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Keeping Your Dollars Aligned with Your Values: On Principles, Faith and Finance

March 07, 2016
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I've always believed a man who sticks to his principles is a man worth admiring. Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill, Martin Luther King Jr.—all fantastic examples of men who stuck to their guns despite challenges and opposition, and made the world a much better place for having done so. Each of us has our own set of values we follow to try to make our own world a much better place. Recently, I've been thinking about the ways we can align our values and principles with our money.

In a world where we often seem disengaged from each another, I think it's especially important to find ways that our values connect us. My faith has often guided me, even in tricky situations, and I believe an investor's principles can help connect him or her to better financial outcomes as well. A number of my clients are dedicated to ensuring their money is supporting their own vision for a better world. In today's marketplace, you can do this in a number of ways. Let's take a look at a few of the ways to make sure your values, principles and faith are aligned with your money. 

Faith-Based Investing

A number of funds exist to support investors' desires when it comes to keeping their money aligned with their faith. This generally means avoiding investing in companies that support causes in conflict with your religious beliefs and investing in companies that support your vision for a better world. As Debbie Carlson writes in U.S. News & World Report

"Faith-based investing is considered a niche of the overall socially responsible investing theme, but it's really the originator of the idea of using morals to guide monetary decisions." 

I think this is an excellent way to ensure the same pillars that secure your faith are also guiding the work your money is doing in the world. I pride myself on listening and being engaged with my clients, so if this is a strategy you'd like to pursue and you aren't already, I'd love to work with you to create such a strategy. 

Giving Back

As I've outlined before, charitable giving has many benefits, both financial and spiritual. To quote Hebrews 13:16,

"Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.”

Charitable donations are good for personal well-being, good for our economy, good for preserving your legacy, and good for your own financial health. Further, by using organizations that vet individual charities' effectiveness, you can be sure your money is going a long way. I can attest to just how rewarding giving back can be. It really does put many of your blessings into perspective.

Stay Connected with Your Community

As one Entrepreneur article points out, your successes and failures are determined, in many ways, by the people you choose to spend your time with. Making sure those around you support your goals and values is so vital to ensuring you achieve success the way you want to achieve it. This is just one of the reasons I'm proud to be a member of Qualified Kingdom Advisors, a community of financial advisors who specialize in offering "biblically wise" financial advice. I'm always impressed by the wisdom and knowledge of this group, and I continue to learn from them every time I attend a Bible study.

These experiences always remind me of the importance of spending time with those who help you practice your faith and keep you true to your values. Attending church or Bible study groups, or participating in community gatherings and volunteer efforts are all rewarding endeavors. 

It All Leads Back to Trust

To quote John Wooden,

"Be more concerned with your character than your reputation. Your character is what you really are while your reputation is merely what people think you are." 

In staying true to your values and sharing your principles with others, you're demonstrating the character that Wooden found so valuable. I've always found that sharing the values that guide our own practice has resonated with those we work with, and I look forward to conversations about how I can help you keep your finances in alignment with your own values.

John Lindsey is President and CEO of Lindsey & Lindsey Wealth Management. After years of experience in executive leadership and finance, John founded Lindsey & Lindsey Wealth Management in 2012 to better serve his client base with an expanded universe of investment offerings. His biggest piece of advice is to always stay true to yourself and never compromise when that compromise would endanger your principles.