Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Faith-Based Investing: Mennonites vs. Muslims

Facts stolen from Newsweek, page 14 in its July 28 issue:

Islamic mutual funds are doing much better than the investments of Mennonite Mutual Aid (MMA). Both kinds of faith-based investment funds attempt to bow to the will of Godalla by avoiding certain types of "sin" stocks, and the differences in concepts of "sin" are leading to equally large differences in profits.

MMA Praxis funds avoid oil companies and weapons makers in an effort to be environmentally friendly and peaceful. MMA therefore lost out on a booming war business and soaring oil prices.

Islamic mutual funds are doing much better, partly because they have completely escaped the subprime mortgage crisis by refusing to invest in financial institutions, in compliance with the religion's strictures against collecting interest on loans.

Meanwhile, a friend of the Freakwenter shares this link to the "Vice Fund," which specializes in making profiting off of evil business. From their website,
The Vice Fund invests in companies, both domestic and foreign, engaged in the
aerospace and defense industries, owners and operators of casinos and gaming facilities, manufacturers of gaming equipment such as slot machines, manufacturers of cigarettes and other tobacco products, and brewers, distillers, vintners and producers of other alcoholic beverages. ... We believe that there are numerous investment opportunities in these sectors which have been largely overlooked by other funds.
But according Newsweek, the Vice Fund isn't doing so well right now.

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