North Carolina News Service

May 19, 2016Available files: mp3 wav jpg

Making Sure Your Greenbacks are Green

Socially Conscious Investment on Rise

Stephanie Carson

ASHEVILLE, N.C. - A growing number of North Carolinians are joining others across the country in their effort to put their money where their mouth is. Green and socially conscious financial investment is on the rise, and experts say they can offer competitive returns on investments.

Financial adviser Peter Krull, president and founder of Krull & Company of Asheville, has been in the business for 18 years, and for the last 12, he's specialized exclusively in green and socially conscious investments for his clients. He was an early adopter of a growing trend - people wanting to ensure their money isn't funding companies whose strategies and business run counter to their beliefs.

"If you invest with your values, you can get competitive returns," he said. "I think that our clients and the people who come to us realize that when they own something in their investment portfolio that isn't aligned with their values that there's a certain discontinuity with who they are."

There are now hundreds of "green stocks" for investors to choose from. Krull and others like him look for companies that are "best in class," focusing on product safety and quality, have policies that empower shareholders and good environmental and employee policies. He also places a special emphasis on community-based companies so the money stays local.

Krull also works with schools, churches and nonprofits to make sure their endowment investments are in line with their beliefs.

"I do believe it matters what you own, not only with individuals but also with churches and nonprofits and helping congregations take a look and see what's in their endowments and if those investments align with their values," he said.

Krull says many of his clients looking to invest money for their retirement and children's schooling want to know their money isn't supporting fossil fuels or companies operating without a social ethic.