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"Almost three-quarters of investors (74 percent) would be more likely to work with an advisor who could give them competitive investment returns from investments that also made a positive impact on society and 65 percent of investors would be more likely to stay with an advisor who could discuss responsible investing with them."
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TIAA Global Asset
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"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."
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  (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.
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Ethical Investing News/Commentaries
May 2018

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Commentaries by Ron Robins

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Responsible Investment Association Australasia (RIAA) reports big gains in funds interested in ESG. "81% of Australia’s largest super funds are committed to responsible investment (up from 70% in 2016), and 62% report annually on activity, highlighting how deeply responsible investing has become part of Australian investment markets."

[COMMENTARY] The media release linked to below demonstrates that responsible investing is growing fast in Australasia.
Aussie super funds take up the gauntlet to improve company behaviour, media release, May 30, 2018, Responsible Investment Association Australasia (RIAA), Australia.

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Millennials are leading an investment revolution — here's what makes their generation different. "Some 92% of millennials agreed with the statement 'I care more about having a positive impact on society than doing well financially' compared to 52% of nonmillennials."

[COMMENTARY] This survey by Nuveen illustrates the sharp differences between the way millennials and non-millennials think about their lives, work, consumption, and investing. Again, as in so many other surveys, it's noteworthy how millennials are so much more likely to be ESG-based investors.
Millennials are leading an investment revolution — here's what makes their generation different, by Kara Chin, Jacqui Frank and Sara Silverstein, May 29, 2018, Business Insider, USA.

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Ethical funds reach record high in the UK. "Investors bought £138m in ethical funds in March 2018 compared to just £32m at the same point last year, according to the most recent data from the Investment Association. Ethical funds still make up a small proportion of the total at 1.3 per cent. But the number is growing, from 1 per cent in 2015."

[COMMENTARY] In most developed economies, ESG-ethical funds are gaining ground. And we can rejoice in that. However, everywhere, they still represent a tiny fraction of the retail fund space. Only when advisors really apply their 'know thy client' rule to also consider the personal investing values of their clients will things change rapidly.
Ethical funds reach record high in the UK, by Kate Beioley, May 23, 2018, FT, UK.

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[US government's] GAO Urges Removal Of Roadblocks To ESG Investing In Retirement Plans. "ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) investing roadblocks in retirement plans should be removed, the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the investigative arm of Congress, urged in a report today. 'Asset managers and state and municipal plans using ESG strategies report enhanced risk management and other benefits,' the report said."

[COMMENTARY] Good to see other arms of the US government are proposing that the recent US Department of Labor's guidance on ESG use in pension funds is not only potentially harmful but even likely injurious to long-term fund returns.
[US government's] GAO Urges Removal Of Roadblocks To ESG Investing In Retirement Plans, by Ted Knutson, May 22, 2018, Forbes, USA.

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A New Measure Captures a Company’s “Total Social Investment.” "In its report 'What Counts: The ‘S’ in ESG, New Conclusions,' CECP, with support from Cisco, introduces an aggregated calculation called 'Total Social Investment (TSI).' The calculation is a forward-looking reflection of the innovative ways companies invest in society. TSI offers a high-level and comparable snapshot for use by investors and other stakeholders to determine the value created by the 'S' efforts in Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) measures."

[COMMENTARY] An insightful, new perspective on evaluating the 'S' in ESG. Hopefully, many companies and investors will adopt this measure.
A New Measure Captures a Company’s “Total Social Investment," by CECP, May 16, 2018, USA.

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In Sight of the Clean Trillion. "The Ceres Clean Trillion highlights the need for an additional $1 trillion per year in clean energy investment to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. Now that clean energy has gone mainstream, this 'Clean Trillion' goal is eminently feasible. This report, In Sight of the Clean Trillion, points to significant opportunities for investors to scale up their clean energy investments while simultaneously meeting their risk-return requirements."

[COMMENTARY] Investors should download the full report to get expert guidance on clean energy investment opportunities. Ceres is doing a terrific job!
In Sight of the Clean Trillion, press release, May 10, 2018, Ceres, USA.

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Corporate Responsibility Magazine Announces 2018 100 Best Corporate Citizens. "'CR Magazine is proud to present the only ESG ranking list that doesn't rely on self-reporting,' said Dave Armon, publisher of CR Magazine. 'Each year, the 100 Best Corporate Citizens ranking measures the success of the Brands Taking Stands movement by celebrating the most successful, most transparent companies that report on their responsible practices. We congratulate those honored on this year's list for their commitment to corporate responsibility.'"

[COMMENTARY] The top five 2018 winners are Microsoft Corporation, Accenture plc, Owens Corning, Intel Corp., and Hasbro, Inc. See the full list at the link below.
Corporate Responsibility Magazine Announces 2018 100 Best Corporate Citizens, press release, May 7, 2018, USA.

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Mercer touts ESG integration, SDGs. "We have seen good progress with asset managers since we started assessing ESG integration at the strategy level. In 2010, less than 9 per cent of investment strategies with an ESG rating were ESG1 or ESG2. At the beginning of 2018, more than 15 per cent of active investment strategies achieved a high rating. This highlights that there is still much room for improvement across the market."

[COMMENTARY] A good overview of the state of ESG integration in financial analysis and the need for it, among asset managers.
Mercer touts ESG integration, SDGs, by Sarika Goel, May 7, 2018, Top 1000 Funds, Australia.

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Advisors Stand In Way Of ESG Investing. "When it comes to impact investing, advisors often say their clients do not ask for it. But many clients do not know enough to ask about the possibilities of ESG investing, according to Marlo Stil, managing partner and financial advisor at the Wealth Consulting Group in Nevada...

When clients learn they can invest in a way that promotes their personal goals, '78 percent want to know more,' Stil said during a discussion of environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing at the Invest In Women conference, which is being sponsored by Financial Advisor and Private Wealth magazines and held in Houston."

[COMMENTARY] Regular readers of this column know that I believe the biggest barrier at the retail level to ESG-ethical investing are advisors. I was happy to see two different financial articles in advisor related publications on this subject today, and I thought to post this one. I'm delighted that this discussion is now occurring among advisors.

I could never understand that since the 'know thy client rule' was central to advisors conduct with their clients, that it was rarely, truly, applied. It's as if the client's personal values really didn't matter.
Advisors Stand In Way Of ESG Investing, by Karen Demasters, May 2, 2018, Financial Advisor, USA.

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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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