Interview with Sophie Salcito, Investment Adviser, Vancity

Interview with Sophie Salcito, Investment Adviser, Vancity

Q – Ethiquette

More and more individual investors are concerned about the environment (like climate change), health and social security in their future — is there a difference between TFSAs and RRSPs with respect to integrating responsible investment products?

A – Sophie Salcito

Both a TFSA and RSP can hold investments that have a socially responsible focus. The one item to note is that if you are holding SRI investments that may be riskier, then you should hold those in a non registered investment account because if an investment loses money you can not write off a capital loss in an RSP or a TFSA account.

Q – Ethiquette

What products does Vancity offer that are both socially responsible and RRSP and TFSA eligible?

A – Sophie Salcito

Vancity has an investment management team employed through Vancity Investment Management and they invest with a socially responsible focus. The funds the team manages are the IA Clarington Inhance mutual funds.

The Inhance Global Equity fund divested all the fossil fuel holdings earlier this year and they are committed to making the other funds they manage fossil fuel free also.

Vancity started the Ethical Fund family in the mid 1980s so this is a topic that we know very well and that we are proud to have pioneered.

Q – Ethiquette

There is growing interest in impact investment, especially among Millennials, but it’s not limited to them. Within the impact investment strategy, some investors chose impact-first investment options with concessionary financial returns. Would it make sense to ‘house’ an impact investment product with concessionary returns in a TFSA, or to keep those investments in a non-registered or non-TFSA account?

A – Sophie Salcito

Whether to hold this type of investment in an RSP, TFSA or non registered account is going to depend on each individual’s unique circumstance. As a general answer I would suggest that if you have an investment where you expect a lower return that you not hold that in a TFSA. A TFSA should hold investments with good growth potential over time.

Q – Ethiquette

If a client/member already has a registered account or a TFSA, and has expressed a desire to convert the account over to a socially responsible one, what would you recommend?

A – Sophie Salcito

This is not difficult to do and it can be a gradual process where investments are sold and replaced by investments with an SRI focus. I would make sure that the client did not have to pay fees to make this change if possible.

Over the years many mutual fund companies have started to add an SRI option in their fund offerings.


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