Thursday, April 10, 2008

Why SRI matters whether you invest or not

In upcoming posts I'll discuss the wide range of possibilities for involvement with socially responsible investing - whether you're a college student or wealthy retiree. But before getting to that I thought it might be important to consider the ways in which SRI is important even if you're not in a position to invest anything at all.

- First, if you are a college student or alumnus, a member of a congregation, or a member of an organization, then you likely have a connection to one or more institutions with assets that are or are not being managed in a way that meshes with their institutional goals and your ethical beliefs. Your association with these organizations reflects back upon you and therefore their financial decisions do, as well. Further, how their assets are managed may impact the opportunities available to you and others through the work in which these groups engage.

- Second, unless you have somehow managed to go completely "off the grid," you are impacted by the economy in which you participate and the economic decisions of those around you. Participation in and concern with SRI in one form or another allows you to voice your concerns regarding the way the economy functions and cannot help but increase your awareness about the way it does and the interconnectedness of your transactions and interactions in the marketplace.

These considerations touch on a host of issues that will have to be addressed in future posts, and defining SRI is just one of these. Regardless, though, the objections that "I just don't have anything to invest" or "Investing is wrong" simply do not serve as a valid ways to dismiss learning more about SRI and how your faith intersects with economics.

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