“I used to organize people to create social change,” says Andy Loving of Just Money Advisors who, unlike many advisors, didn’t come to socially responsible investing from within the financial services industry. He’s an ordained minister who began his career working with the homeless. “Now I try to organize money to create social change,” he says. His three-person firm, which includes his wife, who has a doctorate in economics, and an administrative person, who used to be a union organizer, serves about 150 clients and manages between $35 million and $40 million. Very few of his clients are what would qualify as being high net worth.
Loving says he first stresses with clients that he is a certified financial planner, because he wants them to understand right away that he knows what he’s talking about. When constructing portfolios for clients, like any other advisor Loving is attempting to match certain benchmarks, but he then applies SRI screens to his selections. “I think the Domini Social Index has been around for 15 years and the return of it and the S&P 500 is almost identical,” Loving says. As for dealing with the so-called performance penalty that some people believe is what you pay for SRI investing, Loving says the only reason to accept lower returns is “if you want to take part of your portfolio and get higher social impact.”
There are clients who are willing to do that with a portion of their portfolios, which is where Loving’s expertise in community investing comes in. The returns on some of the community development investments have turned out better than other parts of the portfolio in some recent quarters and Loving says those returns were certainly competitive with other fixed income instruments.