Think cash, CDs, and government bonds, for a start.
carrie timberlake/high ridge financial planning
Eric, what's the most conservative social investment you're recommending now?
Mr. Packer: The one that we have is actually something that most people are familiar with, which is a CD – a certificate of deposit.
Sounds pretty rock-solid.
Packer: Pretty rock-solid, FDIC-insured, and we offer one which is unique, where you have the combination of the security of a CD but the return is based on a percentage of a clean-energy index. So if you hold that CD generally for a five-year period, you know that all of your principal will be returned to you. Yet part of the money is going into a portfolio of clean-energy investments, so you're getting the chance to potentially grow the assets.
What are you recommending, Doug?
Mr. Wheat: I recommend cash or cashlike vehicles as the most rock-solid thing for people to have their money in right now. ShoreBank, you may be familiar with, is a socially responsible bank and they now have a high-yield online savings account, which has a 3.5 percent yield and is comparable to what you can get at any large bank like ING Direct or HSBC. With the difference being that the money that ShoreBank gets goes to affordable housing and other social projects.
Are your clients more worried than usual?
Packer: People are hearing the news about the mortgage meltdown, credit crunch, energy prices. So there's certainly an interest of people saying: How can I preserve part of the principal that I have?