So what to expect from a "Christian Financial Planner"? What does it mean to invest like a Christian? They should do their best. They should be honest. They should be knowledgeable, etc. Many companies will meet this test. Some will not. We think we are well qualified in those areas of the business; the virtues of integrity, service and value provided.
The best way to make sure the financial advisor will provide you with the best ethical advice is to use a "fee-only" Christian financial advisor. When an advisor is fee-only that means they don't SELL you investment products, only quality unbiased advice. They work for you, not the brokerage firm.
There is another thing that needs to be considered. Assuming most companies will do their best, and that you have chosen a planner with high integrity, what else would be involved in your decision? Competence would be important.
How is our approach different than other options available to you? It should be Biblically based, that is a given. However, here is where we can get into trouble. There is a vast difference between Biblical principles and Biblical interpretation. Way too often, services that are touted as "Christian" are selling a style of investing based on questionable interpretations of end-time scenarios.
Remember the Y2K era? I remember best-selling Christian Financial Planners giving people advice to cash in retirement plans and take the penalty! They were basing their advice to act on feelings and their ability to predict the future, which is clearly unscriptural.
I would submit that much more money has been wasted that could have gone to the Kingdom of God, by Christians acting out of fear than by Christians being too bold.
The Parable of the talents in Luke 19:12-24 illustrates this.As Americans, God has blessed us. He has placed us in a time and location where stock and real estate values have increased greatly. The stock market (as measured by the S&P index) would have made your investment of the last 10 years (ended 12/31/01) grow by a factor of 4.4x. In other words $100,000 would have grown to over $440,000. As Christian Financial planners we cannot guarantee the future of capitalism. But we must also not be so arrogant as to predict its demise. Paranoia is not the litmus test for good Christian Stewardship.