US religious congregations becoming more savvy investors
The financial burden of health care for the increasing number of elderly religious has caused many congregations to develop more sophisticated investment strategies.
Vidimus Dominum, the Rome-based religious congregations news service reports that many are turning to financial advisors, who are directing them towards investing in bonds and deposit certificates.
Sr Imelda Gonzalez, Director of the National Association of Treasurers for Religious Institutes, said: "The initiatives for the financial management of the resources began when it was understood that the reserve funds were not enough for the future needs of the communities and a less conservative approach than that of the past was needed to make our resources grow".
She cited the example of the 76 Benedictine Sisters in St Paul, of whom only 20 remain in active ministry. She said their salaries are not enough to cover the expenses of the congregation, hence the imperative to go for profitable investments.