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Filed under: Stocks, Mutual Fund and ETF Options – Page 2

Shades of Green

These are fascinating times for those of us working in the field of Socially Responsible Investment (SRI). The themes surrounding SRI have been evolving for almost 50 years now, from Ralph Nader’s fight on behalf of auto safety standards in the 60’s, to faith-based campaigns to divest from South African businesses in the 70’s, to the creation of investment management teams in the 80’s and 90’s that screened and engaged companies on behalf of the common values of shareholders.

Yet until very recently SRI was confined to the fringes of investment management, particularly here in Canada. Now there are shades and nuances that go beyond the original intent of influencing corporate behaviour, ranging from Continue…

Technically Speaking

Most financial ‘experts’ advise Canadians to diversify their stock market holdings to reflect a more global perspective. They argue that Canada only represents a small fraction of global market activity, and that investing internationally will both reduce risk and improve rates of return. It’s difficult to argue with the historical numbers behind these recommendations, even though many of us feel that Canada is a safer place for our investments. After all, we enjoy a relatively stable political climate, large budget surpluses, and are fortunate to have critical natural resources that are excess to our domestic needs. Still, you might like to see a brief synopsis of Canadian mutual funds with a ‘socially responsible’ mandate that focus on companies abroad. There aren’t many. Continue…

Green Stocks

One of Canada’s most widely respected corporations, Oakville, Ont. based Zenon Environmental, is about to be swallowed by global behemoth General Electric in a move that, regrettably, leaves socially responsible investors in Canada with one less option in putting together an ‘ethical’ investment portfolio. Zenon is a world-leading provider of highly efficient water filtration solutions both small and large in scale, vital technology in dealing with the diminishing availability of clean water supplies around the globe.

in the growth of Zenon, you will be faced with purchasing stock in parent General Electric and it’s diverse range of business activities. Now GE stock may perform well over the coming years, but this could be cold comfort for those who don’t want ownership of a company that also supplies jet engines to air forces around the world, for instance, or controls Continue…

Opportunity Close To Home

One of the greatest challenges faced by a small, growing business is to find sources of financing that will allow them to reach the next stage of their development. The needs of small businesses seeking venture capital financing are commonly met in Canada by what are termed ‘angel’ investors (i.e. wealthy investors willing to take on considerable risk in the hope of securing above average returns on their investments), and institutional investors such as the BC Investment Management Corporation (who manage pensions for BC public service employees) and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board.

One of the very few opportunities for the average BC investor to participate in venture capital markets is provided by the BC Discovery Fund. The fund has been open to investors since Continue…

Cosmetic companies and some alternatives to cruelty

There is a religion still practiced in India today known as Jainism that can, by some accounts, trace it’s roots back to 3000 BC and may be one of the oldest religions on our planet. It certainly pre-dates by many centuries the lives of Jesus Christ and Mohammed. At the core of Jainist belief is the concept of ahimsa, or non-violence towards all forms of life, whether in thought, word or deed. The most devout Jains will cover their mouths with a veil and sweep the ground before them as they walk in order to avoid harming or killing insects. Hospitals for animals are a prominent aspect of their benevolent activities. Jainism reflects a deep compassion for all facets of the living world.

While few of us in the west can imagine practicing the life of a Jain ascetic, we do seem to share a love of animals, at least those that we have managed to domesticate. Most of us would like to lock away anyone who Continue…

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