Have you ever wondered what happens with the money you invest? Have you contemplated, on the deepest level, “Who is utilizing my investment and what are they doing to pursue an expected rate of return?” Sure, you’ve likely considered the risk and potential rates of return with each investment decision, but have you considered that the underlying investments could be of greater importance to you than anything else? If words like Abortion, Pollution, Fracking, Tobacco, or Weapons evoke strong emotions in you then hear this: You have a choice!
Socially Responsible Investing (often called Ethical Investing) has a rich history. Its roots date back to 1758 when the Quakers prohibited members from buying slaves. John Wesley, a founder of Methodism in the mid-1700s, later delivered a sermon, “The Use of Money.” His sermon discussed the importance of not harming your neighbor or the health of workers by investing in the tanning industry or businesses involved in chemical production. Protecting social justice, family values, and human rights continue to be the focus of most socially responsible investments.
Environmentally-Conscious Investing focuses not on social issues but environmental ones. If you are passionate about protecting the environment, would you want your money invested in a company that is actually putting the environment at risk? Environmentally-Conscious Investing identifies companies that are acting in more environmentally sound ways than their industry counterparts. Both Socially Responsible Investing and Environmentally-Conscious Investing involve the use of screens to eliminate the companies whose business practices do not align with the values of the investor.
While these investment methods aren’t new, they have been improved upon greatly. In the past, Socially Responsible Investing and Environmentally-Conscious Investing were criticized for lack of diversification and poor performance. There are now new tools available that make screening more effective and allow for greater selection and diversification. Having a portfolio that eliminates specific industries or companies may not be a priority for everyone, but it is an option.
We are all unique and our views are diverse. It isn’t the role of our firm to champion any of these causes, but to instead make sure our investors have their own values reflected when making investment selections. If you are passionate about protecting social justice, religious beliefs, family values, or the environment, we can customize a diversified and well-executed investment strategy that makes it possible for you to invest without compromise.
There is no guarantee that a diversified portfolio will enhance overall returns or outperform a non-diversified portfolio. Diversification does not protect against market risk.