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by Ron Robins
allows me to cover more--and breaking news--to help you do better!
Trucost Finds 40% Lower Carbon Intensity &
Outperformance In US SRI Funds. -
"The Responsible funds analyzed are on average 40% less carbon intensive
than the Traditional funds... all eight Responsible funds in this study
outperformed their Median Peer Group [Traditional funds] over a one-year
period. Seven of eight outperformed their Median Peer Group over a
three-year period, while five of eight outperformed over a five-year
To me, these results
are not unexpected, since SRI-ethical funds do not usually contain
carbon intensive heavy manufacturing or mining companies. SRI-ethical
funds are frequently heavily weighted with technology, financials,
health, drugs, etc. Nonetheless, it is great to see such performance.
Carbon footprints, performance and risk of US equity mutual funds,
November 29, 2010, Trucost, UK. (Registration required, which is free,
to view study.)
Ethical Funds Performed Better than Non-Ethical Funds
In Downturn Says Study. -
"the results indicated that the ethical funds are different from the non
ethical funds with regards to the performance and put in evidence that
the ethical funds governed the financial crisis triggered by subprime in
a better way than the non ethical funds. Consequently we argue that it
is important that the interests of the financial community are addressed
to the development and promotion of ethically oriented finance and of
its instruments." This is one
more study indicating that ethical funds performed better than
non-ethical funds during the downturn.
The Ethical and Non Ethical Mutual Funds Comparison, by Rosa Adamo,
Angela Coscarelli, Domenica Federico and Antonella Notte, American
Journal of Economics and Business Administration, Volume 2, Issue 4,
Jantzi-Sustainalytics Issues New Report On
Nanotechnology For Investors. -
"Current understanding of the potential risks of
nanotechnology is limited and regulations lag behind technological
development. Given this uncertainty, how can investors address this new
area? This brief offers investors a roadmap to navigate the potential
opportunities of this emerging industry."
The debate around nanotechnology is going to be every bit as big as that
about GMOs! This is an important report for ethical investors.
Brave New World: Investors and Nanotechnology, by Stephanie
LeNguyen, Jantzi-Sustainalytics, Canada.
EIRIS Study Shows Investors Exposed To Biodiversity
"Research firm EIRIS has put forward five recommendations to enable
investors to help them address failings by corporations on biodiversity.
It suggests investors understand, be aware of, encourage, engage and
collaborate on the issue." This
is a unique report that investigates a subject that is not well known
even to sophisticated ethical investors.
EIRIS research points to biodiversity risk for investors, by Daniel
Brooksbank, December 20, 2010, Responsible Investor, UK.
The Royal Society Of Canada Issues Report On
Environmental & Health Impacts Of Canadian Oil Sands.
Useful reading for any ethical
investor concerned with energy investing.
Environmental and Health Impacts of Canada's Oil Sands Industry,
(PDF) December 2010, The Royal Society of Canada, Canada.
SEC Calls For Mandatory Reporting Of Payments By
Extractive Industries. -
"The Securities and Exchange Commission, the US financial regulator, is
to clamp down on payments by extractives companies, mine safety and
The proposals are among a raft of measures put forward by the SEC under
the Dodd-Frank Act." All I can
say it is about time that such payments be revealed so that
stockholders, especially, can gauge how well company management deals
with these issues.
SEC to clamp down on extractives payments, mine safety and conflict
minerals, by Daniel Brooksbank, December 16, 2010, Responsible
Survey Shows US Consumers Demand Companies Engage
In Cause Marketing & Support Charities.
"Two new public opinion surveys released today by Do Well Do Good, LLC
indicate that consumers demand that companies should engage in
cause-marketing and corporate social responsibility programs. Over 88%
of consumers think companies should try to achieve their business goals
while improving society and then environment and 83% of consumers think
companies should support charities and nonprofits with financial
donations." Good to see this
especially at this time of year.
New Study: Consumers Demand Companies Should Engage in Cause-Marketing &
Corporate Social Responsibility Initiatives, press release, December
15, 2010, Do Well Do Good, USA.
Dow Jones Launches New Index That Helps Generate
Funds To Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
"The Dow Jones Global Fund 50 Index is the flagship of a new index
series, which will include indexes with overlaying strategies and
additional themes. The index has been licensed to db X-trackers, the
leading ETF platform of Deutsche Bank, to serve as a basis for a
financial product, the db x-trackers Global Fund Supporters ETF. The ETF
begins trading today on the Frankfurt stock exchange."
Well, we have credit
cards that give a portion of their proceeds to charities and good
causes, now we are getting indexes/ETFs doing the same. It is certainly
a good step for charities. Constituent companies in this index will be
those who provide funds to help eradicate AIDS, TB and malaria.
Dow Jones Indexes and The Global Fund Launch The Dow Jones Global Fund
50 Index, press release, December 13, 2010, Dow Jones Indexes Press
First Global Christian ETF Launched. -
"Db X-trackers, Deutsche Bank’s exchange-traded funds (ETF) platform,
claimed it has launched the world’s first ETF for Christians who wish to
invest in line with their faith... Companies are chosen from the broader
Stoxx Europe 600 index, with suitability for inclusion determined by an
independent Christian faith commission."
This may well be the start of a trend
of global faith/ethically-based ETFs. They could be attractive to many
World's first ETF for Christians from Deutsche Bank, by Cara Waters,
December 13, 2010, Financial Times, UK.
Thesis Finds It Difficult To Evaluate Effects Of
CSR On Corporate Financial & Stock Performance. -
"'On the one hand, companies engaging with CSR might be viewed as
high-risk players because they're either committing substantial
resources to unnecessary CSR activities or because CSR is used as a
distraction from unflattering corporate behaviour, and are, therefore,
earning higher returns. On the other hand, good performance can be
viewed as a surprise that can be attributed to the company's CSR
engagement, previously not taken into account, a kind of mispricing.
Mispricing is found as the more prevalent explanation, because the CSR
premium has decreased in recent years, perhaps also because most
companies are now communicating their CSR activities
better.'" The fact that most
companies are doing better with CSR is good news.
Hard to tell whether CSR has a positive effect on profitability or not,
by Cristiana Manescu, December 6, 2010, University of Gothenburg,
Fossil Fuels Gets 12 Times More Subsidies Than
Clean Energy Worldwide. - [COMMENTARY]
"Energy from fossil fuel gets 12 times more in subsidies worldwide than
sustainable energy, says a new report from the USC Marshall School of
Business." This is something that
I have often criticised: the diabolical public financial subsidies that
fossil fuels and nuclear for that matter, receive. My belief is that all
these subsidies should be eliminated and then clean energy will be on a
more level playing field.
Clean energy gets fewer subsidies, less investment than fossil fuels,
report says, by Tiffany Hsu, November 30, 2010, LA Times, USA.
81.5% Of Investors Surveyed Plan To Increase
Investments In Climate Change, EDHEC-Risk Institute.
"90% of respondents considered environmental protection an investment
theme, and the same percentage planned to do more green investing in the
future with climate change being the most popular green theme for 81.5%
of respondents. Environmental themes such as water management,
measures and improvement of processes were also concerns for many
respondents, the survey found."
These are the highest interest levels of any survey I have seen to-date.
Green investing still misunderstood, by Jaishree Kalia, November 30,
2010, Global Pensions, UK.
Recent Commentaries by Ron Robins on
Ethical Investors Successfully Engage Companies
and Governments, December 9, 2010.
New Bank Regulations Likely to Fail,
December 15, 2010.
Severe Debt Scarcity Coming to US,
December 26, 2010.
What Investors Really Want: Know What Drives Investor Behavior and Make
Smarter Financial Decisions, Meir Statman, McGraw-Hill 2010.
"We all share behavioural traits that are major roadblocks to
intelligent financial decisions. Bottom line: if you really want to
achieve investment success, understand yourself and eliminate or
minimize these traits. This book will help you do exactly that."—John
C. Bogle, Founder, Vanguard Funds.
Note: Articles are linked to the
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archive stories. All links were active at the time of
Disclaimer: Neither The Soul Investor nor Ron
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socially responsible investing (SRI). Investors should consider their
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The Soul Investor is a
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in Ontario, Canada. Copyright © 2010 Ron Robins. All rights