Should I become involved with a company that opposes my beliefs, principles, or morals? That’s a question I’ve been pondering for a few weeks now concerning stock investments. As a customer, it’s easy to boycott a company and shop elsewhere. But as an investor, I’m learning that it isn’t always a simple matter of choice.
My family has never been involved in the stock market for various reasons, which makes me sort of a pioneer in the endeavor. Furthermore, most of my friends are not investors, and those who are simply invest in low-risk trusts or funds. So I’m left learning the ropes of the open market with the resources I can find in books and online, and I’m left with question after question whose answers I must discover on my own. The technical side of the markets isn’t a problem. It’s simply a set of terms, numbers, and guidelines that just about anyone can learn. But what about the moral side?
By purchasing shares in a business, the investor becomes a fractional owner in that business, which means he embraces what that business does – including what it supports or opposes. Furthermore, many big businesses are at least morally grey, with some blatantly opposed to Christian morals during this era of moral volatility. Most businesses in the open market make donations to places like Planned Parenthood if for no other reason than for tax purposes. Christian-friendly businesses such as Chick-fil-A and Hobby Lobby remain in the private market to avoid moral and ethical conflicts with investors, and for just reasons. So it remains that Christian investors (even those investing in trusts or funds) are faced with an open market rich with businesses based upon a very different value system from their own, often in opposition to their own.
I’m still searching for an answer to this question. Money mustn’t trump morals, but I’m convinced that there must be a way for a Christian to invest in the markets without compromising his morals or without buying into a business that would prefer Christianity was out of the way of ‘progress.’
And so my quest continues…