Investing

Above The Water

I love a good legend and trying to learn about their origins.  I recently revisited the story of the Knights Templar and their baptism prior to heading off on their crusade from Europe to Israel. As legend has it, the knights would hold their swords out of the water as they were baptized to symbolize that they were surrendering everything to God except their swords – the implication being that they believed that the some of actions done with their swords would not be pleasing to God.

The symbolism of baptism for a Christian is that of death, burial, and resurrection. It’s a beautiful picture and a physical reminder that before Christ we are dead in our sins and separated from God. Plunging into the water represents death – death to sin and death to one’s old self. But we know that the Gospel doesn’t end in death…and neither does baptism. In rising from the water we are “born again” and participate in Christ’s resurrection and victory over sin and the grave. We rise to a new life – a life in Christ!

The Knights Templar baptism story is merely a legend, and yet its pointed symbolism is still convicting. I died to my old self through believer’s baptism in August of 2011. However, when I truly examine my heart and conscience, I know there were areas of my life that I unknowingly held above the water.

In my role as a financial advisor, my goal is to help investors align their faith and their finances. Money can be an uncomfortable topic for some people, but the Bible talks about it a lot. And as Christians we talk about it a lot too – we talk about giving to the poor, being generous, and honoring God by being good stewards.

As a financial advisor, the majority of my job involves stewardship – helping people steward their money well and in a way that reflects their values and honors God. But here’s where it gets tricky – many individuals unknowingly invest in companies that have practices that are in direct opposition to their closely held convictions. [For more on this see my last blog post Investing Ingredients.]  So what do people do when they discover this troubling reality? They start to explain away these contradictions with any number of excuses – from simple things like insisting that there is no way to invest in a biblically responsible portfolio, to being happy with the current investment returns, or, my personal favorite, trying to rationalize or minimize a company’s questionable practices. And I know these excuses…to be honest, I’ve even used them myself!

It took me almost 4 years to finally bring my investment portfolio into alignment with my personal values and convictions. For a long time, I was holding my wallet and investment portfolio above the water like Crusaders in the Knights Templar story. I had submitted my life to Christ but not my investment portfolio.

We live in the information age. We have more access to information than any other time in history. Let’s use that to our advantage! There is an exciting opportunity for Christian and non-Christian investors to bring their investment portfolios into alignment with their personal values. What impact could we make on corporate America if individual investors started to hold companies accountable for their business practices – not to mention their political and charitable contributions made with our money?

I will leave you with the following two questions: What are you holding above the water in your life?  And finally, what’s in your portfolio?

Disclosures:

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.

The return on BRI or moral/faith-based investments may be lower or higher than if the advisor made decisions based solely on investment considerations.

Investing involves risk, including possible loss of principal. No strategy assures success or protects against loss.  Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Sean P Weaver, CFP® is a Registered Representative with and, Securities offered through LPL Financial, member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advice offered through WWK Wealth Advisors, a registered investment advisor and a separate entity from LPL Financial.

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