Catholic investment on Wall Street and the Eurostoxx is twice as profitable as the «atheist» one

*Published on 05/30/2022 in El Español

Last year, the 50 listed companies in the S&P 500 that most comply with the Church’s social doctrine rose 29.2%, compared to 12.3% for non-believers.

Applying the Catholic Church’s criteria to investments when one buys Wall Street or Old Continent stocks starts to be very profitable. Over the past 12 months, the 50 S&P 500 companies that best meet the Catholic requirements returned 29.2%, almost 2.5 times more than the 50 non-compliant companies, which returned 12.3%.

These are data from the financial advisory and consulting firm Altum Faithful Investing, which «not only seeks the highest return for our clients, but also wants to be an instrument of evangelization,» as stated on its corporate website.

In the last six months, the gap has been even wider in favor of Catholic investment in the United States: 7.5% versus 0.1%. At a time of high uncertainty and volatility in the market, marked by the war in Ukraine, inflation, rate hikes, supply chain gridlock and the collapse of major technology companies, this type of approach takes on special relevance.

If the criteria were applied to the EuroStoxx 60, the results are equally remarkable in terms of the social doctrine of the Catholic Church in the world of finance. In the last year, the 50 companies in the Old Continent that are most aligned with these principles rose by 13.7%, compared with 9.3% for those that are not, i.e. 1.5 times more. If we shorten the period to the last six months, 2.7% compared with -0.4% for the «non-believers».

Altum seeks the best investments based on three Catholic pillars: the promotion of human dignity, the family and life.

Catholicism at the Ibex

The firm founded by Borja Barragán had already carried out a previous exercise focusing on the Ibex 35, from which it extracted that 25 of the companies in the main Spanish stock market index are «coherent» with the social doctrine of the Catholic Church.

Thus, these 25 Spanish listed companies that comply with Catholic doctrine are more profitable than the ten that do not. In the last five years, companies aligned with the Church’s social doctrine offered an annualized return of 10.1%, compared to -2.1% for the rest.

These results suggest that «an investor willing to invest consistently with Catholic principles does not need to sacrifice returns,» says the study by Altum Faithful Investing, which collaborates with such well-known entities as Azvalor Asset Management.

In fact, «ensuring that financial decisions are consistent with moral, ethical and religious principles can be made at a very similar rate to conventional investing or, as last year’s results and the past six months show, the positive difference in reality can be markedly greater.»

For example, in the last five years, the best-ranked American companies in the Catholic ranking returned 19% per year, compared with 20.7% for those not aligned, just 1.7 percentage points less, and taking into account that the S&P 500 is the most efficient stock market index in the world and practically unbeatable for managers. This is easier to achieve in Europe. Catholics in that period gave an APR of 21.1%, compared to 8.6% for ‘atheists’ or ‘agnostics’.

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