“I was in SRI before I even became a financial advisor,” says Georgette Frazer. “My bachelor’s degree is in ecology and botany and as a child of the ’60s I grew up with an understanding of social issues and got connected with the idea of how my money decisions can make a difference in the world.”
Frazer is a “very independent” advisor and sole proprietor of her business, but is closely affiliated with Colorado-based First Affirmative Financial Network and operates under its corporate RIA.
She’s been an advisor for 24 years, 14 of those with First Affirmative, and says that probably 95% of her present clients have an SRI orientation. It wasn’t always that way, however. “For a long time I was myself an SRI investor, but I was not hanging out my shingle about it because I wasn’t convinced yet that I could financially do a fiduciary-level job for my clients. I could use myself as an experiment, but didn’t think I could do the same with my clients.”
Over time as she compared SRI portfolios with others she found that the SRI investments, while not consistently outperforming, “were performing as well as the programs that I saw on the non-SRI side.”
As an advisor who has been focused on SRI since its earliest days, Frazer has witnessed the evolution first hand. “In the beginning the prime movers in the SRI field were people who were devoted to the social goals and some of them did not have very good training on the financial side,” she recalls. “But now we have very high-quality managers in our field, and a much more diversified list of options for investors, so we can appropriately build a diversified portfolio.”