Faith-Based ETFs See a Big Influx of Assets | ETF Trends

Earlier this month, the Inspire Global Hope Large Cap ETF (NYSEArca: BLES) and Inspire Small/Mid Cap Impact ETF (NYSEArca: ISMD), which recently turned two years old, saw significant jumps in daily volume with corresponding inflows to those faith-based exchange traded funds (ETFs).

BLES tries to reflect the performance of the Inspire Global Hope Large Cap Index, which is comprised of emerging and developed market large-cap stocks taken from the Russell 1000 Index, MSCI EAFE Index and MSCI Emerging Markets Index, depending on the Inspire Impact Score, a proprietary selection process designed to score a particular security based on the company’s alignment with biblical values and positive impact that the company has on the world through various ESG criteria. The index is made up of about 50% domestic, 40% developed foreign and 10% emerging market.

On March 12, BLES and ISMD had record trading volume.

“BLES recorded 1.13 million shares traded, ISMD recorded 952,400 shares traded and IBD recorded 978,200 shares traded. This buying volume represented roughly $80 million in net new assets and propelled Inspire’s total assets under management (AUM) to $361 million as of March 14,” according to a statement from California-based Inspire Investing.

What’s Next for Thematic ETFs

The small- and mid-cap ETF selects domestic small- and mid-cap stocks from the Russell 2,000 and the S&P 400 based on the Inspire Impact Score, with an even 50% tilt toward small-caps and 50% to mid-caps.

“This influx of volume came from Ambassador Advisors, an independent Registered Investment Advisory (RIA) firm that decided to transition their entire $520 million firm into biblically responsible investments,” according to Inspire.

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The biblical values component screens and removes companies that have any degree of participation in activities involved with abortion, gambling, alcohol, pornography, the LGBT lifestyle and rights violations, such as association with or doing business in terrorist sponsoring countries, countries with oppressive systems of government, and countries where there are known human rights violations related to the persecution or sever discrimination against Christians, along with poor labor practices, according to the prospectus.

Pennsylvania-based Ambassador Advisors is a firm “that exists to support and promote biblical stewardship through financial planning, estate strategies and money management services for non-profits, charities, individual donors and investors,” according to the statement.

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