Investments for the Kingdom | Christianity today
NOTNot long ago, when reporters were writing about Robin John, the co-founder of Eventide asset management, a subtle sneer rumbled beneath the surface. One called him “the believer”; others pointed to the odd language on the website of his Boston-based mutual fund firm: business as “engine of blessing” and “biblically responsible investing.”
Theology as the basis for the selection of actions? Is this guy for real?
Today, the whispers seem to have died down, and for good reason. Since its launch in 2008, Eventide’s flagship mutual fund (a pool of money invested by professionals in stocks, bonds and other securities), the Gilead Fund, has offered shareholders an annualized return of 13.70% as of September 30, 2016, against 9.03%. for the Standard & Poor’s 500. To put that in perspective, an investor who invested $ 10,000 in the fund when it was launched would be worth $ 26,050 today. The Gilead Fund was ranked among the best performers by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Bloomberg, among other publications. Over the past three years, media attention has helped Eventide grow from $ 50 million in assets under management to nearly $ 2 billion.
But there is more to Robin John than a focus on profit. Challenging Milton Friedman’s statement that the only social responsibility of corporations is to increase profits, John says, “Profit is only the by-product of a job well done.”
John, an evangelical living in Dallas, is a leader in the growing field of biblically responsible investing, which applies Christian theology and social concerns to investment analysis. Eventide, founded in 2008, has gained attention both because of its results and its unique faith …
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