February 23, 2016
As I walked back to my car through the grey February slush, I already knew I was going to finance the project. I realized this bond issue was going to do well because it was doing good. Investors could benefit and the community could benefit—shareholders in the fund would enjoy fuller wallets from the tax exempt income from the bonds, workers in and businesses supplying to the construction trades would get much needed work, the facility would employ more than 50 full time positions in well-paying jobs, and the seniors in the community would get great care.
I didn’t realize it at the time, but I had backed into the key investment criteria for socially responsible investing. Today, investments in the socially responsible, social enterprise and social impact strategies total some $6.6 trillion according to the latest biennial survey by the Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment.
Moreover, according to a recent internal survey by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, half of investors want their personal values reflected in their investment decisions. As millennials begin to experience wealth transfer from their Baby Boomer parents, they increasingly want to see their investments doing good. Correspondingly, the number of money managers offering impact investing products has surged 155% during the past five years (Collins 2014), particularly in separately managed accounts.
At the forefront of these investments are municipal bonds. For good reason—broadly, the projects financed by municipal bonds are for essential public purposes such as, hospitals, affordable housing, senior care, public transportation, water and sewer, bridges and tunnels. Bond proceeds provide needed jobs during project construction and long-term jobs afterwards to maintain the services. In the long term, the community gets health care, places to live, clean water and better transportation. Investors in the bonds, individuals or institutions, get a steady income stream from the interest payments on the bonds.”
Source and Full Article: http://www.forbes.com/sites/investor/2016/02/23/municipal-bonds-a-socially-responsible-investment/
Vermont State Treasurer Beth Pearce, NAST’s incoming president, has partnered with Governor Phil Scott to launch a statewide Financial Literacy..