E-newsletter of Investing for the Soul February 27, 2009
Top ethical investing news for February 2009
Links may only be valid a limited time Commentaries by Ron Robins
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Alcoa, Hess & Time-Warner Rated
As Tops In Environmental & Sustainability Reporting Among New York Based
[COMMENTARY] "The Roberts Environmental
Center of Claremont McKenna College (CMC) today released a detailed
analysis of the
The report makes fascinating,
detailed reading, and demonstrates to all companies the advantages of
using corporate social responsibility.
Europe's December SRI Fund Sales
Hit 1-Billion Euros For The First Time.
"... figures compiled for Responsible Investor by Lipper Feri, the
investment data group. Total sales for the SRI sector for December, 2008
were €999.4m ($1.3bn) to take its overall value of to €35.4bn.
Significantly, total SRI fund sales came out at 10% of the total
European equity fund sales figure of just over €10bn in December, which
suggests SRI fund sales are holding up well and increasing in comparison
to their mainstream peers during the current economic market crisis. SRI
funds typically represent around 1-2% of the total European equity fund
market, which is valued at just over €1 trillion as measured by Feri."
Increasingly, investors are coming to believe that the best stocks
that are good to invest in have an ethical and green hue to them.
Hampshire College States Fund
Divestment Related To KLD's SRI Analysis Of its Holdings.
"In sum, what KLD found was that of the fund's 455 holdings,
It seems to me that Hampshire
College has set an excellent example of what all endowment and
foundation funds should be doing -- looking for ethical stocks that are
good to invest in.
India's First Shariah Compliant
Mutual Fund Launched. -
"Introducing a newer concept in Indian mutual fund industry, [the]
Taurus Ethical Fund, India’s first equity oriented Shariah compliant
mutual fund, wherein investment will be made only in a universe of 152
companies in compliance with Shariah norms." With its huge Muslim
population as well as the growing interest in ethical investing, this
fund could fill an important niche in the Indian mutual fund industry.
Consumers Rate America's Greenest
[COMMENTARY] Companies with high scores
include, "Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, Wegmans, Fresh & Easy, Publix,
Report Reviews Social &
Environmental Disclosure Using Case Studies In Brazil, France, South
Africa & Sweden. -
initiatives in the five case studies presented provide models for
similar regulatory action by U.S. agencies or stock exchanges to promote
transparency and efficiency in U.S. markets." An ethical business
environment demands full disclosure and transparency. Because of the
lack of this and to supposedly 'safeguard' the system, unethical
behaviour has been allowed to flourish. Only a new higher consciousness
with some of the examples outlined in this report will turn the tide.
Fortunately, some signs of this are appearing.
KKR, The Blackstone Group, & The Carlyle Group, Among Leading Global Private Equity Funds Agreeing To Incorporate ESG In Research Analysis. - [COMMENTARY] "The member firms of the Washington, DC-based lobbying group Private Equity Council [PEC] have signed on to a set of socially responsible investment guidelines. Member firms include Bain Capital Partners, TPG, Permira, The Blackstone Group, Apollo Global Management, The Carlyle Group, Apax Partners, Hellman & Friedman, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, Madison Dearborn Partners, Providence Equity Partners, Silver Lake and Thomas H Lee Partners."
This is a big breakthrough for
ethical investing! Read the article and believe that short-sighted,
short-termism that lead to so many of our financial difficulties today,
is dying, and now being replaced by the longer term inclusion of
environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors. The PEC themselves
also appear to believe that this new orientation can lead to greater
profits -- which is what ethical investors have long maintained will be
the inevitable consequence of including ESG in investment analysis.
Islamic Funds Outperforming
Benchmark Indices. -
Jones Islamic Market Indexes, which represent benchmarks for Islamically
Investments in Islamic funds have to
meet strict ethical and spiritual guidelines. Thus they have avoided the
worst excesses of the current financial disaster. Values-based investors
also might want to look into the ethics and theoretical underpinnings of
Islamic finance to help them in their investment decisions.
Morningstar's Guide To Green &
Socially Responsible Investing (SRI). -
This is a useful overview of green/SRI investing with particular
reference to SRI mutual funds in the US.
Forbes Magazine Features
Advisor's Choice Of Ten Top Green Stocks.
His choices include GE and United Technologies. Some ethical investors
may certainly argue the merits of these companies. However, there are
others among the chosen ten that ethical investors could live with.
2nd Annual Survey Of The State Of
Green Business By GreenBiz Shows Little Change.
The report has some interesting statistics concerning US energy use,
green patents, etc.
At Davos, UN & GRI Launch New ESG
Reporting Guidelines For Financial Services.
[COMMENTARY] "A set of best-practice
sustainability reporting criteria for financial services companies has
been launched at a high-level dinner at the World Economic Forum in
This initiative is worth watching as
it integrates and represents views of those devoted to ESG as well as
established financial interests.
From An Investors Perspective, F&C Looks
At Corporate Governance In Emerging Markets.
Investing in emerging markets poses many difficulties for ethical
investors, including poor laws, lack of enforcement, and frequent use of
bribes, amongst other impediments. This is a useful overview of the
Corporate Knights Publishes Its Canadian
2009 Responsible Investment Guide. -
Canadian ethical investors, particularly, will want to read this guide.
New Book Release
Inquiries into the Nature of Slow Money: Investing as if Food, Farms,
and Fertility Mattered, by Woody Tasch, Chelsea Green Publishing
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Disclaimer: Neither The Soul Investor nor Ron Robins make investment recommendations. Nothing in this newsletter should be interpreted as a recommendation or solicitation to buy/sell any securities or investments. The Soul Investor is a source of general information and resources for spiritual investing, ethical investing, and socially responsible investing (SRI). Investors should consider their actions thoroughly and consult their professional advisers prior to taking any investment action. The Soul Investor does not necessarily agree with the opinions expressed in articles in its newsletter or offered on the web pages to which it might be linked. Such opinions are the responsibility of the writers themselves. Furthermore, The Soul Investor 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 in this e-newsletter, or other sites, to which it might be linked.
The Soul Investor is a publication of Investing for the Soul, a registered business name in Ontario, Canada. Copyright © 2009 Ron Robins. All rights reserved.