Beginner’s Guide To Socially Responsible Investing (SRI)

I finally saved up a enough money where investing has become relevant to me. I know a bit about how the markets work, but I don’t know too much about Socially Responsible Investing (SRI). I’ll need a crash course, and for that, there is no better resource than Wikipedia. According to Wikipedia, Socially Responsible Investing is:

an umbrella term for a philosophy of investing by both financial and social criteria. SRI investors seek to align their personal values and financial goals by choosing to invest in companies and organizations displaying values comparable to their own.

The entry is pretty thorough and my main take away is that there doesn’t seem to be a clear definition as to what SRI really means, except “no tobacco or alcohol products.”

While there is no one standard of criteria across Socially Responsible Investing, most SRI mutual funds, whether conservative or progressive, employ screens that exclude companies that manufacture tobacco or alcohol products.

I googled “socially responsible funds” and have a bunch of links to look at but there doesn’t seem to be a definitive guide. I guess I’ll have to navigate this maze on my own. I’ll report back my thoughts and findings. I’ll probably start with the following links:

Information on Funds
SocialFunds– “The largest personal finance site devoted to socially responsible investing”

Social Investment Forum– “a national nonprofit membership organization promoting the concept, practice and growth of socially responsible investing ”

Calvert Online– “socially responsible mutual funds”

KLD– “an independent investment research firm providing management tools to professionals integrating environmental, social and governance factors into their investment decisions.”

Yahoo Directory of Socially Responsible Mutual Funds

Pax World Funds– “Socially Responsible Mutual Funds, Ethical Investing, socially responsible investing”

One thought on “Beginner’s Guide To Socially Responsible Investing (SRI)”

  1. I only recently came across the term “socially responsible business models” when in the process of trying to start a business that attempts to replace kerosene lamps used by poor people in Africa with a solar charged-lamp. Because the solar lamp and equipment is so expensive the poor people cannot afford them. So the business model is to sell them the light (i.e. 10 hours of light which last about 3 days for which they pay US$0.50 which is roughly the same as they would pay for kerosene) and retain ownership of the equipment. I have a pilot running but I am strugggling to develop a business model that can be attractive to social investors. I would welcome any advice and assistance. Please not that I am looking for investors NOT donors

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