Beyond Profits: Millennials Embrace Investing for Social Good
Monday, December 8, 2014
Once she gets her MBA degree from UC Berkeley in May, Leigh Madeira’s dream is to help find funding for young companies devoted to improving the lives of the world’s poor.
That isn’t quite what her family had in mind. When she told her 90-year-old grandfather about her plans, “He gave me this look,” she says, laughing.
For 29-year-old Madeira and others in her generation — the millennials — the goal of a high-priced business degree isn’t a job in traditional Wall Street finance anymore. Many are embracing “socially responsible” investing, which steers money to businesses and organizations that pledge to have a positive effect on society and the planet.
The socially responsible investing segment of money management has been around since the 1970s, but its growth has exploded over the last decade and by some estimates now covers more than $6 trillion in invested assets. The strategy also has become much broader in scope and ambition.
In the 1980s, most socially responsible mutual funds simply avoided stocks of so-called vice industries — gambling, alcohol, cigarettes and weapons. All other stocks were fair game.