Investing the Quaker Way

Responsible investing doesn’t just mean screening out gambling, drugs and weapons. As the investment manager for over 390 Quaker organizations, Friends Fiduciary also does something called “shareholder advocacy”—talking with companies about how they can be more just, peaceful and equitable in their business practices.

Learn about how Friends Fiduciary witnesses to Quaker values on Wall Street.

14 thoughts on “Investing the Quaker Way

  1. It’s difficult to determine a list of inclusives when it comes to corporate investing.

    For instance, while the industries listed on the taboo list ( above ) of investment possibilities is certainly a worthy group; what about a company that, for instance, sells viable products to consumers — let’s say books, for example — but fails to pay its employees living wages? What about the sugar industries — whose products are singularly responsible for so much illness and death ( way more than terrorism ); or factory farm or insecticide industries?

    Because the nature of the corporation is to make money for its investors — sometimes at any cost — what I’m saying is that it’s very hard to pick out those few corporations that ultimately do both well and good.

  2. Please use “a” instead of “the” in the title. It is misleading to others to say, no matter how fine this format of investing is, that this is “the” Quaker way. There are those that disagree with this focus and practice. It is OK to use “a.”

  3. Does Friends Fiduciary ever allow individual investors to work with them or, if not, is there another company they might recommend individuals with Quaker values invest with?

  4. Hi Deb,

    The way we’re legally structured right now doesn’t allow us to serve individual investors, but we are hearing more and more from individuals interested in our approach and are always discerning ways to serve Friends. To keep abreast of future developments, email info@friendsfiduciary.org to be added to our mailing list. To our knowledge, there aren’t any mutual funds that specifically use Quaker values in their screening process, but there are a number of investment options out there.

  5. Hi Jim,

    We have a fossil fuel free fund for those Friends organizations who don’t want to invest in fossil fuel companies. For more information, go to http://www.friendsfiduciary.org/our-funds/quaker-green/. We exclude coal across all our portfolios. Some Friends Fiduciary funds have oil and gas companies, but they are rigorously screened, and those holdings allow us to engage the companies in dialogue. We hold significantly fewer fossil fuel companies compared to the S&P500 because of our screening.

  6. Hi Deborah,

    We agree, which is why we take care with our screening processes and actively engage the companies we do hold. No company is all good or all bad—so our staff and board are continuously discerning where to draw the line. Many Quaker organizations face the question of how to invest according to their values, because they feel they can do the most good with a steady income, be it for scholarships or a new roof. When organizations, meetings, or churches decide that investing is the right choice for them, we provide an option that’s based on broadly held Quaker values. We believe that actively engaging with Wall Street is an important witness to our values. We leverage our ownership in order to change corporations, which are a huge part of our everyday lives.

  7. Hi Brad,

    Thank you for your comment. As with any QuakerSpeak video, the voices featured are just a few in our diverse, worldwide community. Friends Fiduciary invests on behalf of more than 380 Quaker meetings, schools, churches, and organizations across the United States, with affiliations across the Quaker theological spectrum.

  8. Hi Valerie,

    The way we’re legally structured right now doesn’t allow us to serve individual investors, but we are hearing more and more from individuals interested in our approach and are always discerning ways to serve Friends. To keep abreast of future developments, email info@friendsfiduciary.org to be added to our mailing list. We don’t have staff capacity to recommend companies to individuals, but encourage you to seek out socially responsible investments that you feel comfortable with.

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