CLEVELAND (CNS) — A new financial product through the Knights of Columbus’ asset management and investment program is allowing individuals and institutions to invest funds according to Catholic values.
The Catholic All Cap U.S. Index Fund is believed to be the first mutual fund comprised of common stocks with a low cost expense ratio, Tony Minopoli, president and chief investment officer of Knight of Columbus Asset Advisors, said.
Investments through the fund will adhere to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Socially Responsible Investment Guidelines.
The guidelines were developed to exclude from investment portfolios companies that offer either products or services that violate Catholic teaching. The guidelines govern six broad areas: protecting human life, promoting human dignity, reducing arms production, pursuing economic justice, protecting the environment and encouraging corporate responsibility.
“This fund is for that individual or that institutional investor that is saying ‘I want U.S. equity exposure. I don’t want to think about the various sub-segments. I want something that complies with Catholic teaching and has low cost,'” Minopoli explained to Catholic News Service March 19.
“The all cap fund is for people who don’t want to think about asset allocation. It’s for people who want to say, ‘I have some exposure to the stock market and (want) to do it in a way that dovetails with my Catholic faith,'” Minopoli said.
Introduced Jan. 28, the new index fund reflects about 99% of the Catholic compliant companies in the U.S. stock market at the end of 2019.
Minopoli said the rollout of the fund has been slowed because of steps taken to limit the spread of the new coronavirus that have prevented field agents from becoming licensed to offer the product to investors.
Knights of Columbus Asset Advisors was formed in 2015 and manages more than $25 billion in assets.