Values Win Again

GuideStone Funds Receives 2019 Lipper Fund Award

“GuideStone Funds® has no individual winning funds but has the best risk-adjusted return for all their Funds added up; that means these guys are top performers for each fund they manage,” said Tom Roseen, head of research services at Lipper.

The entire GuideStone Funds family won the Lipper Fund Award for 2019 Best Overall Small Fund Company over 3 years (out of 29 eligible as of November 30, 2018). The award is based on risk-adjusted total return.

GuideStone Funds provides a performance-driven, faith-based approach to investing.

Why we believe fund screening matters.

As the nation's largest faith-based mutual fund family,1 GuideStone Funds is often asked, “Why screening?” Our answer is simple: because we believe performance has many components, one of which is values. But not to the detriment of performance. We provide the faith-based investor the opportunity to invest based on conviction, as we believe our faith-based values do impact the world for the better. GuideStone® has shown those values can also shape our investment portfolio without sacrificing performance. And the 200,000 participants we serve agree.

If you are still unconvinced, don’t take our word for it. Consider the power and popularity of faith-based investing within the overall larger responsible investment (socially responsible investing (SRI) and environmental, social and governance (ESG)) universe:

As of the beginning of 2018, $12.0 trillion of the $46.6 trillion in total assets under management in the U.S. can be attributed to investors who want their investments to reflect their personal values. This number has been steadily rising since the early 1990s with a sharp uptick in the early 2010s. Today, more than one-fourth of total assets under management belongs to investors who act on their convictions.2

The marketplace drives demand. And the above statistics show demand for faith-based investing. Here are a few more eye-opening stats from a survey conducted for Natixis Investment Managers:3

Our investment philosophy at GuideStone is simple: We believe attractive risk-adjusted returns may be achieved through a long-term, fundamental approach that identifies best-in-class managers and optimally allocates capital among them — all while remaining committed to Christian values.

That also means we proudly provide our retirement plan participants with the opportunity to invest in GuideStone Funds — the nation’s largest faith-based mutual fund family.

Historically the knock has been that to actually have responsible investing, you had to give up some performance. I think we're seeing now that that isn't the case, and we're actually seeing lots of times where using an ESG framework can actually help you avoid companies with bad practices. - Martin Kremenstein from an interview by Business Insider (May 2018)

 

How does GuideStone screen?

GuideStone Funds does not invest in any company that is publicly recognized as being in the alcohol, tobacco, gambling, pornography or abortion industries or any company whose products, services or activities are publicly recognized as being incompatible with the moral and ethical posture of GuideStone. We then go beyond simply restricting ownership in companies that fall under our faith-based screening policy. We seek to influence the way companies engage their employees, customers and communities in order to support the physical and emotional well-being of society.

GuideStone Funds’ investment policy helps support faith-based investing through the protection of the health, safety and emotional well-being of those we serve. GuideStone works with regulators and legislators in Washington to ensure the unique needs of ministry organizations are represented and protected.

We advocate for our plan sponsors, understanding that church plans — while not subject to all the same fiduciary regulations as their corporate counterparts — are not immune to an increasing awareness of the fiduciary role of retirement plan sponsors.

Responsibility requires advocacy.

How GuideStone has taken faith-based investing to a whole new level.

Today investors feel that they can align their personal values with their financial investment choices. Investors are now more aware of competitive portfolio returns when investing in companies they trust and that share their values. So in today’s investment landscape, being an engaged investor matters to many because they understand and value the importance of financial stewardship.

GuideStone seeks to be that engaged shareholder for its participants, knowing that companies aren’t perfect. Many quality companies have policies or business lines that do not necessarily align with the views of GuideStone and our desire to positively impact the well-being of our fellow citizens. We seek to influence the way companies engage their employees, customers and communities and attempt to work with a company toward a positive resolution. 

Health

Stewardship

Life

Family

Safety

We are dedicated to doing right by investors and have enlisted a formal shareholder advocacy program. By implementing an engagement process that includes letter writing and corporate dialogue, we can work together with corporate management toward a positive solution for both the company and investor.

  • Letter writing — We engage in letter writing when contacting corporate leadership of a company to address a perceived issue. The goal of letter writing is to bring an issue to the company’s attention and to set the agenda for the scope of the engagement and potential next steps.
  • Corporate dialogue — We engage in corporate dialogue to allow investors and companies to come together and address topics in a way that can’t be accomplished through letter writing. Companies can state their current position on an issue and express future intentions in this environment.

Matthew 5:14 states, “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.” At GuideStone, we’re aware that the choices we make now have the power to affect our future. Therefore, it is of the upmost importance to us to dig into these conversations on behalf of our investors and be the light.

GuideStone feels it would be a disservice to our investors not to provide an arena where they have the opportunity to make a difference.

GuideStone offers the following credentials for SRI/ESG:

1.  Committee on Socially Responsible Investing (SRIC)
2.  Member of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR)*
3.  Dedicated full-time SRI analyst with 20+ years of experience with the firm
4.  Top-tier ESG/SRI research tools ISS Governance DataDesk, MSCI ESG Manager, Bloomberg and FactSet

ICCR ISS MSCI Factset
Faith-based Mutual Funds
*ICCR is an organization of investors committed to bringing about positive change to companies. ICCR provides a forum for like-minded investors to discuss issues of importance and to see where investors can approach companies as a unified group. ICCR also provides for research staff to help members make fully informed data-driven decisions as they engage companies.

Discover the GUIDESTONE difference.

Preparing Employees Today for Retirement Tomorrow

GuideStone shares your mission and offers comprehensive retirement plans designed to help accomplish your goals. Talk to a church plan expert about our investment flexibility, competitive pricing and exceptional service:

Values create valuable participant outcomes.

GuideStone understands how values impact performance. Discover how the church retirement plan specialists can impact your plan design to improve plan sponsor and participant outcomes.

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