With a meta-analysis of 85 studies and 190 experiments, the authors test the relationship between socially responsible investing (SRI) and financial performance to determine whether including corporate social responsibility and ethical concerns in portfolio management is more profitable than conventional investment policies. The study also analyses the influence of researcher methodologies with respect to several dimensions of SRI (markets, financial performance measures, investment horizons, SRI thematic approaches, family investments and journal impact) on the effects identified. The results indicate that the consideration of corporate social responsibility in stock market portfolios is neither a weakness nor a strength compared with conventional investments; the heterogeneous results in prior studies largely reflect the SRI dimensions under study (e.g. thematic approach, investment horizon and data comparison method).