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Investing for Change: Profit from Responsible Investment

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For many of us, giving significant money away for promoting change is not a practical option. But investing for change—otherwise known as SRI (Socially Responsible Investing)—is something all of us can consider. Still, a number of questions come up when we consider what it means to invest "responsibly," including:

* Is it possible to "express values" through one's investments?

* How easy is it to rank companies along standards of social rather than financial value? Wouldn't such standards be subjective?

* Does ...

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Overview

For many of us, giving significant money away for promoting change is not a practical option. But investing for change—otherwise known as SRI (Socially Responsible Investing)—is something all of us can consider. Still, a number of questions come up when we consider what it means to invest "responsibly," including:

* Is it possible to "express values" through one's investments?

* How easy is it to rank companies along standards of social rather than financial value? Wouldn't such standards be subjective?

* Does "responsible investing" imply taking more financial risks, resulting in poor performance?
* Does SRI force less virtuous companies to improve their behavior?

In Investing for Change, Augustin Landier and Vinay Nair provide answers to these questions. Categorizing investors in illuminating groups of Yellow, Blue, and Red, and drawing on the latest research and their long experience in asset management, the authors show how responsible investing can truly come into its own.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Genuinely persuasive"—Publishers Weekly

"Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) is attracting increasing attention around the world, as a complement to laws and regulations in the promotion of good corporate behaviour. In a very readable, well documented and thought out book, Landier and Nair address the key questions: "What is SRI? Does it work? Can one do well by doing good? Investing for Change brings a balanced, yet upbeat view of SRI, and is a absolute must-read for all those, academics and practitioners of finance like the authors, or simple investors, who have an interest in socially responsible investment"—Jean Tirole, director, Toulouse School of Economics

"This is a must-read for anyone interested in SRI. The authors are experts in the field and understand all the technicalities, and at the same time write lucidly and entertainingly. They make a compelling case that SRI is a phenomenon that will be central to capital markets in the next decade."—Geoffrey Heal, Columbia Business School

Publishers Weekly

Academics turned portfolio managers, Landier and Nair offer up evidence for socially responsible investing's potential for financial gain and real social change, highlighting how returns, risks and goals differ in ethical investing. The book traces the evolution of socially responsible investing (SRI) from its 18th-century Quaker roots to the first socially responsible mutual fund, 37-year-old Pax World, and finally to more recent "responsibility indices" and the increasing availability of corporate sustainability reports. The authors wisely credit the growing influence of "the corporate governance movement", the increasing number of socially responsible mutual funds, large public pension funds' interest in "responsibility issues," and the "dynamic regulatory landscape" for pushing change on environmental, human rights and other social fronts, making an ethical investment approach a viable option. The authors assess the research on stock returns in ethical investing and the trade-offs for one's principles, projecting that a more balanced socially responsible investment portfolio can grow close to industry averages on the S&P 500, for example, and better than benchmark portfolios. While the fictitious investors in the book grate, its appeal to "invest in who you are" is genuinely persuasive. (Dec.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195370140
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 11/26/2008
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Dr. Augustin Landier and Dr. Vinay B. Nair are co-founders of Ada Investment Management, an asset management firm based in New York City. They are also adjunct professors of finance at Stern School of Business, New York University. Previously they were Portfolio Managers and Research Directors at Old Lane, LP, Citi Alternative Investments as well as professors at the University of Chicago, The Wharton School, INSEAD and the Indian School of Business.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: The Values Investor
1. Investing to Express Your Values: A Natural Idea
2. Can SRI Achieve Change?
3. Profits or Values?
4. Values and Increased Profits?
5. Is SRI Sustainable?
6. Your Values
Appendix
Notes

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