Come gather round people wherever you roam
And admit that the waters around you have grown
And accept it that soon you’ll be drenched to the bone
If your time to you is worth savin’, then you better start swimmin’ or you’ll sink like a stone
For the times they are a changin’ …Bob Dylan
Welcome to the first issue of The Socially Inspired Investor Digest . We couldn’t be more excited. The editors, curators and contributors hope you will find in here each month a practical approach toward socially inspired investing. If we do our job correctly, we will demonstrate that personal investing today has evolved to a point where investors can “vote their dollars” in a more personal and socially responsible way, without having to necessarily compromise investment returns.
In fact as we will come to see, a strong argument is being built by well-respected authorities that given the business risk of certain “old school” industries such as tobacco, coal and others, steering clear of these may actually enhance long term returns in a quantitative way. It’s a trend that has already impacted the way many trusts, non-profits, governmental entities invest and more recently as well, many company retirement plans.
You may be very surprised how much this has already impacted professional money management. Consider that multiple studies show that over a quarter of all professionally managed money is now screened in one way or another for socially responsible factors. According to companies like McKinsey, RBC Global Asset Management, Market Watch and Morningstar.
But yet, to the average consumer this approach may seem to be indulging personal values at the expense of returns. Not true. Study after study shows that long term performance need not be diminished if the investment approach is done properly1. And, as we develop the appetite for this new way of investing, the financial community is now providing many options to consider.
Also, in the inaugural issue, beyond our original content, you will also find ESGID respected curated content which we believe will help you understand how others are evaluating the challenge. It is truly empowering to see the extent worldwide communities are coming together in a massive effort to align smart investing with world sustainability.
Our work is not as journeyman as you may think. For decades now the concept of socially inspired investing has been evolving and perhaps we are now at a tipping point where we can both look backward quantitatively and forward qualitatively in deciding how to invest our money. In this inaugural issue we spend some time on a topic we have named, Socially Responsible Investing Grows Up, a discussion on the ways ESG oriented investing (Environment, Social and Governance) has been evolving. We try to help you to begin to build a working knowledge so you can responsibly build a responsible, socially inspired investment strategy.
To be sure targeting socially inspired investing still requires a proper and sound investment foundation. Fundamentals of good investments must be understood and applied. The Socially Inspired Investor digest dedicates its first ever, SPOTLIGHT on our very own, Stewardship Personal Values PortfoliosSM, an asset allocation approach that also filters for areas of concern that many investors have without compromising portfolio returns.
Our mission here at the Socially Inspired Investor digest is to present practical education and insights to help our readers develop their socially inspired investment portfolio and ultimately make ESG an important part of your investment strategy. The times truly are a changing and if you so choose to challenge your investments to be both effective and socially inspired, we hope THE SOCIALLY INSPIRED INVESTOR digest and the companion podcast The Socially Inspired Investor turn out to be a great way to start.
So, is socially inspired investing smart investing? We believe it certainly can but first must be fundamentally sound. To be sure now more than ever, It’s your money and your choice. Stay with us as we continue to shepherd you through the choices to consider. It’s by no means perfect but the framework for those that desire to be socially inspired investors is rapidly developing.