Many people make the case for socially responsible investing.
They are keen on being green -- and they put a lot of green
where their mouths are, more than $2 trillion. SRI typically
holds that avoiding so-called sin stocks isn't only the right
thing to do, it is also a good way to make money. It is true.
Except sometimes it isn't.
Now comes a new book by Chicago-based investment adviser
that offers a variation on the theme. "Profitable Socially
Responsible Investing?" makes the case that the way to
do right by your conscience and your portfolio is to drop
the typical SRI strategy of "negative screening,"
which Mr. argues
is a path to risky, less-diversified portfolios. More to the
point, going out of your way to avoid beer and smokes doesn't
mean you will always prosper, at least not financially.
way is to match the specific values of an investor with companies
that have similar operational values. For example, a food
bank with an endowment to invest would want to buy the stocks
of a company with a good human-rights record. Should that
company happen to produce, say, liquor? No problem, under
by Gene Colter
To learn more about and/or order Mr. Lane's book, "PROFITABLE
SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE INVESTING? AN INSTITUTIONAL INVESTOR'S