Are your investments violating your moral beliefs?

Do you know if your investments are violating your moral beliefs?  What are some of the values that Catholics seek to implement in their own home and in society?

Standing up for the protection of human life

Many Catholics are very conscientious about trying to live out their faith each day and to integrate it into every aspect of their lives. The defense of human life at all of its stages has become a focal point in the hearts of many Catholics.   Catholics believe strongly in the protection of human life.  There are a variety of ways that Catholics support life. Their involvement is often expressed by supporting pro-life organizations by donating their time, talent, and treasure to pro-life pregnancy centers or similar pro-life ministries. Prayer is always at the heart of these activities, some people support life by standing silently in prayer outside of abortion facilities. Others choose to defend life by writing to their representatives in Congress to lobby them for passing laws which would disallow embryonic stem cell research and prohibit human cloning. On the home front, Catholic couples follow the teachings of the church by avoiding the use artificial contraception and instead practice safe and natural methods of avoiding pregnancy (when it is necessary) using Natural Family Planning (NFP).

Standing up for the protection of human rights

There are also many Catholics who are concerned with promoting the dignity of the human person. They encourage companies to provide sufficient wages, working conditions and other social benefits that enable their employees and families to meet basic human needs. They also encourage efforts by companies to promote a respect for fundamental human rights. Another area where Catholics live their faith is by working to stop pornography. This is done by promoting and supporting initiatives to promote responsible and family-oriented program content development by media companies.  Lastly, protecting the environment is another area where Catholics seek to make a positive impact on the world.  Catholics want to make sure that all people today and future generations will have a planet with a healthy environment so that they can live a healthy life.

Are your investments contradicting your faith values?

Exchange Traded Funds (ETF’s) and mutual funds are very popular investment vehicles that many investors use as a means to diversify their investments. These funds are made up of a number of stocks and bonds, typically holding as few as several dozen to as many as several thousand securities. Many Catholics invest into ETF’s and mutual funds as a way of diversifying their investments. However, the downside to these investments is that investors are often unaware of what securities the fund is invested in. Mutual funds publish quarterly and annual reports which detail their investment holdings, however the typical investor simply does not have the time or resources to review them in sufficient detail. Many low-cost online investing services have cropped up in recent years which offer ultra-low cost index investment accounts online, usually made up of either ETF’s or mutual funds.  However, many of the funds may be investing in the securities of companies which produce products or services which directly contradict our Catholic faith.  Examples of such companies could be those which provide embryonic stem cell research or are experimenting with human cloning or provide abortion services.  As a Catholic, do you want your money invested in these types of companies? Obviously not! However, what is the solution?  Is there a solution?

The screened approach to investing your Catholic values

Thankfully due to advances in technology it has become easier and significantly less costly in recent years to determine which companies violate the beliefs of Catholics.  This screening of investments which was not possible years ago can now be done by Investment Advisers. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) adopted Socially Responsible Investment Guidelines in November 2003.  These guidelines, while originally developed by the USCCB in regards to stewardship of their own financial investments, have become the guidelines which are now also used by Catholic Investment Advisers and Catholic mutual funds for screening potential investments for their clients.

An investment option for Catholic values investors

InvestingCatholic, an SEC Registered Investment Adviser has responded to the needs of Catholic investors. Founded and run by Catholic Advisers, they have developed a propriety technique of screening investments for Catholic values in accordance with the US Bishops Socially Responsible Investment Guidelines. InvestingCatholic provides risk-based investment models built according to Modern Portfolio Theory and screened for Catholic values. Our advisers carefully construct each one of our model portfolios with the appropriate asset allocation suitable for its risk profile. InvestingCatholic serves individuals, families, non-profit charitable and religious organizations, and small businesses. They believe that all Catholics should have equal access to sound investments screened for Catholic values. InvestingCatholic does not require a minimum investment amount to open an account or require fund minimums.

InvestingCatholic Investment Products

The Catholic Values ETF Series is geared toward the investor looking for low cost globally-diversified portfolios, specially designed for taxable accounts. The portfolios in our ETF Series’ invest in up to 11 low cost exchange traded funds (ETF’s).

The Catholic Values ETF Retirement “R” Series is geared toward the investor looking for low cost globally-diversified portfolios, specially designed for retirement accounts. The portfolios in our ETF Series’ invest in up to 11 low cost exchange traded funds (ETF’s).

The Ave Maria Mutual Fund Series with no minimum required investment (typically minimum initial investment of $2,000 per fund). These risk-based models ensure that you are investing appropriately given your specific risk tolerance.