BY DON MECOY Published: November 15, 2009
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Meanwhile, local financial advisors Tom Phillips and Garrett Stevens are exhibiting their faith in investors through the planned launch of a family of five ETFs.

FaithShares Trust will offer shares of exchange traded funds based on indexes that track recommendations of organizations representing Baptist, Catholic, Lutheran, Methodist and nondenominational Christian groups. The funds will include large-cap stocks, excluding those that conflict with core beliefs of the various denominations.

The funds could launch as soon as mid-December.

While the organizers believe the issue-based nature of the funds will attract investors, historical indexes that the funds will track offered surprisingly good results.

Last year, when the S&P 500 index was down 37 percent, the worst-performing FaithShares fund, the Catholic Values Index, lost 33.3 percent. In the first six months of 2009, the funds posted gains ranging from 7.9 percent to 10.8 percent. In contrast, the S&P 500 grew just 3.2 percent.

"It’s a lot better time this year to launch than would been last year,” Phillips said.