God's Spiritual Stimulus Plan – The Need (1 of 14) by Steve Jones

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God's Spiritual Stimulus Plan – The Need (1 of 14)
Series: God's Spiritual Stimulus Plan
Steve Jones
Philippians 1

INTRODUCTION: Sin isn't paying off quite as well as expected; at least, not on the stock market. The Vice Fund, a mutual fund that invests in the so-called "sin" industries -- distilleries, casinos, tobacco companies -- along with aerospace/defense, has plummeted by 42 percent in the last year. That is 4 percentage points worse than the Standard & Poor's 500 Index overall performance. That plunge in the Vice Fund's value is in the face of the conventional expectation that people will not cut back on drinking, smoking and gambling even in hard times. In contrast, the Ave Maria Growth Fund, which invests only in companies whose practices conform to Christian values, is down only 33 percent. It has beaten the Vice Fund by 9 points and S&P by 5 points. Writing in The Wall Street Journal about the difference in performance of the two funds, Brett Arends commented, "It's hardly a miracle -- but maybe enough to raise eyebrows on Wall Street, a secular place where the usual invocation is 'let us prey.'" "Sin" stocks are usually considered safe places for investments during downturns, as those industries normally have a strong cash flow even when other investments are tanking. But for some reason, that hasn't happened in the current recession. The Ave Maria Growth Fund has rules that steer it away from investments that in any way support things the church opposes; especially abortion and activities the church judges to be anti-family. In practice, those rules kept the fund away from such financial debacles as AIG, Bank of America, Citigroup and General Motors. Earlier this month, the Ave Maria Growth Fund was awarded the 2009 Lipper Award for Best Multi-Cap Core Fund for the three-year period ending December 31, 2008, out of 653 funds.

Now THAT'S a stimulus plan; a stimulus plan that's guided by a spiritual focus. You may have heard that our count ...


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