What is meant by the term Christian Investing? It's very simple. Christian investing refers to the application of biblical instructions and principles to the practice of investment management. What's not quite as simple, is developing a well-defined philosophy and approach to do that. It involves a lot of Bible study, prayer, and deep reflection. You will also sometimes hear the term "Biblically Responsible Investing". That term appears to describe the Christian take on a broader concept called Socially Responsible Investing. People and firms who use the BRI label often appear to me to be heavily focused on moral screening for investments.
Some of us may not realize it, but we all have some level and type of moral constraints on our investing. Would you invest directly in a business that exists only to facilitate adulterous affairs? Would you invest directly in a company that you know to utilize children in slave labor type conditions? Some type and amount of moral constraint is obviously necessary. So, while I am in agreement with the practice of morally screening investments to a certain degree, I don't think it's wise to focus heavily on the faults of secular businesses. I don't want to get caught up in legalism or gnat straining. That is certainly not how God has led me in regard to investing in publicly-traded securities.
The specifics of how Christian investing is best pursued can obviously vary from one person to the next. Before telling you exactly how the specifics look for me, I’d like to share with you a little bit about how I arrived at where I am today.
In 2004, I graduated with a Master’s Degree in Finance. I went to work for a large commercial bank, and later the investments division of a large insurance company. I progressed rapidly in my investment management career. Later, personal problems destroyed my life.
In January of 2013 (after having turned to Christ and been saved, healed, delivered, and made whole) I began to pray about what God would have me to do professionally. I felt that God was leading me to create a Christian investment website and newsletter. So, I immediately began to study what the Bible had to say in regard to investment management instruction. I was surprised to find that there was quite a bit.
After much prayer and study, I was able to draw certain conclusions. I call them the 13 Principles of Christian Investing.
13 Principles of Christian Investing:
1) We should apply wisdom, analysis, and due diligence to our investing activities.
2) Our due diligence should include ongoing monitoring of our investments.
3) We need to accept that uncertainty exists. Thus, we should avoid letting fear paralyze us.
4) We have to accept risk, not ignore it. We should recognize various types of risks, and take steps to mitigate them.
5) Our primary mitigation tool is diversification, which is directly instructed in the Bible.
6) We should not ignore history.
7) We should avoid acting out of greed, but instead practice prudence, wisdom, and restraint.
8) Successful investing requires patience, self-control, perseverance, and delayed gratification, all of which are biblical.
9) We should avoid investment strategies which involve a significant likelihood of permanent loss of wealth.
10) We should avoid get rich quick schemes.
11) We should avoid any investment that involves dishonesty or oppressing the poor.
12) We should follow the guidance of our conscience in regard to other moral aspects of investing.
13) Seek the Lord's specific direction for your life and your investing and then obey it in faith!
Anyone who wants investing to be made easy should probably just read the two documents linked below called "How to Invest Using Index Funds" and "How to Build a Low Risk Portfolio".
Anyone who thinks investments are very interesting and wants to study them in depth should probably read Ecclesiastes, Proverbs, and a book called Where Are the Customers' Yachts? by Fred Schwed, Jr. There are also linked below some articles and documents that outline in greater depth my philosophy and approach toward Christian investing: