by Duane Roberts of Dana Investment Advisors
NORTHAMPTON, MA /ACCESSWIRE/November 9, 2022/ Faith-based investing is not a recent trend, as religion has influenced economies and finance throughout history. In ancient Greece, the capital accumulated with temples and sacred administrators acted as bankers, which led the historian Gustave Glotz to declare that “finance was born in the shadow of holiness”. The Talmud advises on diversification (one-third in land, one-third in trade, and one-third at hand). Opinions on usury date back millennia and span all Abrahamic religions. Faith-based investors recognize that they have the opportunity, even the obligation, to exert influence over companies in order to maximize the human welfare (beyond mere monetary gain) of shareholders, stakeholders at large and society as a whole. These investors may align investments with their belief system, such as Quakers avoiding any business relationship with companies involved in the slave trade, or early Methodists avoiding investments or partnerships with companies profiting from alcohol, tobacco , game or weapons.
Faith-based investors have also been at the forefront of defending shareholder interests. In 1971, the Episcopal Church filed the first shareholder proposal to appear on a corporate proxy that went beyond internal governance or financial matters, asking General Motors to withdraw from South Africa. as long as apartheid continued. A Baptist minister, Leon Sullivan, was on the board of General Motors at the time and drafted the Sullivan Principles, a code of conduct for businesses designed to put pressure on South Africa’s apartheid system. Religious entities and individuals have since collaborated to push economic actors towards more just and sustainable enterprises.
Learn more about what’s happened over the past 20 years and what’s happening today with the billions in denominational assets, in Duane’s full article here – https://greenmoney.com/faith-based-investing-economics-for-the-greater-good
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