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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
July 2018


Commentaries by Ron Robins

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Lack of market ‘plumbing′ holds back sustainable investing. "We need standards, benchmarks and derivatives to make this sector take off."

[COMMENTARY] A thoughtful article by the chairman of UBS on how sustainable investing can become fully mainstream. Also, it’s terrific to see a leader such as Mr. Weber participating in the process of advancing sustainable investing.
Lack of market ‘plumbing′ holds back sustainable investing, by Axel Weber (chairman of UBS), July 29, 2018, FT, UK.


Market Momentum: Impact Investing & High Net Worth Canadians. "There is a high potential market for impact investing amongst high net worth individuals in Canada. One in three HNWIs responded as a current impact investor, with almost 90% expressing interest of investors surveyed, over 52% are investing or intending to invest for impact over the course of the upcoming year. There are some key characteristics of current and prospective impact investors."

[COMMENTARY] BMO, Scotiabank, and Tides Canada are among the major backers of this study. The study is of particular interest to Canadian advisors with HNWI clients. In general, it shows considerable and growing interest among Canadian HNWIs in impact investing.
Market Momentum: Impact Investing & High Net Worth Canadians, July 2018, MaRS and SVX, Canada.


Using ESG Ratings to Build a Sustainability Investing Strategy. "Sustainability investing continues to grow in popularity, but the lack of standardization in sustainability reporting poses a challenge for investors wishing to maximize the social responsibility, and minimize the social damage, of their investments. The authors, who previously studied sustainability ratings issued by the mass media, now turn their attention on rankings used by the investing community itself.

The findings indicate that they may be a more reliable barometer of a company′s commitment to environmental, social, and governance impact; nevertheless, further research into the long-term link between sustainable practices and value creation is needed."

[COMMENTARY] To some extent, this research counters the impression offered by the ACCF (see below, "Think tank takes ESG rating agencies to task") that since ESG ratings’ methodologies are different among the ratings’ agencies that they’ll offer widely disparate outcomes. This CPA journal article throws more light on that and comes to some interesting, important, conclusions for ESG oriented investors.
Using ESG Ratings to Build a Sustainability Investing Strategy, by Silvia Romero, Agatha E. Jeffers, Beixin (Betsy) Lin, Frank Aquilino,  and Laurence DeGaetano, July 2018, The CPA Journal, USA.


For all the Hype, Almost No U.S. Plans Factor in ESG. "Just 12 percent of U.S. corporate and health care retirement plan representatives said they had incorporated ESG criteria into their manager selection processes. When defined contribution plans were excluded, only 6 percent considered ESG. The survey included 69 plan sponsors overseeing 119 defined benefit and defined contribution plans."

[COMMENTARY] Is it laziness, being uninformed, disinterest or what, that is preventing US corporate health and retirement plans from including ESG criteria? It seems to me a similar situation as with numerous advisors who don’t understand -- or even -- want to understand, ESG options. Habits and remuneration arrangements are often hard to change.
For all the Hype, Almost No U.S. Plans Factor in ESG, by Amy Whyte, July 23, 2018, Institutional Investor, USA.


Think tank takes ESG rating agencies to task. "In a report released Thursday, the Washington-based, business-backed think tank argued individual companies ’can carry vastly divergent (ESG) ratings from different (ESG rating) agencies simultaneously, due to differences in methodology, subjective interpretation or an individual agency’s agenda.’

...The major ESG ratings agencies analyzed in the report are MSCI, Sustainalytics, RepRisk and ISS...

Concerns raised by the ACCF over the agencies’ ESG rating methodologies included variances in scoring systems among the agencies and the agencies’ not fully disclosing the indicators they evaluate or the material impact of the indicators."

[COMMENTARY] Just like there’s often wide variability in analyst opinions in the interpretation of financial statements, so there should also be variability in ESG opinions. However, setting competitive issues aside, I do agree the rating agencies could be more forthcoming in "disclosing the indicators they evaluate or the material impact of the indicators."
Think tank takes ESG rating agencies to task, by Meaghan Kilroy, July 19, 2018, Pensions & Investments, USA.


3 takeaways on trends in advisor investing. "Advisors this year, for instance, were asked about their use or recommendation of environmental, social and governance funds. Replies indicate that 26 percent of respondent advisors currently use and/or recommend ESG funds, and 20 percent plan to increase their use/recommendation of them over the next 12 months."

[COMMENTARY] Finally, a significant number of US advisors are using and recommending ESG investments to their clients! (Research cited: 2018 Trends in Investing Survey, Journal of Financial Planning and the FPA Research and Practice Institute.)
3 takeaways on trends in advisor investing, by Marlene Satter, July 16, 2018, Benefits Pro, USA.


When will “socially responsible investing” become just “investing”? "It may be hard to imagine, thinking back to the freewheeling pre-crisis days, but one legacy of the crisis could be a permanent shift in the finance industry′s moral compass. Yes, really."

[COMMENTARY] Good perspective on how the investment industry has changed -- and adopted socially responsible and ethical investing -- since the financial crises ten years ago.
When will “socially responsible investing” become just “investing”? By Eshe Nelson, July 9, 2018, Quartz, 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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