E-newsletter of Investing for the Soul October 30, 2009
Top ethical investing news for October 2009
Links may only be valid a limited time Commentaries by Ron Robins
Big Majority Of Institutional Investors Say 'Moral Hazard' Has Increased. - [COMMENTARY] "More than 90% of institutional investors questioned in a unique survey of market participants believe financial markets are now threatened by increased ‘moral hazard’ – the belief that banks and other investors will take excessive risks based on implicit government guarantees... However, just under a third of these same investors (28%) are pessimistic that the right lessons from the crisis have been learnt to avoid future market blowouts. And 80.5% said the response of regulators has so far fallen short of what is needed to fix the system."
The only real way to solve our current
dilemma is for us to realize that real inner happiness can arise from
within and be relatively independent of whatever material possessions we
may have. Until this realization comes and actions taken to create it,
this current crisis may well morph from crises to crises. (See my
Enlightened Economics blog post,
The Missing Ingredient In Economics—Consciousness!)
Most Portfolio Managers Shun Their
"According to a series of recent studies by Morningstar Inc., funds
whose managers invest $1 million or more of their own money in their
fund ranked in the 42nd performance percentile, on average, over the
five-year period through July. That means they outperformed 58% of their
peers. Funds whose managers own no shares ranked, on average, in the
54th percentile." The message here for ethical investors is look to
see if the managers of the funds you own or are about to buy, actually
own some themselves!
Company Online CSR Reports Found
how well 91 members of the Dow Jones Sustainability
Index use their corporate websites as a platform for
CSR communication. Each website was assessed using a
set of 76 evaluation criteria, drawn up on the basis
of a survey conducted by Lundquist of 184 CSR
Apparently, Italian oil and gas company
Enl, together with UBS and Shell, have the best online reports. If
companies are to maximize the advantages of using corporate social
responsibility it behooves them to optimize their web presence,
especially for ethical investors.
New Site For Canadian Social/Ethical
"Socialfinance.ca is an online community for all issues related to
social finance in Canada and internationally. It will serve as a central
online platform for the community of the people and organizations that
are advancing the development of a social finance marketspace in
Canada." The site's sponsors include academic, government, and
private organizations. Its content will appeal particularly to ethical
investors with social and community interests.
Disney & Microsoft Top Boston College-Reputation Institute's 2009 CSR Index. Financial Companies Fall. - [COMMENTARY] "Companies in the financial sector tumbled to the bottom of the Boston College-Reputation Institute 2009 CSR Index while top consumer brands perceived to be strong in the area of ethics, citizenship and workplace practices dominate the top 50... Released today by the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship and Reputation Institute, the index shows the Walt Disney Company in the top position followed by Microsoft, Google, Honda of America, Johnson & Johnson, PepsiCo., General Mills, Kraft Foods, Campbell Soup Company and FedEx, rounding out the top 10."
research underscores their analysis. Ethical investors would be wise to
review the findings of this study.
See full list.
KLD, One Of The Great Names In SRI, In
Talks To Be Purchased By RiskMetrics. -
"RiskMetrics Group, the New York-listed US risk management and
corporate governance group is readying itself to make its second major
acquisition this year in the ESG (environmental, social and governance)
research space by buying Boston-based KLD Research & Analytics." It
seems the consolidation and globalization of ESG/SRI firms continues
apace. I believe that this is good for ethical investors as they will
find greater competencies available to them.
EIRIS (Update 1). 90% Of Wealth Managers
Surveyed Said Responsible Portfolios Performed As Well Or Better Than
Other Investments. -
"Based on a survey of the global readership of WealthBriefing and
featuring comment and analysis from a panel of prominent RI experts, the
report explodes the performance myth that responsible investments
under-perform. It identifies a growing awareness of
The EIRIS survey again supports the view that
responsible or ethical investments continue to gain ground, promising
better returns for ethical stocks and bonds over the longer term.
UK Survey Cites Lack Of Demand For Green
Investments Among Fund Managers. -
"FairPensions, the campaign group, found that while 89% of
respondents regard climate change as an 'important' or 'very important'
investment issue, they say they are prevented from taking action by
short-term analysis and 'lack of demand' from pension funds and other
clients." Have things changed at all in the investment world? This
survey of fund managers still shows that short-termism dominates in
regard to investment decisions.
Canadian Companies Increase Carbon
Related Management Efforts. -
For a list of Canadian companies said to be making the best efforts at carbon disclosure and reduction, see Canadian companies increase climate change activities in anticipation of future policies, October 8, 2009, press release, Conference Board of Canada, Canada.
EIRIS Says 65% Of UK Wealth Managers
Have Less Than 5% Of Client Funds In Socially Responsible Investments.
"The financial crisis has increased wealth managers’ awareness of
responsible investing, according to new research. A third
Increasing Number Of Companies Measuring
Their Carbon Footprint. -
"Over 300 global companies, including 31 specialized carbon companies
that act as carbon market intermediaries, responded to a survey
published recently by EcoSecurities, ClimateBiz, and Baker & McKenzie,
which sought to identify corporate trends in carbon management and
offsetting. The survey, entitled Carbon Management and Offsetting Trends
Survey Results 2009, is the second published by the organizations, and
the first since the global economic crisis. Despite the effects of the
crisis, the number of respondents to the survey increased by more than
400% since its predecessor was published in early 2008, with a marked
increase in participation of North American companies noted."
Companies increasingly realize that for good stakeholder relationships
they need to be proactive in managing their carbon usage.
Global Investment In Renewable Energy
Down Near 40% In 2009 Over 2008. -
"United Nations Industrial Development Organization Director General
Kandeh Yumkella said annual investments in renewable energy, especially
hydroelectric projects, soared more than fourfold to $155 billion
between 2004 and 2008, but have dropped in 2009. 'Due to the current
economic crisis we have seen almost a 40 percent decline in 2009 alone
in these investments,' Yumkella told the opening a of a global
conference on green energy in the central Mexican city of Leon."
With oil prices increasing and government green stimulus funding just
getting started the outlook for 2010 may well be brighter.
Hindus & Jews Denounce Church Of England's Stand On Supporting Hedge Funds. - [COMMENTARY] "Rajan Zed, acclaimed Hindu statesman; and Rabbi Jonathan B. Freirich, prominent Jewish leader in Nevada and California in USA; in a statement in Nevada today, asked how the funds which Church termed as 'bank robbers' in the past had suddenly become saviors, and the mighty Church had become lobbyist for these 'former robbers'".
If you read
the Church's statement they are saying that in the new EU proposal
entitled, Alternative Investment Directive, EU investors will
only be allowed to invest in hedge funds that are domiciled in the EU.
Presently around 90% of them are 'headquartered' outside the EU.
However, the fact that the Church has been so critical of institutions
like hedge funds and then turns around to seemingly support them, does
Sovereign Wealth Funds Comprising Near
10% Of Global Stocks Favour Ethical Investing.
"And greater involvement of sovereign wealth funds (SWFs),
Global Accounting Body Issues Follow-Up
Discussion Paper For Fund Fiduciaries Regarding Incorporating Climate
Change In Their Mandate. -
This is important reading for any fund manager.
Steelcase & Whirlpool Are Sector Leaders
In Addressing Climate Change, Says Climate Counts.
"The two companies took top honors in the latest Climate Counts
Company Scorecards, meant to give concerned consumers an idea of
corporate climate commitments to inform their purchasing decisions."
Ethical investors looking for green stocks that are good to invest in
might want to review this report.
The Ten Leading Green Brands According
To Consumers. -
"Last summer, a group of agencies owned by the giant marketing and
communications company WPP -- the PR firm Cohn & Wolfe, branding experts
Landor Associates and pollster-consultants Penn, Schoen & Berland
Associates (PSB) -- joined with Esty Environmental Partners, a
consulting firm run by Yale prof and author Dan Esty, to survey about
5,000 consumers around the world about green products, companies and
brands." Well here are the brands consumers chose: 1. Clorox Green
Works; 2. Burt's Bees; 3. Tom's of Maine; 4. SC Johnson; 5. Toyota; 6.
P&G; 7. Wal-Mart; 8. Ikea; 9. Disney; and 10. Dove.
New Global SRI/Ethical Investing Portal Established. - [COMMENTARY] "The Global Impact Investing Network is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to increasing the effectiveness of impact investing. Impact investments aim to solve social or environmental challenges while generating financial profit." This portal has big money philanthropists behind it such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Calvert Foundation. Click Global Impact Investing Network.
Investors Returning to Green Tech
"Deloitte's Cleantech Group said Wednesday that third-quarter
investment in the sector totaled $1.6 billion in 134
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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. 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.