BRI is Biblically Responsible Investing, a means of screening your investments to know whether the underlying companies and funds are voluntarily supporting things such as abortion, pornography, anti-family lifestyles, gambling, or other areas of concern. Most BRI screening mechanisms look for “voluntary” support—things like promoting these issues through advertising or producing products or services in these areas—not “involuntary” areas such as fulfilling government-required mandates.
SRI is Socially Responsible Investing. An SRI screen may look for environmental issues or social issues such as weaponry, diversity, clean water, animal welfare, employee treatment, etc. SRI has been around for several years, even as far back as the Quakers’ avoidance of a company who engaged in slavery in the 1600s. BRI is considered a subset of SRI and has really gained traction in the 21st century.
Another derivative of moral investing is sometimes called Impact Investing. This is a more positive or proactive look at the investment screening process. Impact investing looks for companies who are doing good and making positive impact in their communities, their employee or client base, and/or providing excellent products that improve the world we live in. This is not looking at what these companies are doing wrong (if anything) but what they are doing right.
For too long, investing has been seen as an amoral activity whose primary goal is profit or gain. If you make money, you’ve made a good investment, right? If that were truly the only criteria for a Christian to consider, then I would strongly suggest that you go buy an abortion clinic or an ‘adult’ bookstore. There is plenty of money to be made there if money is all there is. But for most of us, that suggestion goes “too far.” We would never purposely invest directly in enterprises that harm others, promote addictions, divide families, or defame Christ’s mission. The question to ask then is—how is stock ownership any different?
If you have questions about Biblically Responsible investing, the returns that you might get (or lose) if you invest this way, and/or the history and heart of the movement, we would be happy to send you a booklet that answers some of these questions. Please contact us for a free copy.
It is not our desire to judge someone who does not engage in BRI. The process of understanding and embracing Biblically Responsible Investing is often a journey that is led by the Holy Spirit. We each have our own testimony of how God unfolded the mission of BRI in our hearts and we’ve read and heard many wonderful testimonies by leaders in the movement. It is not our job or our mission to “make” anyone utilize this approach—truly!
In the early years of our business, we wrestled between two taglines:
“It’s your money, shouldn’t it reflect your values?”
“It’s His money, shouldn’t it reflect His values?”
We finally acknowledged that both are accurate and appropriate for believers. It is His money—but for our days on earth, it is ours to steward. And our mission at Faith Investment Services is to help you walk in freedom and peace, morally as well as financially.