What is Socially Responsible Investing?

What is Socially Responsible Investing?
Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) means investing in companies that meet a certain threshold of social responsibility. SRI takes into consideration environmental impact as well as social and governance concerns. SRI has become an incredibly popular way to invest, growing tenfold over the past 20 years—there are now $22 trillion in assets worldwide in SRI funds. 

What fees does Wealthsimple charge for SRI portfolios?
Wealthsimple charges the same fees for SRI portfolios as non-SRI portfolios (more on how fees work here). However, the fees charged by the firms that manage the ETFs are modestly higher than the fees for regular ETFs—a weighted average of 0.25% to 0.40%, compared with 0.2% to 0.3% for regular Wealthsimple portfolios. It’s not much of a difference, but it is a difference. And there is a good reason for the higher fee: someone smart needs to screen for the most socially responsible companies by combing through reams of data and designing cutting-edge analysis tools. And smart people usually don’t work for free.

Which ETFs are in Wealthsimple's SRI portfolios?

Wealthsimple's SRI portfolio contains the following ETFs:

ETF Symbol Description
iShares MSCI ACWI Low Carbon Target ETF CRBN Global stocks with a lower carbon exposure than the broader market
PowerShares Cleantech Portfolio PZD Cleantech innovators in the developed world
iShares MSCI KLD 400 Social ETF DSI Exposure to socially responsible U.S companies
SPDR®** **SSGA Gender Diversity Index ETF SHE Companies that achieve greater levels of senior leadership gender diversity
PowerShares Build America Bond Portfolio BAB Bonds issued by municipalities to support local initiatives

iShares GNMA Bond ETF
GNMA Mortgage-backed securities issued by government agencies to promote affordable housing
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