What return should you expect?
Some investors fear that the financial returns on SRIs may be lower. The results that have been obtained recently indicate otherwise.
Socially responsible investments achieve performances that are as good as the classic investments without this aspect. By way of an example, here is a comparison between:
- the FTSE KLD 400 Social Index, which is currently the oldest SRI index, and which follows the 400 best performing North American companies in terms of the social economy and environmental protection; and
- the S&P 500 (S&P), which consists of the largest 500 American companies in terms of market capitalisation. This index is decisive for classic investments, but does not take social responsibility into consideration.
Comparative evolution of the FTSE KLD 400 and S&P 500 indices since 2006 using the evolution of the indices (Y axis) which, from 1 January 1990, has been reduced to 100 for the two indices (source: Bloomberg)
The graph shows us that since the dip of the financial crisis of 2008/09, the FTSE KLD 400 (green line) has systematically outperformed the S&P 500 (blue line). Please note that past returns do not offer a reliable indication for the future.