U.S./world – Investing on faith – Room for growth

Religion plays a big role when Americans invest and make financial choices, a new survey says.

Eight of 10 investors see themselves as religious, the survey says, while three of five religious Americans base or tend to base their financial decisions on their religious or ethical values, and more than half of all U.S. investors build or tend to build their ethical values into financial decisions.

The survey, released by Mennonite Mutual Aid and sponsored by the MMA Praxis Mutual Fund, which screens for Anabaptist Christian beliefs and values, also found that nearly two of every three women are likely to combine religion and investing, compared to just under half of all men.

Nearly half of all men say religious beliefs don’t color their investing, compared to nearly one of every three women.

The survey also says that more than four of every five investors have not heard of mutual funds that screen for religious values, and that more than half of religious investors who are not aware of such funds would consider buying their financial products if they knew about them.

The survey shows that religion and ethical issues “are cutting a much wider swatch across investing than previously was understood,” John L. Liechty, president of MMA Praxis, said in a statement. “If anything, the data suggest that this trend is gaining speed and will become even more pronounced in the future.”

The survey, “Where Faith and Wall Street Intersect,” is based on data from an Opinion Research Corporation International survey of 1,121 U.S. investors.

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