Not talking about religion or politics is an old axiom meant to keep the peace in relationships. But advisors and their investor clients who follow the religion part of that saying may do so to the detriment of their relationships, according to Crossmark Global Investments in Houston.

Investing with religious values in mind is extremely or very important to half of religiously affiliated investors under 50 years of age, according to a recent survey by Crossmark, a global investment firm that focuses on faith-based and values investing. And yet, the advisors for 73% of clients have not asked about their clients’ religious values and whether the values should be taken into consideration when investing.

Older investors were least likely to have discussed religious values with their advisors. Ninety percent of those over 50 said they had not been asked about their religious values compared with roughly 40% of investors aged 23 to 34.

Religiously affiliated millennials are particularly concerned about adhering to their religious values, the survey said. Sixty-three percent of millennials, those born between the early 1980s and the early 2000s, reported that it is extremely or very important to them for their financial advisor to share their religious values.

The survey included 1,008 adults who said they were affiliated with a religion and who had  $250,000 in investable assets.

Crossmark cited a recent Pew study that showed about 72% of Americans have a religious affiliation.

"Over the last decade or more, people have realized they can combine their religious values with their investing,” said Victoria Fernandez, chief market strategist at Crossmark. “It was surprising to us to see that investing by religious values was more important to millennials.”

“This is about trust,” she added. “Many people want their doctors and their children’s teachers and, now, their financial advisors to share their values. If they do not share these values, it will not be a longstanding relationship.”

“I am not surprised Christians want to live their lives faithfully and want their values expressed,” said Nathan Manahan, investment strategist with Ronald Blue Investments in Alpharetta, Ga., which specializes in investing by biblical principles. “But it does not get brought up because advisors hesitate to talk about religion.”

By considering faith-based principles, “you are by definition complicating the situation. You can make a case for almost any company or investment based on religious principles or governance or environmental principles. The advisor then has to delve deeper into what the client wants,” Manahan added.

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