I attended the 2019 Sustainable, Responsible, Impact Investing (SRI) conference which took place in Colorado Springs, CO this year (CO in November, they must have gotten a good deal on the hotel).

Climate change was a big theme at the conference. We need to mitigate, to reduce the need to adapt and the less suffering we’ll have.

130 banks with more than $47 trillion in assets adopted new UN-backed responsible banking principles to fight climate change in September 2019.  They will move assets away from fossil fuels.  They will align their strategies with the 2015 Paris Agreement.

The conference has grown along with the interest in SRI. In the past, you could count on everyone being there to use SRI to make the world a better place. This year there were many who are using SRI to get a better return on investments. It’s great that there is more interest but the dynamic of the organization is changing. If you are using SRI just for return, shareholder engagement is not important

First Affirmative is rolling out a new investment option called Digital Wealth Services Platform (DWSP). DWSP will allow investors to input their risk tolerance and SRI issues that are important to them and get a portfolio of individual stocks and bond funds that meet the criteria.  The expenses are 0.40% per year for accounts up to $500k.  The expenses go down lower for larger accounts. The minimum account size is $5k.

There were presentations about:

  • Asset allocation in retirement calculations
  • The Case for and Against Individual Bonds for Retail Clients
  • Advocacy in action: New tools and engagement opportunities for advisors and clients
  • ESG Investing in Asia: Opportunities in the Age of Trump
  • What the Water Crisis can Teach us about Investing in the World’s Poor
  • Fighting Back: Using Investments to Combat Climate Change
  • The Next Wave of Impact: the Professional Athlete
  • Tackling Climate Change – Focus on the Chemical Footprint Project
  • Water: the Investment Opportunity of the 21st Century
  • Everything You Didn’t Know about Hemp and Sustainability
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