Ethical Investing

Investing, for people without a full time adviser or a million dollar portfolio, often involves checking a box at work and sending money into a 401K, an IRA or similar vehicle for retirement.  Most of us have no idea what companies our money is invested in and therefore no idea of our investments’ impact on the world. Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) is a way to divert our investment dollars away from companies that do harm and toward those doing good—companies whose values and practices align with our own.

Books and Readings on SRI

SRI Funds

  • Calvert Investments focuses on environmental, social and governance issues (see detailed list of funds with ticker symbols).
  • Ave Maria invests in companies whose policies are consistent with the core values and teachings of the Roman Catholic Church (list of funds).
  • Domini Social Investments lists six issues they take into consideration when screening investments – nuclear power; geopolitical stability, weapons and international peace; endorsement of international norms and standards; human rights; respect for indigenous peoples and local cultures; and anti-bribery, anti-money laundering and anti-corruption programs (list of funds).
  • Eventide Funds philosophy is rooted in the biblical understanding that God’s great intent for business is that it serve and in turn bless humankind.  They seek to invest in companies that operate with integrity and create value (list of funds).
  • Vanguard, though not necessarily considered an “ethical” investment company, offers the FTSE Social Index Fund (VFTSX) which selects stocks based on certain social, human rights, and environmental considerations.