PODCAST: ESG Funds, Stocks, to Buy Now


ESG Funds, Stocks, to Buy Now. Reviewed include iShares Global Clean Energy ETF, Thornburg Better World International Fund, Natixis Sustainable Future 2030 Fund, iShares ESG MSCI EAFE ETF, Vanguard ESG U.S. Stock ETF, iShares MSCI USA ESG Select ETF,1919 Socially Responsive Balanced Fund, Vestas Wind Systems, Orsted, First Solar, Enphase Energy, SolarEdge Technologies and SunPower

PODCAST: ESG Funds, Stocks, to Buy Now

Transcript & Links, Episode 68, October 8, 2021

Hello, Ron Robins here. Welcome to podcast episode 68 published on October 8, titled “ESG Funds, Stocks, to Buy Now” — and presented by Investing for the Soul. investingforthesoul.com is your site for vital global ethical and sustainable investing news, commentary, information, and resources.

Remember that you can find a full transcript, links to content – including stock symbols, quotes, and bonus material – at this episode’s podcast page located at investingforthesoul.com/podcasts.

Now, just a reminder. I do not evaluate any of the stocks or funds mentioned in this podcast. Furthermore, if you’re concerned about the ESG and sustainability ratings of any stock or fund included in this podcast, check your broker’s online site for information.

If your broker doesn’t have this information, signup for free with Morningstar and you can gain access to company and fund ESG-sustainability ratings. Please note, I receive no compensation from Morningstar or anyone else covered in these podcasts.

Also, if any terms are unfamiliar to you, simply Google them.

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1. ESG Funds, Stocks, to Buy Now

I’m going to start with this article titled 7 ESG Funds to Buy Now. It’s by Paulina Likos and Jeff Reeves and reviewed by Susannah Snider. It’s found in the money section of the U.S. News & World Report site.

Here are some of their comments on each ETF recommendation. Quote.

“1) iShares Global Clean Energy ETF (ticker: ICLN)

The fund offers investors exposure to companies that produce energy from solar, wind and other renewable resources and global clean energy stocks. With more than $5.8 billion of net assets, this fund is a liquid and established way for investors to play top names in the space…

With just about 40% allocation to U.S. securities, (the fund) takes a global sector view with investments in Canada, China, Denmark, Italy, Spain and other countries. It carries an expense ratio of 0.42%. One-year return as of Sept. 30: 18%.

2) Thornburg Better World International Fund (TBWIX)

(This fund) seeks high-quality, fairly valued companies that could or already make a positive impact in the world… Some of Thornburg Better World International Fund’s top holdings include the largest online recruitment platform in China, Kanzhun Ltd. (BZ)… tech giant Tencent Holdings Ltd. (XFRA: NNND), (and) Tokyo-based Renesas Electronics Corp. (OTCM: RNECY), a Japanese semiconductor manufacturer, is another top allocation in the fund…

It holds net assets of more than $345 million (and) one-year return: 37.7%.

3) Natixis Sustainable Future 2030 Fund (NSFFX)

This sustainable target-date fund is part of a family of Natixis funds that rebalance over time to dial down risk as an investor nears retirement. The fund holds both active and passive investments. This single-fund solution invests across different asset classes for a diversified strategy that balances risk and reward. ESG considerations play an integral role in the selection process.

The fund is on the smaller end… with just over $11 million of total assets. Among the fund’s top holdings are the Mirova Global Green Bond Fund (MGGYX) for fixed income, iShares ESG Aware MSCI ETF (ESGD), and individual securities like Nvidia Corp. (NVDA) and Facebook Inc. (FB).

One-year return: 22.8%.

4) iShares ESG MSCI EAFE ETF (ESGD)

Another solid option for international investors looking for socially responsible ETFs is this iShares fund that’s focused on EAFE markets, or Europe, Australasia and the Far East… Investors in (this fund) get exposure to large- and midcap ESG companies in the target region…There’s a diverse lineup of companies across geographies and sectors, including Switzerland’s Nestle (NSRGY), French consumer giant LVMH (MC.PA) and Japanese automaker Toyota Motor Corp. (TM) at the top of the list.

With $6.7 billion in assets under management, more than 450 holdings and an affordable expense ratio of 0.2%, this global ESG fund is the go-to option for those looking for exposure outside the U.S.

One-year return: 26.2%.

5) Vanguard ESG U.S. Stock ETF (ESGV)

At more than $5 billion in total assets under management, this socially responsible ETF from Vanguard holds more than 1,500 stocks… Now, you may wonder how that many stocks — including some of the usual blue-chip brands like JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) and Unitedhealth Group Inc. (UNH) — can have such a positive impact on the world. The answer is that this is just an ‘exclusionary’ fund, meaning it cuts out the worst, based on rankings for ESG criteria, and presumes the rest are aboveboard.

One-year return: 30.9%.

6) iShares MSCI USA ESG Select ETF (SUSA)

With more than 190 holdings, investors are not getting a simplistic fund… you might be surprised to find some names such as… Home Depot Inc. (HD) and… American Express Co. (AXP) make an appearance in (its) portfolio…

One-year return: 32%.

7) 1919 Socially Responsive Balanced Fund (SSIAX)

(The fund) invests 70% of its assets in U.S. equities and 30% in investment-grade debt. Some of the fund’s top holdings include Microsoft Corp. (MSFT), Apple Inc. (AAPL), Alphabet Inc. (GOOGGOOGL), and Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN). The fund has captured growth opportunities as the U.S. economy continues to recover from the coronavirus pandemic…

One-year return: 18%.” End quotes.

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2. ESG Funds, Stocks, to Buy Now

Now to articles that pick the best investments in renewable energy. The first article is titled Best Wind Energy Stocks and ETFs to Buy. It’s by Matt Whittaker and appeared on wtopnews.com. Here are some quotes from the article. Quote.

On US Government Policies

‘The Biden administration has set a goal to have 30,000 megawatts of offshore energy installed by 2030. While there is debate within the industry about whether it will hit that goal, the attempt could prove lucrative for companies involved. Capital expenditures in the U.S. offshore wind supply chain alone could total $200 billion through 2035, according to a recent report from the research provider Lium.

Wind Turbine Makers

Of the 9 gigawatts – or 9,000 megawatts – of known turbine awards off the East Coast, 48% have gone to Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy SA (GCTAY), 35% to General Electric Co. (GE) and 17% to Vestas Wind Systems (VWDRY), Lium says…

They stand to ‘collect a large chunk’ of the $40 billion to $50 billion spent for offshore wind turbines through 2035, according to the report…

Of course, those sales wouldn’t happen without the companies developing the offshore wind farms in the first place.

The world’s largest offshore wind developer is Danish power company Orsted (DNNGY)…

Other key developers to watch are Avangrid Inc. (AGR), Eversource Energy (ES), Equinor ASA (EQNR), Dominion Energy Inc. (D), Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDS.A), and Aker Offshore Wind (AKOWF).

Keep in mind that some developers, such as Avangrid, as well as the turbine makers, also have exposure to the domestic onshore wind industry. Other stocks with U.S. onshore wind exposure include NextEra Energy Inc. (NEE) and Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK.ABRK.B)…

Oil & Gas Company Offshore Expertise To Be Tapped

Industry watchers expect offshore wind will use expertise from the offshore oil and gas industry.

Joseph Triepke, partner with Lium, points to firms including oil and gas equipment company Nov Inc. (NOV), offshore platform and marine vessel manufacturer Gulf Island Fabrication Inc. (GIFI) and offshore vessel companies Seacor Marine (SMHI) and Tidewater Inc. (TDW).

Wind ETFs

Investors who want more immediate diversification than building a portfolio from individual stocks can turn to exchange-traded funds including the First Trust Global Wind Energy ETF (FAN) and the Global X Wind Energy ETF (WNDY)…

… the winds of fortune could be at this industry’s back for some time.” End quotes.

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3. ESG Funds, Stocks, to Buy Now

Now here’s a new article with only solar power picks. It’s titled Renewable Energy Stocks: Is Now a Good Time to Buy? It’s by Travis Hoium and on fool.com.

Here are some quotes from him including his stock picks.

“Today, we’re entering a more mature phase for the industry in which companies are establishing technology advantages and scale that helps create a competitive moat. The result is steadily rising profitability, which you can see… from First Solar (NASDAQ: FSLR), Enphase Energy (NASDAQ: ENPH), SolarEdge Technologies (NASDAQ: SEDG), and SunPower (NASDAQ: SPWR)…

Financiers are the companies that build or buy renewable energy projects, usually with long-term contracts to sell electricity to a utility. They generate very stable cash flows and often come with a dividend. Brookfield Renewable Partners (NYSE: BEP) and NextEra Energy Partners (NYSE: NEP) are both leaders in this space and have exposure to wind and solar energy projects…

I focus on the solar industry in part because there are very few wind-focused companies publicly traded in the U.S. But in solar energy there are some leaders with clear differentiation, like First Solar in solar panel manufacturing, SunPower in deploying residential and commercial solar, and Enphase Energy in module-level power electronics…

On the speculative side, I see a huge opportunity in hydrogen. Bloom Energy (NYSE: BE) is an industry leader in solid-oxide fuel cells; it’s also built a nearly $1 billion business in backup power with new markets like electrolysis and marine power on the horizon…” End quotes.

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4. ESG Funds, Stocks, to Buy Now

Honorable Mentions (These are here because I didn’t have room in this podcast to extensively quote them)

1. Title Kiplinger ESG 20: Our Favorite Picks for ESG Investors, by Nellie S. Huang and Adam Shell. Quote “Doing good and making money are no contradiction with these 16 stocks and four funds that ride the trend of socially conscious investing.” End quote.

2. Title Three funds to help build back better, by Rory Palmer on UK’s What Investment site. Quote “As part of Good Money Week, Quilter Cheviot’s Melissa Scaramellini considers how investors can contribute to efforts to build back better .” End quote.

3. Title Don’t Overlook This Side of the Environmental Investing Equation by Tom Lydon on etftrends.com. Quote “The VanEck Vectors Environmental Services ETF (EVX) is an example of an exchange traded fund that’s in that boat.” End quote.

4. Title Why the Infrastructure Bill Has These 3 Stocks Soaring Today by Howard Smith on fool.com. Quote XL Fleet (XL) was up 10.9%. Hyliion (HYLN) was up 8.7%. Clean Energy Fuels (CLNE) was up 10.2%.” End quote.

5. Title Northern Trust launches two emerging market factor ESG ETFs by Theo Andrew on etfstream.com. Quote “The FlexShares Emerging Market High Dividend Climate ESG UCITS ETF (QDFE) and the FlexShares Emerging Market Low Volatility Climate ESG UCITS ETF (QVFE) have been listed on the Euronext and Deutsche Boerse with a total expense ratio of 0.35% and 0.31%, respectively.” End quote.

6. Title 4 Leading Renewable Energy Stocks to Buy in 2021 and Beyond. It’s by Matthew DiLallo and found on fool.com. Quote “These electric utilities are embracing change. They expect to invest billions on building new renewable energy generating capacity over the next few years. These investments should power steady earnings and dividend growth.” End quote.

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Ending Comment

Well, these are my top news stories with their stock and fund tips — for this podcast: “ESG Funds, Stocks, to Buy Now.“

To get all the links, stock symbols, or to read the transcript of this podcast — and more — go to investingforthesoul.com/podcasts and scroll down to this episode.

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Thank you for listening.

Talk to you next on October 22. Bye for now.

© 2021 Ron Robins, Investing for the Soul.

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