In God We Trust: Morally Responsible Investing
by George P. Schwartz
How to combine investing wisely with your moral responsibilities and beliefs.
What a refreshing book, I thoroughly applaud the ethics behind the Ave Maria Funds and its policy to offer investors the opportunity to invest in a manner consistent with their faith. Sounds too good to be true? Well read on, and discover how the Ave Maria Funds came to be and the values of the people who set up and manage them.
As indicated in the Forward by Lou Holtz, this is the sequel to ‘Good Returns, which he contributed to. In this new book, ‘In God We Trust the reader discovers the ever increasing more morally conscientious investors. In 2001 Gorge Schwartz the CEO of the Schwartz Investment Council Inc. was approached by Tom Monaghan the founder of Domino’s pizza and the late Bowie Kuhn Commissioner of Major League Baseball. Dedicated Catholics, they wanted to launch a series of investment vehicles – the Ave Maria Mutual Funds, which enabled investors to invest in a manner consistent with their faith. The funds would provide Morally Responsible Investing, identifying with companies which do not participate in, contribute to, or support abortion or pornography.
There are now five different mutual funds, all pro-life, pro-family, and dedicated to investing in companies which don’t violate the core principals of the Catholic Church.
These mutual funds each have a different objective, they are:
Ave Maria Value Fund, Ave Maria Growth Fund, Ave Maria Bond Fund, Ave Maria Rising Dividend Fund, Ave Maria World Equity Fund
What I loved about this book is that in it George Schwartz gives his reader a real insight into his life, upbringing, and the values he has been taught, and has lived by, in the Catholic faith. It is these things which has made him the man he is today, and the help of his wife Judi of course. It is also these strong moral principles which form the basis of the Ave Maria Funds.
However, right from the very first page this book’s subject is paramount. This is investing and principally about how to invest morally and responsibly. The authors offer a wealth of knowledge and experience in the field accumulated through many years. Throughout, sound, practical advice is freely given. In a world where greed is rife and everyone is keen to make a fast buck, wouldn’t you rather invest in a fund with strong, good moral principles?
This book’s values touched me personally, although I am not a catholic, and I found it extremely thought-provoking and interesting.
The Exigent Earth: Recently Placed On The Endangered Species List: Humans
by Beverly Knauer and Murray Rosenthal
A fascinating and thought provoking passionately written science-fiction story.
This outstanding book sends out a powerful and very strong message to its readers. Woven into a fascinating science-fiction plot is the fact that we are stewards of the world, its fate, and ultimately our own is in the hands of everyone. Mother earth is a strong spirit with incredible ways of protecting herself. Everyone is accountable, and can make a difference. As it says in the book “People must understand that it isn’t up to someone else to save them. Their power is within and always has been.”
The story opens with Virginia Sutter a multilingual geologist and writer deciding to attend a conference in Zurich by Nickolai Sparsinsky a reclusive Russian scientist. Neither Virginia, nor Nickolai could have imagined that the decision would change both their lives forever!
Its love at first sight, and it isn’t long before Nicholai manages to escape Russia and relocate to America. It is in Montana that they meet a young 14 year old Indian girl called Olivia, who even so young possesses special healing powers. An instant friendship develops and Virginia invites Olivia to live with them on their ranch in the Pryor Mountains.
There Nickolai builds a laboratory set into the mountains. He is passionate about his research and the icing on the cake comes the day when Nickolai reveals proudly to his wife that there is in fact another secret lab. Taking her there he explains the full potential of his achievement in successfully turning on higher energy states at the cellular level. Although elated, both are very aware that his breakthrough can help mankind, but it also worryingly has the potential to be weaponised in the wrong hands.
Nickolai’s tragic death soon after his revelation sends government officials flocking to the ranch desperate to discover what the talented scientist has been working on, but the secret lab isn’t discovered. Unaware, the officials after ransacking the lab leave with plenty of paper, but the secret it safe.
Soon after, Virginia enters the secret lab alone and something happens. Then, it isn’t long before Virginia discovers that Nickolai will always be with her both in her dreams and also in the form of the baby growing inside her.
As soon as he is born Olivia calls him her ‘Child of Light.’ Zac is no ordinary baby, and afraid that his abilities will be noticed, the women do their best to protect him. However, not even Olivia can shield him from the cruel events of life, and it is a sad orphaned boy who finds himself travelling with Olivia to Vermont, to live with his uncle Brian.
As this amazing story progresses the bond between Brian, Olivia, and Zac grows. With Olivia’s spiritual guidance, and Brian’s enthusiasm and dedication Zac grows into an intelligent young man. Then, a meeting with his father’s oldest friend, opens doors for Zac into his father’s world. Finally understanding his research, an incredulous Zac, through it, and his mother’s guidance in visions, finally realises his role in life.
As natural disasters leave the planet desecrated and the death tolls rise, the government wants him discredited but the people love him. What will destiny hold for Zac, Olivia’s Child of Light, and the planet we all take for granted?
Murray Rosenthal one of the authors is a world-renowned, board-certified psychiatrist, researcher, and lecturer who thrives on adventure, and lives with his wife on Lake Tahoe. Whilst his multi-award-winning co-author Beverly Knauer is a retired chief of rehabilitation services, who now enjoys writing stimulating novels. Her two previous works are the visionary ‘The Line Between’ and ‘The Soul’s Hope.
This is an exciting story, passionately written. With space travel, biological weapons and incredibly thought-provoking content it really does makes compulsive reading – Highly recommended!
The Amazon Rainforest Adventure: Inform children about how important our Rainforest is (Picture book) (The Rescue Elves Book 2)
by Monty J. McClaine
As a family we are very conscious of the world around us, the environment, recycling, and animal welfare. Awareness is so much easier to teach when children are young, and so when after reading The Plastic Pollution Adventure (Picture Book) (The Rescue Elves Book 1) I discovered that there was a second book in the series The Amazon Rainforest Adventure I just had to get it to read to my little granddaughter. This was not just because it has magical elves in it, but also because the deforestation of the Amazon rainforests has such an incredible impact on our planet and its ecosystems.
For those who don’t know, The Rescue Elves, or relves, are the special elves who look after Santa’s sleigh. It is their job to ensure that if there are any problems with it, they know what to do, and if necessary can rescue Santa, and save the day. However to do this they must stay in tip top condition throughout the year, and be ready to deal with any situation in any place on the earth. Therefore Mrs. Claus sends them on special missions to test their skills, and ensure they can deal with any situation, and these missions are the topics for this series of children’s books.
Holly, Charlie, Jack and Sparkle, are the names of the elves, and they are so excited, they love exploring and visiting beautiful places. In this adventure Mrs Claus has sent them to the beautiful Amazon Rainforest.
Before they go, the elves already know how important the rainforest is to the health of our planet and all the creatures who live on it, and why it is called the “lungs of the earth.” They also know how wet it is, the clue, well it is a ‘Rainforest,’ and so they are suitably dressed. However, when they arrive they are dismayed not to hear the animal and bird sounds they are expecting, but screaming!
Who could be screaming, and why? Well, the reason is revealed when they come across a very unhappy Monkey King who has his foot trapped. When the relves discover what it is under, and how it happened, they set about helping the monkeys to free him. However, when they find out from the monkeys how much of the beautiful forest has been cut down by humans, and the damage it causes, they are very sad. At the back of the book there is a list of a variety of websites which can provide more information.
I thoroughly recommend this compelling story which is beautifully illustrated. It is a wonderful instrument to open up discussions with children about the importance of trees, why they are cut down, and what they are used for. The author very cleverly bringing environmental awareness gently to their attention at an age when they are very receptive to ideas and good habits are easily formed.