The Bible teaches a long list of lessons that can be applied to investing and money management. As such, many investors with strong Christian beliefs prefer to have their money managed by financial advisors who share their faith. While advisors typically do not advertise their religious beliefs for fear of narrowing their prospects and turning off those with different views, investors seeking a Christian money manager can find one if they look in the right places.
Perhaps the most famous Christian financial advisor is Dave Ramsey, who hosts a syndicated daily radio show out of Nashville, Tennessee, in which he frequently applies biblical teachings to the financial advice he offers his listeners. Ramsey subscribes to a philosophy of debt-free living and buy-and-hold investing with growth stock mutual funds. A signature segment of his show features listeners who have recently paid off all their debt calling to scream on the air, "I'm debt free!" His website is DaveRamsey.com.
With his SmartVestor program, Ramsey helps listeners identify local financial advisors who share his philosophies. While advisors pay Ramsey to be part of the program, Ramsey does not accept just anyone willing to foot the bill. Advisors must agree to his Code of Conduct, which stipulates, among other things, that no advisor in the program may resort to hard-sell tactics or offer financial advice that is anathema to Ramsey's core beliefs, such as taking on debt or purchasing cash-value life insurance.
Advisors who breach the Code of Conduct risk being removed from the program. Ramsey also severs ties with advisors who accumulate too many negative reviews from local customers.
Though Christian beliefs are not required for the program, many of the values upheld in the Code of Conduct are rooted in the faith. An investor seeking an explicitly Christian financial advisor should review each local SmartVestor's website. Often, one or more will proclaim faith in a mission statement.
National Association of Christian Financial Consultants
The National Association of Christian Financial Consultants (NACFC) is an organization that teaches its financial advisor members to practice biblical stewardship in their careers. The institution provides training through self-study and group brainstorming sessions, and even offers a professional designation, the Christian Financial Consultant and Advisor (CFCA), to members who demonstrate mastery of its principles.
The group holds an annual event called Vision Quest, at which advisors gather and share their experiences from the previous year. The conference usually hosts one or more high-profile Christian guest speakers.
The NACFC website, NACFC.org, features a "Find an Advisor" section where visitors can search for local advisors who are members of the organization or have earned the CFCA designation. As of 2016, the group had advisors in 37 states.
Local Churches or Religious Organizations
Christian beliefs come in many varieties. For example, a Catholic and an evangelical, though they pray to the same God and subscribe to the same overarching religious doctrine, often practice their faith in starkly different ways. One of the best ways for people to connect with those who share their specific ideology is to get involved in a church community or join a local religious organization that represents their denomination or type of Christianity.
By choosing financial professionals from the local religious community, a person has the chance to evaluate how the professionals interact with fellow parishioners, as well as the way they live their own lives, before agreeing to enter a business relationship. Another benefit is that the advisor likely has existing clients who are members of the organization or church. A person considering hiring the advisor can check with friends in the church and ask about the experiences they have had.