August 12, 2008

Advisor: KNOW Your Client. Know their values!
by Ron Robins, MBA From my globally popular and respected ethical investing website, Investing for the Soul This editorial is of particular interest to investment and financial advisors. A U.S. survey by Allianz Global Investors early in 2008 showed that half of all investors were planning to invest in environmental funds in the following twelve months; in May a U.K. survey by F&C Investments found about 88% of respondents felt that it was important for companies to take environmental, social and governance issues seriously. To benefit from these trends, an astute advisor will want to truly know thy client, implementing policies and activities that particularly cater to their clients’ personal values. As an advisor, ask yourself: • • • • • Do you want your clients learning about ethical investing, green funds, etc., from another advisor? Do you want the risk of giving inappropriate advice to your clients by not knowing their personal values? Do you want to gain a competitive edge vis-à-vis other advisors? Do you want clients who are stable and less volatile when markets go awry? Do you want more satisfied clients providing even more referrals to you?

For advisors new to ethical investing, green funds, socially responsible investments, etc., the work to become familiar with these areas may appear daunting. However, there is lots of help out there for you. To begin with, take the free online course for financial advisors offered by the UK Social Investment Forum. Though oriented to British advisors, it offers valuable information and assistance for advisors everywhere. In addition, advisors can find help from the following organizations. In the... U.S.A.: Canada: U.K.: Social Investment Forum; SocialFunds Social Investment Organization UK Social Investment Forum; Ethical Investment Research Services (EIRIS); Ethical Investment Association Australia: Responsible Investment Association Australasia Germany: Forum Nachhaltige Geldanlagen e. V. France: European Sustainable and Responsible Development Forum (EUROSIF); Forum pour l'Investissement Responsible Italy: Forum per la Finanza Sostenibile Sweden: Forum for hållbara investeringar i Sverige Belgium: BELSIF, contact info@belsif.be Netherlands: Vereniging van Beleggers voor Duurzame Ontwikkeling

Asia:

(VBDO) Association for Sustainable & Responsible Investment in Asia (ASrIA)

Also, here at Investing for the Soul, I now offer the following uniquely valuable services for advisors: workshops to orient you and your team to personal values investing; tutorials in finding and evaluating stocks that reflect personal values; a company research service; and portfolio audits that ensure holdings are in compliance with the owners’ personal values. This is a new era for advisors. The rule, know your client, now means much, much more than before. A paradigm shift is occurring in what clients want. Are you ready for them? This site is here to help you. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------*Ron Robins, MBA, is founder, Investing for the Soul, (http://investingforthesoul.com/). He advocates, writes and teaches on the subject of ethical investing. To contact him, e-mail to Ron Robins or call 705-635-3034.
© Ron Robins, 2008. Permissions: provided full credit, which includes title, my name, and link to this post is given, anyone may print or re-produce this article in part, or in full, to any relevant web page.

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