Financial Planning

Are You Looking for a Socially Responsible Investment Advisor?

By  Brian Thorp

Disclaimer: To make Wealthtender free for our readers, we earn money from advertisers, including financial professionals and firms that pay to be featured. This creates a natural conflict of interest when we favor their promotion over others. Wealthtender is not a client of these financial services providers. Learn how we operate with integrity to earn your trust.

Find socially responsible financial advisors specializing in ESG and SRI investing who can help you save for retirement while positively impacting the world around us.

Over the last several years, a growing trend among investors has been a preference for investing in companies considered to be socially responsible. But with acronyms like SRI (Socially Responsible Investing) and ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance), plus terms like sustainable investing and impact investing, how do you make sense of it all?

Fortunately, an increasing number of financial advisors specialize in socially responsible investing to help their clients achieve their goals.

Before hiring a financial advisor, it’s important to first consider your own financial planning priorities. In this guide, we’ll share a few quick tips to help you get started in your search and introduce you to financial advisors featured on Wealthtender you may want to add to your shortlist.

How Much Does a Financial Advisor Cost?

➡️ How Much Does a Financial Advisor Cost? Read the Article

What is Socially Responsible Investing?

When we invest in stocks, we purchase a small percentage of a publicly traded company. Because we own a small piece of a company, we share in its performance. Sometimes, we unknowingly invest in companies we do not necessarily support. Companies that don’t align with our beliefs.

Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) doesn’t just invest in any company to provide its investors with value. Socially responsible investments have strict standards. Some of the standards commonly found in socially responsible investments include:

  • Lower carbon exposure than comparable companies;
  • Companies that prioritize environmental and social issues;
  • Positive track record regarding human rights and corruption;
  • Clean-technology innovators;
  • Companies with excellent ratings.

🌱 Learn More About Socially Responsible Investing

Smart Tips for Finding a Socially Responsible Investment Advisor

Before hiring a financial advisor, here are a few quick tips to help you find the best advisor for you.

1. Decide Which Services You Need

Before hiring an advisor, determine what services you need from them. Whether it’s full-service investment management or a plan focused on a specific area of your finances, put together a list of what you’d like help with before contacting an advisor.

Though most people use a financial planner simply to invest for retirement, this is only a small part of what many advisors offer. Here’s a quick rundown of potential services a financial advisor may offer you:

  • Budgeting and money management
  • Debt management
  • Insurance planning
  • Retirement planning
  • Other investment planning
  • Inheritance planning
  • Estate planning
  • Tax planning

As you can see, financial advisors can help you with your entire financial picture, not just investing. As you plan for life’s bigger milestones, you should consider finding a financial advisor specializing in those areas.

Finding the right advisor can help you minimize risk, maximize gains and take advantage of tax breaks while investing for your future. They can also help you protect your assets with the right kinds of insurance and help you pass on your financial legacy with a proper estate plan.

2. Consider Your Budget and Payment Preferences

Once you have a list of services you would like, review the fee structures financial advisors offer. Finding a balance between the services you need and the cost of those services will help narrow down the field of advisors you may want to work with.

If you are looking for a full-service advisor to manage all of your investments, consider searching among fee-based financial advisors. If you want to manage your money yourself, consider the flat fee and monthly subscription advisors for ongoing support.

3. Interview Multiple Financial Advisors

Once you have chosen the services and fee structure you prefer, it’s time to contact a few advisors and interview them. Here are questions to ask financial advisors:

  • What services do you provide?
  • What are all the ways you get paid? (fee transparency)
  • What is your investment strategy?
  • How do you measure investment performance?
  • How do we communicate about my plan?

Interview multiple advisors to get a feel for who you want to work with. A combination of fees, services, and customer service will help you determine the best fit for your financial advice.

4. Review Financial Advisor Credentials

Once you find an advisor (or two) you feel comfortable with, it’s always a good practice to check their credentials and the firm’s details. You can do this at the Investment Adviser Public Disclosure (IAPD) website

You can check both the individual and the firm to view their background and experience details, as well as any disciplinary action taken against them or their firm.

As licensed financial professionals, there is oversight into how financial advisors conduct business, so running a quick (free) check on them is recommended.

For additional information about advisor credentials, read our article to learn the most popular designations held by financial advisors, as well as specialized credentials which may be important to consider if you have unique financial planning needs.

For example, you may want to consider hiring a Chartered SRI Counselor (CSRIC). A CSRIC is a financial professional with a focus on sustainable investing. Offered by the College for Financial Planning and the Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment, CSRICs are up-to-date on trends in the industry as well as the latest research and tools. Let’s take a closer look at what this designation is, what it takes to earn it, and how you may benefit from working with a CSRIC. 

🌱 Learn More About the Chartered SRI Counselor Designation

Get to Know Socially Responsible Investment Advisors

📍 Click on a pin in the map view below for a preview of socially responsible financial advisors who can help you reach your money goals with a personalized plan. Or choose the grid view to search our directory of financial advisors with additional filtering options.

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📍Double-click or pinch pins to view more.

🙋‍♀️ Have Questions About Financial Planning for Socially Responsible Investors?


Frequently Asked Questions & Additional Resources

How do I know if I’m ready to hire a financial advisor?

You should strongly consider hiring a financial advisor if you have a significant amount of money available for saving or investing. This could occur after years of making annual contributions to a retirement plan like a 401(k) through your employer or suddenly if you receive a large inheritance or sell your house for a large profit.

But even if you don’t have a lot of money saved, many financial advisors and planners provide reasonable pricing options and valuable services you should consider, especially if you’re facing a significant life event. For example, if you’re starting a new job, getting married, starting a family, getting divorced, lost your job, starting or selling a business, or approaching retirement age, working with a trusted financial advisor or planner may prove worthwhile.

Before I hire a new financial advisor, should I fire my current advisor?

You don’t need to fire your current advisor before beginning your search for a new financial advisor. In fact, your new advisor can help coordinate the transition of your assets from your previous financial advisor.

Where can I read reviews about financial advisors written by their clients to help me decide if I should hire them?

After 60 years of regulatory prohibition of financial advisor reviews in the US, a rule issued by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) became effective on May 4, 2021 that means both financial advisors and directory websites that help consumers search for a financial advisor can collect and display financial advisor reviews, an important factor worth considering when choosing who you’ll hire to manage your investments and life savings. 

Wealthtender is the first independent advisor review platform designed to be fully compliant with the new SEC rule, and we look forward to helping you evaluate financial advisors based on reviews written by their clients.

I’m a financial advisor interested in being featured in this guide. How do I get started?

Thanks for your interest. We look forward to learning more about your practice and helping you attract your ideal clients where you may be a good fit based on their individual needs and circumstances. Please click here to learn how you can join local financial advisors featured on Wealthtender.

About the Author
A headshot of Brian Thorp, the founder and CEO of Wealthtender

About the Author

Brian Thorp

Brian is CEO and founder of Wealthtender. He and his wife live in Texas, enjoying the diversity of Houston and the vibrancy of Austin.

With over 25 years in the financial services industry, Brian is applying his experience and passion at Wealthtender to help more people enjoy life with less money stress.

Connect with Brian on LinkedIn

Disclaimer: To make Wealthtender free for our readers, we earn money from advertisers, including financial professionals and firms that pay to be featured. This creates a natural conflict of interest when we favor their promotion over others. Wealthtender is not a client of these financial services providers. Learn how we operate with integrity to earn your trust.