Survey: 80% of Investors Are Religious

August 29, 2001 ( - Plan sponsors might want to offer a faith-based mutual fund among their 401(k) investment choices, if the results of a recent survey are anything to go by.

The survey reveals that a significant proportion of investors make their religious beliefs and other personal values part of the process when making investment decisions.

The study was sponsored by MMA Praxis Mutual Funds’, a faith-based mutual fund company.

When asked whether they make financial decisions that reflect their religious beliefs and personal values:

  • almost 20% said they always take their religious beliefs into account
  • another one-fifth said that they would like to
  • 17% said they “sometimes” do


  • two-fifths said religion doesn’t come into play
  • 4% said that they didn’t know.

Profile of a Faith-based Investor

The survey, Where Faith and Wall Street Intersect, found that almost 80% of investors describe themselves as religious or spiritual.

And those who consider themselves religious were more likely to be:

  • living in the southern states – 84% of southern residents consider themselves religious
  • female – 83% of women consider themselves religious versus 74% of men
  • African-American – 90% of this group classified themselves as religious.

The large majority of investors identified themselves with one of three Christian faiths: Protestant, Catholic and fundamentalist Christian.

Religious Decisions

When the investors who consider themselves religious or spiritual were asked whether their financial decisions reflect their religious beliefs or personal values:

  • almost a quarter said “always”
  • 18% said “sometimes”
  • just over 20% said that they would like to
  • a little over a third said their religious beliefs didn’t factor in these decisions,
  • 3% were unsure.

Results were based on 2,035 telephone interviews of 1,010 men and 1,025 women, 18 years of age and older, living in the continental US. Of those interviewed, 1,141 identified themselves as investors.