Ethical investing by religious groups increasing

The total number of religious mutual funds in the US has grown 121% since 1999, compared to 16% growth in the total number of mutual funds, with the amount of money invested in funds also increasing faster than average, according to a US church-owned fund organisation.

“These findings show the growing link between faith values and finance decisions,” said John L Liechty, President of the company that carried out the research, MMA Praxis Mutual Funds. “There are more religious investors than before and they seem to understand that investing is about more than just money. The message here is clear: religious investing is an important and growing mutual fund category.”

The research revealed that 56% of all investors, and 62% of religious investors make their personal values part of the process when deciding how to make financial choices. “The troubling times of the last year have had the effect of forcing many Americans to confront the way in which they lead their lives,” said Rusty Leonard, founder and CEO of the Stewardship Partners Investment Counsel. “The soul searching has resulted in a new generation of religious investors.”

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