By Carol Thompson
Traverse City Record-Eagle
Originally published August 25, 2015
View the original article
Acting on closely held values can extend beyond volunteering or saying "please" and "thank you."
You can put your money where your heart is with values-based investing.
Clients can also buy stock in companies as a means of influencing their behavior. Company shareholders could vote to add diversity to boardrooms, or reduce waste created by product packaging.
"We're pushing some major fortune 500 companies to make changes to their business practices," Avery said.
Avery and Kessler-Howell work with a lot of charitable and religious organizations, and some individual clients.
Values-based investing is also called Socially Responsible Investing or ESG investing, which stands for plans that consider companies' Environmental, Social and Governance practices.
The concept became popular for mainstream investors as a global push to end apartheid in South Africa, Avery said. Values have shifted somewhat. Clients now often seek to divest from fossil fuels.
The local investors say interest in values-based investing has grown, which worries Sutherland. He's wary of investment firms that offer both portfolios that maximize profits and portfolios that consider ethical business practices.
Kessler-Howell said individual investors are increasingly turning toward responsible investing as a means of influencing the world.
"You vote with your dollars every time you spend, but you can vote with your dollars every time you invest, too," Avery said.