When D. Anthony Wright took a hard look at his investments, he didn’t like what he saw.
It’s not that he was disappointed in the returns; it’s that he was unwittingly investing in companies that did not support – and in many ways flouted – his Christian principles and beliefs.
“I had been an ordained minister for 20 years and I decided to screen my 403 B investments to see what the companies were doing with my money,” Wright said. “What I found literally brought me to tears. We as Christians, pastors, ministers, missionaries, people of faith are truly being destroyed for a lack of knowledge. I always preach pro-life and pro-family, but my investments inside my 403B, 401k, IRA and brokerage accounts were funding the very things I was preaching against.”
He continued, “The big corporations are using Christians’ money to fund abortion, LGBTQ causes, pornography, sex trafficking, etc. because we are too busy and don’t have the knowledge to check up on what they are doing with our money. All most investors care about is what is my return.”
Wright was so disturbed by these findings that he decided to open his own Investment Group 12 years ago, Retirement Specialty Group (RSG). As president and CEO, he set about finding a way to screen a portfolio to identify faith-based companies and Bible-safe investments, and he used himself as a guinea pig to test it out.
“I didn’t lose any return on my investments,” he proudly reported. “In fact, God blessed my portfolio when I made it Bible-safe; I earned high double digits in 2020 and my entire investment portfolio was north 50%. The best part was that all of my investments were clean, God-honoring and a match for my Christian beliefs.”
Anthony and Maria Wright
Wright then began employing the same principles with his clients, who like him, wanted their money to support their values. He explains his formula to his clients so they understand his qualifiers and how he has arrived at his conclusions about various companies.
“We use a biblical-responsible investment approach that examines each company’s impact on society: how they treat their employees, customers, suppliers, and community at large,” Wright explained. “We rate companies based on both their positive contributions as well as any damaging or harmful behaviors. We seek to find companies that exemplify Christian values. These companies are coming up with cures for life-threatening diseases and protecting the sanctity of human life, as well as providing products and services that are improving our lives.”
What he has discovered in having these conversations with his clients is that practically no one really understands where they are investing. They focus on return on investment, and even those who are staunch supporters of Christian causes rarely have time to delve into the logistics of their investments.
Wright shared just such a story. “We had a woman on a pro-life board who was very wealthy, giving hundreds of thousands of dollars each year to pro-life causes and ministries. We screened her portfolio and found she had invested in some of the largest contributors to abortion – those funding, performing, and creating drugs for the abortion industry. She was appalled to find out she was investing in the very same companies she was fighting hard against. We then helped her clean up her portfolio so she could ensure that her investments were also pro-life!”
This commitment to honoring Christian values while also investing in growth opportunities has brought RSG great success. During Covid when it seemed every business struggled, RSG did well. Wright attributes that to finding the high-quality companies that could continue to grow earnings and sales even through shutdowns and business restrictions.
“We also have conducted more meetings with clients through phone and video conferencing, and have actually stayed in better contact with our clients,” he said. “We have seen a huge uptick in business opportunities because of the market uncertainty as well as the increased demand for clients to mirror their faith and values with their investment portfolios.”
Wright says that his personalized approach to investing makes all the difference. He takes the time to get to know what’s important to his clients and what companies they want to support.
“We help individuals and institutions find investments that bring light to this world and avoid companies that are destroying our culture and world,” he added.
“This type of positive, faith-based investing can help you make a huge impact on the world you live in.”