About Investing for Catholics
Investing for Catholics is a division of Index Fund Advisors, Inc. (IFA), a fee-only Independent Financial Advisor registered with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. IFA incorporated on March 5, 1999 and is headquartered in Irvine, California. Regional representatives are also located in Wisconsin, New Jersey and Texas. Under U.S. law, investment advisors owe their clients an ongoing fiduciary duty to provide full and complete disclosure of all fees, conflicts of interest, and to exercise discretion in selecting investments with only their clients' best interests in mind. IFC's advice is based on highly respected economic research and over 85 years of risk and return data.
IFC provides its clients the ability to significantly improve their risk-adjusted returns by investing in globally diversified portfolios of passively managed no load index mutual funds that are screened for Catholic values. This allows investors to earn the superior returns of the markets and remain completely peaceful.
Our strategy is specifically designed to enhance the wealth of its clients by investing their assets in risk-appropriate blends of passively managed funds that are both low-cost and style pure.
Investing for Catholics Advisors
Mark T. Hebner
Mark Hebner is the founder and President of Index Fund Advisors, Inc. and Investing for Catholics, author of the ifa.com and indexfunds.com web sites, and the book, Index Funds: The 12-Step Program for Active Investors. He has been nominated as the author of one of the three all-time greatest investment books, along with Warren Buffett and John Bogle. Mark's mission is to change the way the world invests—by replacing speculation with science. The many original paintings found throughout the pages of this booklet, as well as in Mark's book were commissioned by Mark to explain science with art, bringing interest, emotion and color to a subject that is most often presented in a lackluster manner. Mark's passion and commitment have made him a favorite lecturer on the subject of investing, and he is also considered the leading internet provider of information on investing.
Vice President &
Co-creator of IFC
Mary Brunson is a Vice President and Wealth Advisor (Series 65). She is an Accredited Investment Fiduciary (AIF), co-creator of Investing for Catholics, and considered a respected speaker, author and authority on developing sound investment policy for prudent investing. Mary has a particular expertise in providing fiduciary advice and qualified retirement plan services to religious organizations including Archdioceses, dioceses, as well as investment management for endowments and foundations. Mary is the co-author of Tending the Flock: Shepherding Catholic Retirement Plans, and author of numerous articles and papers, including papers co-authored with IFA President Mark Hebner and Nobel Prize Winner in Economics, Harry Markowitz, titled and “Does Portfolio Theory Work During Financial Crises?” and“ Can You Do Well While Doing Good?” which was recently added to the University of California at Berkeley Haas School of Business Graduate School of Management’s course curriculum for socially responsible investing.
Mary is a board member for the Magis Institute, spearheaded by Father Robert J. Spitzer, S.J. She is also the former National Chair of the Spirituality Commission for the National Council of Catholic Women (NCCW), as well as a member of the Board of Trustees for Catholic Charities of Orange County, and a member of its finance and investment committee. Mary is a graduate of University of California, Irvine.
Harry Markowitz is an economist at the Rady School of Management at the University of California, San Diego. He is best known for his pioneering work in Modern Portfolio Theory, studying the effects of asset risk, correlation and diversification on expected investment portfolio returns. Dr. Markowitz is also the recipient of the 1989 John von Neumann Theory Prize. In 1952, Harry Markowitz developed the simple, but profound notion that investors must consider not only return, but the risk associated with their investments. Markowitz's ground-breaking discovery earned him the 1990 Nobel Prize in Economics, and sparked the financial revolution called: Modern Portfolio Theory. Markowitz is widely known as the father of Modern Portfolio Theory.
Father Robert J Spitzer
Father Robert J. Spitzer, S.J., Ph.D. is a an esteemed consultant to Investing for Catholics, and serves as an Advisor on Ethical and Catholic Investments.
Following in the Jesuit path toward excellence through discernment in action, Father Spitzer possesses a strong track record of leadership across a broad range of areas of expertise. In particular, Father Spitzer is the recent former President of Gonzaga University, a position he held for 11 years. Father Spitzer is also the Founder and President of the Magis Center of Reason and Faith and the Spitzer Center for Ethical Leadership.
Father Spitzer assists the firm in the areas of stewardship and Ethics, which he taught at the Catholic college level for 20 years. He provides valuable communications in an effort to guide the firm, its clients and its friendship community toward the ultimate stewardship experiences that can be borne out of mutual trust, truth and transparency. Also, drawing from the development and leadership experience garnered from his role as President of Gonzaga, Father Spitzer will have the opportunity to impart his breadth of hands-on experience to Catholic institutional investment committees, particularly in the areas of fiduciary obligation and prudence.
"As the former president of Gonzaga University and an active participant on its investment committee, I learned about ways in which Catholic institutions could effectively manage their endowment and retirement funds within the scope of their fiduciary responsibility. Along the way, I developed the awareness that passively managed funds would have significantly lower total fees than actively managed funds and would also be less problematic to administer. Further investigation led me to determine that passive investing is as competitive, if not more competitive than active management when it comes to reduction of volatility and rate of return. For these reasons, I am pleased to assist Investing for Catholics in their efforts to help Catholic institutions."
Kai Xiong joined IFA in 2012. He is the head of the firm's Portfolio Management and Research Department. Kai is responsible for overseeing a team of portfolio managers, as well as developing, refining and implementing processes for efficient portfolio execution and management. Kai and his team are responsible for daily trading activities, as well as for establishing policies to maintain target allocations while incurring minimal expenses. As a member of our internal Investment Committee, Kai is responsible for researching, analyzing and reporting on asset class fund alternatives that may be suitable for investment selection and inclusion in our portfolios, in keeping with our fiduciary standard of care of ongoing monitoring and reporting. Kai is a CFA Charterholder: "The Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) charter is an investment credential that, for more than 60 years, has been the global standard for embodying the integrity, dedication, and advanced skills needed to build a stronger, more accountable financial industry. No credential is as widely respected for its focus on current investment expertise and performing in the client's best interest. None is harder to obtain." (cfainstitute.org)
Kai earned a Bachelor's of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of California, Berkeley - Haas School of Business.