How to Align Your Investments With Your Values

Healy Financial |

When you invest in the stock market, you are not just helping your nest egg grow. You are also backing businesses and companies. In an effort to put your money toward values you actually believe in and want to support, you can become more discerning about investing your money.

A growing number of people, including my clients, want to invest their money in companies that have a positive impact on the environment, culture, society, and governance issues. In fact, of the total assets under professional management in the U.S., more than 20% — or about $8.7 trillion — was invested following sustainable principles in 2016, according to a Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment report sponsored by the MacArthur Foundation, Bloomberg and several financial institutions.

Values-based investing is about aligning your investment strategy with your personal ethics and values.

Determining Your Values

The first step is to define what is important to you.

In many cases, my clients are specifically interested in how a company operates on a human or social level, both within the company itself and within the community at large. They might choose stocks with special attention on the following types of concerns:

Family values or religious beliefs:

Does the company support my religious values or stance on family values?

Labor rights:

Does the company treat its employees fairly, pay a living wage, and provide good working conditions?

Diversity and civil liberties:

Does the company support civil liberties and equality for all?

Other major ethical questions for my clients might include environmental stewardship, child labor, and community outreach.

The market may seem like an unconventional place to express your values. But if finding investments that align with your values gets you more excited, engaged and devoted, you might want to hold your convictions close as you make those decisions.

How to Get Started?

  1. Define what’s important to you? For example, you may want to exclude companies that manufacture tobacco products — or to include corporations with gender equality in leadership positions.
  2. Consider mutual funds. It can be overwhelming to create a portfolio of individual equities that align with your values. However, mutual funds can be a good solution because they provide investors with a basket of securities that are already vetted and not only align with a specific philosophy but are also overseen by financial professionals who monitor risk and performance on a daily basis.
  3. Talk to your investment advisor.

At Healy Financial, we have access to tools that can help you structure your investments to align with your values. In fact, one of our primary objectives is to serve our clients by helping them invest and manage their money in ways that support their values.

Ready to get started exploring your options for investing to your values? Let’s Connect!

About the author:

Joseph Cramer, CFP, Financial Planner

Joe, a lifetime Michigan resident, graduated from Trinity School at Greenlawn and the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota with a BSB in finance, risk management, and insurance.

He appreciates working with young professionals and families, especially those in the medical community. His areas of expertise include: holistic fee-based financial planning and coaching; asset protection strategies in the areas of specialty-specific disability insurance and life insurance; debt management; tax advantaged strategies for funding education and retirement; and, wealth management.

Investments will fluctuate and when redeemed may be worth more or less than when originally invested.