A Framework for Investing with Altruism

39 Pages Posted: 11 Oct 2021 Last revised: 15 Nov 2021

Date Written: September 30, 2021


I propose and develop a framework for the financial economic analysis of investing with altruistic preferences. A key part of the framework is the precise definition of different forms of impact and, in particular, investor impact. This has several practical implications including that investor impact is not a measurable, rival good but rather a decision-making tool that should be carefully and independently assessed by each investor. I also introduce the concept of total portfolio returns, which capture all effects relevant to an investor's mission including financial, impact, and strategic returns and mission-correlated premia. The adaptability and coherence of this framework makes it suitable for both further research and practical applications.

Keywords: Altruistic investing, impact, responsible investment, impact investing, ESG, sustainable investing, socially responsible investing

JEL Classification: G00, G10, G11, G12, Q01, Q51, Q54, Q56

Suggested Citation

Harris, Jonathan, A Framework for Investing with Altruism (September 30, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3934090 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3934090

Jonathan Harris (Contact Author)

Total Portfolio Project ( email )

HOME PAGE: http://total-portfolio.org

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