Socially Responsible Investment Portfolio

The Socially Responsible Investment Portfolio was created by students and faculty at the University of Pittsburgh in association with the David Berg Center for Ethics and Leadership and the Certificate in Leadership and Ethics Program.  The organization’s goal is to give members the opportunity to apply social responsibility along with sound knowledge of finance in order to invest in a real-world investment portfolio.  The experience teaches students applicable skills that prepare them as business and finance professionals.

What We Strive to Do

  • To provide an accurate simulation of a real-world environment, specifically that of an asset management firm, so that students can apply their previous and ongoing classroom knowledge as well as gain valuable experience they can use after graduation. Finance experiences include the following: learning the basics of portfolio management, practicing security analysis, gaining the ability to track and maintain portfolio performance, and doing it all with a strong emphasis on social responsibility and ethical actions
  • To prove the viability of socially responsible investing in regards to obtaining profits comparable to that of popular financial benchmarks, as achieved through statistically provable performance and members analysis and reports.

Our Process

Each academic year, we conduct the following process to ensure that our strategy of value investing in socially responsible companies is consistently beating our benchmark, the S&P 500.

  1. Conduct a “blind financial analysis” to identify candidates for our portfolio and to ensure that current holdings should stay.  This analysis evaluates multiples and metrics without knowing the names of the firms.
  2. For companies that pass this financial screening, we make an assessment of social responsibility, including employee relations, environmental impact, human rights issues, supply chain responsibility, business ethics, and many other important factors.
  3. For those that pass the social financial screening, we then perform discounted cash flow valuations based on five years of 10-K filings.