An approach to socially responsible investing

So you take the bus, walk, or ride your bike (even on cold days) to work, only driving your Toyota Prius on the weekends. Your home is stocked with energy-efficient appliances. You eat only organic products. You abide by Clean Lakes Association guidelines on how to dispose of leaves to avoid runoff into our lakes. And each year you give what you can to charitable organizations. But have you become a socially responsible investor in the process?

If you are among the millions of Americans trying to round out their socially responsible lifestyle with investments, you may be uncertain how to ensure your investments align with the values you strive to uphold. But simple changes to how you invest may help make a dramatic impact on both your financial life and the change you want to see in the world.

The goal is to assemble a portfolio that contains the potential positives of investing while helping you feel good about the social impacts of your financial strategy.

Ask yourself these questions to help determine the best strategy for investment:

  • How much money do I plan to invest?
  • What issues concern me the most? For example, environmental effects? Labor conditions? Specific products?
  • How much of a trade-off am I willing to make between investment return and social good?
  • What does my current portfolio say about me and what would I like it to say about me, based on my specific values?

Above all else, ask questions both about the process and the cost of the strategies you are considering.

The Droster Team, along with guest speaker Dave Gordon, is presenting a workshop, Tuesday, Nov. 28, from 5:30–6:30 p.m. in downtown Madison. They will discuss the basic terminology of socially responsible investing and looking at investments through the lens of environmental, social, and governance factors. Dave Gordon works closely with a mutual fund family that is a recognized leader in the ever changing and growing area of responsible investing. There is no fee. To reserve, call (608) 252-7523 or email

This article is provided by Beth Norman, CFP, senior vice president, and financial advisor at RBC Wealth Management. The information included in this article is not intended to be used as the primary basis for making investment decisions. RBC Wealth Management does not endorse this organization or publication. Consult your investment professional for additional information and guidance. RBC Wealth Management, a division of RBC Capital Markets, LLC, Member NYSE/FINRA/SIPC

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