HOLLISTER (KPIX 5) — An investment company in Hollister has started to offer what they call “biblically responsible” investing. That means no buying shares in companies that “have any degree of participation in activities that do not align with biblical values,” including what they call the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender “lifestyle.”
“We really see ourselves as the Chick-Fil-A of investments,” said Robert Netzly, the president and CEO of Hollister-based Inspire Investing.
Netzly is a devout Christian who on Tuesday launched Inspire Investing, two stock funds concentrating on companies that follow his interpretation of biblical teachings.
“Overall, the socially-responsible investing community has a very strong liberal tilt…and very much focuses on more liberal issues, which is fine. But there’s been nothing for those conservative investors,” Netzly said.
The fund disqualifies investment in any company that involves abortion, gambling, alcohol, pornography, human rights violations and what they call the LGBT lifestyle.
“We exclude companies that choose to take a hard-line activist stance on any issue that is outside of our moral fabric,” Netzly said.
A web app uses artificial intelligence to search online sources for news and information about companies and even produces a real-time display of their adherence to Christian values. Only stocks with a higher moral purity get the fund’s money.
Netzly feels this is an untapped market. He says, in two days he’s already generated $17 million from around the country.
He’s not sure how big this could ultimately get, but he’s not afraid to dream big.
“Our, sort of, internal mission is to have the tallest building in Hollister, California,” Netzly said.
The man who runs Inspire Investing says his funds do not eliminate companies for being tolerant of gay employees, only those that pursue what he calls an “activist agenda.”