Months ago I first ran into Tim Weinhold, one of the speakers at next week’s “Stocks, Bonds & Mutual Funds: How Theology Can Renew Investing and Wealth Management.”
After I read one of his articles — Business: Engine of Biblical Blessings —I decided to reach out for a phone call. In our chat, I learned he was a Harvard grad, faculty member at the Seattle Pacific University, and co-founder of four businesses. But what struck me as strange was his current role: director of Faith & Business at Eventide Funds.
What kind of a mutual fund, I wondered, hires a guy to think about and write articles on Christianity and business?
Months later, I met Robin John, Eventide’s CEO, and his associate, John Siverling, CEO of the Christian Investment Forum, for happy hour. Over chips and salsa they riffed on topics like “socially responsible investing” and a new term I had never heard before: “biblically responsible investing.”
I was a novice — and knew I needed to learn more.
Before I met the guys at Eventide Funds, and now my friend Chad Hamilton of Mariner Wealth Advisors, I hadn’t given much thought to the $28 trillion dollars currently invested in mutual funds, much less where my own retirement fund is invested.
But these guys made me pause: do I believe in these companies (or even know what companies are in my mutual funds)? Are they doing good in the world — or harming those God cares about? Can I be smarter about where I put the small amount of money entrusted to me?
Here are five reasons to attend “Stocks, Bonds and Mutual Funds” on June 8:
1) Scripture is not silent on God’s purpose for business, and, thus, God’s view on wealth creation and investing.
Tim Weinhold will speak directly on God’s purpose for business, and what it might mean for how we think about investing. This event will go from Mosaic law to Wall Street in 20 minutes — that’s no small leap.
2) The vast majority of Christians — myself included — have never thought twice about where our money is invested, as long as we get a financial return.
I’m guilty as charged, here. Months ago I simply chose the robo-investor that promised highest returns for the least amount of work. But have I erred? Might I be promoting businesses that are actually causing the problems my charitable giving is addressing?
Perhaps taking the mercenary approach (earn a bunch so I can give it away) isn’t quite right. And maybe it’s overlooking the “social return,” as Chad Hamilton says, business are already having right now.
3) The event will help to clarify a host of perspectives, like “socially responsible investing,” “values based investing,” “biblically responsible investing,” and “impact investing.”
Mystifying. What’s the difference between all of these? What does it mean when a company is “extracting value” vs. “creating value”?
There may be no 100 percent clean answers, but can I at least get clear on the options out there so I can make a more faithful decision with my finances?
4) We’ll dive into the tough questions related to faith and investing, like “How responsible am I for the business decisions of companies I invest in?” and “What is the best way to do good through investing?”
It gets complicated. Once we find out the companies in those mutual funds, then what? How do I determine the business practices I don’t want to support? What are ones that would be a good idea to put more investment dollars behind?
And can I still make at least a significant return on my money? With four little kids at home I feel old age fast approaching…
5) We’ll have the chance to examine the values that drive our own investing and what different choices we might make with the capital entrusted to us.
So how much should I give, save, spend and invest? And why? Do I want to retire early because I’m just burnt out on work? If so, will that make me happy? What values do I want my kids to adopt about money? How will I teach that to them?
We’ll dive into these questions on the evening of June 8 at the Commons on Champa. I hope you’ll join us for a bright conversation on faith, money, and investing for good in the world. Get your ticket today >>
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This post was published June 1, 2016
Jeff Haanen is a writer and entrepreneur. He founded Denver Institute for Faith & Work, a community of conveners, teachers and learners offering experiences and educational resources on the gospel, work, and community renewal. He is the author of An Uncommon Guide to Retirement: Finding God’s Purpose for the Next Season of Life and an upcoming two-book series on spiritual formation, vocation, and the working class for Intervarsity Press. He lives with his wife and four daughters in Denver and attends Wellspring Church in Englewood, Colorado.