As she does at the end of each year,
What was different this year: These check-ins came just days after the shooting deaths of 20 first-graders and six teachers at
In fact, one client wrote a heartfelt email saying not only that he wanted to move away from guns in his portfolio, but also that the shooting made him rethink his own role in social change.
“After much thought, and no small amount of admiration for the move by Cerberus to sell its stake in a firearms maker, I’ve decided I’d like to move into socially responsible investing,” he wrote. “For me that means, at least for now, no fossil fuels companies and no weapons makers.” Because most of the client’s
NEW DEBATES ON WEAPONS
Ever since the shootings on
Yet some investors have begun wondering whether they can use the power of the purse to bring about social change. A number of big public pension plans, including those in
What has surprised some advisors is the extent to which shootings have made individual investors want to take matters into their own hands too.
Lee says he was a bit surprised by the reaction, given his firm’s location. “We’re a conservative state and we have some of the biggest gun manufacturers here,” he says — a reference to Browning, maker of automatic and semi-automatic assault rifles.
On the other hand, about 10% of his clients already ask him to exclude alcohol, tobacco and defense names because of religious beliefs, he says. And his clients do have a history of making portfolio changes as a reaction to news events. After the 2010 oil spill at a