Q & A
Below you can find many of the common questions we get asked.
SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE INVESTING
About Socially Responsible Investing:
SRI lets people align their money with their values. It can be done in several ways. The traditional method is to choose what to exclude from your portfolio; like tobacco, alcohol, or firearms. Now it's more common to pick companies that are working to make a positive difference in the world. Some poeple like to use a combination of both approaches.
IS THIS JUST A FAD?
Is this just a fad?
SRI is growing rapidly with over 8.72 trillion dollars in managed assets in the U.S. alone (ussif.org).
DO I HAVE TO SACRIFICE RETURNS
TO INVEST RESPONSIBLY?
Do I have to sacrifice returns to invest responsibly?
There is a growing body of evidence that suggests that investing responsibly does not mean sacrificing returns. The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investments lists studies on its site about how this type of investing performs. A meta- study by Deutsche Bank in 2012 found that responsible investing had a positive impact on performance 77% of the time. In another study, Morgan Stanley found that. "investing sustainably has usually met, and often exceeded, the performance of comparable traditional investments (ussif.org)."
DOES IT REALLY MAKE A DIFFERENCE
IF I DIVEST FROM FOSSIL FUELS?
Does it really make a difference if I divest from fossil fuels?
The real question is, are you part of the problem or part of the solution? As a society, we are moving away from fossil fuels. Even some major oil companies recognize the importance of planning for an energy transition. Investing in renewable energy could help the transition to a low carbon economy.
CAN YOU TELL ME THE CARBON FOOTPRINT OF MY PORTFOLIO?
Can you tell me about the carbon footprint of my portfolio?
I can pull a report to tell you the carbon footprint of the mutual funds in your portfolio and how that compares to driving a car.
WHAT IS SHAREHOLDER ADVOCACY?
What is shareholder advocacy?
Shareholder advocacy involves approaching companies that you own and asking them to make better decisions around the issues you care about. if they don't respond, it involves filing shareholder resolutions to be presented at the annual shareholder meeting to nudge them towards positive change. Most people don't have time or money to do this type of work themselves and that is why we work with companies that do on our behalf.
WHY SHOULD I CARE?
Why should I care?
As a stockholder, you are the owner of a company.
As an owner, you are responsible for what you own.
WHAT DO WE SCREEN FOR?
What do we screen for?
Most of the investments I offer are screened through environmental, social, and governance (ESG) screens. We are concerned with a company's environmental policies, how they treat their employees, if they are paying a living wage, if they are promoting women and diverse candidates to executive positions, if they are being transparent about lobbying and even what they pay their CEO. There are many areas we can delve into but this is where we start.
WHY SHOULD I PAY YOU?
Why should I pay you?
As a financial advisor, I am trained to help you reach your goals. My job is to be objective and not yank money out of the market at the wrong time. I do this everyday and most people don't have that kind of time necessary to devote to their investments.
HOW DO YOU CHARGE?
How do you charge?
I work to get my clients the lowest cost products without hidden fees. I charge a tiered fee based on assets under management. This allows my clients to clearly see my fees and hire me again every quarter. For some one-time services, I charge a flat hourly rate. Insurance products often have built in commissions so I so not charge an additional fee for them. No matter what we discuss, my fees will be disclosed clearly up front before signing any papers.
WHY WOULD I WANT A
Why would I want a fee-based advisor?
A fee-based advisor joins you on the same side of the table. They do not make money based on the investment product they recommend or by moving your money around. Since they are fee-based, their fee remains consistent even as your needs change.
WHAT DOES THE AIF™
AFTER YOUR NAME MEAN?
What does the AIF™after your name mean?
An AIF™or Accredited Investment Fiduciary is someone who has received additional training to help them put the client's needs above their own. They are held legally responsible to these standards. Not all advisors are fiduciaries.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE SCREENS?
What is the difference between a positive and negative screen?
Negative screens are excluding certain things like tobacco and firearms from your portfolio.
Positive screens are looking for companies that are working to make things better.