Two new exchange-traded funds offer a “biblically responsible” investing approach by explicitly saying in their regulatory filing that they will avoid buying shares in companies that have “any degree of participation in activities that do not align with biblical values.” According to the New York Times, this includes what they call the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender “lifestyle.”
1. What percentage of Fortune 500 companies include “sexual orientation” in their nondiscrimination policies?
2. What percentage of Fortune 500 companies include “gender identity” in their nondiscrimination policies?
3. Are these funds the first religion-oriented investment products on the market? Discuss.
4. The large-company fund tracks an Inspire-created index of 400 companies it screened to match its investment criteria, which follow conservative Christian values. The article gave four examples of companies that would and would not make the cut for the index. Find two more companies of each category that are not currently in the index that could and could not make the cut and discuss why.
5. Would you invest in these funds? Discuss why or why not.
Moyer, L. (2017). As Funds Invoke Bible Values, Others See Intolerance. The New York Times, Feb. 28 (Retrievable online at https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/28/business/dealbook/christian-investment-funds.html)