A new publication is offering spiritual guidance to people involved in selling investment products.
The newsletter, distributed by the Fellowship of Christian Wholesalers, recently began appearing on the desks of 5,500 investment product wholesalers and industry executives at financial services companies.
Though the articles do not dispense financial advice, they do try to counsel professionals on their personal lives.
Articles touch on such topics as maintaining a happy marriage, business travel, and the importance of reading the Bible.
The newsletter's "purpose is to inform and stimulate positive growth in the family life and personal lives of wholesalers," said Richard K. Benkert, the newsletter's founder, in an e-mail message.
When reached by telephone, Mr. Benkert, a former broker who says God inspired him to minister to wholesalers, initially denied his connection to the Fellowship of Christian Wholesalers but confirmed it seconds later.
In the e-mail message he described himself only as "the owner of a company that is active in the industry" and said he had hoped to stay anonymous because he "did not want this to be looked upon as self-serving."
Wholesalers received an introductory letter, signed "FCW staff," that gave no contact name or telephone number.
But it did ask readers to send tax-deductible contributions to an address in St. Charles, Mo. There is also an e-mail address to request on- line copies.
"FCW is a nonprofit ministry supported by the generous contributions from people like you," the introductory letter says.
Some observers said they would be uncomfortable donating money to an organization that is backed by people who choose to remain anonymous.
Though such a newsletter can be useful, said Paul Werlin, an executive recruiter at Human Capital Resources in St. Petersburg, Fla., there is not enough information about its sponsors and their goals, "which always makes me suspect." Mr. Werlin landed on Mr. Benkert's mailing list.
One insurance agency executive said he threw out his copy of the newsletter after only glancing at it.
He added that he would not contribute money to "an unknown entity."
Nonetheless, Leo F. Wells 3d, the president of Wells Real Estate Funds in Atlanta, who wrote an article for the newsletter, said he sees a need for the Fellowship of Christian Wholesalers.
"Anything that gives you spirituality on the road and accountability is helpful," he said.
Mr. Benkert said he plans to publish the newsletter quarterly on a variety of topics related to travel and family life. He declined to say how he compiles his mailing list.