All About Timothy Plan Funds
Attempting to Invest According to Biblical Principles
Since 1994, the Timothy Plan has attempted to avoid investing in companies that are involved in practices they consider contrary to Judeo-Christian principles, performing what they call "Biblically Responsible Investing."
The fund at its website lists defunding Planned Parenthood as a clear targeted outcome, linking the organization with more recent efforts in the Republican-led US Congress.
They have previously found 77 companies "directly funding Planned Parenthood" through their "eValueator" tool, making them a clear, modern-day example of a fund with religious values performing a form of negative screening.
Going back to 2008 the Timothy Plan family of funds promoted itself as “America’s first pro-life, pro-family, biblically-based mutual fund group.” It avoided investing in companies it saw as contributing to the country’s “moral decline,” meaning those involved in abortion, pornography, anti-family entertainment, nonmarried lifestyles, alcohol, tobacco, and gambling.
The funds were founded in 1994 by Arthur Ally, a former Lehman Brothers vice president, who wanted to address an investment need for the retirement plans of pastors of independent churches. While funds were available that screened for social or environmental issues, none screened according to the moral or culturally conservative principles of the pastors.
“They would preach on the evils of abortion or pornography, and Art didn’t have a choice but to put them in a retirement plan that invested in companies that were in direct opposition to what they believed,” says Steven Ally, marketing director for the Timothy Funds.
Arthur Ally started the first fund in 1994 and the Timothy Plan today includes 10 funds. The firm has created a “Hall of Shame” of companies (now called "Know Your Investing") that operate contrary to the firm’s investing principles and are excluded from investments. Steven Ally says that aside from the moral screens, the funds aim to preserve capital and the match or beat their respective benchmarks.
For all of society's ills listed in Timothy Plan's Know Your Investing analysis, climate change, and inequality are not featured. This makes their approach divergent from that of Pope Francis' call to action on climate change, and so different strands of religious investing are now starting to emerge.
Separate again would be Sharia investing, with its roots in shared value and shared ownership, shunning interest as a taboo practice.
Religiously mandated funds, therefore, need to be understood not only for the branch of the religion you are trying to match up to but also as to the specific goals and issues that each fund attempts to avoid or solve for specifically.
Timothy Plan's "Hall of Shame"
- Altria Group
- AstraZeneca Plc
- AT&T Inc
- AviChina Industry & Tech Co
- BJ's Restaurants Inc
- Bristol Myers Squibb Co
- Cablevision Systems Corp
- Caesars Acquisition Co
- Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC)
- CBS Corp
- Dynasty Fine Wines
- Electronic Arts
- Johnson & Johnson
- Private Media Group
- Procter & Gamble
- Scores Holdings
- Takara Holdings
- Thermo Fisher Scientific
- Tianjin Development
- Time Warner
Timothy Plan's Previous Fund Managers
- Westwood Management, a subsidiary of Westwood Holdings Group, Inc., manages the Timothy Plan Large/Mid-Cap Value Fund and the Small Cap Value Fund.
- Barrow, Hanley, Mewhinney & Strauss, Inc. (BHMS) of Dallas, Texas, manages the Timothy Plan Fixed Income Fund and the High Yield Bond Fund.
- Chartwell Investment Partners of Berwyn, PA, manages the Timothy Plan Large/Mid Cap Growth Fund and the Aggressive Growth Fund
- Timothy Partners Ltd. manages the Timothy Plan Strategic Growth Fund and the Conservative Growth Fund.
- Eagle Global Advisors of Houston, Texas, manages the Timothy Plan International Fund.