Q. Catholic Values Investing

My Catholic Life! recommends Savant Capital Management as an excellent independent, fee-only investment advisor.

Q.  I invest most of my money, including my retirement plan, in mutual funds. My concern is that I do not know where the mutual funds I have are invested. Do you have any guidance on how best to invest my money in ways that are morally in line with our faith?  And is it wrong to simply invest in any mutual fund?

A.  You have asked the “million dollar question” so to speak. Financial investing these days is complicated and often those who do the investing have no idea what they are invested in. And you have two good questions.

To begin, you raise an important point by asking how to invest your money “in ways that are morally in line with our faith.”  Before answering that, let’s look at your second question as to whether it is wrong to invest in any mutual fund.  The simple answer is that, while it may not be “wrong” to invest in most mutual funds, it may be far better to do a little research and pick a mutual fund that is morally compliant with our faith.

First, some mutual funds invest in many immoral activity such as industries related to abortion, contraception, embryonic stem cell research, pornography and the like.  Therefore, it may be wise to talk to a Catholic Financial Advisor who is well versed in morally responsible investing to find out if your investments are supporting any of these activities.  These activities are “intrinsically evil” and we should do all we can to avoid participation in each one of them.

Second, there are other investments that may not be intrinsically evil in every case, but still fall short of moral responsible investing.  Examples would be nuclear arms, landmines and environmental hazards.

Third, there are healthy areas to invest in such as those companies who promote human dignity, oppose discrimination and serve the poor.

The United States Bishops have published a document called “Socially Responsible Investment Guidelines” which would be a good place to start to educate yourself on these important Catholic principles.  With that said, it may be too much for you to sort through this on your own.  Therefore, in answer to your first question, it is best practice to find a Financial Advisor who is well acquainted with theses Catholic guidelines and has developed a morally compliant investing strategy that you can trust.

My Catholic Life! recommends Savant Capital Management as an excellent independent, fee-only investment advisor.  Savant can also assist you in aligning your portfolio with your faith.  Invest with a clear conscience while reaping the benefits of one of today’s leading investment advisory firms.

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