Responsible Investing - Values-based investing to achieve positive societal impact

Responsible investing can take on many forms and many names. Depending on one’s particular emphasis, it can be called “values- based investing,” “socially responsible investing (SRI),” “green investing,” “ethical investing,” “impact investing,” “sustainable investing,” and the list goes on. Regardless of the terminology, the goal of responsible investing is generally the same—to generate long-term competitive financial returns in a manner that provides positive societal impact.

At Gould Asset Management, we have considerable experience in the area of responsible investing. Many of our clients seek to incorporate social considerations into their portfolio and we help these clients work through the process.

When we undertake this process, we work closely with each client to understand their values, motivations, and societal goals. It is - critical to understand at the outset that each client may have their own unique way of defining and implementing a responsible investment program. Potential areas of emphasis include environmental, social and governance practices, as illustrated below.

Key Elements to Responsible Investing:

  • Determining which social goals have highest priority
  • Identifying the range of investment vehicles that best match those priorities
  • Understanding the tradeoffs involved; e.g. potential tracking error versus portfolio benchmark, and/or incremental expenses

These three areas of environmental, social, and governance practices (often referred to as ESG) encapsulate a wide swath of the responsible investing landscape, and typically serve as a good jumping off point for preliminary discussions of a responsible investing approach. Other areas of emphasis, though, can include:

  • Impact investing, i.e., identifying investments expected to yield specific social benefits
  • Investment screening to exclude specified industries whose business models run contrary to the client’s social goals

As a firm, we monitor an extensive and rapidly growing universe of socially responsible investment vehicles. These include:

  • Socially responsible index funds, including exchange-traded funds (ETFs)
  • Actively managed mutual funds
  • Portfolios of individual equities managed according to a client-specified set of parameters

Gould’s responsible investing approach is typically overlaid on top of one of our diversified, risk-managed strategies, such as BenchmarkPlus or Equity Index Plus, and can be customized to a variety of return objectives and risk tolerances. Gould investment professionals work closely with clients to implement a responsible investing program that seeks long-term competitive returns and positive societal impact, and is tailored to each client’s unique goals and values. To begin a conversation on how we might help you achieve your responsible investing goals, please contact a member of our portfolio management team.

For more information on these strategies, please speak with a Gould portfolio manager.

Download Responsible Strategies Summary