Happy New Year! The exclamation is often followed by an inquiry: what are your new year’s resolutions? And every year for millions of Americans (some research says 60% of the population) most of the answers have to do with self-improvement of one type or another.
A survey by Forbes done just before year-end showed the following as the top resolutions for 2024:
Once again, you might be thinking; “Why in the world is he writing an investment article about New Year’s resolutions?”
The answer lies in the second most popular goal.
Certainly, improved finances can come from a variety of sources including more income, fewer expenses, or better investments. While to most people “better investments” translates directly to “making more money”, to a Catholic investor it can mean more than that.
All investors would agree that one dimension of better investing would be to obtain a higher return.
But looking at a dictionary also yields this definition of better: more attractive, favorable, or commendable (source: Merriam-Webster). What would make an investment better in this sense? How about the absence of, or at least the minimization of, evil?
1 Thessalonians 5:22 — Refrain from every kind of evil
How would one go about bettering their investing in this sense?
A good starting point would be to follow the Socially Responsible Investment Guidelines of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops. Those guidelines lay out exactly what corporate activities are to be avoided. If you are a conscientious Catholic and an investor, then you really should take the time to read the Guidelines. They can be found here.
By following an investment plan built to adhere to the Guidelines, your portfolio will be free of involvement in abortion, embryonic stem cell research, illicit weaponry, and much more. What a great way to bring your faith to this area of your life in the new year.
As far as we can tell from our own experience and from the testimony of the USCCB, there is no cost associated with this portfolio improvement through the avoidance of evil. But what if there were? Shouldn’t we learn from the words of Jesus: “What profit is there for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his life?”
Best wishes for a happy, prosperous, and faith-filled 2024!
- Socially Responsible Investment Guidelines of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops
- Understanding Catholic socially responsible investment guidelines – Catholic Business Journal