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How do-good DIY investors can bring ESG into their stock portfolios

By Morey Stettner

If you favor socially responsible investing, you may opt for a mutual fund that specializes in it. But what if you’re a do-gooder who’s also a do-it-yourselfer?

Resourceful individuals can engage in impact investing on their own. It’s not especially easy, and investment-related expenses can increase because there’s a limited amount of free data that’s readily available online.

On the plus side, you’ll get better acquainted with the environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors that match your values. And you’ll amass a portfolio that resonates with you on a more personal level.

There’s no magic that goes into socially responsible investing. The secret sauce isn’t really a secret: You just figure out what criteria matter most to you and screen stocks that pass muster.

“ESG is a very broad space,” said Loren Asmus, vice president at Canterbury Consulting in Newport Beach, Calif. “It can get complex very quickly. If you’re going to do this on your own, you need to decide what your values are and how targeted you want to be.”

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