BRI Objections - Part 3: Too "churchy"?

We're going to continue to work through some of the top objections we've received since starting our Cornerstone Portfolios in 2020. This month will be a shorter blog, but we still think it's important to cover it – in case this has been an issue you've faced with Biblically Responsible Investing. We have been told that it's hard to approach clients without it sounding too "churchy".

Before going deeper into this, I think it's important to go and read our blog from last month if you haven't done so already:

I don’t want to work with those people
It seems like our world becomes more divided every day. Everything becomes political whether it’s justified or not. We’ve faced some push back since openly sharing our Christian faith as a firm. Last month, we started a series going through some of the objections we’ve received since starting our Cornerstone

This blog discussed the more generalized topic of people not wanting to work with us because we are Christian. The goal of this blog was to show that even if you aren't a Christian, openly Christian businesses should be focused on taking care of their clients and loving them regardless of their beliefs. While not all Christian businesses do this, our hope is that you won't feel judged by any SEM employee when you work with us.

So how do you specifically approach clients with Biblically Responsible Investment options without deterring them? The important thing is to understand your clients. We recognize that our Cornerstone Portfolios aren't for everyone. As a financial advisor, you should aim to personalize the experience based on your clients' personalities. If after talking with the client, you strongly believe they would not be interested in the Cornerstone models, you don't have to bring it up to them. We have other investment options at SEM!

However, if you are unsure about how they'd respond to Cornerstone and are interested in providing them with different options, here are some ways you could approach it without sounding "churchy".

  • Make an impact with your investments: the Cornerstone Portfolios are more than just for Christians. Socially Responsible Investments (similar to Cornerstone), aim to make the world a better place. ESG (Environmental / Social / Governance) and SRI (Socially Responsible Investing) tend to be used interchangeably. When comparing these to BRI, there are a lot of things that overlap. The key difference is ESG/SRI investments tend to embrace the LGBT related issues and companies that support them, while BRI seeks to eliminate companies who have products or services that profit from abortion. Therefore, even if you aren't a Christian, but you care about the environment, our Cornerstone Portfolios cover nearly all the key values a secular ESG or SRI strategy will.
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  • Performance: While we shared in our first BRI objections blog that the goal of Cornerstone is not to focus on the performance, the performance has compared to our secular models. If you have clients that are worried about the performance, but still want to make the world around them a better place with their investments, our Cornerstone Portfolios are a great option!
  • You don't need to throw Bible verses down their throats! While we have used different Bible verses to explain why we started Cornerstone, if you have clients that aren't Christian, you don't have to bring up the Bible verses. These verses are there for our Christian investors, especially if they are skeptical of switching from the secular portfolios to BRI.

I want to emphasize that just because these are Biblically-based investment portfolios, they can benefit and look attractive to non-Christians. Through these portfolios, we strive to support companies that value others and the environment. Therefore, if you want to talk about the Cornerstone Portfolios without sounding too "churchy", focus on the values-based approach of them and how they strive to make the world a better place.

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West Point, VA
Courtney is SEM's Marketing Manager. She joined SEM full-time in 2016. Outside of SEM, Courtney enjoys hiking with her golden retriever, Mya and volunteering at LifePointe Christian Church.