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Some people are afraid to invest because they think it might be immoral. They don’t want to encourage excessive greed, contribute to environmental damage, or make choices that go against their religious convictions.
And here’s the thing: they don’t have to. Socially responsible investing is the process of choosing investments based on both financial and ethical values. It involves careful research and monitoring of investments, which is what any investor should be doing anyway.
Social investing is pure capitalism, not charity. The people who have the money to invest expect those who need funds to meet certain standards. Some social investors are guided by political ideology or religious beliefs covering a broad spectrum of ideas, but others simply want companies to reveal their business practices and operate for the benefit of shareholders, not managers. After all, isn’t that how it should be?
The primary way to succeed through social investing is to do careful research. First, you need to see if the investment meets your financial goals. Then, you need to see if it makes good economic sense. Both steps are necessary. Read the annual report on Form 10K. What is the company’s business? What is going right, and what isn’t going well? How much debt does the company have? How profitable is it? Are profits growing or shrinking? Are customers paying their bills? Is inventory being s
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