Social Investment Forum
information, contacts and resources on socially-responsible
responsible financial planners
WITH A MISSION
Years and Counting!
ShoreBank Pacific, we believe business can change to become more
sustainable, less wasteful and more environmentally benign without
sacrificing the bottom line. We've created a bank to prove it."
Pacific is the
result of an innovative partnership forged in 1991 between Ecotrust,
a Pacific Northwest non-profit devoted to fostering a conservation
based economy, and Shorebank
Corporation of Chicago, a pioneer in developing inner city
community projects. The idea was to bring new resources to people
trying to grow their businesses in ways that would bring
environmental and social returns while creating economic
opportunity. As this
idea began to take hold and its supporters grew, Shorebank and
Ecotrust began raising
EcoDeposits® from investors who wanted their money to help
build a healthy economy and community.
And in 1997, ShoreBank Pacific opened the doors of its
double-wide trailer at the Port of Ilwaco, a Washington fishing town
situated near the mouth of the Columbia River.
ShoreBank Pacific and its non-profit partner Shorebank
Enterprise Pacific built a new headquarters
that boasts the latest in sustainable building technology and
practices, including optimal energy efficiency, recycled materials
and storm water retention. ShoreBank Pacific also opened a loan
production office in the Jean
Vollum Natural Capital Center, a restored warehouse located in
Core of ShoreBank’s Success
continues to raise money from its EcoDeposits®
program in order to fund businesses and non-profits that are
committed to improving their environmental footprint. EcoDeposits
include many FDIC insured deposit products, at competitive rates,
that serve to provide the funding base for ShoreBank’s loan
programs. As a
mission-driven institution, all loans are reviewed by the bank scientist using ShoreBank
Pacific's loan evaluation process.
These criteria are firmly grounded in the guiding principles
of The Natural Step. ShoreBank’s goal is to keep eighty percent of the
portfolio in mission-based loans. Through these efforts, ShoreBank
Pacific helps loan customers:
ShoreBank Pacific quickly approaches its fifth anniversary, they
continue to expand their full array of banking
services while daily applying the Bank’s “triple bottom line
– business, community, environment” Mission to all endeavors.
to learn more.
waste and pollution;
natural resources; and
for the long term.
Going Green - Good For Your Wallet
green activists rue investment as a tool to pay for industry’s
environmental degradation. But, as evidenced by Green Century Funds,
your investment doesn‘t have to fill the pockets of polluters.
Century Funds, an environmentally responsible mutual fund, donates
all profits earned through the management of the funds to a
partnership of non-profit environmental advocacy organizations. The
Funds utilize a simple guideline: shun the polluters, encourage the
funds also coordinate shareholder efforts to influence companies to
adopt cleaner, safer, healthier practices and products.
response to a shareholder resolution co-filed by the Green Century
Balanced Fund, Intel agreed to share information on potential
environmental and safety hazards and to allow community and
environmental activists to monitor the implementation of its new
Environmental Health and Safety Policy.
the Green Century Balanced Fund filed a shareholder resolution
calling for more aggressive solid waste programs, PepsiCo agreed to
roll out a new lid which will save 25 million pounds of aluminum
annually and to replace disposable shipping containers with
ten-year-old Green Century Equity Fund filed a shareholder
resolution to press Atlantic Richfield Company (ARCO) to cancel any
future plans for drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
This refuge is the only conservation area in the nation that
provides a complete range of Arctic and sub-Arctic ecosystems
balanced with a wide variety of wildlife. The 125-mile Coastal Plain
is the only section of Alaska's 1100 mile North Slope not open for
are no-load and require a minimum $2,000 initial investment. But
that’s a small price for economic and environmental security.
more information, call 800-93-GREEN. or visit their website:
Summa is a freelance writer in Sugar Land, Texas.
Looking for a great home-base business that helps the environment?
Arbonne offers a full line of
natural products including: face, body, hair and nutritional needs.
They use recyclable packaging and all of their products are
cruelty-free. For more information about them and the business
opportunity click here.
Interested in Tax Free?
reprinted from Blue
In a world of sugar-free, pesticide free and emission free, how about some
tax-free interest? Not tax deferred until you take a distribution (like a
traditional IRA), but tax free—permanently. There are a select number of
investments that provide tax-free income, among them are Roth IRAs and
Life Insurance. But if you’re interested in no contribution limits and
avoiding the inconvenience of dying, then read on.
Each year tens of millions of Americans pay hundreds of millions of
dollars in taxes on interest earned from CDs*, savings accounts, and money
markets. Fortunately, for many of these investors there is an
alternative—and no, it’s not in the stock market: It’s Municipal Bonds.
Building a Tax-Free Future
Municipal Bonds are bonds that are issued by state or local governments in
order to build schools, hospitals, pave roads and other things most of us
take for granted. The way a bond works is actually quite simple. It is a
contract whereby a lender purchases a bond, issued by an institution, for
a specified amount of time and for a specified amount of interest. In
other words, it’s an I.O.U. between an investor and an institution. There
are many institutions that issue bonds, among these are U.S. Corporations,
the United States Treasury, States and Municipalities.
The beauty of municipal bonds, in particular, is that if you buy a
municipal bond of the state in which you are a resident, the interest you
receive is state and federal tax-free. Think about it, the government helping
you with your taxes! In states with high income tax rates (ex. California and
New York) this tax-free boost can mean a 30% increase on your yield when
compared to a taxable alternative (see chart below).
YOUR TAX BRACKET
Quality and Maturity Matter
As with any investment there are things to keep in mind. The first
involves the quality of the bonds. Municipal bonds come in varying grades
ranging from high quality to speculative. For the investor looking to
invest in the highest grades, a good tip is to find “Investment Grade”
quality. This designation refers to the highest grades offered by the
various municipal bond rating agencies.
After deciding on the quality of the bond, the second issue is the length
of the bond. Municipal bonds have maturities ranging from just a few years
to over twenty years. As a general rule, if you plan on holding the bond
until maturity then your principal and interest are guaranteed. However,
if you sell a bond prior to its maturity date then your principal will
vary based on whether interest rates are higher or lower from when you
purchased the bond. Simply put, if interest rates are higher, then your
principal will be reduced; if interest rates are lower, then your
principal will be increased.
Understanding how bonds work can take a little effort, but for many, this
effort is well worth the luxury of earning tax-free interest on their
money. If you would like learn about how tax-free investing can work for
you, give us a call at 866-B-Marble (262-7253) and experience what it’s
like to finally keep all that you’ve earned!
* Municipal bonds
have greater volatility than CD, are subject to market fluctuation, are
not FDIC Insured, may be worth less than original cost upon redemption or
maturity and are subject to availability.
Arturo Tabuenca is the
founder of Blue
Marble Investments (BMI), a socially active investing firm in
Pasadena, CA. You can contact BMI at 866-2-MARBLE. Securities
offered through Commonwealth Financial Network, Member NASD/SIPC.
Check out a totally green
business opportunity manufacturing EcoCover mulch
First Stop for
Earth Conscious Investors
by Andy Summa
Investing is often a daunting task for environmentalists. Many industries are notorious about trashing the environment for profit, and most environmentalists don‘t want to support companies that routinely damage the world. But not all companies wreak havoc on Mother Nature. And
socialfunds.com can find them for you.
Known primarily for its mutual fund research, Social Funds offers numerous other valuable financial services, including money management, stock brokerage and financial planning. Extensive daily financial news and detailed corporation research are also popular functions. More than 1,000 companies are listed in the Corporate Social Research Center. Check up on ExxonMobil’s latest environmental report or find out how General Mills treats its employees.
But the most valued section of www.socialfunds.com is the mutual fund screener. You can screen for human rights, shareholder activism, community investment, environmentalism, employment, weapons, animal rights, nuclear power and alcohol/tobacco/guns. The site screens for this information, and displays pertinent contact, financial and history information.
SocialFunds.com is any prudent activist’s first stop on the way to financial (and environmental) security.
Andy Summa is a freelance writer in Sugar Land, Texas.
assets to your favorite environmental group and get a tax deduction.
Here's how it
works. If you have a highly appreciated asset, you can donate it to
your favorite environmental group, and in exchange, you will receive
a tax deduction for the total amount of the donation, PLUS income
for the rest of your life! The catch is once you donate the assets,
it's final. This arraignment is called a Charitable remainder trust,
and you should contact your tax advisor for more info.
When selecting an
investment for your hard earned money, you can choose investments
that match your beliefs. Here are some of the more common screening
criteria for socially conscious mutual funds:
it so important whether I put my money in socially conscious
funds or not? The answers lie in the big picture.
By investing in socially conscious investments, you divert money away from the companies that are polluting our rivers, pumping chemicals into the air, and selling cigarettes to kids, and drive money to companies that are good corporate citizens. Also, socially conscious investments have generally performed BETTER than
their conventional counterparts!
Note: Red Jellyfish does not endorse any of the
advisers or companies listed on our website, and is acting only as a