We feel blessed to have the privilege to live in the United States of America. This country offers opportunities for economic growth, excellent education and health care, and material wealth. We believe strongly that we have an obligation to give back. This is not to say that everything is perfect. “Things” do not create happiness. The US suffers from drug addiction, income disparity/inequality, political polarization, and a raft of other issues. Nevertheless, people from around the world want to come to the US, and there is much to be thankful for.
Cornerstone believes that all investors should act prudently related to their needs and aspirations by looking at all time horizons from short-term to long-term. We also think investors need to consider stewardship within a time horizon that is eternal. For example, what is the impact of $1,000 invested in education for children within a Christian environment in Haiti compared to consumption of an expensive $1,000 bottle of wine. In a way, you could think of the multiplier impact of money spent on education that helps break the cycle of poverty and also leads to the saving grace of Jesus Christ. For values-based investment recommendations go to Faith-Based and ESG investments.
Listed below are passages of scripture related to stewardship:
Deuteronomy 26:1-4 “…you shall take some first fruits of the various products of the soil which you harvest…and putting them in a basket…you shall go to the priests…[who will] set it in front of the altar of the Lord, your God.”
Acts 20:35 “…recall the words of Jesus. There is more happiness in giving than receiving.”
Romans 12:6-8 “We have gifts that differ according to the favor bestowed on each of us.”
1 Corinthians 4:1-2 “Men should regard us as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God… Moreover, it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful to his gifts.”
Cornerstone exists to provide education related to investments and financial planning. Cornerstone believes that education helps to make prudent decisions that leads to better financial well-being. Cornerstone also believes that our lives and our purpose are much broader than simply making smart decisions related to investments, financial planning and taxes. Consequently we monitor Values-Based Investment Impact opportunities to allow informed investment decision making within the context of broader social objectives. Some criteria are listed below:
-Income Inequality is currently a serious issue. It is addressed partially through education and health care.
-Family stability. Broad-based social indicators point to the breakdown of the family. There is a clear need for religious and other insitutions to to help reverse this trend.
-Equal opportunity. Studies show that people want the opportunity to improve and get ahead, and this has greater long-term benefits related to self worth than simple charity or entitlements.
-Free, fair and transparent markets.
-Wealth is not evil but the love of money is evil. A good example is the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and all the initiatives to alleviate poverty and improve education and health care. Moreover, they plan to divest their wealth at death.
-Life’s Purpose-Ephesians 2:10. We are God’s workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works which God prepared in advance for us to do.
We would like to start a dialog related to the role of Christian stewardship and social impact. Let us know what you think at: http://jjohnson@CornerstoneInvestmentsLLC.com