DLS Consulting

Does Sin Really Pay Better?  

In a recent article in the New York Times, Janet Morrissey asserts that a mutual fund that emphasizes sin stocks has out performed many other funds including those who attempt to invest with a moral compass.  It is times like this that Christians often are tempted to throw in the towel and give in to the line of least resistance.  That is, why not just go along and make money wherever you can and then we can tithe from it and use it for the Lord's work?  Rationalizing all of our actions including how we invest God's money that he has entrusted to us is a dangerous practice and the Bible cautions us many times against taking the easy road or the shortcut.

What really set me to thinking about the "Vice Fund" as it is known is the fact that a reporter for a prestigious newspaper would write about a fund with very short term insights and with such a plumb that investing in any way other for the best pragmatic returns is good.  As I started thumbing thru all my notes to counter this articles points, it struck me that my first response was no different than the authors as I fumbled to find all the periods that I could find performance data to justify morally and Biblically responsible funds.  It was then that Proverbs 26:4 came to mind...

"Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you will be like him yourself"

It is so easily forgotten that the reason people invest in a morally, Biblical, or socially responsible matter is NOT first and foremost to get the highest return.  It is indeed to achieve a higher goal in pleasing our Creator and showing proper stewardship of the responsibility given us to make good choices.

This article was also a reminder that ALL types of investors were cited as not doing as well as the "sin fund".  Could this be a wake up call to all of the categories of niche investors whether they call themselves SRI, BRI, or any other acronym implying a higher standard of investment screening?  Could it be time for unity in this crowd of investors to emphasize their common interests?  It appears to me that the information in this article is actually not correct and in fact almost every serious study of the performance of moral and Biblical investment strategies actually shows a slight advantage over their peers not a disadvantage.  Unfortunately, the slant that almost every article like this seems to show is the opposite result.  Without a clear refutation of articles like this, the myth that sin and corruption can be profitable just keeps living on. 

This week I hope you will consider that the reward of taking the high road and doing what is right will not always be rewarding in the short run.  It may in fact look like you are a loser for telling the truth or doing what your moral compass and heart knows is the right thing to do.  If that is not easy for you to reconcile, I encourage you to read I Corinthians 10:13


Sent September 17 , 2007

Please contact Dwight Short if you would like to receive future Monday Morning Messages.

Back to List of Archived Messages

Copyright © 1999-2011, DLS Consulting :: Privacy Policy :: Site Map :: InvestmentHelp.org