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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
    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
    Association (RIA)
    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
(UK) June 2015


Ethical Investing News/Commentaries
September 2017


Commentaries by Ron Robins

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Candriam: ESG analysis deems 49 countries ’non-investable.’ "China, Russia and Turkey are among 49 countries that are ’non-investable’, according to an analysis of their potential for long-term sustainable development by Candriam. Of the 35 advanced economies analysed – based on the definition used by the International Monetary Fund – only Greece came out as non-investable. Out of the 88 emerging economies, 48 were classified as non-investable."

[COMMENTARY] Candriam have completed a fascinating analysis of investible countries based on ESG criteria. What is especially interesting is that this analysis applies to both equity and bond investing.
Candriam: ESG analysis deems 49 countries ’non-investable, by Susanna Rust, September 29, 2017, IPE, UK.

The global rise of sustainable investing -- Schroders. "To accurately gauge the latest attitudes, we surveyed more than 22,000 people from 30 countries who invest. We asked them about their knowledge, views and actions when it comes to sustainable investing."

[COMMENTARY] Schroders survey of global sustainable investing provides some useful insights for all investors, particularly supportive for ethical investors. However, the self-reporting of those surveyed saying that most of them are already investing in sustainable ways is questionable. As we know, what people say and actually do aren’t always the same! Nonetheless, it does show that sustainable investing is increasingly important to investors.
The global rise of sustainable investing -- Schroders, September 27, 2017, Schroders, UK.

China′s sustainable firms are starting to outperform. "Chinese companies that disclose their environmental, social and governance measures are outperforming on the stock market, data show."

[COMMENTARY] There’s been little evidence to date of Chinese corporate ESG stock performance. This new data is probably the first to indicate that possibility. Companies ESG outperformance and correlated stock outperformance appear to be a worldwide phenomenon. Most ethical investors have probably avoided China so far, but data like this could change that.
China′s sustainable firms are starting to outperform, by Karen Yeung, September 27, 2017, South China Morning Post, China.

[UK] Consultants pressure pension funds over ethical investment. "Twelve large investment consultants have joined forces to increase pressure on pension funds that are not taking environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors into account when making investment decisions.

The group of consultants, which includes the big three of Willis Towers Watson, Mercer and Aon Hewitt, advise on close to £1.6tn of pension and insurance assets in the UK alone and have huge influence over the investment decisions of asset owners."

[COMMENTARY] This is great news. However, they’re taking this action because the UK government’s pension regulator says, according to the FT, that, "savers face long-term financial risks because trustees are failing to take climate change, responsible business practices and corporate governance into account when making investments."
[UK] Consultants pressure pension funds over ethical investment. by Aliya Ram, September 23, 2017, Financial Times, UK.

Canadian Money Saver publishes an article, "Do-It-Yourself Ethical Investing Pays," by Ron Robins. "Though DIY sustainable-ethical investing requires some work it can pay handsomely. The process is engaging and fun too. But the skills to do it effectively can be more quickly acquired with coaching from those experienced in this work."

[COMMENTARY] I wrote this article -- and offer webinars and tutorials on this subject too -- for individual investors who want to have ownership and save on fees in creating and managing a stock portfolio that reflects their personal values.
Canadian Money Saver publishes an article, "Do-It-Yourself Ethical Investing Pays," by Ron Robins, September 2017, Canada.

Catching The Wave: The Spread of ESG in Institutional Investment Portfolios. "More than a quarter of North American institutions use environmental, social and governance (ESG) standards in their investment portfolios, and approximately 60% of institutions that have not yet incorporated ESG into their portfolios say they are open to doing so in the future."

[COMMENTARY] Their study provides some further insights into the spread and utilization of ESG among institutional money managers.
Catching The Wave: The Spread of ESG in Institutional Investment Portfolios, press release, September 19, 2017, Greenwich Associates, USA.

LEGO Group Leads Global Ranking of Best CSR Reputation. "Reputation Institute has released the main findings of its 201 7 Global CSR RepTrak® 100 report, including the list of the companies considered as the most responsible worldwide. The report is based on over 170,000 ratings from interviews with the public in the 15 largest economies (United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, Germany, France, Russia, Brazil, Mexico, USA, Canada, Japan, China, India, Australia and South Korea)."

[COMMENTARY] Their top five are LEGO, Microsoft, Google, Walt Disney, and BMW. Full results here.
Reputation Institute, September 12, 2017, USA.

Ceres launches water use scorecards on affected companies. "For food companies, water management is a business imperative like never before. And as risks of water scarcity and pollution steadily increase, corporate leaders must evaluate the most effective ways to water-proof their business."

[COMMENTARY] Ceres has created an impressive scorecard on how food companies, in particular, use and manage their water resources.
Feeding ourselves thirsty, September 2017, Ceres, USA.

Big investors take aim at banks over climate change risk. "A coalition of institutional investors managing more than $1tn in assets is demanding that 60 of the world′s largest banks take action to protect the world from the threat of catastrophic damage due to climate change."

[COMMENTARY] This was bound to happen -- and good that it has. Financial institutions and companies not reporting or allowing for climate change effects on their businesses will likely see reduced investor interest and possibly lower relative stock prices over time.
Big investors take aim at banks over climate change risk, by Chris Flood, September 14, 2017, Financial Times, UK.

Responsible Investment Week Canada, "make money responsibly." October 23-27, 2017. "Responsible Investment Week is dedicated to education and awareness about responsible investment (RI). The Responsible Investment Association (RIA) is coordinating a week of events across Canada to promote learning about environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) issues that affect investments."

[COMMENTARY] All Canadian investors are encouraged to attend and participate in RIA’s Responsible Investment Week! The event gets larger every year and the more people that attend the greater the media coverage.
Responsible Investment Week Canada, "make money responsibly." October 23-27, 2017, September 14, 2017, Responsible Investment Association, Canada.

US SIF Foundation Releases Resource Guide For Retail Investors: "Getting Started in Sustainable and Impact Investing." "This resource is a concise guide for retail, non-accredited investors exploring investment options such as mutual funds, ETFs, and direct ownership of stocks, as well as information on seeking professional investment help."

[COMMENTARY] A basic guide for novice sustainability focused investors. It’s a useful adjunct to my Tutorial: Creating A Profitable Personal Values-Based Portfolio.
US SIF Foundation Releases Resource Guide For Retail Investors: "Getting Started in Sustainable and Impact Investing," press release, September 14, 2017, US SIF, USA.

Big investors to put more money into tackling climate change. "More than two-thirds of institutional investors are planning to increase investments related to tackling climate change, according to a new survey that suggests ’green finance’ is moving from the margins to the mainstream of global markets.... in a study commissioned by HSBC, will add weight to calls from Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England, and others for greater disclosure of ’climate risks’ in the corporate and financial sectors."

[COMMENTARY] How many companies in the insurance, utilities and other hurricane affected industries in Texas and Florida have put as potential liabilities on their balance sheets potential hurricane damages? Though such costs are difficult to assess, but, with climate warming/change becoming increasingly costly for businesses, perhaps investors need to ask such questions more vigorously. Companies refusing to acknowledge such costs might be shunned by investors in years to come!
Big investors to put more money into tackling climate change, by Andrew Ward, September 11, 2017, Financial Times, UK.

Investors Can Be Ethical and Still Beat the Market, Study Says. "Ethical fund managers don′t have to be envious of the market-beating returns of so-called sin stocks. They should be able to match them without dabbling in vice, according to a study in the Fall edition of the Journal of Portfolio Management. The study debunks the popular theory that shares in the alcohol, tobacco, gaming, and weapons industries outperform because investors shun them, enabling those with fewer moral scruples to earn a ’reputation risk premium.’”

[COMMENTARY] So ’sin’ stocks only outperform if their profits and investment also outperform. This is an important message, but one I feel will take time to be accepted. Nonetheless, for ethical investors, it’s heartwarming to see the results of this study.

Also, as government health care costs continue to explode, many sin sectors such as tobacco and alcohol will continue to be taxed higher and higher, thereby continually eroding the profitability of companies in these sectors. Thus, their future outperformance becomes questionable. See actual study here.
Investors Can Be Ethical and Still Beat the Market, Study Says, by Cormac Mullin, September 11, 2017, Bloomberg, USA.

Rising carbon prices could slash company profits. "The impact of climate change could hit global profits just as hard as the financial crisis and Schroders have launched a new tool to help investors work out which companies will suffer most."

[COMMENTARY] This is an important article to read for all ethical investors. Such research will likely become ever more important to investors as the world grows increasingly concerned about climate change.
Rising carbon prices could slash company profit, by Michelle McGagh, September 6, 2017, Citywire Money, UK.

Sustainable Signals: New Data from the Individual Investor--Morgan Stanley. "80% [of investors] are interested in sustainable investments that can be customized to meet their interests and goals."

[COMMENTARY] Morgan Stanley’s Institute for Sustainable Investing has published the results of its second investors’ survey. Unsurprisingly, the results show a growing interest in sustainable investing-- especially by millennials.

(Again, for individual investors interested in a do-it-yourself approach, you’ll find participating in my free DIY Ethical-Sustainable Investing Webinars very helpful.)
Sustainable Signals: New Data from the Individual Investor, Morgan Stanley Institute for Sustainable Investing, September 2017.

Opinion: The pros and cons of ethical debt instruments. "Innovative debt instruments help to harness the powerful role of capital markets and can connect more savings with international development priorities such as the SDGs. As investor interest continues to soar, they could help move the world from billions to trillions of dollars in financing for the SDGs [Sustainable Development Goals]."

[COMMENTARY] A fine article about ethical-sustainable debt by an advisor to the UNDP.
Opinion: The pros and cons of ethical debt instruments, by Gail Hurley, September 4, 2017, Devex, 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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