February 16, 2009 – Ethipedia has released a very helpful guide for ethical investing – just in time for RRSP season. Visit their website, where you can download their most recent ethical investing guide: “The Nitwit Investor’s Guide to Ethical Investing 2009“
Read below for some further background and resources, courtesy of the Ethipedia website:
“Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) is all about making sure your money is being used to do things you are comfortable with, whatever your values are. Even if the sums you move around are small, your savings are possibly your most powerful tool you possess for changing the way business is done worldwide and changing it for the better!
Below you will find a range of responsible finance options — all of which can help you save for the future without compromising your values.
It will soon be time to make your annual contribution to a Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSP). We have found a number of RRSP-eligible investment options that bring social and environmental considerations into the traditional investment process.
There are a number of mutual funds that use social and environmental criteria in the selection and management of the funds. The criteria for selection vary from one fund to the other but they all aim to have a positive impact on corporate behaviour.
Inhance Investment Management Inc., for example, invests only in companies that have compelling growth prospects today, and the progressive and sustainable business practices needed to keep growing in the future.
Desjardins, Quebec’s cooperative financial institution, offers four families of funds under the SocieTerra name, all of which are RRSP-eligible. This family of funds includes the Desjardins Environment Fund as well as eight Ethical Funds portfolios. These funds all select companies that have demonstrated sound environmental policy as well as good governance and corporate responsibility.
Ethical Funds and Meritas Funds use a strategy called shareholder engagement where they exercise their leverage as shareholders in large corporations to raise social and environmental issues. Using this strategy, they successfully influence corporate policy in areas such as executive compensation, worker rights, climate change and renewable energies.
Your bank or credit union may also offer RRSP-eligible responsible mutual funds or solidarity investment products (like term deposits) that invest in sustainable development and vibrant local economies.
Click here for a complete list of the responsible funds currently available across Canada.
OTHER INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES
Community Development Investing
This form of investment aims to improve the economic health of communities by making capital available to local entrepreneurs who might not otherwise have access to it. As an individual, you can invest in these initiatives and generally expect a small return (1-4%) on your investment.
To find the community credit institution in your community or for a list of community investment funds across Canada, visit the Canadian Community Investment Network Co-op. Note, however, that these investment funds are not RRSP eligible.
The Social Investment Organization, the national association for the promotion of socially responsible investment, hosts a directory of institutional service providers, as well as publications on industry trends. They also offer a complete directory of Canadian financial advisors with knowledge in responsible investment.”