New Biblically Responsible ETF Debuts

Fund tracks a smart-beta index from James Investment Research.
Reviewed by: Staff
Edited by: Staff

Today, Exchange Traded Concepts (ETC) is rolling out an ETF focused on biblical values with a smart-beta twist. The James Biblically Responsible Investment ETF (JBRI) is an index-based version of strategies offered by James Investment Research.

The fund comes with an expense ratio of 0.65% and lists on the Cboe exchange. Cboe Global Markets is the parent company of

“James Investment Research is a very-well-established, 40-year-old asset manager. They’ve been investing based on principles for that whole period,” said Mike Cronan, ETC’s president of marketing services. “They wanted to bring that to the ETF wrapper.”

Ohio-based James Investment Research has been managing client portfolios since 1975, and has $4.3 billion in assets under management.


JBRI’s index is derived from the eVALUEator Biblically Responsible Index, which covers 1,000 U.S.-listed companies deemed to be biblically responsible. The parent index excludes companies that are involved in objectionable activities or industries from a biblical perspective. Those include abortion, entertainment that undermines family values, pornography, policies or activities that support the LGBT community, alcohol, human rights violations, terrorist organizations, tobacco and gambling, according to the prospectus.

The companies in the parent index are scored using a proprietary model from James Investment Research that considers valuation, profitability and momentum.  From there, JBRI’s index methodology selects the 100 companies with the highest scores and equal-weights them. Changes and updates to the index are made on a monthly basis.

Cronan notes that James Investment Research has previously offered similar but actively managed strategies in mutual funds and separately managed accounts. The firm has seen demand from its own existing customers and has done additional market research.

“They see an incredible amount of demand for a reasonably priced ETF that’s principle-based and that will hopefully also perform well,” he said. “This is the first time we’ve seen a really successful ESG asset manager from the mutual fund and SMA space come into the ETF space.”

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