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Americans Are Ready for Their Money & Values to Align


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Americans' view of money as central to their life is at an all-time high, according to a recent Wall Street Journal survey.
Simultaneously, the polling reported that the number of Americans committed to religion has declined to a record low of 39%, with 48% still holding that a belief in God is important. 
These numbers may seem bleak on the surface, but we should read between the lines on recent trends: even though America's faith population has narrowed, it has developed a heightened value of money. 
Americans who remain committed to a faith system are demonstrating more interest in utilizing their money to protect their voice and to have a say in the marketplace based on their convictions. In fact, 73% of Americans report that their personal values are influencing more of their life decisions than they did just two years ago.
As the trend of Americans placing growing importance on money continues, the financial industry can restore people's trust in the industry by proactively empowering these customers with knowledge on how to invest well and in alignment with their faith values.   
Even with this more recent surge in interest, faith-based investing is not a new concept. In the early 1900s, some faith communities used their finances to advance the social causes they believed in while withholding support from organizations they believed were causing harm to society at large. 
When Americans choose faith-based investing options, they are choosing to confidently put their money to work beyond the church walls and proactively regain a voice via their investments. 
From retirement plans to mutual funds, Christians can select plans and investment options that provide them with collective influence in corporate boardrooms to protect their values, care for vulnerable populations, and make a meaningful difference in the world. 
Faith-based financial advisors can strategically utilize this scale to advocate for causes that align with their investor's worldview. Their collective input has resulted in safeguards being added to technology used by children and assisting in reducing aggressive Opioid sales and distribution practices.
I believe fewer Americans see valuing faith and valuing money as mutually exclusive propositions. God has called Christians to steward our wealth for Him. When people of faith connect their resources to biblically-responsible investment approaches, there is an unlimited opportunity to bring glory to God.  
Financial advisors and industry professionals have a great responsibility to step up and help seven out of 10 Americans who care about using their finances to invest according to their convictions. By taking this trend seriously, they can empower investors to build a secure financial future for themselves and their families while simultaneously influencing today's marketplace and leaving a legacy impact. 
Brandon Pizzurro is the Director of Public Investments. He is the primary Portfolio Manager for all equity, fixed income, real asset, impact, target risk and target date funds within the GuideStone Funds lineup of registered mutual funds.

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