CHICAGO, IL / ACCESSWIRE / February 17, 2021 / ‘We practice sustainability in general. We recycle, shop locally as best we can, make informed decisions in the products we buy. We’re doing all of these things in our daily activities, but as investors we are only beginning to make this same change, in terms of our investments’ said Alex Papadopoulos, founder and owner of Egéa SRI.
Sustainable investing is growing in popularity. At the forefront of this wave of socially responsible investing is Egéa SRI.
‘There are a lot of investors looking for guidance when it comes to SRI Investing. They want help as far as how to set up a portfolio, and how to be properly allocated in their Roth IRA’s, Traditional IRA’s, Investment Accounts and 401K’s,’ Papadopoulos said. ‘Our firm is at the center of this. We have the financial planning tools that clients need for retirement and financial planning along with the necessary investment screens to tailor an ESG portfolio. It’s our role to help investors decipher all of the information out there [on SRI] because it can be overwhelming at times. The clients we talk to are looking for direction, advice and how to get started.’
In fact, socially responsible investing is the exclusive focus of Egéa SRI.
What is Socially Responsible Investing (SRI)? SRI is defined as any investment strategy that seeks to maximize financial return while simultaneously advancing an idea, belief, or cause that is important to you, the investor. Embedded in the SRI philosophy is ESG, or Environmental, Social, and Governance. These are the criteria from which a set of standards is created to enable socially conscious and sustainable investors to screen investments.
Papadopoulos began his financial planning career working at a firm that was adjacent to Northwestern University in Evanston, IL. It was here that Papadopoulos was approached by professors, graduate students, and other clients in the community who inquired about socially responsible investments.
‘I quickly began researching and learning all about socially responsible investing, even though 20 years ago it was what we would call a micro niche market,’ Papadopoulos said.
Fast forward to 2019, when the College of Financial Planning in partnership with the US SIF: The Forum for sustainable investing – the leading voice advancing sustainable investing across all asset classes in the U.S. issued a new financial planner designation called the Chartered SRI Counselor™. The Chartered SRI Counselor™ designation was the first major financial credential dedicated specifically to sustainable investing.
Papadopoulos became certified and got to work managing clients’ sustainable investments. This was the beginning of Egéa SRI.
Alex understands that each investor has their own unique goals for SRI and there are various approaches in developing an SRI investment strategy.
Improving Returns: SRI strategies are based on the concept that socially responsible portfolios pursue a desirable return strategy that aligns clients’ investments with their values. This belief is predicated on the philosophy that corporations that forge robust relationships with their employees, the surrounding community, and are mindful of the environment are fundamentally more sustainable.
Cleaner Environment: Protecting the environment and reversing the effects of climate change are a major priority for many investors. These investors focus on investing their money in firms that are creating new technologies to help combat global warming, while avoiding corporations that are damaging the environment.
Social Justice: Investors will focus on companies with greater gender and racial diversity in their C-suite or on their board of directors, and the rest of their workforce. Many of these progressive-minded investors consider transforming cultural norms through business practices to be very important in their quest to make the world a better place.
Among the most popular types of SRI comes under what has become known as ESG, investing for environmental, social and governance causes. As investors see it, these three categories are each important criterion to a company’s ability to sustainably remain in business.
A vast majority of ESG investment funds are connected to the idea that companies that are good stewards of the environment have a mutually beneficial relationship with the stakeholders – both inside and outside the company. They also will have a boardroom that is transparent and promotes a variety of interests. The belief is that these types of companies will potentially be sustainable in the long term.
Egéa SRI – Distinct in the SRI Advisory Space
‘What separates Egéa SRI from many others in the industry is our [Chartered SRI Counselor™] designation,’ said Papadopoulos.
Out of approximately 300,000 financial advisors nationwide, less than 500 have the Chartered SRI Counselor™ designation, Papadopoulos says, citing the College of Financial Planning data. ‘As we stand today, only a small fraction of advisors are certified to give financial advice and construct SRI portfolios. Although I suspect the number of CSRIC™ advisors will be rising and fast.’ Papadopoulos said. ‘If sustainable investing is important to you, then you should be consulting with someone who has put in the time and effort to earn the designation.’
And Egéa SRI is one of the relatively few financial planning firms that has a Chartered SRI Counselor™ (Papadopoulos) to help investors successfully navigate what can be complex SRI terrain.
Profit Versus Sustainability?
Papadopoulos emphasizes that despite SRI’s significant credibility and soaring popularity, there remains the misperception that in order to make the world a better place you have to relinquish investment performance. ‘Too many investors have bought into this zero-sum game that is absolutely not true’, Papadopoulos said.
Industry research and data support Papadopoulos’ contention.
The Morgan Stanley’s Institute for Sustainable Investing White Paper offers evidence that profit and sustainability can coincide when it comes to investments. In fact, there are some distinct upsides to ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) investing.
There is a growing body of literature evaluating the performance of sustainable investments in comparison to traditional ones. What has been well documented is that from a statistical perspective, return performance of sustainable and traditional funds has been similar, and across regions, asset classes, and time periods.
The Morgan Stanley report revealed that from January 2020 to June 2020, U.S.-based sustainable equity funds outperformed their traditional peers by a median of 2.8 percent in terms of total returns. Additionally, the US SIF also reported that investments in SRI assets grew at nearly 40 percent year over year since 2016.
What’s more, sustainable funds may potentially reduce risk! Sustainable funds were less risky investments between 2004 and 2018, according to the Morgan Stanley White Paper.
‘The median of the distribution of downside deviation for the market value of sustainable funds was consistently smaller each year,’ the White Paper found in its industry research.
‘So you are not necessarily giving up performance by being invested in a sustainable portfolio versus a regular portfolio and the data shows that SRI portfolios can demonstrate lower downside risk,’ Papadopoulos said.
Sustainable Investing – Egéa SRI – Make a Difference
Alex and his team enjoy helping beginners, seasoned investors, and institutions alike avoid potential pitfalls – such as the possible tax and capital gains implications – and help them work to meet their financial goals as his team gauges their risk tolerance and understands their unique individual situation.
From there, Alex and the Egéa SRI team strive to ensure that each investor’s portfolio represents their personal values and highest ideals.
‘Ultimately it is consumers that drive the economy and markets. As investors we need to continue to seek out companies that are both profitable and sustainable. The data shows that Sustainable investing is here to stay. We can grow our investments while at the same time protecting the environment, celebrating our diversity and caring for all of the communities that we do business in. Sustainability is key to a thriving future for all of us.’
If you are interested in exploring SRI and how it can reflect your personal lifestyle and goals, we invite you to visit our website http://www.ihtwealthmanagement.com/egea-sri/, to learn more.
Egéa SRI – Make a Difference.
Contact Name: Alex Papadopoulos
Business Name: Egéa SRI
Address: 123 N. Wacker Drive, Suite 2300, Chicago, IL 60606
Phone Number: 877-630-3432
Securities offered through LPL Financial. Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advice offered through IHT Wealth Management, a registered investment advisor. Egéa SRI and ITH Wealth Management are separate entities from LPL Financial.
The information provided here is for general information only and should not be considered an individualized recommendation or personalized investment advice. The investment strategies mentioned here may not be suitable for everyone. Each investor needs to review an investment strategy for his or her own particular situation before making any investment decision.
All investing involves risk including loss of principal. No strategy assures success or protects against loss. Any performance mentioned is historical and past performance is no guarantee of future results.
Any economic forecasts set forth in this material may not develop as predicted and there can be no guarantee that strategies promoted will be successful.
SOURCE: Egéa SRI