Sunday, July 01, 2007

SRI--What are They??

Found this print article a few weeks ago in a Family Cirlce magazine entitled "Make Money by Doing Good". Regretfully I did not note the date of publication but would have to say it is at least within the past 6 months. Either way I found the information interesting from a personal standpoint as I have been looking for alternative investment ideas and this article has given me a good starting point.

Written by Kelli Grant the article discusses buying stocks in green companies. Called SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE INVESTING(SRI) it is a way to profit and change the world by purchasing stocks in companies that avoid scorched earth policies.

Grant begins by discussing the basics of SRI and goes on by highlighting important points to consider and some resources available.

Following is my outline of those points and resources.

A] SRI has never been easier--you can invest in individual companies or via mutual funds. There are approximately 200 SRI funds available through the following investment houses Citizens Funds, Calvert Group, Pax World Funds; the Domini 400 Social Index is the SRI equivalent of the S&P 500.

Also mentioned:

B] Check current investments, you may already own SRI stocks. Compare your portfolio to the Domini 400 Social Index (mentioned above), the Corporate Responsibility Officers annual "100 Best Corporate Citizens", or for mutual funds you can check Calvert.

C] Choose your causes. Decide what stand you want to take. The "sin stocks" of tabacco, gambling and alcohol are top businesses screened out by SRI guidelines.

D] Determine your financial goals by determining how much your willing to invest, short-term or long-term, and level of risk willing to be taken.

E] Pick your companies--individual companies vs. mutual funds.

F] Other resources that were mentioned in the article: Social Investment Forum offers comprehensive information, contacts & resources on socially responsible investing; has information on SRI mutual funds, community investments, corporate research, shareowner actions, and daily social investment news; and Good Money provides information about how people can use the power of their money as investors, consumers and businesspeople to bring about the changes necessary to improve social and economic conditions throughout the world.

G] Community investing--Watch your money at work by opening an account with a community development bank, loan fund or credit union. Another option, bonds purchased from a microfinancing organization such as Calvert Foundation or Foundation for International Community Assistance (FINCA). Further information can be had at The Community Investing Center.

Overall this article was a good primer. The timing of my finding it couldn't have been better as I have been trying to learn more about alternatives for investing. Hope y'all found this information as helpful as I did.

No comments: