E-newsletter of Investing for the Soul December 30, 2009
Top ethical investing news for December 2009
Links may only be valid a limited time Commentaries by Ron Robins
Do Socially Responsible Funds Carry More Governance Risk? Study Says Yes. - [COMMENTARY] "According to the firm Audit Integrity, if you take two socially responsible funds as an example it appears that their 'socially responsible' holdings contain companies who practice some pretty risky... aggressive accounting or corporate governance [practices]... " Well, many might ask how can this be? Without knowing all the facts, it is possible that SRI ratings companies might not fully consider a company's accounting practices.
SRI funds often have proportionately higher holdings of financials and
tech stocks than most 'conventional' funds. As we know from the
recent financial meltdown and the dotcom bubble some years back,
accounting practices in these groups can sometimes be questionable.
Ethical investors may want to quiz their fund managers on this topic!
Goldman Sachs & Other Financial Firms Bet Against Client Positions--And Won. - [COMMENTARY] "... authorities appear to be looking at whether securities laws or rules of fair dealing were violated by firms that created and sold these mortgage-linked debt instruments and then bet against the clients who purchased them..." Goldman and many other Wall Street firms created, bundled, and sold hundreds of billions of dollars of mortgage backed securities (MBS). Then, unbeknownst to clients, acting as principals, they bet-against (shorted) what their clients' were holding and made countless billions in profits.
To me it is
fair game that financial firms can bet against products they create and
sell. After all, most of these clients are professional, astute, and
sophisticated investors. HOWEVER, in the interests of fairness and
ethics, they should make transparent to these clients, and perhaps to
the public at large, their contrarian position. It is the same
principle as when interviewers ask analysts if they own any stock in the
company they are recommending. Full disclosure needs to be enforced, as
it is when you buy any new stock or fund.
ING Internet Poll: 43% Of Investors
Willing To Give Up Some Profits To Invest In A Socially Responsible Way.
misunderstanding that ethical investing means lower returns is deeply
entrenched in the mass psyche. This is probably the biggest impediment
to converting what we know is widespread desire to invest ethically into
getting investors to actually do so. Need I say it, but most research
studies over the past decade studying ethical portfolio returns most
commonly show that they provide similar returns to conventional
More S&P 100 Companies Reporting On ESG
"The number of S&P 100 companies producing sustainability reports
with performance data jumped by more than a third in the past year,
according to a new report from the Sustainable Investment Research
Analyst Network (SIRAN), a working group of the Social Investment Forum
(SIF)." The upward trend among the larger western companies to
report on ESG issues continues to grow. It is clear that many companies
believe by publishing such information they might get greater buying
interest in their stock. It is a win for the company as well as for
Survey Reveals Failure Of UK Finance
Firms To Reform. -
"Research by Co-operative Asset Management, one of the UK's leading
socially responsible investment managers, found remuneration policy had
gone in the wrong direction at half of the 30 finance companies in the
FTSE 350. Behaviour was slightly worse in the financial sector than in a
comparison of 30 non-financial organisations, where 14 companies were
found wanting." My guess is that these findings are true at the
majority of financial firms around the world.
New US Catholic, Methodist, & Christian
Faith Based ETFs Launched. -
"Industry newcomer FaithShares Trust released its first three ETFS
targeting Christians: FaithShares Catholic Values; FaithShares Methodist
Values; and FaithShares Christian Values. FTSE Group and KLD Research &
Analytics, which specializes in socially responsible investing,
developed the underlying indexes." These new funds are a sign of
growing interest in faith based ETFs.
China Second Most Attractive Place For
Green Investment. - [COMMENTARY]
"China has overtaken Germany to become the second most attractive
country in the world in which
Social Investment Forum Survey Says US
Investment Consultants Say Responsible/ESG Investing Here To Stay. -
"U.S. investment consultants believe that the growing interest of
their clients in environmental, social and governance (ESG)/responsible
investing issues is not going to be a short-lived phenomenon: Nearly
nine out of 10 (88 percent) believe that client interest in ESG will
continue to grow over the
Only Two Canadian Oil Sands Operations
In Alberta Meet Government Rules For Liquid Tailings.
"The review conducted by the Pembina Institute and
‘Best In Class’ Focus Provides Premium Returns, by Ron Robins, December 22, 2009.
Note: Articles are linked to the original source. Some sites may require registration, and may, or may not, archive stories. All links were active at the time of publication.
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. 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.
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.