In response to rapidly growing demand for sustainable, responsible and impact (SRI) investing, the US SIF Foundation released a new guide for retail investors, “Getting Started in Sustainable and Impact Investing.” This resource is a concise guide for retail, non-accredited investors exploring investment options such as mutual funds, ETFs, and direct ownership of stocks, as well as information on seeking professional investment help.
The US SIF Foundation reports a 33 percent growth in SRI assets under professional management in the United States from $6.57 trillion in 2014 to $8.72 trillion in 2016. However, most of this activity has been among institutional investors, which have ready access to professional SRI expertise, networks and associations.
“As interest in sustainable and impact investing expands, our goal in creating this guide was to provide a starting point for individuals who want to make a positive societal impact with their investments but aren’t sure where to begin,” said Lisa Woll, CEO of US SIF.
A 2017 study by the Morgan Stanley Institute for Sustainable Investing found 75 percent of individual investors expressing interest in sustainable investing. Similarly, the findings of a 2016 survey by Natixis Global Asset Management of 401k and other defined contribution plan participants also demonstrated interest in sustainable investments–64 percent were concerned about the environmental, social and ethical records of the companies in which they invested, while 74 percent said they’d like to see more socially responsible investments in their retirement plan offering.
The guide includes information on mutual funds, ETFs, direct ownership of stocks, and community-oriented cash and fixed income products, including banks and credit unions. The guide concludes with information on the best ways to seek investment advice from a financial professional.