News & Commentaries by Ron Robins
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.
[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.
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.
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.
The New Grand Strategy: Restoring America′s Prosperity, Security and Sustainability in the 21st Century, by Mark Mykleby, Patrick Doherty and Joel Makower, St. Martin′s Press 2016
“The New Grand Strategy offers… a grand purpose of creating a sustainable future for Americans and the peoples of all nations. The goal may be grand, but the analysis is clear, simple, and accessible.”―Anne-Marie Slaughter, President and CEO of New America; former Dean of Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Author of Unfinished Business.