When first introduced, SRI focused on evaluating companies using negative screens designed to avoid unfavorable activities, such as manufacturing guns, alcohol or tobacco. Because this took many investment options off the table, people worried that the screens could hurt their investment returns.
Today, impact investing looks at positive screens, which allows investors to focus on what they support with their dollars instead of what they want to avoid.
Read MoreThe bad apples in the advisor bunch
With this shift to positive screening, women and younger investors who are interested in SRI have ample opportunity to get involved. Thanks to advances in technology and a shift toward greater corporate transparency, we're able to evaluate investment opportunities on the basis of their ESG performance and focus on those that align most closely with clients' values better than ever before.
But does this emphasis on social responsibility come at the sake of investment performance?