I have recently had several people ask me about SRI. What is it? Why does it matter?
The first thing to understand is SRI means different things to different people. Several years ago I attended a gathering of advisors focused on sustainability at the Bloomberg headquarters in NYC. I talked to many of the 300 attendees and what I found was every single person had a different interpretation of what SRI meant.
Some focused on promoting clean energy, some focused on workers issues and inequality, some focused on climate change, some look to exclude alcohol and tobacco, others focused on micro lending. Each focus is unique and approaches the challenge of investing with different assumptions.
Ultimately the client needs to feel comfortable with the advisor’s experience, their outlook, and their rationale to do what they do using SRI.
The first step for the client… they should feel comfortable exploring and addressing the impact their investment dollars are having in creating the world we see around us.
If your mother died of lung cancer at 42 because she smoked 2 packs of cigarettes a day, do you want your money allocated to tobacco stocks?
If you oppose war and weapons on moral grounds, do you want your money allocated to arms manufacturers?
If you are concerned about climate change, do you want your money invested in carbon intensive industries like coal and oil?
In addition to excluding specific companies, you can choose to support industries that are proactively working towards change.
Do you want to support and invest in renewable energy?
Do you want to support and invest in companies that have strong corporate governance and diversity?
Do you want to invest in companies that embrace change, fair wages, and economic progress?
Ultimately that client has a great deal of power in terms how the market is priced and where capital is allocated. One investor, combined with hundreds of others, combined with millions more, combined with foundations, endowments and pensions, can have a huge impact…
The question you have to ask is, do your investments match your values?
To learn more and discuss how SRI may help your portfolio please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org . I would love to chat.
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