A quarter of all working Americans have no savings, and half die with less than $10,000 in financial assets. Nevertheless, some of us will have a small nest egg, and where to put that bit of money can be a challenge. Even for many socially minded people what we know we’ve learned from “talking to Chuck.” But there are alternatives and they matter.
I first became aware of other ways to think about investments when I realized my denomination’s retirement fund screens its portfolio for tobacco, alcohol, gambling and guns. Many other faith communities with substantial funds do also. There are also a number of public mutual funds that have significant track records in screening for social responsibility issues. Some invest in alternative energy. Some avoid military contractors. Some look for environmentally enhancing product lines. Others invest in locally owned small businesses or in organic food sources. And some do a combination of all those.