esponding to what it sees as a growing demand, Calvert Group
is launching a Web-based service called Advisor Finder
which will provide investors with referrals to financial advisors.
Advisors apply to Calvert's sales department to be included in the pool of potential referrals. Calvert then verifies that the advisors have sold Calvert funds in the past to ensure familiarity with Calvert products. Currently, 90 advisors are on the site, and another 150 are awaiting approval.
Calvert has no input into the fee arrangement between the investor and the advisor, and receives no portion of that fee. The advisors are also free to recommend fees outside the Calvert family. "You hope they come back to Calvert after the referral, but you never know," said Karen Becker
, Calvert vice president for client services.
To use the service, investors input personal information into the Calvert site, including their social concerns, zip code and preference for a male or female advisor.
In return, the user receives a list of advisors which match the inputted criteria, including the advisor's area of expertise, fees, years in business and investment philosophy.
The concern for gender is appropriate in the world of socially responsible investing, according to Becker. Socially motivated investing attracts a greater percentage of women than does investing as a whole, and her discussions with investors indicate a sensitivity to the subject. "Sometimes a woman wants to work with a woman," Becker said. "We give them the information, and let the investor choose."
In addition to specific information about individual advisors, investors can obtain general information about how to choose an advisor, the services an advisor can offer, cost, what the professional designations mean, and a sample financial planning worksheet.
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