B the Change™ – inspired by Gandhi’s famous invocation that we must be the change we seek in the world.
As a socially responsible investment advisory firm, Riverwater Partners is proud to have officially become the first Milwaukee company and the only investment advisor in Wisconsin (as of September 2018) to achieve B Corp™ certification.
Certified B Corporations® are leaders of a global movement of people using business as a force for good™. They meet the highest standards of overall social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability and aspire to use the power of business to solve social and environmental problems. There are more than 2,600 Certified B Corporations® in over 150 industries and 60 countries with 1 unifying goal – to redefine success in business.
As Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) investors, attaining B Corp status was a natural extension of our values at Riverwater. ESG Investing means we evaluate not only the financial fundamentals of each company, but also (ESG) factors such as energy use, sustainable initiatives, board diversity and product safety. We believe companies that focus on the interests of all stakeholders – customers, employees, communities, and shareholders – will produce better financial returns and a better world for all. Accordingly, we encourage the companies we invest in to improve their environmental footprint, sustainability practices, social impact and governance practices, all of which, studies have shown, have a positive impact on stock performance. Achieving B Corp status confirms that we also adhere to the same standards we expect from the companies we invest in.
Contrary to popular belief, financial returns do not necessarily need to be sacrificed at the expense of “doing good.” Studies have shown that companies that excel in ESG factors generally tend to have lower costs of capital and higher valuations. In fact, the Government Accountability Office reviewed 2,000 empirical studies that looked at correlations between ESG investing and financial returns. It found a neutral or positive impact on financial performance 90% of the time. This performance is further illustrated by the MSCI KLD Social 400 Index which has outperformed the S&P 500 by approximately .4% per year since May 1990 inception.
Investors are acknowledging the value of ESG investing as assets have been growing at 33% per year since ’14 and now account for 20% of total domestic invested assets today. This trend does not show any signs of slowing as women and millennials are the driving force. By 2030 women will be managing 67% of the nation’s wealth vs. 51% today and Millennials will be receiving the largest wealth transfer in the history of the universe by 2050.
Consider how your portfolio is invested and give your capital a voice. Doing business and “doing good” are no longer mutually exclusive. Join the movement and B the Change™!
 “Retirement Plan Investing: Clearer Information on Consideration of Environmental, Social, and Governance Factors Would Be Helpful.” United States Government Accountability Office, May 2018.
 MSCI & YCharts. Growth of $10,000. Period 5/31/1990-12/31/2017
 “2016 Report On US Sustainable, Responsible And Impact Investing Trends.” The Forum for Sustainable & Responsible Investment, Oct. 2016.
 Fairchild, Caroline. “For Women, Being Rich Is Not a Priority.” Fortune.com. Fortune, 13 Nov. 2014. Web. 27 Feb. 2017.
 Marston, Cam, and Special To CNBC.com. “Advisors Must Connect with Gen X, Gen Y.”CNBC. CNBC, 22 July 2014. Web. 27 Feb. 2017.