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Shareholder Values

 
"Forty-five percent of U.S. households prefer an environmental, social and governance (ESG) approach to investing... Among those between the ages of 30 and 39, this increases to 64%, and for those younger than 30, it is 67%."
-- Cerulli Associates
 
 (USA)
    October 2018

"The vast majority of Canadian investors are interested in responsible investments (RI) that incorporate environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues, and they would be more likely to choose responsible investments if their financial advisor suggested suitable RI options for them."
-- Responsible
    Investment
    Association (RIA)
 
  (Canada)
    June 2017

"70% of people [in UK] want to invest ethically but the financial services industry is failing to respond." Referencing research by Abundance.
-- Acquisition
    International
   
(UK) June 2015

 

Ethical Investing News/Commentaries
August 2018

Archives

Commentaries by Ron Robins

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PRI develops guide to identifying ‘mainstream’ impact investments. "The goal was to help asset owners and fund managers better assess opportunities in this market, the United Nations-backed investor organisation said."

[COMMENTARY] This guide is useful for all asset managers. PRI, Principles for Responsible Investment, has been working for many years developing this guide. For the guide, click here.
PRI develops guide to identifying ‘mainstream’ impact investments, by Susanna Rust, August 30, 2018, IPE, UK.

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3 Challenges for Getting ESG Funds Into Retirement Plans. "CalSavers recently announced the selection of State Street Global Advisors to manage the investment lineup using existing SSGA funds or combinations thereof but said there won't be an ESG fund in the plan, at least not initially. The reason? The ESG options were too expensive."

[COMMENTARY] Jon Hale, at Morningstar, outlines the steps that could've been taken by CalSavers to get inexpensive ESG options included in its lineup. The points Jon makes are important for all fund managers to be aware of.
3 Challenges for Getting ESG Funds Into Retirement Plans, by Jon Hale, August 30, 2018, Morningstar, USA.

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Should impact investors aim for market returns? "Impact investing launches are increasingly shedding the caveat that deep social impact results in a sacrifice of financial returns."

[COMMENTARY] Though this article discusses impact investing in the UK environment, the arguments presented are universally applicable.
Should impact investors aim for market returns? By Nicola Brittain, August 23, 2018, Portfolio Adviser, UK.

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US SIF Foundation Releases 2018 Money Manager Roadmap: "Moving Forward with Sustainable, Responsible and Impact Investing: A Roadmap for Money Managers." "The report provides best practices and practical steps asset managers can take to develop and enhance sustainable investing strategies."

[COMMENTARY] The US SIF always produces excellent guides and information.
US SIF Foundation Releases 2018 Money Manager Roadmap: "Moving Forward with Sustainable, Responsible and Impact Investing: A Roadmap for Money Managers, August 15, 2018, US SIF, USA.

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New: The Big Book of SI by Robeco. "In our new, 102-page, The Big Book of SI, we analyze the present status of sustainability investing and the big trends that are shaping its future. The book also zooms in on sustainability reporting and the link between ESG and performance."

[COMMENTARY] Netherlands-based Robeco has long been a pioneer in sustainable investing. The information and reports they produce have a great reputation.
New: The Big Book of SI by Robeco, August 13, 2018, Robeco, The Netherlands.

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Report: time to rethink ESG index construction. "Traditional index construction not effective because it makes it difficult for investors to assess source of outperformance."

[COMMENTARY] This interesting article discusses a study which highlights the difficulty in pointing to ESG factors as a standalone factor in ESG fund alpha. The report suggests ESG funds need improved construction to isolate all causes of outperformance.
Report: time to rethink ESG index construction, by Joe McGrath, August 14, 2018, Expert Investor, UK.

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Companies with strong ESG scores outperform, study finds. "Portfolios in large and medium-sized groups in developed markets, excluding the US, record best results."

[COMMENTARY] Actually, the US portfolios did well too. Just not as well as those in Europe, most particularly. Incidentally, it's interesting to see how the EU and US governments seem to be diverging on encouraging ESG in funds' management.

The US Department of Labor recently issued a sort of warning about pension funds using ESG analysis, while the EU is going full steam encouraging ESG integration in funds' management! I think the US administration has too much of a rear view mirror when it comes to understanding the present and future economy.
Companies with strong ESG scores outperform, study finds, by Jennifer Thompson, August 12, 2018, FT, UK.

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Majority of impact investors satisfied with investment performance: survey. "The majority of impact investors said their investments have met their expectations for both impact (82 per cent) and financial (76 per cent) performance since inception, according to a report by the Global Impact Investment Network."

[COMMENTARY] It's great news that most impact investors are really happy with their investment results. Such data will inspire many more to invest similarly.
Majority of impact investors satisfied with investment performance: survey, August 10, 2018, Benefits Canada, Canada.

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ESG adoption gaining among U.S. asset owners – Callan survey. "More than 40% of U.S. asset owners have incorporated environmental, social and governance factors into their investment decisions, up from 37% in 2017 and 22% in 2013, said Callan's annual ESG survey report, released Wednesday."

[COMMENTARY] Of course, when a respondent says they've incorporated' ESG into their investment decisions, it's difficult to know if that's really the case.

For instance, for a fund manager evaluating governance decisions of a company's management, could suggest to them that they're already incorporating ESG into their investment decisions! However, the fact that this survey shows increasing acceptance of ESG on a yearly basis perhaps argues against this simplistic read of the survey results.
ESG adoption gaining among U.S. asset owners – Callan survey, by Meaghan Kilroy, August 8, 2018, Pensions & Investments, USA.

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Investors ask 500 companies to come clean on treatment of workers. "More than 100 institutional investors, which together manage $12trn in assets, have sent a survey to 500 companies demanding that they disclose detailed information on how they manage their global workforces."

[COMMENTARY] Finally, this issue is receiving the attention of some of the biggest investors on the planet. It'll be quite interesting to see who responds and what the data says.
Investors ask 500 companies to come clean on treatment of workers, by Katie Burton, August 7, 2018, Ethical Corporation, UK.

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Poll shows low adoption of smart beta ESG funds. "Research among 85 clients of Aberdeen Standard Investments and Sustainalytics found that only 24% of the sample group were actively using a dedicated smart beta ESG strategy in their portfolio at present."

[COMMENTARY] At 24%, I don't think the adoption rate is too bad at all. As Doug Morrow at Sustainalytics says, these are relatively early days yet.
Poll shows low adoption of smart beta ESG funds, by Joe McGrath, August 1, 2018, Expert Investor, UK.
 

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Disclaimer: This website does not make investment recommendations. Nothing in this site should be interpreted as a recommendation or solicitation to buy/sell any securities or investments. Investing for the Soul is a source of general information and resources for ethical investing and socially responsible investing (SRI). Investors should consider their actions thoroughly and consult their financial advisers and other professionals, prior to taking any investment action. This website does not necessarily agree with the opinions expressed in articles on its pages or offered on the web pages to which it might be linked. Such opinions are the responsibility of the writers themselves. Furthermore, this site 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 on this, or other sites, to which it is 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.

 

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