Steve Schueth is president of First Affirmative Financial Network, LLC. An independent SEC-registered investment advisory firm, First Affirmative provides consulting and asset management services to socially conscious individuals and mission-driven institutional investors. He produces the annual SRI in the Rockies Conference , and is a former director and spokesperson for US SIF, the Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investing.
Despite our ongoing economic woes, socially responsible investing is in a bullish cycle, with more than $3 trillion in assets in the U.S. alone. The upcoming SRI in the Rockies conference offers a chance to explore why.
More often than not, the investment side of philanthropic foundations makes decisions that contradict the organization's mission. Fortunately, there's an easy cure for this kind of organizational disconnect.
Today, it feels as if we may be nearing a tipping point—where the "truth" of a double bottom line approach to investing becomes apparent to all. But we are not quite there yet. The critics have taken on new form—now the tomatoes are being thrown by former friends. Guest columnist Johann Klaassen explores the thinking of a new wave of critics, and asks the practical question: do we want revolution or evolution?
Socially conscious investors that buy into last year's best-performing funds are often buying high and selling low—exactly the opposite of what anyone would want to do. As First Affirmative's Chief Investment Officer, Kevin O'Keefe, explains, there is no substitute for gaining an in-depth understanding of the sustainability of a manager's performance record. What you don't know can hurt you—a lot.