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Shareholder Values

"80% [of investors] are interested in sustainable investments that can be customized to meet their interests and goals."
Morgan Stanley
   (USA) August 2017

"The vast majority of Canadian investors are interested in responsible investments (RI) that incorporate environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues, and they would be more likely to choose responsible investments if their financial advisor suggested suitable RI options for them."
    Association (RIA)
  (Canada) June 2017

"70% of people [in UK] want to invest ethically but the financial services industry is failing to respond." Referencing research by Abundance.
(UK) June 2015




Global Ethical Investing News & Commentary



Commentaries by Ron Robins  E-mail us your feedback

Links may only be valid for a limited time   September 22, 2017

***List your event on our Events Page***

Canadian Money Saver publishes an article, "Do-It-Yourself Ethical Investing Pays," by Ron Robins. "Though DIY sustainable-ethical investing requires some work it can pay handsomely. The process is engaging and fun too. But the skills to do it effectively can be more quickly acquired with coaching from those experienced in this work."

[COMMENTARY] I wrote this article -- and offer webinars and tutorials on this subject too -- for individual investors who want to have ownership and save on fees in creating and managing a stock portfolio that reflects their personal values.
Canadian Money Saver publishes an article, "Do-It-Yourself Ethical Investing Pays," by Ron Robins, September 2017, Canada.

Catching The Wave: The Spread of ESG in Institutional Investment Portfolios. "More than a quarter of North American institutions use environmental, social and governance (ESG) standards in their investment portfolios, and approximately 60% of institutions that have not yet incorporated ESG into their portfolios say they are open to doing so in the future."

[COMMENTARY] Their study provides some further insights into the spread and utilization of ESG among institutional money managers.
Catching The Wave: The Spread of ESG in Institutional Investment Portfolios, press release, September 19, 2017, Greenwich Associates, USA.

LEGO Group Leads Global Ranking of Best CSR Reputation. "Reputation Institute has released the main findings of its 201 7 Global CSR RepTrak® 100 report, including the list of the companies considered as the most responsible worldwide. The report is based on over 170,000 ratings from interviews with the public in the 15 largest economies (United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, Germany, France, Russia, Brazil, Mexico, USA, Canada, Japan, China, India, Australia and South Korea)."

[COMMENTARY] Their top five are LEGO, Microsoft, Google, Walt Disney, and BMW. Full results here.
Reputation Institute, September 12, 2017, USA.

Ceres launches water use scorecards on affected companies. "For food companies, water management is a business imperative like never before. And as risks of water scarcity and pollution steadily increase, corporate leaders must evaluate the most effective ways to water-proof their business."

[COMMENTARY] Ceres has created an impressive scorecard on how food companies, in particular, use and manage their water resources.
Feeding ourselves thirsty, September 2017, Ceres, USA.

Big investors take aim at banks over climate change risk. "A coalition of institutional investors managing more than $1tn in assets is demanding that 60 of the world’s largest banks take action to protect the world from the threat of catastrophic damage due to climate change."

[COMMENTARY] This was bound to happen -- and good that it has. Financial institutions and companies not reporting or allowing for climate change effects on their businesses will likely see reduced investor interest and possibly lower relative stock prices over time.
Big investors take aim at banks over climate change risk, by Chris Flood, September 14, 2017, Financial Times, UK.

Responsible Investment Week Canada, "make money responsibly." October 23-27, 2017. "Responsible Investment Week is dedicated to education and awareness about responsible investment (RI). The Responsible Investment Association (RIA) is coordinating a week of events across Canada to promote learning about environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) issues that affect investments."

[COMMENTARY] All Canadian investors are encouraged to attend and participate in RIA's Responsible Investment Week! The event gets larger every year and the more people that attend the greater the media coverage.
Responsible Investment Week Canada, "make money responsibly." October 23-27, 2017, September 14, 2017, Responsible Investment Association, Canada.

US SIF Foundation Releases Resource Guide For Retail Investors: "Getting Started in Sustainable and Impact Investing." "This resource is a concise guide for retail, non-accredited investors exploring investment options such as mutual funds, ETFs, and direct ownership of stocks, as well as information on seeking professional investment help."

[COMMENTARY] A basic guide for novice sustainability focused investors. It's a useful adjunct to my Tutorial: Creating A Profitable Personal Values-Based Portfolio.
US SIF Foundation Releases Resource Guide For Retail Investors: "Getting Started in Sustainable and Impact Investing," press release, September 14, 2017, US SIF, USA.

Big investors to put more money into tackling climate change. "More than two-thirds of institutional investors are planning to increase investments related to tackling climate change, according to a new survey that suggests 'green finance' is moving from the margins to the mainstream of global markets.... in a study commissioned by HSBC, will add weight to calls from Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England, and others for greater disclosure of 'climate risks' in the corporate and financial sectors."

[COMMENTARY] How many companies in the insurance, utilities and other hurricane affected industries in Texas and Florida have put as potential liabilities on their balance sheets potential hurricane damages? Though such costs are difficult to assess, but, with climate warming/change becoming increasingly costly for businesses, perhaps investors need to ask such questions more vigorously. Companies refusing to acknowledge such costs might be shunned by investors in years to come!
Big investors to put more money into tackling climate change, by Andrew Ward, September 11, 2017, Financial Times, UK.

Investors Can Be Ethical and Still Beat the Market, Study Says. "Ethical fund managers don’t have to be envious of the market-beating returns of so-called sin stocks. They should be able to match them without dabbling in vice, according to a study in the Fall edition of the Journal of Portfolio Management. The study debunks the popular theory that shares in the alcohol, tobacco, gaming, and weapons industries outperform because investors shun them, enabling those with fewer moral scruples to earn a 'reputation risk premium.'”

[COMMENTARY] So 'sin' stocks only outperform if their profits and investment also outperform. This is an important message, but one I feel will take time to be accepted. Nonetheless, for ethical investors, it's heartwarming to see the results of this study.

Also, as government health care costs continue to explode, many sin sectors such as tobacco and alcohol will continue to be taxed higher and higher, thereby continually eroding the profitability of companies in these sectors. Thus, their future outperformance becomes questionable. See actual study here.
Investors Can Be Ethical and Still Beat the Market, Study Says, by Cormac Mullin, September 11, 2017, Bloomberg, USA.

Rising carbon prices could slash company profits. "The impact of climate change could hit global profits just as hard as the financial crisis and Schroders have launched a new tool to help investors work out which companies will suffer most."

[COMMENTARY] This is an important article to read for all ethical investors. Such research will likely become ever more important to investors as the world grows increasingly concerned about climate change.
Rising carbon prices could slash company profit, by Michelle McGagh, September 6, 2017, Citywire Money, UK.

Sustainable Signals: New Data from the Individual Investor--Morgan Stanley. "80% [of investors] are interested in sustainable investments that can be customized to meet their interests and goals."

[COMMENTARY] Morgan Stanley's Institute for Sustainable Investing has published the results of its second investors' survey. Unsurprisingly, the results show a growing interest in sustainable investing-- especially by millennials.

(Again, for individual investors interested in a do-it-yourself approach, you'll find participating in my free DIY Ethical-Sustainable Investing Webinars very helpful.)
Sustainable Signals: New Data from the Individual Investor, Morgan Stanley Institute for Sustainable Investing, September 2017.

Opinion: The pros and cons of ethical debt instruments. "Innovative debt instruments help to harness the powerful role of capital markets and can connect more savings with international development priorities such as the SDGs. As investor interest continues to soar, they could help move the world from billions to trillions of dollars in financing for the SDGs [Sustainable Development Goals]."

[COMMENTARY] A fine article about ethical-sustainable debt by an advisor to the UNDP.
Opinion: The pros and cons of ethical debt instruments, by Gail Hurley, September 4, 2017, Devex, USA.

Pension funds need to look beyond ESG fund ratings. "These environmental, social and governance (ESG) ratings 'do not tell the whole story' and each set can provide very different conclusions for the same companies, the investment manager [Kames] argued."

[COMMENTARY] I think most investors are aware of the above. That's why some might want to add a do-it-yourself approach and hence my new and free Introductory DIY Ethical-Sustainable Investing Webinars. The next webinars are Saturday, September 30, 4 pm EST and Tuesday, October 10, 7 pm EST. All are welcome.
Pension funds need to look beyond ESG fund ratings, by James Phillips, August 31, 2017, Professional Pensions, UK.

Why FAs Are Still Reluctant to Jump on ESG Bandwagon. "Asset managers and major brokerages think there’s big money to be made shilling these funds to advisors, with the likes of BlackRock, Bank of America and UBS highlighting the growing acceptance and mainstream popularity of SRI and 'impact investing' strategies. But many advisors don’t seem to be biting. A survey of advisors from the Financial Times’ list of top RIAs last year showed just 4% of firms were focused on SRI opportunities."

[COMMENTARY] Advisors in this piece argue there's little demand by clients for SRI products. However, I wonder if they even ask their clients about potential interest in SRI/ESG investing? In most investor-advisor surveys the advisors fail to ask that question.
Why FAs Are Still Reluctant to
Jump on ESG Bandwagon, by Murray Coleman, August 16, 2017, Financial Advisor, USA.

The Carbon Clean 200 2017 Q3 Update is now available. "A growing movement of investors representing more than $5.2tn in assets under management have signed a pledge to divest some portion of their fossil fuel holdings. But where to invest this capital?

The Clean200 list ranks the largest publicly listed companies by their total clean energy revenues, with environmental, social, and governance screens to help ensure the companies are indeed building the infrastructure and services needed for the 'Great Energy Transition' in a just and equitable way. Notably, this new report highlights the fact that clean energy investments greatly outperform stagnating fossil fuel stocks."

[COMMENTARY] The Clean 200 is an important listing for ethical investors of the leading carbon clean companies globally. Perhaps one of the most surprising findings is that China leads with 68 companies, double that of the USA!
Click here for The Carbon Clean 200 2017 Q3 Update, August 15, 2017, Corporate Knights/AS YOU SOW.

Millennials are driving a $9 trillion change in investing. "Millennials are driving the nearly $9 trillion sustainable investing market, according to a survey of 1,000 investors by Morgan Stanley's Institute for Sustainable Investing."

[COMMENTARY] Morgan Stanley's research confirms the results of other surveys. (And still, too many advisors and brokers aren't aware of this.)
Millennials are driving a $9 trillion change in investing, by Frank Chaparro, August 10, 2017, Business Insider, USA.

20 Undervalued, Sustainable Stocks -- Morningstar. "We screened the Morningstar US Sustainability Index to find some undervalued stocks that score well on ESG metrics. Sustainability assessments are provided to Morningstar by researcher Sustainalytics (of which Morningstar has a 40% ownership stake)."

[COMMENTARY] I'm delighted to see that Morningstar is starting to freely share some of the individual Sustainalytics stock ratings. This is good news for all investors who don't have access to Sustainalytics individual stock ratings' services.
20 Undervalued, Sustainable Stocks -- Morningstar, by Karen Wallace, August 9, 2017, Morningstar, USA.

The race to embrace ESG ratings. "Major investment firms are snapping up environmental, social and governance (ESG) ratings companies at a rapid clip — three hookups within just the past year."

[COMMENTARY] It's to be expected that many of the rising ESG raters would be acquired by somewhat related and established firms. It demonstrates ESG's coming-of-age. Is it good or bad for investors? Only in five, ten, or more years will we know.
The race to embrace ESG ratings, by Anya Khalamayzer, August 10, 2017, GreenBiz, USA.

More Evidence of Solid Performance From Sustainable Funds. "Investors in funds that incorporate environmental, social, and governance factors into their process appear not to suffer a performance penalty."

[COMMENTARY] Morningstar's Jon Hale has another insightful post reviewing the recent performance of ESG funds. And he says these funds continue to demonstrate good relative performance.
More Evidence of Solid Performance From Sustainable Funds, Jon Hale, August 3, 2017, Morningstar, USA.

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Disclaimer: This website does not make investment recommendations. Nothing in this site should be interpreted as a recommendation or solicitation to buy/sell any securities or investments. Investing for the Soul is a source of general information and resources for ethical investing and socially responsible investing (SRI). Investors should consider their actions thoroughly and consult their financial advisers and other professionals, prior to taking any investment action. This website does not necessarily agree with the opinions expressed in articles on its pages or offered on the web pages to which it might be linked. Such opinions are the responsibility of the writers themselves. Furthermore, this site does not offer or provide any warranties, representations, guarantees, implied or otherwise, as to the accuracy, legality, copyright compliance, timeliness or usefulness of the information, materials or services on this, or other sites, to which it is linked. Also, Mr. Ron Robins is not an investment advisor, nor is he licensed with any professional investment related body, and thus is not able to, nor does he make, any investment recommendations.


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