How to get started: socially responsible investing


When I gaze down at my sweet little girl, sleeping on my chest, I can’t help but feel an immense sense of responsibility. I want the world to be a better place. Like many of you, each day I try to minimize my carbon footprint, shatter glass ceilings and end racism so that future generations won’t have to (and so those things no longer hold us back).

My life goal? Leaving the planet in better shape than I found it.

But what do you do after you’ve already signed petitions, up-cycled your clothes, bought organic and volunteered in your community? How do we make real change to build a better world and make good choices for our future in the little things that often get overlooked?

For me, one strategy I hadn’t thought about for a long time was my banking habits and how my financial investments were being used. So when I first learned about socially responsible investing (SRI) I knew it was something I wanted to learn more about. We all invest our money in financial institutions who, in turn, invest that money into corporations or initiatives that can either help or harm the environment and communities. Making wise financial decisions that further my investment goals while also furthering causes that I care about only makes sense.

I finally asked myself: if my money is going to be invested anyway, why not invest in initiatives that align with my values?

If you are interested in socially responsible investing, you will need to determine your own why, what and how you want to be involved with positive social change. Here are other tips to getting started:

  1. Identify why you invest. Easy! We all want more hours in the day and more money in our pockets, right? While we may not be able to extend the clock we can work on building better wealth management and through socially responsible investing, we can also build a better world.
  2. Determine what you are passionate about. Is it protecting the environment? Supporting community initiatives? Promoting women in the workplace? You can further any of these issues and more through SRI. There are a variety of projects to choose from in literally every industry.
  3. Decide how you want to take action. SRI is all about positive partnerships to further social change while making good money. When shareholder advocacy partners with your investments to hold companies to a higher ethical standard, great things happen. You can be active in these partnerships through a Tax-Free Savings Account, Term Deposits, RRSP, RESP and more.
  4. Making it happen. Once you’ve determined your why, what and how, you’ll need to find the right teammates to make it happen. Speaking with a wealth management professional gives you the information you need on how these investments are chosen and what standards they must live up to and an understanding of all the options available so you can decide where to invest. By having a conversation, you can be sure that your partners are on the same page and working to accomplish the things in our world that you care about most.

Building a better world is entirely possible when we change the system from the inside out. And it’s easier than you might think to get started!

Photos by Madison of M&Him 


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