CHARLOTTE, N.C., Feb. 19, 2014 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- A new survey conducted by the non-profit Christian Investment Forum (CIF) shows that 64 percent of financial advisors think Biblically Responsible Investing (BRI) is a credible investing approach, and over 80 percent expressed interest in recommending investments aligned with client values.
"These findings dispel common perceptions in the financial market that a BRI strategy is not credible. It is this perception that often leads financial advisors to avoid utilizing screened investments," says John Siverling, Executive Director of CIF.
According to Siverling, the 64 percent number in the CIF survey is in lockstep with results of a survey conducted by Everence (formerly MMA) in 2001 showing that 62 percent of investors who described themselves as religious either try or would like to try to use faith in their investing decisions.
Despite this level of interest in faith based investing, the CIF survey found a considerable lack of awareness among advisors surveyed as to the number of mutual funds available for clients interested in using a BRI strategy, as well as the actual performance of those funds. Over 63 percent of financial advisors indicated they were aware of only ten or fewer funds using Christian faith based investing strategies, when the actual universe of such funds has grown to over fifty. When asked if faith based investing can perform as well as traditional, non-screened portfolios, less than 14% did not believe BRI funds could perform comparably.
"This awareness gap means we have an enormous opportunity to grow the use of BRI because the perception of investment choices and comparable performance is significantly different than the reality," Siverling says. "Today, Morningstar analyst David Kathman tracks faith-based funds, many of which have a solid track record of performing to their benchmarks and in some cases exceeding them. For instance, The Eventide Gilead Fund, owned by Eventide Funds, a member of CIF, was recently ranked as the number one best performing mutual fund by the New York Times in all categories for the five year period ending September 30, 2013 based on total returns."
The CIF survey results also show a growing trend in acceptance of BRI. Over 90 percent of advisors disagreed with the statement that "Religion and faith should not play a role in investing decisions," an overwhelming number. "Interest in faith based investing is strong with both advisors and investors," Siverling says. "Coupled with the enormous Christian population in the U.S., this suggests a large market segment exists if the current unmet needs can be effectively addressed."
The CIF survey, conducted in October and November, 2013, was based on 264 respondents who are financial advisors, 90 percent of whom belong to Kingdom Advisors, a non-profit resource center for the Christian investment community. For more information about the survey results, please click here: CIF Survey.
About the Christian Investment Forum
Founded in 2012, the Christian Investment Forum (CIF) is an independent, 501(c)6 non-profit trade association of Christian investment professionals and companies seeking to promote knowledge and understanding of the concept of Biblically Responsible Investing (BRI). Current members include Aris Corporation, Ave Maria Funds, Camelot Portfolios, Creative Financial Design, Epiphany Funds, Eventide Funds, Praxis Mutual Funds and Steward Family of Funds. Learn more at www.christianinvestmentforum.org.
Media Contact: John Siverling, Christian Investment Forum, 704-246-6282, firstname.lastname@example.org
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SOURCE Christian Investment Forum