About Sound Mind Investing
About Sound Mind Investing
We take the fear out of investing with objective, proven strategies that do-it-yourself investors can implement with confidence.
Investing is the financial task people tend to fear the most and find the most confusing. But Scripture reminds us that we need not fear even complex activities such as investing.
For God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
2 Timothy 1:7
At Sound Mind Investing, we equip and empower individual investors with content delivered in a straightforward, easy-to-understand manner, providing the trustworthy guidance, tools, and encouragement necessary to invest with confidence and success.
Specifically, SMI provides time-tested, objective strategies for mutual fund investing (including specific fund recommendations), along with biblically informed, practical teaching on a range of personal-finance subjects. We reach thousands of people each month through our website, monthly investment newsletter, books, videos, media appearances, and speaking engagements.
Sound Mind Investing was founded in 1990 and is based in Louisville, Ky.
Founder and Publisher - Austin Pryor
SMI Company News
Meet Our Writing Team
Founder and Publisher
Austin leads SMI, the newsletter business he founded in 1990. With more than 40 years of experience in the investment business, Austin provides overall direction to the organization while continuing to author many articles for the SMI newsletter and website.
He is the author of The Sound Mind Investing Handbook, A Step-By-Step Guide to Managing Your Money from a Biblical Perspective, which enjoys the endorsements of numerous respected Christian teachers and has sold more than 100,000 copies.
Austin was once on staff with Campus Crusade for Christ, working directly with founder Bill Bright, helping to develop the ministry’s approach to working with high-capacity donors. He was a founding board member of Pro Athletes Outreach, a Christian training ministry to pro athletes and coaches of many sports, and The Christian Embassy, an outreach ministry to government and diplomatic officials in Washington, D.C.
Before founding SMI, Austin started and ran his own investment management firm, which ranked in the top 5% of all investment advisers in the U.S. during its first five years of operations.
Austin received an undergraduate degree in Banking and Finance from the University of Kentucky. He and his wife, Susie, have three adult sons and 10 grandchildren, and live in Louisville, Ky.
Mark joined SMI in 2000. He leads the SMI newsletter’s overall content strategy, managing the editorial direction and writing many articles.
He helped develop several of SMI’s investment strategies, led the company’s efforts to create its first website, and has been a contributing author to The Sound Mind Investing Handbook.
Mark also serves as Senior Portfolio Manager for SMI Private Client, the managed-account program of SMI Advisory Services. In addition, he helped design and launch the three Sound Mind Investing mutual funds.
Mark earned his undergraduate degree in Finance from Oral Roberts University.
He and his wife Cindy have three children.
Mark Biller’s Most Recent Articles
Matt joined SMI in 2012. He leads SMI’s content strategy — managing the company’s monthly editorial calendar, writing many of the articles, sourcing content from outside the company, and either writing or overseeing much of what appears on our website. He also represents SMI in various media guest appearances.
Prior to joining SMI, Matt was an independent biblical money management writer and speaker. He is the author of five biblical money management books, including Trusted: Preparing Your Kids for a Lifetime of God-Honoring Money Management, which has just been published by Focus on the Family and its publishing partner, Tyndale House (April 2023). He has spoken at churches, universities, conferences, and retreats throughout the country. Matt has been involved in stewardship ministry since 1990.
Matt earned an undergraduate degree in Journalism from Northern Illinois University and a graduate degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from DePaul University, where he wrote a thesis about the history and influence of our consumer culture.
Matt and his wife Jude have three children.
Matt Bell’s Most Recent Articles
Joseph Slife has been a news writer for the Associated Press, a college instructor, and a radio host.
From 1990 to 2003, he was a writer/researcher for Larry Burkett at Christian Financial Concepts and Crown Financial Ministries, and he served as the executive producer for CFC/Crown Radio from 2000-2005.
He first joined SMI's writing team in 2008, before going on to serve nearly six years as senior producer/co-host for WORLD Radio. He returned to Sound Mind Investing in 2017.
Joseph and his wife Joye have three grown sons.
Joseph Slife’s Most Recent Articles
Read Our Story
In 1989, investment advisor Austin Pryor was having lunch with his long-time friend, the late Larry Burkett.
Larry was the founder of the ministry Christian Financial Concepts (which later merged with Crown Ministries), as well as the author of many books on biblical money management and the host of a popular national radio program.
As they talked about the financial challenges facing Christian families, Larry suggested an investment newsletter was needed. His work focused on teaching biblical financial principles and helping people with aspects of money management such as getting out of debt and using a budget, but nothing existed to help Christians in the complex and often intimidating area of investing.
Austin’s initial response was, “You’re right, Larry. Too bad no one is doing anything like that.” It didn’t occur to him that he should publish such a newsletter. After all, he was busy running an investment management firm that he had founded a decade earlier. During the first five years of that business, his average client account generated a 25.5% annual return, putting the firm in the top 5% of investment advisors nationwide. Austin was an expert in mutual fund investing, not a writer or publisher.
But as he put it, “The Lord seemed to keep bringing me back to the need.” A year after that conversation with Larry Burkett, and after much time in prayer and sensing God’s leading, Austin began addressing the need for an investing newsletter for Christians by publishing the first issue of Sound Mind Investing.
Timeline (1990 - 2023)
The Sound Mind Investing Newsletter Is Launched
Austin writes a 12-page, easy-to-read newsletter with content that can be tailored to any situation. He prints 500 color copies. While the endeavor is physically exhausting and financially unprofitable at first, it is also emotionally satisfying and spiritually fulfilling. Fueled by encouraging feedback from those who read that first issue, he continues.
The Sound Mind Investing Handbook Is Published
As the company grows, so do the number of questions newsletter subscribers have about retirement vehicles, college plans, savings accounts, and investing in general. Guided by an intention to teach "only what one needs to know, not everything there is to know," Austin writes The Sound Mind Investing Handbook. The book is well received and earns an Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA) Christian Book Award nomination.
The Sound Mind Investing Website Is Launched
With Internet usage growing strongly in the late 1990s, SMI sees the tremendous potential for a web presence to complement and enhance its print newsletter. The company adds staff to develop SoundMindInvesting.com.
The Sound Mind Investing Mutual Fund Is Introduced
A common refrain during the first 15 years of SMI's existence was, "I love your Upgrading strategy, but can you do it for me?" SMI's management team partners with another firm to form SMI Advisory Services, an independent entity, and launches the Sound Mind Investing Fund (SMIFX). That makes it possible for investors to follow a similar Upgrading strategy to what the SMI newsletter teaches, but have it professionally managed for them on a daily basis. The response to the new fund is tremendous, with the fund's assets rocketing to over $200 million in less than two years.
Sound Mind Investing Continues to Grow
More than 30 years have passed, but SMI's passion to serve its thousands of members remains. Additional strategies and tools have been (and continue to be) added. The SMI Handbook is in its 7th edition, with more than 100,000 copies in print. SMI Advisory Services now offers five mutual funds to meet the needs of those who prefer to delegate the day-to-day management of their portfolios.
While much has changed at SMI over the years, one thing has remained the same — a mission to help individuals invest successfully and apply biblical principles to all aspects of their financial life so they will experience the joy of:
providing well for their family (1 Timothy 5:8), and
generously supporting God's work (2 Corinthians 8:7).
In other words, we help people manage money well so they can truly live well.
Learn About Our Mission and Vision
To be the leading provider of successful investing guidance for the Christian community by helping people take a biblical approach to all aspects of money management and follow proven, objective investment strategies.
To help individuals excel at providing for their family and supporting God’s work by helping them excel as investors.
HAVE more so you can GIVE more!
We help individuals invest successfully and apply biblical principles to all aspects of their financial life so they will experience the joy of providing well for their family (1 Timothy 5:8) and generously supporting God’s work (2 Corinthians 8:7).
In other words, we help people manage money well so they can truly live well. We want you to have more so you can give more.
Our CORE Values
Our Christian faith guides everything we do.
Our strategies and recommendations are only based on mechanical, unbiased, time-tested processes.
We tell you what you need to know, not everything there is to know.
We serve investors who take a long-term, proactive approach to investing rather than traders who make short-term, reactive decisions.
We help you grow in knowledge about investing and in wisdom as to how and why to invest. This mix of knowledge and wisdom builds confidence.
We aspire for our members to live the generous lives we were all designed to live and to model that way of living.