I have been interested in the stock market for as long as I can remember. A few years back, I had the opportunity to join a company that analyzed, consolidated, and synergized investment data. I quickly became aware that the world of investments was far more complicated than I had previously thought.
I began to obsess over gaining a deeper understanding of all investment vehicles but found that many of the traditional investment certifications did not get to the level of detail that I desired. I began studying to take the level 1 CFA exam, the most respected credential in the investment community. The exam covers operational information and different investment strategies that are used by investment managers around the world. While studying, I continually had objections to various strategies as I studied. I kept saying to myself, “Why is that assumption made?” and “Why did you include these factors in your model, but not others?” I was constantly at odds with the material, but struggled to articulate the source of the tension.
Then a few months after taking the CFA exam, I attended Denver Institute for Faith & Work’s “Stocks, Bonds & Mutual Funds” event. As the panel discussed their perspectives on investing with a Kingdom focus, I found my excitement rising. As the Eventide Funds team began to describe in detail their Biblically Responsible Investing model, everything clicked!
All of the tensions that I felt while studying and disagreements I had been having with friends suddenly made sense.
Let me give you an example: I had not heard of an investing model that considered employee satisfaction rates in the analysis of a company. Eventide specifically pointed to this as a factor that they analyze. My mind was blown! No other investment model or strategy was complete in addressing my interest in growing God’s Kingdom.
This event led me to question and analyze all of my personal investment decisions in a new, Kingdom-focused light. I am even reevaluating my career aspirations and am thankful to DIFW for creating a space for such an important conversation!
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This post was published July 20, 2016
Grant Stone is a Financial Advisor at Edward Jones in Denver, Colo. He is a member of the 2016-2017 class of the 5280 Fellowship, a program of Denver Institute for Faith & Work.