The ESG and SRI Channel

Advisors and Clients Walking past Each Other on Sustainable Investment

Did you know that more than $12 trillion in assets under management are engaged in one or more strategies of sustainable investment in the United States? This comprises more than 25 percent of the professional managed assets across the country and is a 38 percent growth from 2016 figures.

The Fund That Isn’t Following the ESG/SRI Herd

In the U.S., between one quarter and one third of all assets managed are done so with an ESG or SRI mandate. Outside the U.S., that percentage is even higher. The Vitium Global Fund, formerly the Vice Fund, buys what most ESG/SRI investors scorn, stocks in the tobacco, alcoholic beverage, gaming and aerospace/defense industries.

Beyond Green Bonds: Innovations in Sustainable Investing

Environmentally minded investors, take note: a controversial new bond format that links a company’s sustainability goals to its bottom line could be a game changer in building a more sustainable future.

Emerging Markets Record Diverse Performances in November

It was a mixed month for emerging markets in November, as shifting expectations about a trade deal between China and the United States continued to drive market sentiment. Our emerging markets equity team explains why US-China trade issues may not be that big of a concern for some emerging markets, and provides an overview of the news and events shaping markets during the month.

The Fund That Isn’t Following the ESG/SRI Herd

In the U.S., between one quarter and one third of all assets are managed with an ESG/SRI mandate. Outside the U.S., that percentage is even higher. So I am going to explore what must be an unpopular topic – investing in so-called “sin” stocks. I am talking with the co-managers of the Vitium Global Fund – formerly the Vice Fund. That fund buys what most ESG/SRI investors scorn: stocks in the tobacco, alcoholic beverage, gaming and aerospace/defense industries.

Quick Takes

From freight volume to flight delays and real estate to recession risk, we share quick thoughts on a variety of economic subjects.

The Next Generation of ESG/SRI Investing

Our topic today is ESG/SRI investing – one of the most important themes in the asset management industry over the last several years. One of the questions I will explore is whether the importance, history and culture of ESG at the asset manager firm level is more important than individual strategies. Indeed, greenwashing has become a serious issue, as advisors and asset managers need to understand which companies are making a genuine effort to implement meaningful ESG/SRI policies, and which ones have succeeded in putting a positive PR spin on their efforts.

Big Tech Faces Big Test on ESG Issues

As big tech and media companies face growing concern about the power of their businesses, more questions about environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues are likely to be raised. Social and governance issues deserve greater attention amid increasing regulatory scrutiny of industry giants.

Are Electric Cars Good for the Environment?

My wife loves driving the Tesla Model 3, not for all the selfish reasons I like to drive it (it is fast and quite the iPad on wheels) but because she feels she helps the environment. Is she right?

Optimized Index Funds: Seeking Impact and Returns

For SRI optimized index funds, stable ownership of a range of companies and industries provides a platform for helping investors integrate their values into their investment decisions.

The case for active management in gold and precious metals mining equities

A wave of volatility may knock back a passive fund, but active managers can nimbly assess the situation.

Sustainable investing gains traction in fixed income

The stock market has been an early player in sustainable investing – while the fixed income market has lagged in data, tools and insights. But that’s changing fast, as we detail in a new publication: Sustainability: the bond that endures. New ESG indexes have created building blocks that can be used to bring sustainability into portfolios, even in asset classes such as emerging market (EM) debt that until recently lacked sustainable solutions.

Is It Time to Worry about Debt?

The economic calendar is normal with a focus on housing. Some will be parsing the Fed minutes while others watch the impeachment hearings. This week’s topic may not be a media focus for the week ahead, but it gets constant attention. With a government shutdown and the debt ceiling on the agenda, let’s seize the moment and ask: Is it time to worry about debt? I suspect that many readers believe it is way past time!

What's With All the Mass Protests? (Hint: It's Not About Income Inequality)

The media’s inequality narrative completely ignores the fact that the global demonstrations are, at the end of the day, in response to government incompetence and failed socialist policies.

Climbing the ESG Learning Curve in Emerging Markets

ESG integration is best used as a tool to improve portfolio returns and/or reduce risk. While usually thought of as a company-level concern, material ESG data can be very useful at the country level as well, especially in emerging markets. ESG signals are only as good as the quality of their inputs.