On a sunny Friday in June of 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) made a monumental decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, which drastically changed the country’s social and financial landscape.1 Same-sex couples celebrated, the nation’s monuments were lit in joyous rainbow hues, and Americans who identify as LGBTQ+ were married in record numbers.2 In the years since, companies and investment vehicles have done their best to attract same-sex investors in all sorts of ways.
But how do you know which companies are true LGBTQ+ allies? For some investors, the answer may be Socially Responsible Investing. Read on to learn more.
Investing in Your Convictions
Socially Responsible Investing (SRI), sometimes known as sustainable, responsible, or impact investing, is an investment discipline that considers environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) criteria.3 In other words, SRI strategies attempt to allow you to maintain your personal values and goals by investing in companies that have those same beliefs.
Finding LGBTQ+ Allies
How do you decide which companies deserve your investment? An excellent place to start is with your financial professional. Many professionals can help you narrow down your investment ideas until they meet certain criteria, allowing you to completely avoid particular industries that may not align with your values.
Indices That Care
Another helpful resource is the Corporate Equality Index (CEI), which rates businesses’ LGBT-inclusivity from 1 to 100. The CEI is constantly updated, allowing investors to see if a company is an inclusive as they claim.4 Another resource that may be useful is the Credit Suisse LGBT Equality Index, which only includes companies that score an 80 or better on the CEI.5
No Sacrifice Necessary
Some LGBTQ+ investors may worry that investing with their values could limit the return potential of their portfolio. Although, this notion has been floating around for a while, and a great deal of research tells a different story. In fact, studies show that companies with higher environmental, social, and governance scores and ratings can outperform comparable firms in both accounting and stock market terms.6 But remember, past performance does not guarantee future results.
Don’t forget, having a chat with your financial professionals is a good idea if this type of investment approach appeals to you. Who knows? Perhaps this type of strategy is a good fit.
1. The Supreme Court of the United States, 2015 “Obergefell v. Hodges”
2. Pew Research, 2017
3. Center for Sustainable Investment Education, 2019
4. Corporate Equality Index, 2019
5. Credit Swiss Group, 2019
6. Morningstar, 2016. “Sustainable Investing Research Suggests No Performance Penalty”
About the author: Nancy Eiden is a Board Member of the CLEAR Board of Directors and Financial Advisor with Red Oak Consultants. She holds several securities industry licenses through LPL Financial, including the Series 4, 7, 8, 24, 63 and 65. Member FINRA/SIPC.
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