Integrating a Social View into Your Investment Program
At Hewins Financial, we not only support our clients’ financial goals but can also help them express their values and their concerns regarding issues in the world through how they invest.
Socially responsible methods can be incorporated into both passive and active approaches to investing. They can be obtained at a reasonable cost and can include tax efficient strategies. We work with a number of investment managers to integrate social values into an investment program without having to sacrifice the sound, disciplined and cost-efficient investment principles that Hewins Financial advocates.
Whether the values and priorities a client has are viewed as “progressive” or “conservative” or they relate to issues like the environment, to labor practices, religious beliefs, weaponry, animal rights or best practice corporate governance, there are solutions that can simply screen out egregious practitioners. But there are also approaches that are inclusive, that reward those firms that are making sincere efforts to distinguish themselves for the common good.
In recent years the ESG movement has developed a strong following (ESG stands for environmental, social, and governance factors). The old notion that somehow doing good was bad for profitability and investment returns is now often opposed as contrary to common sense. The more thoughtful, accountable and transparent a corporation can be across all aspects of its activities, its workforce is likely to be that much happier, motivated and productive, which should translate to higher profits and returns on equity. The more environmentally sensitive a corporation is, the less vulnerable it would be to litigation and regulatory penalties. The more open management and directors are with shareholders on issues like compensation and conflicts of interest, the better their reputation for integrity will be, which should bestow a higher valuation for the shares. But to the extent that companies fall short, investment managers can also act as a catalyst for change and improvements on behalf of their clients through shareholder initiatives.
If integrating your values and concerns into your investment portfolio is important to you, please do not hesitate to consult with your advisor to review the full range of available options.