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Looking for socially responsible investments can seem like a challenge. There are some basic ideas every socially responsible investment advisor, however, will follow. Let's consider four ways you can be more socially responsible with how you invest.
Understand That the Fundamentals Still Matter
Arguably, understanding fundamentals is even more important for investors who want to make the world a better place. If you want things to improve, the folks making it better have to be able to succeed. That means the companies doing the work have to be fundamentally sound just like any other investment. Likewise, investors with socially responsible goals have to succeed to keep setting the tune the corporate world will dance to.
Remember that you should never put money in a company that doesn't have an investment thesis you can easily identify and explain to others. Liquidity matters in all environments, and it should come from something more than just issuing shares, selling bonds, or raising venture capital.
Evaluate Claims of Social Responsibility Closely
In today's investing environment, loads of corporations want to be seen as socially responsible investments. They have to do more, however, than just put out good PR and marketing. Greenwashing isn't a strategy as much as it's just a sales pitch.
Dig into the claims and see how well they stand up to scrutiny. Call the investor relations phone number for the company and ask questions about what makes them socially responsible. If you don't get good answers that you can follow up on with further research, you may want to invest elsewhere.
Think About Your Screening Process
There are two ways to screen socially responsible investments. First, you can use a subtractive process, noting all the companies that do negative things and subtracting them from your list of options. Second, you can use an additive process, seeking out companies that do particular things that benefit the community at large.
Study the Governance
Everyone should care about corporate governance, but that goes double for socially responsible investors. You need to know who will enforce the standards. Similarly, you should know what the penalties are within the business for when someone uses funds outside the mission. Good governance almost always drives good outcomes.
Don't assume regulators will fix things. Look for firms that have histories of providing full disclosures well before being forced to do so by the government. If the SEC is making a company behave, it has much bigger issues.Share