Left Coast Voices

"I would hurl words into the darkness and wait for an echo. If an echo sounded, no matter how faintly, I would send other words to tell, to march, to fight." Richard Wright, American Hunger

Socially Responsible Investing – The Case Against

Over the last couple of days I have been promoting Socially Responsible Investing (SRI). I thought to write a post sharing the case against. Obviously the big investors and most small investors do not promote SRI, so I wanted to find out why.

Unfortunately it has not been easy. There were several articles and videos that hint about a lower return on investing from such strategies, but little more.

I wonder why this is? Is there a unsaid assumption that it is okay to turn a blind eye in the name of profit? I find this incredibly disturbing. It is the same principle for those who tut and shake their heads at poverty in parts of Asia and Africa, and yet are happy to profit from their cheap labor and sweatshops and wear jeans and running shoes that were manufactured there.

There is now a call for forcing major investing companies to commit a certain percentage of their capital to SRI. This is an interesting discussion from South Africa.

Also check this interview between some investing heavyweights from around the world.

Have you seen or heard people arguing against SRI, or advising against it? If it is such a clear-cut issue, why are only a very few people investing this way? And why are we allowing it to be swept under the carpet?


Alon Shalev is the author of The Accidental Activist (now available on Kindle) and A Gardener’s Tale. He is the Executive Director of the San Francisco Hillel Foundation, a non-profit that provides spiritual and social justice opportunities to Jewish students in the Bay Area. More on Alon Shalev at http://www.alonshalev.com/

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