*Published in FundsPeople Magazine (no.158) on 12/13/2022
When someone asks me if the lay faithful really have to play a differentiating role in the world of investment, I can’t help but think of how recent Popes have repeatedly encouraged us to take a leading role in all areas of civil life. It was Paul VI who reminded us that it is up to us lay people, with our free initiative and without passively waiting for instructions and directives, to penetrate every social reality with a Christian spirit (Paul VI, Populorum Progressio, 81).
ESG investment seemed to be a good starting point to begin to generate a change in the way of investing. However. in its practical evolution, it has proven to be insufficient for the Catholic investor because of its inability to address aspects that are at the heart of Christian life (such as the defense of the life of the unborn or the preservation of religious freedom. to cite a few examples).
This has led many Christian investors to seek an alternative, which they have finally found in faithful investing. Faithful investing is based on three ideas. First, it understands that the Christian’s vocation encompasses the totality of his or her person and decisions, including investment decisions. This is what is known as the unity of life. Secondly, he assumes that temporal goods are a means to achieve the integral development of the person and the common good, as long as resources are properly allocated and the affections of the heart are not tied to money. Finally, it does not pit profitability and integrity against each other but allows them to go hand in hand, so that investors can legitimately seek returns on their investments while ensuring that they do not compromise their moral principles.
To this end, faithful investing focuses on investing in assets or companies whose activity does not conflict with Christian moral principles. Principles that, being deeply rooted in the truth of the human being, are permanent, coherent, and non-contradictory, and which take into account aspects such as respect for human life, the family, human dignity and the real value of creation. The aim of this type of investment is to base investment decisions on deep roots so that the scope of the good derived from them is as broad as possible.
In short, faithful investing is an invitation to invest while being fully aware of the transcendence of one’s own actions and taking responsibility for them, understanding that these must point to a greater good that can only be achieved on the basis of permanent values that nothing and no one can manipulate.
Borja Barragán Frade.