May 13, 2010

New Faith-Based Funds Aim to Increase Sales in Non-Profit Sector

Boomers looking for investments that reflect their beliefs can take advantage of three new fund families offered by The Hartford. The company recently announced it is adding three faith-based investment fund families to appeal to growing demand among non-profit organizations like churches and charities.

According to research from the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, 80 percent of boomers identify themselves as Christian; only 13 percent say they are "unaffiliated."

"Interest on the part of nonprofit organizations such as churches and charities in sponsoring retirement plans is growing tremendously," Peter Moore, vice president of The Hartford's public sector retirement sales said in a press release. "And people who work for nonprofit organizations and others are expressing interest in socially responsible investment strategies, including faith-based funds."

It's not simply that investors don't want to support companies with business practices they disapprove of, Moore added. Some investors are actively looking for companies that support their values.

One of the new funds, The Timothy Plan, is a "biblically based mutual fund group," that adheres to Judeo-Christian principles. The Ave Maria Mutual Funds and the LKCM Aquinas Funds follow guidelines set by the Catholic Church.

In addition to the new faith-based funds, The Hartford is launching the Neuberger Berman Socially Responsive Investment Fund, which follows "social criteria" in its investments, such as environmental activism, community relations, and diversity in the work force.

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