Alternative Investments: Summary of Resources
Author: Walter Whiteley, Trinity-St. Paul’s United Church Climate Justice Group
Disclaimer: This document does not provide investment advice, and should not be taken as investment advice. It is prudent that individuals and institutions obtain advice from a qualified investment advisor or an investment manager before you make any investment. We are presenting a range of links and resources to follow up with your investment advisor.
Overview: Reinvestment has several layers:
- a) Investments that screen out fossil fuel companies (along with tobacco, weapons, gambling, … ).
- b) Positive investments that develop alternative energy sources and related energy infrastructure, as well as in sustainable, resilient infrastructure, and upgrades that save energy.
- c) Some of the alternatives below also focus in social capital: locally controlled, perhaps cooperative community development, as a positive way forward.
A quick summary of the steps to reinvest (for individuals and institutions)
- a) Do our best with what is available now http://riacanada.ca/wp-content/uploads/2014-Q2-RI-Funds-in-Canada-EN-FINAL.pdf
- b) Do your own investigation into holdings using mutual fund information available online
- c) Consider sending a letter to your current mutual fund. See this sample letter.
- d) Create a portfolio of individual stocks and bonds that reflect your values, on line or with the help of an advisor
- e) Use an advisor/ portfolio manager who will listen to what you want and create a low /no carbon portfolio for you.
- f) Use sector based ETFS or mutual funds to avoid the energy sector.
- g) Use the S&P/TSX Renewable Energy and Clean Technology Index to find companies that can help us transition to a low carbon economy tmxmoney.com/tmx_indices.php?section=tsx&index=%5ETXCT
General advice and information
- a) Sustainable Economist http://www.sustainableeconomist.comTimothy Nash’s website has power point presentation on the topic Divest and Reinvest (from the Convergence workshops last fall in Montreal).
- b) A number of links on how to find alternatives (US based): http://divestinvest.org/philanthropy/resources/
- c) A Canadian site which has guidance for individuals to move into socially responsible investment: http://www.ethiquette.ca/en/
- d) Extracting Fossil Fuels from your Portfolio: An Updated guide to Personal Divestment and Reinvestmentby 350.org, Green Century Capital Management and Trillium Asset Management
Available to institutions (Accredited Investors Only Institutions )
Green Chip http://greenchipfinancial.com
Alternative energy and Reduction of energy use (Global, with some Canadian content)
Contact John Cook (in Toronto)
Genus Capital Management http://genuscap.com
Has full suite of 5 fully fossil-free investment pools, including bonds, and global equity
Handles investments for some foundations and churches, and fee reductions for combined institutions. Contact TSP for information as a possible partner.
Investigating possible grouping of investments by individuals too meet minimum investment of $500,000, or teaming with larger manager to permit $50,000 investments, including RRSPs (in Vancouver)
Inhance Investments has a suite of SRI funds: http://www.iaclarington.com/en/products/inhance-sri-funds/inhance-sri-funds.aspx#
The Global SRI fund is fossil free and has 7.9% in alternative energy.
This is open to both individuals and institutions.
AGF Global Sustainable Growth Equity Fund is a new fund which is fossil free: http://www.agf.com/sustainableinvesting
The page includes a number of other links to reports related to Fossil Fuel Divestment, and positive investments.
CIBC Blue Heron funds have a strong set of screens, including being fossil free . Minimum amount is $100,000 and they may be open to individuals: http://www.cibcwg.com/web/blueheronadvisorygroup/home
4. Community Bonds
“How a community bond turns social capital into financial capital” by Elisa Birnbaum in Financial Post, Dec 22, 2014
The story demonstrates the power of everyday citizens who are supporting social enterprises when traditional methods fall short.
Related links here:
- a) http://socialinnovation.ca/sites/default/files/CommunityBondTrio-lo.pdf
- b) Centre for Social Innovation3% to 4.5%
- c) SolarShare 5 years at 5% , and
- d) ZooShare 7% for 7 Years
- a) Northern Solar Bonds
– Starting at 5% for 20 year bonds climbing to 12.75%
– 4.5% for 5 year bonds
- b) Oikocredit: Mennonite Savings and Credit Union provides GICs linked to Oikocredit:https://www.mscu.com/SIA/Oikocredit/
– The estimated return is 1.3%, and the principle is guaranteed under the Deposit Insurance Corporation of Ontario.
- c) Green Bonds (watch for Green Washing – what standards are there?).
- d) World Bank Green Bonds (How green?) http://www.worldbank.org/en/topic/climatechange/brief/green-bonds-climate-finance Not clear who can invest, and at what rate(s).
- e) Ontario Global Green Bonds http://www.ofina.on.ca/greenbonds/issues.htm75% return
5. Publicly Traded Alternative Energy Companies in Canada.
There are some companies in Canada identified as working in the alternative energy sector over a period of years. This list is not comprehensive, or based on their current investment returns.
- a) TransAlta Renewables (projects in Canada, one in the US): http://www.transaltarenewables.com
- b) Brookfield Renewable Energy Partners (projects globally) https://www.brookfieldrenewable.com
- c) Algonquin Power (projects in Canada and the US): http://www.algonquinpower.com
- d) Northland Power (projects in Canada and Europe): http://www.northlandpower.ca/Default.aspx
There are many more such companies in the US and Europe.
For example see sites like http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/how-to-invest-in-renewables
- Investment Managers and Advisors
A full list of members of the Responsible Investment Organization: http://riacanada.ca
A few advisors who have extended experience with Socially Responsible Investments. All are working with some individuals and congregations engaged in divesting:
Sucheta Rajagopal Portfolio Manager, Jacob Securities Inc.
Email: email@example.com Tel: 416 866-8362
Tricia K. Spooner, Investment Advisor
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: (613) 239-2851
John Hastings, , RBC Dominion Securities Inc. https://profile.rbcwealthmanagement.com/john.hastings
Walter Traversy, CIBC Wood Gundy
Fossil Free Indexes:
Mission Based Investing:
Why should only the income returned from investments be used for our mission? Why not use all of our investment decisions to support the mission?
Link to Social Economy Center Presentation by Bill Young on Mission Related Investing:http://www.socialeconomycentre.ca/sites/default/files/MissionRelatedInvesting.pdf
OIKO Credit bonds (above) and Canadian Alternative Investment Cooperative (CAIC) http://www.caic.ca/apply.html are examples mission based investing used by some religious groups, including the national United Church of Canada`
Easy-as-Pie Reinvestment Option: from the Sustainable Economist:
(1) Global Equity 60% Inhance Global Equity SRI Class F-Series (CCM5013) Could choose Fossil-Free – see above)
(2) Government Bonds 30% iShares 1-10 Year Laddered Government Bond Index ETF (CLG)
(3) Impact Bonds 10% Oikocredit Global Impact GIC (see above)
On-line stories about individuals around the world divesting:
The Guardian is planning a global webinar on individual divestment: See article and sign up for webinar series