Socially Responsible Investing Up During Downturn

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November 10, 2010; Source: Advisor One | The 2010 report of the Social Investment Forum contained some counterintuitive good news in the otherwise bleak international economic recession. The amount of money invested in socially responsible investments has topped $3 trillion, reaching $1 out of every $8 under professional management.

Moreover, during the recession, SRI assets grew by 13 percent while overall assets increased by only 1 percent. Why? The experts will weigh in, but one obvious factor is that socially responsible investments may be keeping up with or even outperforming their conventional asset peers, particularly in a down market when returns overall are low or negative. Will SRI continue to grow apace if the market recovers? It is hard to say. We would love to hear experts respond here on our website.

From the Advisor One summary of the SIF report, we can also identify the issues that are the most important types of criteria incorporated in SR programs: 1. Sudan; 2. tobacco, 3 alcohol, 4. entertainment; 5. defense/weapons; 6. gambling; 7. faith; 8. labor; 9. pornography; 10. human rights.—Rick Cohen