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Why Invest With Us?

We believe you should have the opportunity to invest your principles, without compromising your financial goals. Our objective is to find investable companies that balance the demands of all stakeholders: employees, customers, and shareholders, but also the wider community and the environment. At the same time, we strive to find investments that will be financially rewarding over the long term. It is our strong belief that these two goals are wholly compatible. In more than forty years of sustainable investing, our investment team has never felt disadvantaged in trying to satisfy both.

Many investment managers have begun to spin off socially responsible, impact or ESG investment offerings. Unlike these firms, all we have ever offered is sustainable investment. Our approach to investing today is consistent with the original approach employed by our founder. The research tools have evolved; our investment team has grown; but what we demand of our investments remains the same. A sustainable investment is an ownership stake. As such, it must offer the strong possibility of compelling financial returns over time, without sacrificing ethics or environment in the process.

Prentiss Smith & Company by the Numbers

Under Management


Assets in the care of Prentiss Smith & Company.

Investment Clients


Individual and institutional investors who have entrusted us to manage their money.

Proxy votes


Proxies voted in 2022 to advance the values of our clients.

Green Bonds


Dollars invested in green bonds in just the past 5 years.

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Can socially responsible investments still perform?

In our view, yes. We are always happy to discuss our own performance with you directly when you contact us. In the meantime, research such as this widely cited paper from Oxford University, which reviewed more than 200 sources and concluded that “80% of the reviewed studies demonstrate that prudent sustainability practices have a positive influence on investment performance,” suggest that using ESG criteria when making investment decisions can actually help improve a portfolio’s long-term performance by, among other factors, mitigating risk.

Who can invest with Prentiss Smith & Company?

Our clients include individuals, families, trusts, and institutions. Those seeking a strong return on investment while also prioritizing issues of environmental stewardship, diversity, equality, peace and justice are typically drawn to Prentiss Smith & Company.

Can Prentiss Smith & Company customize portfolios for individual clients?

As a boutique firm we can customize allocations for clients who wish to pursue more or less aggressive financial goals. We can also offer significant flexibility to pursue (or avoid) certain equity classes or individual securities based on client preference.

What kinds of investments does Prentiss Smith & Company hold?

For a typical client we will invest in a combination of individual securities, municipal and corporate bonds, and money market funds. We typically forego investing in mutual funds to avoid duplicative fee structures for our clients.

Can Prentiss Smith & Company make any guarantees about the performance of my investments?

No. Our past investment performance, or that of individual securities we hold, is not a guarantee or predictor of future investment results.

Is it possible to lose money while investing with Prentiss Smith & Company?

Yes. Investments in stocks, bonds, exchange traded funds, and money market funds that we make on behalf of clients involve risk of loss. Loss of principal is possible. Foreign investing comes with additional risks, including greater volatility, political, economic and currency risks, and differences in accounting methods.

Who can I talk to for more information?

Our registered investment advisors are always happy to answer your questions or schedule a commitment-free conversation about your investment goals. In these conversations, our “sales approach” is simply to answer your financial questions as helpfully as possible, to the best of our knowledge. To speak with one of our advisors, please contact us.

Why does your 13-F disclosure show some investments that don't seem sustainable?

Some of our clients come to us with pre-existing holdings of stocks or bonds that would not pass our environmental or social screens. When clients are not prepared to sell these holdings, typically for tax reasons, they will appear in our disclosures as securities under our management, even though we did not buy them.

Our Stock Investment Theory

Investment managers have long been split into different categories based on the size or location of the companies they invest in, or by a general application of the label “value” or “growth” investor. We have never adhered to a particular geography or size (aka market capitalization) within our investments, nor have we permanently committed to a style that would be called value or growth in its orientation. Rather, the approach we’ve had in place since 1982 relies on a series of investment factors we believe motivate different groups of investors, including those pursuing value, growth, and quality. This “factor investing” that is now en vogue has long been embedded within our research process. When the balance of factors leans positive relative to the share price of a company’s stock, we tend to find investment success. Making this determination requires increasingly large volumes of data, but ultimately it also requires good judgment.  In our view the intelligent use of data can augment this judgment, but never supplant it.

Our clients’ accounts have grown because of the investment theory we developed and have diligently employed since 1982. The theory is based on five key factors, which we examine both algorithmically and qualitatively, over an extended period, before making any stock investment:

The earnings prediction for a company
Its current P/E (price to earnings ratio)
Short-term interest rate levels
The overall market level
The comparison of a company’s P/E to the average P/E in its industry group