…on the fifth day of Christmas my green friend gave to me…five mutual shares, four smart bulbs, three bags of taters, two quarts of milk and a potted cypress tree!
Many of us have shown our disapproval for corporate policies and products with our wallets. We won’t buy clothing from companies that don’t offer fair wages, use child labor or out-source production to a third world country that does not provide adequate workplace conditions. Many have also have stopped buying toxic-laden foods and opt for nonGMO verified, organic foods or food from trusted local farmers. Others may be opposed to bee and butterfly killing pesticides applied to plants and have changed their sources to native plant and local nurseries instead of big box stores. Some people have even stopped patronizing companies or stores because of a company’s lack of employee diversity.
No matter how little or much we have changed our buying habits based on our conscience we are affecting the bottom line of many companies and causing many others to restructure their personnel or their manufacturing methods. We have made a difference with our wallets!
One arena that can also make a difference is the stock market and your investment choices. Socially responsible mutual funds are now more readily available than ever before! These mutual funds may eliminate companies engaged in pornography, tobacco sales, alcohol, firearms, cancer causing toxins, etc.
I had to “cheat” with this verse because “five mutual fund shares” would not have worked for this verse hence “five mutual shares”. Did you know one in four dollars professionally managed in the US is invested in socially responsible companies? According to US SIF – the Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment at the beginning of 2018 $12 trillion dollars was invested in socially responsible companies!
So how do you decide how you want to invest in socially responsible companies? To start investing think about what bothers you most…environmental concerns, workplace practices, cancer causing chemicals in your food, fossil fuels, religious values, community services or your biggest pet peeve. Once you have narrowed down your areas of concern or preferences you can select a mutual fund that aligns with your beliefs.
There is some talk that socially responsible mutual funds have lower returns but that is a misconception! Irresponsible corporate tactics and policies such as environmental policies have become large financial burdens to corporations reducing their profits.
We all saw this when Monsanto was targeted for their glyphosate use in Round-up and more people filed lawsuits against the company for with-holding research outlining the risks associated with the use of their product. The stock plummeted until the company was eventually bought out by Bayer (June 7, 2018) and the name Monsanto was finally dropped due to all the negative publicity. Consumers obviously did not forget about Monsanto and the socially irresponsible Bayer company and continued to show their distrust with their wallets. Bayer stock has been on a steady decline since acquiring Monsanto…
Above are a couple of mutual fund comparisons to give you an idea of investment returns. If you want to learn more about investing in socially responsible mutual funds, find brokerage people who understand and invest in these funds I would recommend visiting US SIF education tab and read their well written articles!
I already bank at a socially responsible financial institution and am looking forward to researching which mutual fund I will select for the five shares my Green Friend gifted me today. Thanks for joining me today and reading this rather lengthy post about socially responsible investing. It was a lot for me to learn and share! If you know of or invest in a socially responsible mutual fund please share your message in the comments below.
Join me tomorrow to find out what my Green Friend gifts me…I’m sure it will be fun, educational, useful or maybe edible! If you’re curious about the history of the Twelve Days of Christmas you can find that here.