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Frequently Asked Questions

What do “SRI” and “ESG” stand for?

“SRI” stands for socially responsible investing, which is a term used by investors who consider the environmental, social, and governance (“ESG”) practices of the businesses in which they invest.

Other terms related to SRI include ethical, sustainable, values-based, and impact investing. All of these describe approaches that incorporate ESG factors into the decision to either invest in a company, or to avoid – or “screen” – that company.

Why should I invest responsibly?

Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) provides a real force for global, national, regional, and local change. A professionally managed SRI portfolio can help you realize your financial goals, while also increasing corporate accountability to employees, consumers, and the environment. In addition, Progressive Investors Network clients can support investment options that can have a direct impact on local communities by providing needed funding for housing, health care, small business development, and other initiatives.

When you invest with your values, you join a growing movement whose combined value was peaking $8.72 trillion in 2018 – representing around 20% of total assets under management in the United States – and is cresting $30T into 2022. [Source: US Social Investment Forum]

What will be in my portfolio?

Responsible investors typically avoid, or “screen out,” certain companies from their portfolios. For example, a fossil fuel free portfolio will not include companies that mine coal, oil, or frack for natural gas; such companies are said to be “screened out” of the portfolio. Conversely, a different strategy may seek to invest in renewable energy companies, or those with a strong track record regarding diversity, labor relations, or other environmental, social and governance (ESG) practices.

ESG issues commonly avoided or “screened out” by Progressive Investors Network clients include:

  • Fossil Fuels and Nuclear Energy
  • Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)
  • Military Contracting, Weapon and Gun Manufacturing
  • Private Prisons
  • Sweatshops and Child Labor
  • Tobacco, Alcohol, Gambling and Adult Entertainment
  • Relations with Repressive Regimes
  • Animal Abuse/Product Testing

ESG issues positively screened for or actively invested in by Progressive Investors Network clients include:

  • Affordable Housing
  • Community Development
  • Renewable Energy and Conservation
  • Corporate Governance and Ethical Practices
  • Gender and Racial Diversity
  • Plant Based/Vegan Investing
  • Fair Labor Practices
  • Human Rights and Equal Opportunity

And More - What's important to you? Our research has expanded to cover many issues that our clients care about!

Will investing responsibly hurt my financial returns?

Many well-intentioned investors have shied away from investing in accordance with their values, because they believe that SRI strategies will limit the performance of their investments. Over the past 25 years, numerous studies have proved that this perception is not true. In many cases, SRI portfolios have tracked and sometimes exceeded market benchmark performance over the long term.

Today, more investors than ever before are incorporating ESG factors into their investment strategies, as poor labor, environmental, and governance practices are seen as sources of potential investment risk. From our perspective, companies that mismanage ESG issues face greater risks related to regulatory violations, litigation, boycotts, and strikes.

We believe that ESG-focused investing can help you keep latent risks and liabilities out of your portfolio, while also identifying positive practices that can potentially strengthen financial performance in the future.

What are my options as an SRI investor? Will I miss out on any types of investments?

We offer a wide range of investments and services for individuals, families, organizations, and institutions, including:

  • Stocks – access to major markets and exchanges
  • Bonds – tax free municipal, government, agency, corporate and convertible bonds
  • Mutual funds and exchange traded funds – including a wide range of SRI/ESG mutual funds
  • Portfolio management and third-party money management services

Community-focused impact investment opportunities

How can you help me invest responsibly?

We can:

How are your advisors compensated?

Progressive Investors Network advisors are typically compensated through a fee on the assets we manage on behalf of our clients. Where appropriate for a small percentage of clients, we do offer some additional services.

Your long-term financial security is the foundation of our business - we work only for you.

Is it difficult to begin investing with you, if I'm currently working with another advisor?

Engaging us to manage your portfolio isn't difficult. If you already have a financial advisor, we can work with them to ensure a smooth transition. Keep in mind that you don't need “permission” from your existing advisor before working with a new advisor. Well will walk you through the process of transferring your account, step by step. Once you've opened an account with us, we can take care of any necessary legwork as part of the transition.

Can you help me with my employer-sponsored 401(k) or 403(b)?

Our relationships enable us to work directly with some employer-sponsored retirement plans. Contact us to learn about the socially responsible options that may be available through your current 401(k) plan, the SIMPLE IRA offered by small businesses, or the 403(b) plans offered by nonprofits. We can also help you roll over retirement savings from your former job into a new SRI-focused rollover IRA – without tax penalties.

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