With Easter and Passover fast approaching, many Americans have faith on their minds. But can religious influence extend to investments as well? Ray Hennessey, Editor of SmartMoney.com, has some advice when it comes to investing in faith-based funds.
Hennessey considers religiously-themed funds to be part of a new trend. "For years, these funds were part of that socially conscious niche... but the performance wasn't there and the assets weren't there," says Hennessey. All that has changed. Faith-based investments have shown increased performance in the past few years. Hennessey now considers them worth recommending.
Backing for these funds come from both religious organizations and socially conscious fund managers. For example, the New Covenant Funds are backed by the Presbyterian Church. "Social consciousness is big now in investing," says Hennessey, which is helping these funds to become more popular.
Another religiously-backed fund is Ave Maria, a Catholic-based fund. "Ave Maria is much more strict than New Covenant," says Hennessey. "If you have a company that supports same-sex benefits, they won't invest in it... backing those Catholic values."
Amana, another fund, is Muslim-based. "They don't even invest in things like pork producers, so they're very strict in Muslim law," says Hennessey. However, Amana is outperforming a lot of other funds. "You're seeing a lot of assets and a lot of interest, not only from the Muslim community," says Hennessey.
For more information on faith-based investments, as well as other personal financial advice, click here.
By Erin Petrun