Putting Your Money Where Your Conscience Is: 5 Rules of Socially Responsible Investing

Posted on: 3 August 2020

You've probably been told to put your money where your mouth is on more than one occasion, meaning be true to your words. If you have a social conscience, why not let that be reflected in your investment choices? There may be many places to put your money, but when you want to be socially responsible, there are rules to carefully follow:

1. Don't Try to Please Everyone with Your Investment Strategy

While "doing the right thing" may help you sleep better at night, realize that with so many opinions out there, not everyone will agree with your investment decisions. It's best to keep such matters to yourself, even if your choices seem to give you bragging rights. You don't want others objecting to your well-thought-out plan with dissenting or even derogatory comments. Do your homework, to discover investment opportunities that are both worthy of high moral praise and offer a respectable return, but don't expect to find anything that everyone else agrees with; that's simply too tall an order in this day and age.

2. Find a Socially-Responsible Investment Adviser 

Although you should do some research on your own, ultimately, you want to be able to trust an investment adviser to act on your behalf; therefore, finding the right one is where you should focus your efforts. Getting in touch with a financial professional who's as socially responsible as you are means you're on the same wavelength and don't have to panic when they spend your money. You should also make sure the adviser keeps up with current trends and info, so that, if you wish, a company can be blacklisted from your repertoire, if it's discovered that they're not being responsible in any of the more important aspects of your social conscience.

Be upfront about your wishes when you initially contact an investment firm, to avoid wasting your time or theirs. Chances are good that whoever you speak with will be as excited to invest with wisdom as you are.

3. Remember the Bottom Line

Yes, it's important to help every cause you can, so to avoid helping causes that harm or are otherwise negligent, you should keep in mind that you want your money to multiply. Don't be so picky that your adviser has a difficult time finding a suitable company or that you completely stress yourself out second-guessing them. Your two main priorities, your conscience, and return on investment can be held equally, rather than one being sacrificed for the other.

4. Avoid Using Social Media as Your Only Moral Compass

If you're always on Facebook, Twitter, or some other platform, avoid using the general consensus there to judge all investment opportunities. Things change very quickly on social media and not every rumor is proven true, although so many are quick to judge, protest, and even boycott over every tweet or post. Despite how dramatically these outlets have altered society at large, they're still not the best places to make important decisions, financial or otherwise.

If you've chosen your adviser wisely, they'll know what sources to discard as gossip and what to act upon. Certain social media accounts, including some very famous ones, may "cancel" someone at the drop of a hat. Getting involved with these kinds of accounts is no way to run your portfolio; not to mention the fact that they'll likely change their minds completely before the next opening bell rings on Wall Street.

5. Reinvest Your Returns with the Same Socially Responsible Adviser

Although there are many more responsible corporations in operation today than when your grandparents might have been investing, this trend is still growing. When you find a healthy company that meets your high standards of excellence and moral accountability, stick with them. As they grow, so will the return on your investment, as will the relationship you've established with your adviser. Since solid footing can be challenging to find in markets and in partnerships, keep the good thing going, so long as it continues to meet or exceed your expectations.

Putting your money where your conscience is may not be as easy as throwing money at any investment that comes along, but it's worthwhile, both for you and the many causes you care about. Learn more by contacting a socially responsible investment advisor.