A Quick Intro to Socially Responsible Investing at SDWM

Kathleen LindquistTo my joy, my role at SDWM has recently expanded to heading up the firm’s Socially Responsible Investment program.

If you’re not familiar with Socially Responsible Investing, it stems from the idea that we can impact our world in a positive way with our money. Just as we choose neighborhoods, churches, schools, and media outlets which align with our beliefs, we may do the same with our investments as well.

At the very top of the list of ways that we can impact the world with our money is what I call “Consumer Avoidance Activism.” While you may wonder what that really means, it’s simply that you may choose not to shop at certain stores, or buy certain products for socially responsible reasons.  Now, this is often a very practical choice – for instance, as San Diegans, many of us avoid plastic bags in order to keep them out of the environment.

In terms of the impact on our investment portfolios, it has long been the case that certain investors have wanted to avoid profiting from the sale of certain items, which may be prohibited by their religion, or other beliefs. The roots of this form of avoidance activism can be traced to the 70s and 80s, as millions of people, churches, universities, companies, and states avoided investing in South Africa to pressure the South African government to dismantle the racist system of apartheid.

But now, there is more to Socially Responsible Investing than simple avoidance.  We have the option to truly position our portfolio assets in such a way that aligns our money with our values.
Shareholders are now demanding that corporations include information with regard to green business practices, pollution reduction strategies, and labor practices in their annual reports.  Fund managers are encouraged to factor in corporate character as a way to identify better-managed companies — those which are making a positive impact on the world. I believe that Socially Responsible Investing will positively impact our communities, work, investments, and our hearts.

We look forward to sharing more, as we move forward with this important initiative.  Please call or email me if you would like to explore how you can make an impact on the world by socially responsible investing.

Kathleen Lindquist:  858-270-7705

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