Good Returns: Making Money by Morally Responsible Investing is written by the founder of the Ave Maria family of mutual funds. The Ave Maria funds practice what they call morally responsible investing--they do not invest in companies that promote abortion or donate to its supporters, sell or promote pornography or which have policies supportive of homosexual or other non-marital sexual unions. He contrasts "morally responsible investing" with "socially responsible investing" which generally supports left-leaning causes.
While this is a book about investing and the economy; not about religion, the author, George Schwartz, does quote papal writings on the economy and a little scripture. He sees free-market capitalism as a moral good and socialism as a moral evil. The book is definitely pro-Regan, anti-Obama.
Good Returns: Making Money by Morally Responsible Investing has its good points, and its weaknesses. The first chapter, on money and morality is excellent. The next two chapters were about Schwartz himself, and frankly, I wasn't that interested. He then spends a couple of chapters talking about his investment principals, and about how investors think. Those chapters were good. Chapters 6 and 7 are highly political; my husband will love them. They do serve the purpose of reminding the investor how politics affects the economy, for good and for bad--and how even good intentions, like providing home ownership for those kept out by traditional lending practices, can have bad effects--like the housing bubble and its subsequent pop. Chapters 8-11 are, in many ways, commercials for the Ave Maria funds. If you know nothing about investing or financial planning, there is good information there--and even those who read investment books may learn something about investing that they can use, even if they never buy Ave Maria mutual funds.
I will say that after reading this book, I am going to take a serious look at these funds. I'm pro-life and I'd love to put my money where my mouth is--and I have some under-performing assets right now.
I'd like to thank B&B Media Group for providing a complimentary review copy of this book. First Wildcard will tour it May 27, so you can stop by then to read the first chapter.
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