ESG – Environmental and Social Governance Investments

Eighty percent of investors want their investments to deliver competitive returns while promoting positive social and environmental outcomes. For younger investors, that percentage rises. Ninety two percent of millennial investors want their money working for causes they believe in. Environmental and Social Governance (ESG) investing isn’t a fad, the market has been moving towards socially responsible investments (SRI) for year. 

ESG investing is becoming ever more popular for many reasons. One of the biggest reasons, I believe, is that corporate executives care more about their shareholders opinions than those from politicians. In an increasingly politicized and polarized world, ESG investing has a larger impact than writing to your Congressperson. The social benefit ESG offers is why I decided long ago to focus on helping others invest this way

I became interested in socially responsible investing about a decade ago. A client of mine was an organic farmer out in California. He taught me how he built a successful business while following a cause he believed. Unfortunately, SRI wasn’t a big money maker for Wall Street at the time.

At the time, companies that focused on environmental and social governance had returns the lagged behind other investment options. The big banks basically ignored them because of that. I’ve worked with hundreds of guys in the past that were clueless that these investments even existed

Luckily, that’s changed quite a bit. SRI funds perform as good, if not better, than other investments available. Over the last decade, more people like you have been investing in ESG. This fact has pushed more companies towards adopting socially responsibly business practices. Basically, investors used their money to vote for causes they believed in. I can help you do the same.

Can you tell the difference? Index A is socially responsible, while Index B is a traditional portfolio.

I’ve set up my practice up in a way that allows me to focus on doing so. I am completely independent of any investment firm or big bank. I’ve also chosen to work with others who share my outlook. The majority are folks that are politically and socially active. Some are just starting out, while some are established multimillionaires that are trying to give back to the world. Other clients include local small businesses, non-profits and political campaigns.

There is no one size fits all approach to setting up an investment portfolio for my clients. First and foremost, every investment strategy begins with a goal in mind. SRI needs to incorporate your risk tolerance, need for liquidity, time horizon and other factors. From there, each investor needs to define how narrow or broad their ESG criteria is. Investment options can range from individual stocks and bonds, to actively managed mutual funds or exchange traded index funds that follow a variety of ESG strategies.

ESG Methodology
Four components of ESG Methodology

There are a lot of resources available online to help you get started with socially responsible investing. If you’d like to learn more, I’m always available to help likeminded folks out. If you’d like me to help build a strategy that incorporates your values into your investment strategy, we can discuss the many options available to you. Always feel free to give me a call or send an email with questions.