"Mind your own business." In life in general, it's pretty sound advice.
But these words of wisdom apply to corporate finances too. Financial expert and national radio and television host Dan Celia has been talking about the trend of corporations caving to activist agendas, even when it's bad for business and alienates customers.
Celia, who also leads Financial Issues Stewardship Ministries (FISM), specifically called attention to the most recent example at Target, where the announcement of a controversial bathroom policy motivated more than 1.2 million Americans to sign a boycott.
Companies should stick to the business at hand, Celia says, especially when the retail industry needs all the sales boosts it can get.
Celia says, "How hard is it to say, 'I'm sorry, we are in the business of [fill in the blank]. It is not a matter of whether we agree or disagree with your agenda. It is a matter of staying focused on our business at hand.' Instead, far too many cave to demands. Standing up to agenda advocates is clearly a difficult challenge for CEOs, presidents and marketing representatives. Sad."
Celia adds that left-wing advocates seem to love retailers and consider them easy targets—pun intended.
"Target execs made this decision at a time when they could least afford it—retailers in this country have been suffering for the last six years," Celia says, adding that Target took an approach to appease a small minority rather than the wider customer base. But the Target situation is not an isolated one. Companies from all sectors have made financial and marketing decisions that alienate some of their customers and their stockholders.
On his daily show, Financial Issues Live, Celia addresses important financial headlines, takes calls from around the country and advises listeners and callers about the importance of biblically responsible investing.
"As we think about being biblically responsible with our money—which comes from God in the first place—and when we think about doing what is right, we must consider all aspects, from buying items in the checkout line to purchasing stock to owning mutual funds," Celia says. "As Christians, we must carefully and prayerfully consider how we are handling God's money. In these uncertain times, we must get it right in every possible way and, in particular, be biblically responsible in everything—especially our finances. It will take us being 'sold out' against the things that dishonor God, and that includes investment in companies that dishonor biblical principles."
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