On August 9, 2007, the Securities and Exchange Commission "filed a civil injunctive action against former senior officials of Nicor, Inc., a major Chicago-area natural gas distributor, alleging financial fraud lasting from 1999 to 2002. The SEC's complaint alleges that former Chairman, CEO and President Thomas Fisher, former CFO and Executive Vice-President Kathleen Halloran, and former Treasurer and Vice-President George Behrens engaged in or approved improper transactions, and misrepresented Nicor's gas inventory in order to meet earnings targets and increase the company's revenues under a performance-based utility rate plan."
On August 13, 2007, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced "the distribution of approximately $55.6 million in Fair Funds to more than 200,000 investors who were harmed by fraudulent market timing in certain Banc One mutual funds (One Group Funds). The Fair Fund resulted from a settled enforcement action in which Banc One Investment Advisors Corporation (BOIA) agreed to pay $10 million in disgorgement and $40 million in civil penalties to settle charges of unlawful market timing. The entire Fair Fund, plus accumulated interest, has been distributed to investors."
On August 17, 2007, the Securities and Exchange Commission "filed fraud charges against Michael J. Byrd, a former Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer of Brocade Communications Systems, Inc., alleging that he disregarded indications that other senior corporate executives were improperly backdating stock option grants at the company. The Commission alleges that Byrd, of Saratoga, Calif., learned of instances in which Brocade's then-CEO and others were backdating options for certain individuals, yet failed to ensure that the company properly accounted for the option expenses and disclosed them to investors."
According to Frank Norton, writing in the McClatchy Newspapers on 08/21/2007,
They're chasing lucrative returns from companies that promise new ways to recycle, power automobiles and harness the wind and sun. Many have had success.
Green investment funds that have been around for at least a year report double-digit gains for the past 12 months. The KDL Global Climate 100 Index, which tracks companies working to offset global warming or its effects, is up nearly 25 percent."
According to The Truro Daily News,"While the primary goal of investing is to earn a reasonable profit, for many people it is important that their profit not come at the expense of compromising their social values.
In an era of increased awareness of social issues, many investors may be thinking about the social and environmental effects of their investment portfolios.
Socially responsible investing can encompass a variety of themes. The most common considerations are avoiding “sin stocks” such as firearms, alcohol, tobacco or gaming companies and avoiding companies with questionable labour or environmental practices. In more recent times there has also been a trend to favour companies that demonstrate sound corporate governance practices."
We cannot ignore the environment - Climate change will be one of the biggest investment themes of the next 20 years
According to an 8/20/07 comment bypublished in Financial News Online, "With parts of Britain under water and forest fires in southern Europe this summer as well as the worst of the annual hurricane season yet to hit the Caribbean and southern US, it is hard to get away from news of climate change and how it is affecting daily life.
Without wanting to praise those who led the argument that climate change is the most serious issue facing the human race, it also represents one of the biggest investment themes for the next 20 years.
As such, it is time investors understood how and why climate change and investing are related and how they can adjust their portfolios accordingly.
This is not just about socially responsible investing or even whether you believe the scientific evidence. As an asset manager we have a fiduciary responsibility to provide investors with the best risk-adjusted returns looking at market trends and emerging sectors. It is becoming apparent that our responsibility extends to include environmental considerations in this analysis."See: http://www.financialnews-us.com/?page=uscomment&contentid=2348577733
The Diversity Portfolio
The Creative Investment Research, Inc. Diversity Portfolio contains equity investments in some of the largest U.S. companies. These companies have been selected for inclusion because they have outstanding financial and diversity performance. Diversity performance is calculated by reviewing several key measures: Human capital, CEO commitment, and supplier diversity. From 4/7/06 to 8/22/07, the model portfolio returned 16.58% versus an 15.93% return for the market, as measured by the S&P 500 Index, a major stock market index (without considering dividends. Returns calculated before fees deducted. Past performance is no guarantee of future returns.) See DiversityFund.net for more information...
Angels Descend on Minority Business Enterprises
Investors gather to consider investments in top minority-owned ventures.
Portsmouth, VA (PRWEB) July 17, 2007 -- Virginia Housing and Community Development Corporation (VHCDC) continues its pioneering initiatives to facilitate the flow of capital to Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs) with the announcement of the 2007 MBE Capital Call Conference, Exhibition, and Venture Forum -- September 20 & 21 in Hampton, Virginia. The MBE Capital Call presents entrepreneurs with innovative and marketable business ideas the opportunity to secure capital, and other essential resources, by "Pitching" their business plans to active, accredited investors. This event invites Entrepreneurs, aspiring entrepreneurs, Investors, aspiring investors, and College/University Students to Hampton, Virginia for a rewarding two day conference aimed at facilitating investment in minority- and women-owned businesses.
VHCDC created the MBE Capital Call to expose and connect MBEs, particularly African-American, Hispanic, and Native American entrepreneurs, to capital (funding) to start and grow or expand their business. This year, twenty-one (21) entrepreneurs will be selected to pitch their business plans to active, accredited investors. A team of active investors and business development professionals will select the presenters from among registrations received thru August 10, 2007. Presenters will be judged on several criteria and may pitch plans for virtually any industry/business sector.
Registration is easy, and there's no additional cost to enter the competition. Business owners, aspiring entrepreneurs, investors, lenders, and students may register by visiting the MBE Capital Call website: www.mbecapitalcall.com now for complete details, registration, and terms and conditions.