Individual investors should expect their financial advisers to heed their ethical concerns, or else summon the moral courage to take their business elsewhere. To whom much is given, much is expected (Luke 12:48).

When it comes to employee-sponsored 401(k) or 403(b) plans—often restricted to a few mainstream mutual-fund options—an investor can pursue three different avenues: (1) Petition the Human Resources Department to include an "ethical fund" or "self-directed brokerage window" option. (2) Use ethical ratings programs like My Investigator to pick the least objectionable fund available. (3) Stop participating altogether in favor of other tax-deferred but self-directed retirement vehicles such as iras or variable annuities.

Evangelical churches, nonprofit organizations, and foundations should adopt official ethical guidelines for their retirement, endowment, and other investments, or risk undermining the integrity of their entire ministry by supporting the cultural problems they seek to remedy.

Christian universities, colleges, and seminaries can legitimize the ethics they teach by establishing ethical investing policies as well. In addition to portfolio screening, these institutions of higher learning can also pursue shareholder action by forming committees among students, professors and alumni to research and advise votes on the ethical resolutions of their endowment's corporate proxies.

Related Elsewhere

Also appearing on our site today:
Christ's Returns | Building an investment plan beyond profit.

Resources for Portfolio Screening:

VBI Mutual Funds:

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  • Noah Fund is a large-cap growth fund.
  • Shepherd Funds offers growth, small-cap, fixed-income, and international funds.
  • Stewardship Partners includes international and global funds.
  • Timothy Plan offers aggressive growth, large/mid-cap growth, small-cap values, large/mid-cap value, fised income, strategic growth, conservative growth, and money market funds.

Shareholder Action Resources:

Creative Investing Resources:

Catholic Mutual Funds:

Other Online Resources:

  • Faithful Steward gives information and links (by Mary Nabor) to resources for all three facets of ethical investing.
  • Values Investing has useful resources on VBI, provided by VIF.
  • Social Invest is the official site of the Social Investment Forum, a nonprofit devoted
  • Social Funds is the leader in up-to-date research and reporting on SRI.
  • Responsible Shopper identifies corporations by their products. Also offers free SRI ethical reports.'s Money channeloffers many resources for values-based investing.

Previous Christianity Todaystories about ethical investing include:

Ma Bell, Madam | Socially responsive investors question AT&T's trafficking in hardcore smut. (March 21, 2001)

Is the Stock Market Good Stewardship? | I see more of our Christian brothers investing in the market. Is this a healthy trend? (Nov. 1, 2000)

Pious Profits? | Socially responsible' investing grows popular. (Sept. 6, 1999)

Disney Boycott Gathers Steam | Organization holds rallies, asks people to dump their stock in Disney companies. (Oct. 6, 1997)

Holding Corporate America Accountable | Christians press for greater responsibility from businesses. (Oct. 28, 1996)

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