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#817595 - 04/22/13 09:17 AM Socially Responsible Challenge
Sandra Investing/HFinance Offline
BellaOnline Editor
Chipmunk

Registered: 07/13/12
Posts: 1880
Would you like to invest in a way that helps our environment and the natural world around us? Do you want to protect our fellow animals from cruelty and mistreatment?

One way to do this is through socially responsible investing. By choosing your investments wisely, you can avoid companies that operate in a way that harms the natural environment. You can also support companies that operate using sustainable practices.

This could be a company that refuses to test cosmetics on animals. Or, it could be a company that uses solar energy to heat its buildings.

A great way to invest is through an SRI mutual fund. This kind of mutual fund is a compilation of companies screened and chosen for their kinder environmental practices.

So here is a challenge for you:

1. Think about your values and what types of companies you want to support.
2. Then go to socialfunds.com.
3. Pick a fund under the SRI Fund Finder (left side of home page) then click the green arrow. That takes you to the fund page.
4. On the page, read the fund's description and what it screens for. (You may want to look at a few funds.)
5. Pick one you like and some back to this forum and let us know what you found and why you like this fund.

By completing this challenge, you learn how to choose an investment that also helps our natural world.
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Sandra Baublitz, Investing/Home Finance Editor
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#817776 - 04/23/13 11:43 AM Re: Socially Responsible Challenge [Re: Sandra Investing/HFinance]
AKLisa- Knitting Editor Offline
BellaOnline Editor
Gecko

Registered: 08/07/10
Posts: 711
Loc: Fairbanks, Alaska
I found the Green Century Equity fund. They seek out companies with appositive track record in environmental, human rights, employment, and products and services area. They have restricted criteria for weapons and animal testing, and they do not invest at all in alcohol, tobacco or gambling.
this is pretty consistent with my own values. The year to date return is 12.67%. I need to brush up (a lot) on evaluating a finds success, but I know that is better than what I can get in a local bank cd.
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Lisa Linnell-Olsen
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#817799 - 04/23/13 04:17 PM Re: Socially Responsible Challenge [Re: Sandra Investing/HFinance]
Sandra Investing/HFinance Offline
BellaOnline Editor
Chipmunk

Registered: 07/13/12
Posts: 1880
Wow, Lisa. You did great. And went above and beyond with checking the YTD return!

I would agree that the fund meets most of my values too. The 10 year return average is 7.02% which I would have to say is not bad for all the market turmoil we've encountered in recent years.
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Sandra Baublitz, Investing/Home Finance Editor
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#818397 - 04/28/13 02:32 PM Re: Socially Responsible Challenge [Re: Sandra Investing/HFinance]
Lisa LowCarb / VideoGames Offline
BellaOnline Editor
Highest Posting Power Known to Humanity

Registered: 01/05/04
Posts: 20725
I'm sort of in an odd situation in that I'm a wine writer. I am quite content supporting wineries. So a fund that excluded wineries would not match with my interest area. I want to support eco-friendly companies ... and wineries smile.
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Lisa Shea, Low Carb / Video Games Editor
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#818408 - 04/28/13 04:34 PM Re: Socially Responsible Challenge [Re: Sandra Investing/HFinance]
Sandra Investing/HFinance Offline
BellaOnline Editor
Chipmunk

Registered: 07/13/12
Posts: 1880
I see your point, Lisa. That does present a problem. There are some social funds that do not restrict alcohol.

Plus, I did some research and found out that there are a very few funds devoted strictly to wine and/or vineyards. Sadly, from a financial perspective, they have not produced the best financial gains. I honestly had never thought about wine as an investment before. The few funds I looked at all had very high initial investments (like 25,000 Canadian dollars) or were private equity investments that get very complex.

But this is a very good example of how an investment portfolio can be structured to take into each individual's values and tastes. Although alcohol is excluded from many social funds, wineries and particularly vineyards, do offer their own environmental benefits.

Perhaps a better alternative for supporting wineries would be to engage in peer-to-peer lending through one of the online p2p sites. Or, perhaps a local winery in your area is looking for an investor.

And there are alcohol companies that can be invested in such as Diageo which does produce wine. You could always buy stock in this company.
_________________________
Sandra Baublitz, Investing/Home Finance Editor
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