Aligning Christian Values with Investing

Apr 23, 2024

Explore how aligning your investment strategy with your religious values can be both spiritually and financially rewarding.

Emily Thomas, Head of Investing with Impact, Wealth Management

Key Takeaways

  • Values play a critical role for many Christian investors as they seek a holistic approach to embracing their faith.
  • There are several ways to approach faith-based investing, such as screening out objectionable industries or investing in those that intentionally promote human flourishing.
  • Investors can also inspire positive change through shareholder engagement, such as voting proxies and filing shareholder resolutions.
  • Whether dedicating your full portfolio or a portion of it, you can invest in a way that reflects your Christian values without sacrificing your financial goals. 

An estimated 2.4 billion people, totaling nearly one-third of the world’s population,1 identify as Christian. For many of these individuals, faith is not confined to the church or their personal lives but may extend to their financial decisions as well, including their investment strategy.


While scripture often highlights the importance of ethical considerations over financial gain, there’s no reason investors have to sacrifice financial returns for their faith. By partnering with your Morgan Stanley Financial Advisor, you can help ensure that your money goes toward investments that reflect your values while still helping you pursue your overall financial goals. The Morgan Stanley Investing with Impact Platform offers a framework for Christian investors to consider.

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    Intentionality of the investment process

    Investors can consider a number of approaches, including:


    • Christian values as a “restriction screen”: You can screen out industries or sectors that don’t align with your faith. Morgan Stanley investors can access more than 30 restriction screens based on their specific denomination and personal beliefs.
    • Christian values “integration”: Beyond screening out companies that offer products or services contrary to your faith, you can also use criteria that align with Christian values, alongside financial metrics, to actively choose investments for your portfolio. For example, an investor can evaluate a company based on its track record on human-rights issues such as discrimination in the workplace, along with reviewing the company’s revenues, earnings and other traditional financial metrics.
    • Thematic solutions: Similarly, investors can promote human flourishing by seeking out funds specifically focused on protecting and meeting the needs of the vulnerable in society. For example, an investor may invest in businesses that seek to address global challenges, such as food security, clean water access, healthcare, education or affordable housing. 

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    The influence of shareholders in helping change company behavior for the better through active engagement

    In addition to making intentional choices about where to invest or not invest, some investors may also seek to bring positive change through “shareholder engagement,” which includes voting proxies and filing shareholder resolutions to influence a company’s behavior. For instance, a Christian-values-focused investment manager might engage the management team of a portfolio company to push for the elimination of forced labor across its international supply chain. If the fund manager doesn’t see satisfactory progress, they may ultimately divest. 

Incorporating Christian Values into an investment portfolio

Once you decide which approaches may be right for you, your Morgan Stanley Financial Advisor can help you integrate your values into your portfolio. This often takes place in one of three ways:


  • Carve-Out: You set aside a specific amount or percentage of your portfolio to align with Christian values.


  • Partial Portfolio Activation: You and your Financial Advisor transition assets across your portfolio over time as you uncover options that meet both your financial needs and Christian values.


  • Total Portfolio Solution: Your Financial Advisor manages your entire portfolio based on your financial and Christian-values objectives.


Your Morgan Stanley Financial Advisor can then help you identify investment products and solutions that best align with Christian values. Leveraging Morgan Stanley Impact Quotient®, our patented impact reporting tool,2 you can align your portfolio with more than 100 impact preferences and monitor progress toward your goals. Morgan Stanley offers more than 3,000 investment strategies, including a number available on the Firm’s Investing with Impact Platform that seek to align with Christian values.


As religious text says, to whom much is given, much is required. For many investors, this speaks to the heart of what it means to be a responsible steward of the wealth and resources placed in your care. Connect with your Morgan Stanley Financial Advisor to discuss how you can align your wealth and investments with your values. To learn more, you can also request a copy of the Global Investment Office report, Investing and Giving in Alignment With Christian Values: Blessed to Be a Blessing.

Find a Financial Advisor, Branch and Private Wealth Advisor near you. 

Check the background of Our Firm and Investment Professionals on FINRA's Broker/Check.

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