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Offering time-tested wisdom on the complexities of the investment process, this guide provides advice on how to invest in a morally responsible way. It provides information on how to screen and exclude companies according to a clear set of faith-based criteria: those who support or service the abortion industry, producers and distributors of pornography, and companies involved in embryonic stem cell research. Based on this set of guidelines, as well as the success of the Ave Maria Mutual Funds, the guide ...
Offering time-tested wisdom on the complexities of the investment process, this guide provides advice on how to invest in a morally responsible way. It provides information on how to screen and exclude companies according to a clear set of faith-based criteria: those who support or service the abortion industry, producers and distributors of pornography, and companies involved in embryonic stem cell research. Based on this set of guidelines, as well as the success of the Ave Maria Mutual Funds, the guide demonstrates that high returns are achievable without supporting companies that do not support similar values. Also included is insightful commentary on the current political policies affecting the country’s financial state.
Posted February 10, 2011
The viability of a Catholic mutual fund "that would examine stock from the specific perspective of Catholic moral teaching" and "would not buy shares of firms supporting abortion" could prove to be a tough sell. (pg. 20) There were brave, determined souls like Tom Monaghan, founder of Domino's Pizza, and other influential people such as Bowie Kuhn who would sign on and eventually help make Ave Maria Mutual Funds a reality. The SEC application would be extremely challenging and there would be many "nit-picking objections." In fact, it was snidely mentioned that, "If you're going to have a cardinal serving as your advisor, why not just get him to put his imprimatur on the fund?" (pg. 29) In spite of many obstacles, Ave Maria Mutual Funds would skyrocket. People wanted what they had to offer. Schwartz is quick to share some basic investing advice and even admits he admires Warren Buffett's investment strategies. In spite of their obvious differences, he does make it clear that "The idea that owning stock is a valid means of increasing wealth requires that you believe things can get better over time. And that is a fundamentally religious idea." (pg. 75) He advises us to "be prepared" and refers us to Jason Zweig's "very savvy check list for investors just starting out." The list for the acronym "THINK TWICE" is spelled out in detail and he actually recommends taping them to "the edge of your monitor." In this book you will also learn about stock values (price vs. value), investing, how to evaluate a company, traditional measures of stocks (LV, NPV, PVM), the importance of goodwill, you'll learn several generalized guidelines to investing, and you'll learn many other interesting facets of how you can invest and your investments will be "financially astute and morally appropriate." The author's intent and intended audience is made quite clear from the start. Ave Maria Mutual Funds is a Catholic investment fund and has a very strong pro-life stance. George Schwartz impeccably nailed his subject. He stated, in part, that "my intention is to demonstrate how you can get good returns on your investment while avoiding securities of corporations that are engaged in activities contradicting key Christian values-in particular, those that violate core teachings of the Catholic Church." (pg. xv) This book does promote Ave Maria Mutual Funds, but that fact is quite obvious. I did not find it overbearing as the "sell" was primarily at the beginning and end of the book. The only part I did not care for was a bit of personal political finger pointing, but it did tie in with his investment premise. The audience for this book is quite specific, but if you fit that mold you will find that you can glean a lot of informative information about morally responsible investing in these pages. Quill says: If you are interested in an excellent overview of a company who espouses morally responsible investing, you'll appreciate this book.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 22, 2010
In Luke 12:48 Jesus cautions that more will be asked and expected of those who have been entrusted with much. As Christians Jesus calls upon us to act and those who have the means to make a difference must act. And when we choose to be morally responsible stewards of what God has entrusted us with than we build our financial house upon the rock rather than on shifting sand. If faith has no place in making our investments than where in our lives does faith belong? I believe it is important for investors to put their money into companies that share their values and withdraw their funds from companies engaged in activities that are morally objectionable. I also believe that most investors are more interested in profit and financial return and do precious little research into what the companies in their mutual funds or 401ks are engaged in. Because many don't research the values of companies they invest in I am sure many Christians would be shocked to learn that some of the funds they invest in supports activities they find morally objectionable. That's the warning given in Good Returns: Making Money by Morally Responsible Investing by George P. Schwartz, a chartered investment counselor and Certified Financial Advisor. The author's investment firm manages the Ava Maria Mutual Funds, the largest family of Catholic funds in America with more than 25,000 investors. By employing morally responsible investing principles I can make sure that the money I invest supports businesses that stay true to, or at least don't violate, the teachings of Christianity. As a stock holder I am part owner of that company and as an owner I must do enough research to make sure that I am not supporting or agreeing to activities that are morally abhorrent to me. Furthermore, as an owner I have a right to make my voice heard and should speak up if a company I am investing in is engaged in something I object to such as pornography or embryonic stem cell research. The hard-cover edition of Good Returns is only about 175 pages and so does not take long to read. Take the time to open your eyes to the importance of morally responsible investing and pass on this book to a friend when you are finished. --Emory DanielsWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 29, 2010
I enjoyed the insight this book offers for those of us who have invested our money in the current market. We, as Christians need to make sure that we are investing our money in companies that promote the values and beliefs that God would have us invest in, not in just any old company that is guaranteed to make you some money. It's those investments that in the long run will do more for you that just add money to your bank account but keep you accountable to God as well.
I received Good Returns, Making Money By Morally Responsible Investing by George P. Schwartz, CFA and William J Koshelnyk, compliments of B & B Media Group for my honest review. In light on this trying economic times, I personally feel the book gives you just what we need to get through these hard years. I would rate this book 8 out of 10.
This book is only available in Hard Cover format.
In his new book, Good Returns: Making Money by Morally Responsible Investing, author and Chartered Investment Counselor George P. Schwartz, CFA, calls Christians and conservatives to pursue a portfolio that reflects their values. "When you buy stock in a company, you are not just holding a piece of paper. You become part owner of that company, and that role includes some rights and responsibilities," says Schwartz. "Your financial investment is supporting something, and you need to do the research to ensure that you are not supporting or tacitly agreeing to activities that are morally abhorrent to you."
Good Returns offers time-tested wisdom on the complexities of the investment process, demonstrating why moral people make good investors and morally upright companies can be profitable investments. Schwartz also offers insightful commentary on the current political policies affecting the country's financial condition. He points out that even in an unfriendly political climate, morally responsible investing is a way that people can make a real and positive impact.
"While the moral picture of modern American society has become somewhat clouded, most people in the USA still accept the idea that there are distinctions between right and wrong," says Schwartz. "This gives me enormous hope for the potential impact of morally responsible investing as a lever of ethical change. I am truly honored to champion this cause."