A Guide to Socially Responsible Investing

Work + Money
By Deborah Adeyanju
May 29, 2018

Stay­ing on top of the lat­est invest­ing trends can seem like a learn­ing a new language.

For one thing, there’s an alpha­bet soup of terms to under­stand — from alpha to beta to pas­sive invest­ing to social­ly respon­si­ble invest­ing to val­ues-based invest­ing. Even when the indi­vid­ual words make sense, it’s not always clear what they mean.

Yet with $8.7 tril­lion of pro­fes­sion­al­ly man­aged funds in the U.S. being direct­ed toward social­ly respon­si­ble invest­ing — out of a total of $42 tril­lion of total pro­fes­sion­al­ly man­aged assets — accord­ing to 2016 fig­ures from the Forum For Sus­tain­able And Respon­si­ble Invest­ing (US SIF), it’s obvi­ous­ly more than a pass­ing trend.

But what exact­ly is social­ly respon­si­ble invest­ing and why should you care about it? Equal­ly impor­tant, what isn’t it?


Impact invest­ing isn’t just for non­prof­its or state and local gov­ern­ments. Ven­ture cap­i­tal is on board, too.

Nan­cy Pfund, Founder and Man­ag­ing Part­ner of DBL Part­ners, pur­sues a “dou­ble-bot­tom line,” aim­ing for “top-tier finan­cial returns” while work­ing close­ly with indi­vid­ual port­fo­lio com­pa­nies to help them opti­mize social con­tri­bu­tion, cli­mate effects and com­mu­ni­ty engagement.

For her, it’s a mat­ter of putting first things first: “You have to real­ly believe it’s going to be a suc­cess­ful finan­cial invest­ment first and foremost.”

To read the full arti­cle, vis­it Work + Mon­ey.