The Motley Fool posted a fantastic article on socially responsible investing yesterday that I would highly recommend reading: Stocks With Scruples. Given the site’s focus on investing, the commentary is accordingly well balanced and informative from an investing standpoint. Recent SRI developments are noted and the author makes a nice comparison between three leading SRI vehicles and the broader market.
The author does a nice job of providing a brief overview of socially responsible investments and what purpose they may serve:
“SRI refers to blending one’s financial decision-making with one’s perception of its impact on society. Naturally, this notion is jam-packed with personalized value judgments and not without a certain morally infused attitude. Well, so, too, are most of our daily activities. SRI can take various strategic forms. Some investors use screens to avoid what they perceive as “sin” stocks. Others may use their shareholder power to challenge management on current practices.”
Here’s an interesting statistic the article cites in relation to SRI’s growth and popularity over the past decade:
“According to the Social Investment Forum’s fifth biennial report on investment trends, which was released in January, SRI investment assets have grown faster since 1995 than all other managed assets in this country — more than 258%.”
I don’t know if it is fair to extrapolate the presence of an even greater popular interest in SRI from the following statement, but it is sure nice to hear nonetheless:
“You can judge for yourself the movement’s impact as we begin monthly reports highlighting performance and interesting developments.”
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