Being religious or spiritual doesn’t mean that you also have to shun wealth and financial comfort.
Faith-based investing, in fact, is just like any other kind of investing in that the ultimate goal is to maximize returns. The difference is in how the investor makes financial decisions, screens investments, and chooses strategies that align with their faith and beliefs.
In many ways this is more than just about faith or religion, it’s also about ethics and values, which are unique to you. As such, there is really no right or wrong way, there’s only your way.
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Similar to socially responsible investing (SRI), faith-based investing allows clients with strong religious beliefs to put their investment dollars to use in a way that not only grows their wealth but also positively impacts their community or furthers a cause they feel passionate about.
Folks who practice biblical faith-based investing tend to avoid investment into funds or companies that have a bad reputation, or are involved in the production or selling of things like weapons, cigarettes, alcohol, or pornography. These are also called “sin stocks.”
How can you align your financial plan with your faith?
Aside from the obvious - avoiding sin stocks - it would be helpful to start out by choosing to work with an investment company or financial advisor who can help you to get started with faith-based investing.
The spiritual benefits of financial planning
When you practice faith-based investing, you’re doing good by financially encouraging companies to be a positive force for change. In this way, your investment helps to further not just your own financial goals but also those of causes you care about, and you’re also supporting corporations that act in accordance with certain religious or social guidelines.
Another freeing aspect of faith-based investing is that if values are the cornerstone of your financial decisions, rather than money, you may find more peace and satisfaction in your financial life.
When your financial plan is created with your faith in mind, your assets serve a greater purpose, which is fulfilling in and of itself, but which can also motivate and encourage you to do more.
How to create your own personal financial plan aligned with your faith
Research - You wouldn’t wing it when it comes to your personal health, so you shouldn’t do it with your financial health either. Learn more about faith-based investing, and understand the risks and challenges, which are likely to be similar to those of any other investment philosophy. Along with making sure your decisions are aligned with your faith, you should be aware of these challenges and how to mitigate them.
So you’ve got to do your homework, weigh the risks and returns, diversify, and maintain a balanced portfolio, because you can’t continue faith-based investing if you lose all your principal.
Ask for help - Faith-based investing is more involved and complicated than straight up investing. It’s always smart to have a pro in your corner who can make recommendations, offer guidance, and help keep you on track to growing your wealth and staying in the lines.
Remember the ultimate goal - Don’t just invest with your heart. The point of investing is to grow your wealth, not just to give money away. So it’s important to be sure your financial plan has strong potential for profit and that it aligns with your values and beliefs, not just one or the other.
Trust your gut - Remember when we said there’s no right or wrong way to align your financial plan with your faith? If something doesn’t feel right, or you think it aligns with your faith but not your financial plan (or vice versa), trust your instincts and do what you think is best.
Be grateful for what you have - If you’re constantly striving for more/bigger/better/faster, rather than feeling blessed for your current state, you will become trapped in a cycle of needing and wanting, and it never ends.
How to find a financial advisor in Texas that can help you align your financial plan with your faith
Especially if you want someone local, with whom you can meet in person, start by asking for recommendations from a like-minded friend or family member, or see if anyone from your church or congregation has personal experience with an advisor. If all else fails, you can search with the CFP Board or the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors.
Then call or email potential advisors and ask them about their values, causes they support, charitable giving strategy, political engagement, and anything else that’s important to you.
If they pass muster in all the right ways, determine whether they are a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® Professional, find out what their fee structure is, and ask if they’re a fiduciary (who is bound by law to always act in the financial best interests of their clients).
Finally, before you make a final decision, vet a potential advisor and confirm their credentials by reviewing their history with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Broker Check or Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Advisor Check.
Faith-based investing is of course about growing your wealth, but in a way that allows you to find peace. While your investments are building your retirement balance, they’re also promoting causes or organizations you care about.
If you’re not sure where to start, a financial advisor can help you establish social and financial criteria and select investments or funds that historically perform as well or better than traditional investments, so you can do well and feel good about it.
At PAX Financial Group, we have more than 100 years of combined experience helping individuals, families, and businesses plan for and PIVOT into retirement – and one thing has become inherently clear: Everyone is different! What works for one person may not work for another. So whether you are interested in learning more about faith-based investing, or prefer to leave faith out of the equation, we will take the time to construct a custom financial plan created just for you.
The team at PAX Financial Group is here to help with all of your financial planning needs! Schedule a no-obligation conversation today.
This material is provided by PAX Financial Group, LLC. The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. The information herein has been derived from sources believed to be accurate. Please note: Investing involves risk, and past performance is no guarantee of future results. Investments will fluctuate and when redeemed may be worth more or less than when originally invested. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty. This is neither a solicitation nor recommendation to purchase or sell any investment or insurance product or service, and should not be relied upon as such. All market indices discussed are unmanaged and are not illustrative of any particular investment. Indices do not incur management fees, costs and expenses, and cannot be invested into directly. All economic and performance data is historical and not indicative of future results.