If you’re a socially conscious person, it can affect every aspect of your life, from the car you drive to where you shop. It can also impact which companies you choose to invest in, and many investors choose to pursue a socially responsible investing (SRI) strategy. If you’re looking for socially responsible investments, consider working with a Chartered SRI Counselor, which is an investment advisor focusing on these investing strategies. Here’s what you need to know about the certification and requirements.
Chartered SRI Counselor: The Basics
Meant for experienced financial professionals, the Chartered SRI Counselor designation is an initial step toward responsible investing. It gives a financial professional background knowledge and situational awareness to help clients invest in sustainable, responsible, and impact investments (SRI).
But what constitutes this type of investment? According to the Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment, “[s]ustainable, responsible and impact investing (SRI) is an investment discipline that considers environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) criteria to generate long-term competitive financial returns and positive societal impact.”
The Chartered SRI Counselor is issued by the College for Financial Planning. It is accredited by the U.S Department of Education Regional Accredited Agencies, The Higher Learning Commission (HLC). This designation is the first within the financial sector dedicated to SRI.
There are no prerequisites for this designation. However, candidates must complete a graduate-level course. Also, they pass the required exam and pay the $1,300 fee. To keep the designation current, they must complete 16 hours of continuing education every two years. They also pay a $95 annual renewal fee.
As an added bonus, those who complete the course are awarded three credit hours toward a Master of Arts degree in personal financial planning.
The Course and Exam
Developed in partnership with the Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment, the course covers a broad range of topics. First, it delves into the foundations and history of sustainable, responsible, and impact investments (SRI) and the different approaches to SRI. It also looks at SRI through shareholder advocacy, community investing, and corporate responsibility. Meanwhile, the exam also tests portfolio construction with SRI in mind and knowlege of environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance, risk, and rating metrics. Finally, for advisors, the exam covers the fiduciary standard, communicating the value of SRI, and current and future opportunities within SRI.
Once candidates enroll in the program, they’ll receive access to study materials. Those include written material, streaming video lectures, audio lectures, and practice quizzes. They’ll also gain access to live classes during predetermined sessions. Meanwhile, they’ll receive contact information for their SRI professor. Candidates are given one year from the time of enrollment to complete the course.
The exam to receive a CSRIC designation has 70 questions, and candidates must get 70% or more correct to pass.
Who Should Enroll?
Financial advisors expanding into socially-responsible investing should consider the CSRIC designation. However, it’s also aimed at those who’ll make it their primary professional focus.
If candidates already seek a Master of Arts degree in Personal Financial Planning, the CSRIC could come in handy. As mentioned earlier, completion of the course counts toward those required credit hours.
This designation offers many benefits to financial professionals. They’ll get industry-wide recognition and credits that count toward an additional degree should you decide to pursue one. However, career benefits often include an increased salary, bigger client base, andm of course, an additional skill set that can better serve clients.
The Bottom Line
The Chartered SRI Counselor goes to a financial professional who specializes in sustainable, responsible, and impact investments (SRI). Sustainable, responsible, and impact investments are investments that consider the environment as well as corporate procedures and governance to not only generate a return for a client but also to make a positive societal impact.
This designation is meant for financial advisors who want to expand upon their skill set to include socially-responsible investing or those who wish to make it their primary professional focus. Candidates must complete a graduate-level course and pass the required exam to receive the CSRIC designation.
This designation is also ideal for financial professionals planning on pursuing a Master of Arts degree in Personal Financial Planning. Completion of the course counts toward those required credit hours. Above all, this designation can result in many benefits for those who earn it. That includes an increased salary and client base.
Responsible Investing Tips
- If you’re not sure how to diversify your portfolio in a socially responsible way, a financial advisor may be able to help. Finding the right financial advisor that fits your needs doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with financial advisors in your area in 5 minutes. If you’re ready to be matched with local advisors that will help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
- Do you know your tolerance for investment risk? How much will taxes and inflation take out of your investment over time? What will your investment look like by the time you need it most? If you don’t have the answers to these basic questions, SmartAsset’s investing guide can help you take some important first steps.
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