Growing financial wealth is only one aspect of financial planning. If you’re a Christian, you may also want to work with a Christian advisor to ensure that your financial decisions align with your faith.
Whether you’re concerned with charitable giving, the types of companies you invest in, or how to steward your money, working with a Christian financial advisor could be a wise decision that ensures your financial decisions have a positive lasting impact that matches your beliefs.
If you’re wondering how to find a Christian financial advisor, here are a few strategies to help with your search.
What Do Christian Financial Advisors Do?
Christian financial advisors integrate biblical principles and teachings into their financial guidance. They acknowledge the significance of stewardship, emphasizing the responsibility of managing your financial resources in a way that aligns with biblical teachings.
Clients can expect to have discussions that resonate with their spiritual beliefs, incorporating ethical considerations and values that reflect their faith.
Christian financial advisors possess expertise in financial matters but also have a perspective rooted in faith that encompasses a holistic view of financial well-being. By considering the spiritual aspect of finances, Christian financial advisors provide a unique blend of financial expertise and faith-based guidance, setting them apart from conventional financial advisors.
Some Christian financial advisors are Certified Kingdom Advisors (CKA), which means they received specific training on how to use biblical principles alongside their financial expertise. And the best Christian financial advisors are fiduciaries, which ensures they put the client’s best interest first.
Like traditional advisors, a Christian financial advisor provides guidance, advice, and accountability to help clients reach their financial goals.
Advantages of Hiring a Christian Financial Advisor
Finding the right financial advisor is an important task. You need to hire an advisor who listens to you and understands your situation to help you achieve your goals.
While any reputable financial advisor could help meet your financial needs, working with a Christian financial advisor has some advantages.
- Understand your beliefs and needs: As a Christian, you likely have convictions about financial issues like debt, charitable giving, and stewardship. Having an advisor who understands your beliefs and incorporates biblical principles into your financial plan can help tremendously.
- Suggest appropriate investments: Having an advisor who comes from a similar background with shared beliefs helps to ensure that their investment recommendations align with your ethical and moral compass, which provides you with peace of mind knowing that your investments reflect your convictions and contribute to causes you support.
- Focus on strategy versus results: Many financial advisors focus on the end result, getting you to choose specific investments that reach that goal. A Christian financial advisor, on the other hand, focuses on finding a strategy that aligns with your beliefs rather than just looking at the bottom line.
How To Choose a Christian Financial Advisor
Choosing a Christian financial advisor is a big undertaking. You need to look for an advisor who can confidently handle your money, one who will see eye-to-eye with you and suggest investments that align with your beliefs.
Here are a few key factors to consider.
Standard Financial Certifications
When you’re looking for a Christian financial advisor, it’s smart to seek qualifications and credentials that indicate their expertise and professionalism in the financial field.
One of the key qualifications to consider is whether or not they hold recognized financial certifications. There are several types of financial advisors, including the Certified Financial Planner (CFP), Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), and Certified Public Accountant (CPA).
These certifications demonstrate a solid foundation of financial knowledge and a commitment to upholding ethical standards in financial planning and advisory services.
When you’re looking for a Christian financial advisor, you may also want to find one who is a certified CKA. This prestigious certification requires a lot of time and education, starting with an industry certification, such as CPA or CFP.
If advisors don’t hold a specific designation, they must have at least ten years of experience in a related field.
In addition, they must:
- Take and pass the CKA Educational Program
- Have at least one pastoral reference and two non-family references
- Undergo ongoing training of at least ten hours annually
No matter what type of financial advisor you want to hire, a key quality is communicating in a way you can relate to and understand.
For example, do you prefer talking on the phone, in person, or via email? The right advisor will communicate in the way you’re most comfortable with at the frequency you prefer. Ask prospective advisors how often they communicate with their clients and what communication methods they use to find one who’s a good match.
Values and Worldview
A financial advisor helps you decide where to invest your money. If you’re looking for an advisor with a biblical standpoint, you should understand his or her values and worldview.
Just because someone calls themselves a Christian financial advisor doesn’t mean they have the same beliefs as you.
Ask questions about the subjects that are important to you and inquire about how they incorporate biblical principles into their advice to see how your values align.
It’s okay to ask an advisor what type of experience they have and what kind of clients they usually work with.
If the CKA certification is new to the advisor, ask how many clients they’ve worked with in a faith-based aspect throughout their career.
You can also ask specific questions about their results, how many clients they’ve helped reach their goals, and what types of investments they typically suggest.
Fees are paramount to your decision when choosing a financial advisor. The fees an advisor charges come directly from your proceeds, making it harder to reach your financial goals.
No two advisors charge the same fees or have the same fee structure, so be sure to ask specific questions about flat fees, commissions, and any other fees the advisor may charge.
Socially Responsible Investing
Biblically responsible investing (BRI) is fairly similar to socially responsible investing (SRI) in that both investment strategies use your underlying values and principles to choose investments.
SRI focuses on sustainability, social justice, and corporate governance. BRI prioritizes similar issues at times, emphasizing investments that are backed by biblical values.
If certain issues are important to you, finding a Christian financial advisor who also follows SRI/BRI principles is important.
Where To Find a Christian Financial Advisor
While you could conduct a Google search to look for a Christian financial advisor near you, there are better ways to ensure you find a reputable advisor who follows your beliefs and principles.
- Referrals: Receiving a referral from someone you know and trust who uses a Christian financial advisor is the easiest way to find the perfect match. If you’re comfortable with it, talk to a friend or family member about their investing principles and the results the advisor helped them achieve to determine if they are a good fit for you.
- Christian Financial Advisors Network: The Christian Financial Advisors Network is a group of financial advisors who meet rigorous standards, have a solid reputation, offer comprehensive service, and are currently accepting new clients.
- Kingdom Advisors: If you want a CFA who is also a Certified Kingdom Advisor, check Kingdom Advisors’ searchable database to find an advisor near you.
The Bottom Line
Like traditional advisors, each Christian financial advisor has different strategies, fees, and beliefs.
Consider interviewing a handful of advisors to ensure you find one who aligns with your beliefs, has an affordable fee structure, and can help you achieve your financial goals.
Be sure to ask questions to get to the heart of an advisor’s background, communication style, investing strategy, and mentality when it comes to faith-based financial planning.