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Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in New York City Oct. 17. Pope Francis said Oct. 23 that thousands of starving children around the world today are innocent victims sacrificed upon the altar of the god of money because of humanity's greed and attachment to wealth. (CNS photo/Brendan McDermid, Reuters) See POPE-MASS-MONEY Oct. 23, 2017.

Report shows businesses that follow Catholic teaching do better financially

Businessmen in Scotland have welcomed a report that suggests investment companies that conform to Catholic teaching perform better than those that do not. — By Ryan McDougall and Peter Diamond

Philip Church, proprietor of Pension Investment Management Services and Peter Dean, co-founder of Your Expert Group and founder of financial advice group Carrington Dean, said the moral and ethical code of Catholicism is key to a successful and honest business.


Stark difference

A study[in Spanish] carried out by Spanish company Altum Faithful Investing, an investment organisation built around Catholic principles, found that of the 500 companies composing the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock market index, those who adhere to a Catholic ethos perform better than their secular counterparts.

The report measured the companies’ financial success against the degree to which they conformed to the Church’s moral stances set out in doctrine, encyclicals, pastoral letters, and doctrinal documents.

The report found that ‘S&P 500 companies respecting Catholic doctrine outperformed by up to 8.72 per cent.’


‘Not a big surprise’

Responding to the report, Peter Dean said: “It is indeed good to hear the results of this survey, but it’s not a big surprise as companies which value their customers, staff and suppliers are almost always successful.

“Looking after your customers and staff allows businesses to deliver consistency and to grow.

“There are of course many in business who don’t have the same moral or ethical approach in business—their sole objective is profit maximization, so their God is money—however, I have never considered these businesses as enduring, but rather, they are successful briefly and like the proverbial rocket their decline is a steep one.

“As regards to personal examples of my own limited success in business, I would just say that I have been able to provide opportunities for others—that is what I consider as my success.”


Christ is key to success

Philip Church said: “Too often we see profit before our basic principles, the quick buck mentality, win at all costs. Standing up for what is right is a difficult choice in a market where your performance will keep you your job or sadly lose it.”

However, he added that ‘Christ is the way, truth and the Life,’ and that ‘as soon as we veer off this course then sooner or later our returns on our funds will do too.’

He said that while something may look like ‘a bigger pot of gold now,’ investors will ‘like the prodigal son,’ later on discover a short minded way of thinking.


No compromise

He added: “As Catholics we can’t sit and say the creed at Holy Mass on Sunday and then on Monday morning promote everything that goes against Church teaching.

No, we can’t be hypocritical—we need to believe that what we know is right in our conscience, is right for investing too.”

Mr Church added that unethical businesses often have a ‘quick buck mentality,’ leading to less sustained success.


Faith and fortune

Speaking of a time where Faith resulted in good fortune, Mr Church remembered an occasion a decade ago where he had to correct a financial issue for a client, who was unknowingly at a loss of several hundred pounds.

“I wrote to him and informed him of what happened,” he said, before fixing the error.

“He said he would never have noticed and thanked me for my honesty. He has since recommended me to numerous new clients and friends of his since.

“So what looked like a doomsday scenario for me, in fact became boom time for me.”


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