Today’s guest post is from The Digerati Life, a personal finance site that offers ideas and resources on saving money, investing and money management.
Before the 1980s, the business world was filled with unethical behavior. Back then, it was almost okay to be harmful towards the environment because the green movement had not yet come of age. But fast forward to today, and everyone from our current President to the neighbor down the street in a fuel-efficient vehicle is championing a cause. Why not apply that do-gooding attitude towards your investments?
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As a serious investor interested in going green, you’ll want to start by doing research. The aptly named website GoodMoney.com is a place to start. Socially responsible investing, or SRI, involves screening investments for factors which fit your values. The SRI industry itself was pioneered in the 1970s in the closing stages of the Vietnam War. The idea is to live your values rather than invest only for high returns no matter where you find them.
But that doesn’t mean SRI is only for hippies. It’s for science-supporters, too. Many profitable, growing firms do scientific research, and the biotech industry is currently one of the hottest fields. For those who have heard about biotech companies but wonder what the field is all about, biotech is the industry of biotechnology and pharmaceuticals. Since drugs are derived from scientific research, they can be categorized as biotechnology.
Genetic engineering is a further subdivision. It draws from such hefty sounding scientific fields as physiology, molecular and cell biology, and immunology. Microbiology, biochemistry, chemical engineering, and genetics are also represented. If your interests lie in the human genome and in recombinant DNA, then you might also be interested in biotechnology investing as well. (For more details, check out the book Successful Biotech Investing by Joe Duarte.)
You don’t need to pick specific company stocks; to gain exposure to socially responsible funds you can invest in indexes such as the KLD Select Social Index, or, for a focus in health care and biotechnology, the Health Care Select Sector SPDR.
In other words, you don’t have to be a hippie, baby boomer or even a graduate student of science to appreciate these industries. The important thing is to watch the news and read articles so you become literate in the health, science and social science sectors, if you aren't already. Once you've invested in these sectors, you can then sit back and watch your money grow while feeling happy that your hard-earned cash is supporting good causes.
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