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Putting SRI Into Practice: Larry Rosenthal

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“I believe that everybody has the opportunity and the right to sit down and get a financial education, so we’ll meet with most people,” says Larry Rosenthal whose firm, Financial Planning Services, has several offices in northern Virginia, offering comprehensive financial planning to more than 1,400 clients, but has no firm asset minimum. A 21-year veteran of the industry, Rosenthal comes to SRI from a faith-based perspective. He hosts a weekly live call-in radio show that focuses on “Biblically-based financial planning” and also conducts financial planning seminars in churches around the D.C. area. Rosenthal says that many of his clients first find him through the radio show and seek him out because they share similar values.

“I believe everybody needs to be a good steward with their assets, but we have clients that don’t even bring up socially responsible investing,” he says, and for those clients the investment approach is strictly mainstream. “Most people don’t walk in talking about socially responsible investing. It just tends to come up from time to time with certain clients and then we go down that road with them. Most clients want to try and get the best bang for theor buck, their best risk-adjusted return.”

Rosenthal is well aware that the SRI tent is a big one and encompasses many points of view, so he notes that it is important to look at screening criteria and determine just how far down that road the client wants to go.

“They want to achieve their financial goals with clarity of conscience,” he says of his clients. “One person will approach it from a green perspective and another person from a faith-based perspective.”