From the February 2010 issue of Research Magazine • Subscribe!

February 1, 2010

Values Based ETFs: Investing Faithfully

The FaithShares funds attempt to adhere to each denomination's religious values by avoiding publicly traded stocks that profit from alcohol, gambling, pornography, tobacco, weaponry and other off-limit activities.

A new lineup of exchange-traded funds (ETFs) proposes to follow the values of Baptists, Catholics, Lutherans, Methodists and other Christians.

The FaithShares Catholic Values Fund (FCV), the FaithShares Methodist Values Fund (FMV) and the FaithShares Christian Values Fund (FOC), FaithShares Baptist Values Fund (FZB) and the FaithShares Lutheran Values Fund (FKL) were launched to target religious investors.

The funds attempt to adhere to each denomination's religious values by avoiding publicly traded stocks that profit from alcohol, gambling, pornography, tobacco, weaponry and other off-limit activities.

"We created these funds to meet the needs of investors who want to participate in the potential of the stock market, yet be good stewards of their money," states Thompson S. Phillips Jr., president of FaithShares. "Each of our ETFs will include 100 stocks of large, well-known companies but specifically exclude those considered to be in 'objectionable industries' by a specific denomination."

The FaithShares charge 0.8 percent in annual expenses and according to the company it'll donate 10 percent of the net income derived from each ETF back to a ministry or charity supported by the fund's denomination.

The first religious oriented ETF ever launched was the Javelin Dow Jones Islamic Market International Index Fund (JVS) in July 2009. While the Islamic ETF has been slow to gather new investments (just $4.8 million in assets), it takes a similar approach to the FaithShares ETFs of avoiding investments incompatible with certain religious beliefs.

FaithShares ETFs are benchmarked to custom indexes developed by FTSE and KLD Research & Analytics.
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