there is need for BRI based investment options, but also one for products designed to add value. JBRI fits this need by constructing a portfolio comprised of the most attractive stocks meeting Christian principles and criteria. The fund can be used as a core equity holding, an ESG option, or as a Smart Beta holding," according to James Investment Research.

Financial advisors who are learning more about a Christian-themed investment opportunity can register for the Tuesday, April 3 webcast here.

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