Socially Responsible Investing and Friday Book Giveaway

Socially Responsible InvestingHappy Friday, everyone! Although I’ll be working through the weekend, the end of my regimented week is almost over. Today, I have Ann C. Logue, author of “Socially Responsible Investing for Dummies” answering some questions about her book.When Dale and I opened our IRA, I was concerned about some of the companies we would be investing in.  Our financial advisor didn’t have a whole lot of answers for us, but I’m betting Annie’s book will help us do it better the next time. When we have money to invest again, I hope to be a lot smarter about money and more aware of where my investment $$ are going.

Annie is the author of three books in Wiley’s “For Dummies” series. She has also written for Barron’s, Newsweek Japan, and BusinessWeek Chicago, among other publications. She is a lecturer in finance at the University of Illinois at Chicago and her current career as a writer/author follows 12 years of experience as an investment analyst. She holds a B.A. from Northwestern University, an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago, and the Chartered Financial Analyst designation.

Click to the next page for my short interview with Annie and learn how you can enter to win a signed copy of her book.

Why did you decide to write Socially Responsible Investing for Dummies?

“The main reason is that I think that most people need to learn more about investing and about saving money for the future. People put it off for many reasons, and sometimes it’s because they are afraid that if they invest, they’ll be supporting the bad guys. Some company executives are bad guys, and some companies have bad policies, but you don’t have to be a part of it. My intention is to help realize their financial goals as well as their ethical ones.”

Why do you think socially responsible is important?

In the long run, companies that respect the world in which they operate should do the best. That’s not always the case in the short run, of course, which is why all investors need to do their research! But remember that investors are owners of companies, whether they own stock directly or through a mutual fund. As owners, they should use their power to encourage management to behave better. Shareholder activism is one component of grassroots activism, and it’s pure capitalism!

The thing to keep in mind, though, is that there is no perfect company (just as there is no perfect job, perfect boyfriend, or perfect politician). I think social responsibility is important, but the company still has to be a good investment, and you need to remember that even a good business won’t be perfect.

Can you give one tip from your book for people who want to invest in socially responsible companies?

Consider one of the many socially responsible mutual funds out there. There are many companies that manage money under different social, ethical, and environmental guidelines, ad a quick Internet search should turn up good ones. Then, go a step further and look up the funds that interest you on a ratings service such as Morningstar.com. A socially responsible investment can be a good one, but not all are.

Investing, especially in today’s market, is tough for a lot of people. Why is investing at all still important.

Yeah, it has been nasty out there, hasn’t it? But people still want to retire and to send their kids to college. Those are long-term goals with long-term savings requirements, and they didn’t go away in the last year. Also, remember that the name of the game is buying low and selling high, so it’s usually a good idea to invest when everyone hates the market. That’s how you get in at low prices.

Entering the giveaway is simple, as always! Just post a comment in the comment section of this post, telling us if you’ve made investing decisions based on the social responsibility of the company, and why or why not? Post between now and the new post on Monday, January 25, and I will enter your name into the drawing. If you win, you will need to notify me with your name and address so we can send the book by Wednesday, January 27!

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8 Responses

  1. Jennifer M says:

    When I opened my 401B at school one of the questions they ask is if there are any companies you would be opposed to investing in. No one had asked me that before. I am glad to see some people are taking into consideration who the money supports.

  2. Kristi says:

    I am truly a Dummy when it comes to this subject, but the first step is to admit you have a problem.

    Thanks for the post and the giveaway. Good luck to all who enter, but especially me.

  3. Kathleen Winn says:

    We have a financial advisor and I admit that I haven’t asked him whether there is any consideration given to the “social responsibility” aspect of our investments. (My guess would be “no” since he’s never brought up the subject and neither have we.)

    Even though we have an advisor, David and I stay very involved in the decisions made regarding our account and pay close attention to how our money is being handled. At our next meeting, I now plan to bring up the issue of socially responsible investing. Thanks for info Kerri!

  4. Alexandra says:

    I have no money to invest, but if I did, I would definitely consult this book first. Thanks for this interview!