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ETFs that Only Invest in Who “Follows the Bible”

ETFs who only invest in those who "follow the Bible", ETF, ETFs, Inspire

ETFs who only invest in those who "follow the Bible", ETF, ETFs, InspireAt Wall Street are multiplying the "clones" investing on instruments conforming to "the values of the Bible", as explained in the prospectuses. The last one appeared a few days ago, launched by a financial company called Inspire Global Hope, based in Hollister, a California town south of San Francisco.

Inspire Global Hope has agreed with Sec to explicitly exclude from its basket of four listed Etf, companies in any way related to abortion, gambling, alcohol, pornography, slaves traffickers and LGBT lifestyle (abbreviation for "Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender"). "We have found that there are a lot of investors, not just Christians but also simple conservatives, who want to support traditional marriage," explains Robert Netzly, Inspire CEO. "So we have created investment criteria that respond to the values of the Bible, to give these savers products that follow their faith and values".

Let's see the four ETFs more closely. The last born was launched last October 31, called "Inspire 100" (ticker: BIBL, not by accident) and invests in large US companies with at least $ 20 billion in capitalisation. Total commissions are 0.61% per annum, but the issuer points out that half of the profits are devolved to specific projects such as the distribution of bible, Syrian refugee assistance, support for evangelisation activities, and so on.

The other Inspire ETFs are the Global Hope (ticker: BLES), which unlike BIBL invests internationally, and Small/Mid-Cap Impact (ticker: ISMD), specialised in small US medium-sized companies. Both were launched at the end of February 2017 and for now remain niche products: the first has assets managed for 45 million dollars and the second for less than 24 million. Lastly, has been launched in July 2017 the Inspire Corporate Bond Impact Etf (ticker: IBD), to invest in US corporate bonds. Products still too "young" to judge their stock market performance.

The real surprises, however, come when we down the list of equities on which the "biblical" ETFs invest. Let's take the Inspire 100 "BIBL" for example. Fortunately, there are not many known gun warmakers: Smith & Wesson, Lockheed Martin, and Northrop Grumman. But more than 2% of ETF assets are made up of General Dynamics shares, company famous for fabricating for over 40 years the multi-role F16 fighter, veteran of any modern conflict, together, for example, with the F111 bomber, widely used in Vietnam and the First Gulf War.

And some people have questioned other investment choices. An example? While has been excluded Apple (CEO Tim Cook has stated that being gay, as in his case, is a "gift of God"), Inspire Global Hope's Etf have a lot of shares in Nvidia, the graphics cards producer GeForce. Some of the most violent video games in history, like the bloody First-Person Shooter (FPS) use those graphics cards. Netzly defends himself by saying that Nvidia producing excellent graphics cards, "and that if there are companies that choose them for creating very violent video games, the responsible are the game makers, not of those who produce processors".

In Inspire Global Hope Etf, however, there are also equities of biotech companies that produce testosterone supplements or carry out research on stem cells, as well as private companies in the United States who run prisons and jails (such as Corrections Corporation of America and GEO Group). Are companies carrying ethical values that follow the Bible?

 

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