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Select a socially responsible investment advisor

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Want a little expert advice as you develop your socially responsible investment (SRI) plan? A financial advisor can help you select the best from the green investment world so that you’ll be on your way to making money or preparing for retirement, while bolstering a greener marketplace.

How to find eco-friendly investment advisor

Hiring a financial advisor is an important decision, especially if you're trying to prepare for your future. Before you hand over your life savings, check that your advisor is accredited as a Certified Financial Planner (CFP). While 650,000 people in the US advertise their services as financial planners, only 40,000 have earned the CFP title.[1]

The following links can help you narrow your search to financial advisors and investment firms that focus on socially responsible and green investments. They’ve got listings for advisers across the country so you should be able to find one in your area.

  1. SocialFunds.com: Find a financial planner in your area with this locater. See the state selector drop-down list on the left of the page.
  2. Social Investment Forum: Check out their Socially Responsible Financial Services Directory for a comprehensive list of green investment firms.
  3. Ceres: Their Coalition Members listing includes investors and foundations (listed on the right-hand side).
  4. Social Investment Organization: This Canadian financial adviser listing is searchable by province.

Choosing a green investment adviser helps you go green because…

  • They’ll help you find investments that support environmentally friendly companies.

Nine percent of the money market is taken up by socially responsible investments.[2] Funneling funds away from polluting industries and companies and toward those that operate in a sustainable manner ensures that money is available to stimulate and expand clean, environmentally safe industry practices.[3]

Controversies

Some have lodged serious criticisms against SR investments, claiming that green options often invest in environmentally unsound industries such as oil and gas and that they rarely include progressive companies such as organic food producers or alternative energy firms.[4] Individual investors should be aware that stocks, funds, and money managers will vary in their depth of environmental commitment, being careful to investigate individual investment options to find the one that best fits their moral values and financial goals.

External links

  • SmartMoney - To the Rescue Learn whether you need a financial planner to help you manage your investments and what to look for if you hire one.
  • Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. Before you hire a financial advisor, make sure they are professionally certified.
  • Ceres Works to network investors with environmental organizations and public interest groups to cooperatively work on environmental challenges.
  • Co-op America's Social Investing information They’re a nonprofit member organization working to use economic power (consumer, investor, business, marketplace) to stimulate a just and sustainable world.
  • Environmental Finance A monthly periodical addressing investment-related environment issues.
  • Green Money Journal A quarterly publication that gives tips and current events in the investing world.
  • Investor Network on Climate Risk A $4 trillion network of investors promoting understanding of climate change’s risks and opportunities.
  • Investing with Your Values - A books that covers most investment options and how to get into the money making game without compromising your values.
  • Social Funds.com Publishes news, daily market trends, and investment research, and gives performance information for 75 socially responsible mutual funds.
  • Social Investment Forum Encourages responsible investing by evaluating various mutual funds against a variety of indices.
  • Social Investment Organization A Canadian member organization working to promote socially responsible investing.
  • SRI Studies A project affiliated with the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, this site contains some intriguing socially responsible investment studies.
  • Sustainable Business.com Publishes a monthly newsletter read by many green money managers, and reviews company financial and environmental performances.
  • TerraChoice An environmental marketing firm with an EcoBuyer Database that might be useful in investment research.