Become an Expert in Sustainable, Responsible, Impact (SRI) Investing
Demand for so-called “responsible” investment options has never been higher. In fact, at the end of 2017, more than one out of every four dollars that were being professionally managed in the United States—$12.0 trillion or more—was invested according to sustainable, responsible, impact (SRI) strategies. Industry experts also confirm that a majority of investors want their investments to incorporate environmental, social, and governance (ESG) criteria.
For financial advisors, this demand presents several challenges. First, how can they acquire the insight and expertise to competently guide their clients towards ESG investments that fit their priorities? Second, how can they provide those clients with tangible evidence that they have genuine SRI expertise? Recognizing these challenges, the College for Financial Planning®—a Kaplan Company has created the Chartered SRI Counselor™ (CSRIC™) education and designation program. This article provides an overview of the program.
Introducing the CSRIC™
Developed in partnership with US SIF, The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment, CSRIC is a unique program that blends SRI foundational knowledge and scenario learning. The first and only major financial credential dedicated specifically to SRI, the CSRIC is supported by top financial firms. It is designed for advanced financial advisors who wish to obtain foundational knowledge and best practices for advising clients on SRI, including:
- Experienced advisors who desire financial planning credentials to advance their career
- Advisors who wish to specialize in SRI investing for new or existing clients
- Advisors who wish to pursue a Master of Science degree at a later date
Students enrolled in the program will learn the history, definitions, trends, portfolio construction principles, fiduciary responsibilities, and best practices of SRI investments.
About the CSRIC™ Course
The CSRIC™ Professional Education Program is a three-semester credit graduate-level course. The seven modules in the course are:
- The Foundations and History of SRI
- Approaches to SRI Shareholder Advocacy, Community Investing, and Corporate Responsibility
- Portfolio Construction and Incorporating SRI into Financial Advising
- ESG Performance, Risk, and Rating Metrics
- The Fiduciary Standard and Communicating the Value of SRI
- Current and Future Opportunities
The typical student should expect to spend approximately 90-135 hours in course-related activities to study and prepare adequately for the course examination. The CSRIC course also does “double-duty” for CFP® professionals who require continuing education (CE) credits to sustain their CFP® designation: graduates may receive up to 28 CFP® CE credits, up to 45 state insurance CE credits, and 45 credits towards the College’s professional designation CE requirements.
In addition, professionals who are considering a master’s degree can apply their CSRIC studies in that pursuit: designees receive direct credit for one course in the College’s MS in Personal Financial Planning program, saving them time and money while pursuing multiple credentials.
U.S. SIF members receive a 15 percent discount on the CSRIC course and course-related materials. In addition, many leading financial advisory firms endorse the CSRIC™ designation and will reimburse advisors for course-related expenses. For more information, visit the College’s website.