Socially Responsible Investing: An Imperfect World for Planners and Clients

Most, Bruce W.
February 2002
Journal of Financial Planning;Feb2002, Vol. 15 Issue 2, p48
Academic Journal
Socially responsible investing (SRI)--or more politically correct these days, socially conscious investing--started out as a protest in the early 1980s primarily against investing in South Africa during apartheid. SRI has evolved into many permutations that can include not only the avoidance of the traditional "sin" stocks of gambling, pornography and alcohol, but tobacco, companies with bad records on employee relations or the environment, nuclear weapons, defense, and a variety of faith-based issues such as abortion or anti-family entertainment. Generally, it's what people don't want to invest in, versus what they do. Dennis Carpenter, vice president of the National Association of Christian Financial Consultants, makes it clear that what's SRI to one person is not necessarily the same as it is to another person. Yet for all the frustration and hard work, most of the planners involved in socially conscious investing say they wouldn't have it any other way, and that it provides many rewards--in particular a special bond with those clients. INSET: Socially Responsible Investing Web Sites.


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