E-newsletter of Investing for the Soul January 30, 2013
Top ethical investing news for January 2013
Links may only be valid a limited time Commentaries by Ron Robins
Twitter allows me to cover more--and breaking news--to help you do better!
$13.6 Trillion Invested Sustainably Globally, Says Report. - [COMMENTARY] "The report finds that, globally, at least US$ 13.6 trillion worth of professionally managed assets incorporate environmental, social and governance (ESG) concerns into their investment selection and management. This represents 21.8 percent of the total assets managed professionally in the regions covered by the report, conclusively showing that the sustainable investment industry has significant scale in the global arena. The Global Sustainable Investment Review 2012 is a collaboration of the Global Sustainable Investment Alliance (GSIA), as well as non-member organizations AfricaSIF.org and SIF Japan and is the first report to collate the results from the market studies of regional sustainable investment forums from Europe, the US, Canada, Asia, Japan, Australia and Africa. Sustainable investment information was not available from the Latin American regions, which do not yet have an organized sustainable investment forum."
What I'm really happy about is that the various country and regional
social investment organizations now have a common way of compiling the
data--and the data is impressive!
UK: Three-Quarters Of Independent Financial Advisors (IFAs) Get Requests For Ethical Investment Options. - [COMMENTARY] "Seventy-three per cent of independent financial advisers (IFAs) get requests for ethical investment options from clients, according to a Blue & Green Tomorrow survey of the industry. Just over half (51%) say they got the same amount of such requests in 2012 as they did in 2011, with 10% getting more and 13% getting less... although these advisers also report that it is a minority of their total clients (1 in 9) who ask about it."
Yes, this is good news. However, on a proportional basis, IFAs still
aren't putting client funds into ethical investment vehicles: only about
2-3% of retail fund assets are in ethical investments. Obviously,
UK-CFAs aren't fully responding to client wishes. It's the same
situation in most other developed countries.
Ethical Investors Step Up Focus On Tax Avoidance.
- [COMMENTARY] "Growing anger
at aggressive tax avoidance by big business has prompted ethical
investors to consider shunning shares in companies that don't pay their
fair share of tax... reports that big companies like Apple (AAPL.O),
Google (GOOG.O) and Vodafone (VOD.L) pay minimal taxes in some big
markets have sparked public protests in Europe and the United States."
Very few ethical investors are taking this viewpoint to-date. It
certainly has some merit, but remains to be seen how far this goes.
Canadian Socially Responsible Investment Assets Up 16% Since 2010: New Report. - [COMMENTARY] "The Canadian SRI Review 2012, released today, shows that assets managed under sustainable and socially responsible guidelines in Canada grew by 16% between June 30, 2010 (the effective date of the last report) and December 31, 2011. By comparison, total assets under management grew by 9% in the same time period. The report shows that total assets managed under SRI guidelines is $600.9 billion, up from $517.9 billion. At $600.9 billion, this represents 20% of assets under management in the financial industry, up from 19% of the market in 2010. The two areas that showed the most growth are in the pension fund sector and impact investing."
These results demonstrate continuing mainstream acceptance for SRI/ESG/ethical
investing approaches in Canada. Also, the fact that SRI assets are
growing faster than the growth in conventional assets is highly
UNPRI: ESG Critical To Private Equity Dealmaking. - [COMMENTARY] "Two-thirds of corporate buyers of private equity portfolio companies said that poor performance on environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors impacted their willingness to buy the company or prevented the entire deal, survey results by the United Nations-backed Principles for Responsible Investment Initiative has found. The PRI commissioned PricewaterhouseCoopers... The results showed that over 80% of companies had reduced the valuation of an acquisition target or not gone ahead with a deal because of poor performance on ESG factors, while 75% said poor performance in this area had prevented a deal from taking place."
This is great news. It demonstrates how ESG analysis is going
mainstream. The case for including ESG in investment and portfolio
selection is so obvious. It's difficult to understand why some people
still oppose it.
Left Leaning Investors Invest Less In The 'Sin' Stocks.
- [COMMENTARY] "Managers who
donate to Democrats underweight (relative to non-donors or Republican
donors) stocks that are deemed socially irresponsible. (e.g., tobacco,
guns and defense, natural resources, and firms with low KLD scores).
This effect is approximately one-half of the underweighting observed for
socially responsible (SRI) mutual funds." Though it's interesting to
see this type of analysis, the findings don't surprise me.
Climate Institute Selects Australia's Local Government Super Fund
Of NSW As World's Top Green Retirement Fund.
- [COMMENTARY] "The superannuation fund
for 90,000 current and former NSW council employees, Local Government
Super has been named the world's No.1 'green' retirement fund, after
collecting a swag of awards for its sustainable investment strategies in
the past few years. LGS, which manages $6.5 billion in funds, was deemed
to be the best fund in a survey of 300 big retirement funds by the
Climate Institute's first global asset owners disclosure project."
Congratulations to the Super Fund of New South Wales for their
dedication to sustainability and for their performance.
Asia Sustainable Investment Review 2012.
- [COMMENTARY] "The Association for
Sustainable & Responsible Investment in Asia (ASrIA), the region’s
professional membership association for the sustainable and responsible
investment industry, today released the Asia Sustainable Investment
Review 2012, a baseline study of sustainable investment strategies and
practices by investors based in Asia. ASrIA reports that over 130
investment managers use sustainable investment approaches, with US$74
billion of identified sustainable investment assets under management (AUM)
in the region." For ethical investors interested in investing in
Asia, this is a useful read.
Featured New Book
Conscious Capitalism: Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business, by
John Mackey and Rajendra Sisodia, Harvard Business Review Press 2013.
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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 © 2013 Ron Robins. All rights reserved.