What the heck is SRI ?

Before I start making specific recommendations, some house-cleaning is in order, well, more like “Back to Basics. ”  SRI stands for Socially Responsible Investing.  In some walks of life, one might consider this term Communist/Socialist.   Could this be true?  Social implies Socialism – not much of a stretch…  Responsible implies doing good (an action) for the common good.  You see my point ?  Well, in truth, it probably is a tad on the Socialist side.  I’d rather describe it as investing with the soul for all souls.

Should we be thinking w/ our Head or our Heart ?
There’s a sort of warm & fuzzy feeling I get when I read about a SRI-oriented company like Starbucks.  You can’t put your finger on it, but there’s something there, and you know it when you see it.  The purpose of this Blog will be to locate concrete tangibles I can share w/ you about these special companies.  ‘Cause, I don’t think a portfolio manager would accept,  “I gotta good hunch about this company” as a valid reason for making an investment decision.   And if he did, the asset manager would be subject to litigation for disregarding the Prudent Man Rule.

I’ve searched the Internet for the best information on SRI.  These are provided to you on the right side of this blog (“Useful Links…“).   Unfortunately, everyone’s definition of SRI is a different shade of blue.  Below, I’ve compiled them into one broad definition.  Later, I will discuss trends in SRI, including how this definition’s changed over time, as well as the 3 major strategies utilized.

Socially Responsible Investing (“SRI”) is generally an investment strategy that seeks maximum profits by investing in companies that exhibit ethical behavior. 

What’s in a name ?
SRI is sometimes called socially-concious (as opposed to anti-social & unconcious ?), or ethical investing.  In layman’s terms, Passive, or Index Investing would be considered somewhat of a polar opposite investing methodology.  Note that Index Investing is an excellent strategy for maximizing profits.  Stay tuned for my posting on whether SRI investing is a worthwhile endeavor.

Most researchers report SRI may date back to the Quakers (circa 1758), who prohibited members from participating in the slave trade – you know, the buying/selling of human beings (which still exists today in a different form).  I doubt SRI started as recently as 1758 as we tend to view history from our American (Western) point of view.  In my view, it likely started during the early days of global trade (perhaps hundreds of years earlier !)

Well, this ends my first official blogpost.  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.  And join my blog !

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