Leadership Essay

3607 Words Mar 15th, 2014 15 Pages
SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE INVESTING: THE MATURING OF FINANCIAL ANALYSIS
Brenda Plant
Can one get rich by being responsible? Yes, one can: “To look beyond the investment bottom line does not imply forgetting profits,” says Brenda Plant. To help shed light on this issue, she reviews the state of socially responsible investment in Canada, the evidence regarding its economic performance and the strategies available to implement it. She observes that the financial community remains skeptical and ill-prepared to provide that type of service and that, overall, Canada is lagging behind. To keep pace with other jurisdictions world wide, she recommends that Canada amalgamate the multitude of securities regulators into a single national body. Peut-on à
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These scandals give all investors the opportunity to advocate for some fundamental systemic changes. Socially responsible investing offers investors some useful tools to help close the gap between business as usual and the contemporary global challenges of social and environmental responsibility. And while the government should avoid being overly interventionist, it has an important role to play in making capital markets more responsive to some complex social and environmental issues. Investment capital does not neutrally make us money to put our children through university or provide us with security in our retirement. Social and environmental exter-

nalities are not adequately priced, valued or disclosed in the market. Market imperfections cause anti-social distortions for which we nonetheless pay in other aspects of our lives, be it in the form of increased personal taxes (or cuts in government services), the need to purchase personal protection products like air purifiers for the home, or reduced overall health and quality of life. The marketplace, with its quarterly obsessions, simply isn’t designed to be especially effective in promoting positive and innovative initiatives that create long-term value. To look beyond the investment bottom line does not imply forgetting profits. It involves seeking modes of wealth creation that pursue personal, social and ecological benefits in addition to financial

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