Do you feel like you have a responsibility, based on good financial stewardship, to boycott the purchase of products provided by companies with questionable or immoral practices? There are obvious products one might choose to avoid, but should your mutual fund include stocks of companies with immoral values?
A recent Crown Financial Ministries Biblical Devotional points out we do have responsibility in this area of spending or investment management!
Boycotting products is good stewardship. It is spending God’s money in a manner that would be pleasing to Him and not supporting companies that use their profits to sponsor questionable programs.
“Make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose.” (Philippians 2:2 NASB).
A steward’s mindset
How does a financial steward view money management? A financial steward knows money in his or her possession only comes from God. People can’t earn it under their own accord; God does the providing. Therefore, financial stewardship is all about managing wisely the resources God has provided which includes money. Having a purpose or plan for money and taking steps to avoid wasteful spending is pleasing to God under this principle.
A Christian strives to grow his or her relationship with Christ and to also be Christ-like in daily living. If we purchase products that could harm us, others, or that may be misaligned with Christian values, we may be inhibiting our ability to be Christ-like or united in spirit according to the scripture and devotional.
Beyond the obvious, I think the challenge can be in knowing when we’re making such purchases or perhaps investments.
We certainly all have a choice to make at our local grocery store when it comes to purchasing inappropriate material or things that can be harmful to our health and to our relationship with God. Without throwing out all the examples, such items are created by companies that typically aren’t thinking along the lines of bettering society or the expansion of Christian values.
Moral investing decisions
What isn’t as obvious and more difficult to use good judgment is when we invest our money, perhaps in our company 401k, and mutual funds. When purchasing mutual funds we don’t directly purchase company stocks that are in the fund. The fund manager makes these purchases for us, but it is still our investment. Therefore, unless we’re paying close attention, there may be company stocks in our mutual fund for companies we would typically avoid supporting.
So beyond the trip to the grocery or convenient store, should we be concerned with what stocks our fund contains? Some would say yes because they feel it’s a component of financial stewardship and being like-minded with Christ. Others would be less concerned because of the indirectness of purchasing stocks in the mutual fund.
Most people, me included, don’t spend a lot of time analyzing every company in which a fund invests. Truthfully, if we did spend the time identifying all the companies and reviewing their websites, we still might not be able to identify immoral activities occurring with a company’s mission or product. And at the same time, these companies are probably not going out of their way to make this information widely known to the public.
How to make moral investing decisions
But the subject of product boycotting, including investments has got me thinking that there may be more I can do here. After all, I do want to be the best financial steward I can be and I certainly don’t want to invest in a company that produces for example, pornography that draws people further away from God and wrecks havoc on families.
I came across a resource that can help when it comes to making moral investing decisions. Moral Moneyis focused on helping people be Biblically responsible investors. It helps people build a portfolio of companies that only support Christian values. I noticed on their website they have something called the “Integrity I-Dex” which is a benchmark for Biblically based portfolios. Companies are screened for their involvement in things that go against Biblical Christian values. If you want more information, Christian PF conducted an interview with Moral Money.
Whether you are for or against boycotting products, I think there is something to think about and consider here. More conscious spending or investment decisions can help put a stop to furthering the growth of companies with immoral missions. While investing decisions may be more challenging, we can see through organizations like Moral Money, it is possible to do some screening to help with decision making.
What are your thoughts about boycotting products of questionable companies and perhaps mutual funds that include stocks of such companies?
Photo by dooley.