Earth Day is on Friday, April 22. Celebrate Mother Earth by taking the day to get outside, enjoy nature, and consider your role in your community.
We all want to make small changes to make the world a better place, and some of these changes can take place through your investment portfolio! This article discusses Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) investing, how to get started, and the difference it can make for both your investments and the environment.
Discover ESG Investing
ESG investing is a strategy that allows investors to build a more ethical portfolio. ESG investments are very strict in what they include, and the criteria determining this classification are directly tied to a company’s structure and performance rather than personal values.
Here are some factors that are considered by each category:
- Carbon emissions
- Air and water pollution
- Water usage
- Fossil fuel/green energy usage
- Employee diversity
- Customer satisfaction
- Employee protection
- Sexual harassment and protected class policies
- Fair labor practices
- Human rights
- Board member diversity
- Executive salaries
- Conflicts of interest
- Shareholder rights
Investments can have an ESG score that determines how well they adhere to the given guidelines and consider the above factors.
The Rise of ESG Investing
Not only can ESG investing be better for the environment and social justice, but it can also be great for investors. According to Forbes, ESG funds outperformed non-ESG funds based on annualized returns over the last 3-, 5-, and 10-year periods.1 ESG funds also outperformed non-ESG funds and the stock market in risk-adjusted returns.
It is no surprise that ESG funds have become more popular for investors of all backgrounds. According to Fast Company, investors poured about $120 billion into sustainable investments in 2021, more than double the $51 billion in ESG investments in 2020. About one-third of all assets contain sustainable investments.2
Plus, the diverse availability of different ESG investment funds may fit more directly with your values, such as investing in a company that is championing green energy initiatives or is working to become carbon neutral or even carbon negative.
How to Get Started with ESG Investing
If you’ve decided that ESG investing is aligned with your personal goals and values, it’s easy to get started.
The first method is to examine your portfolio and include ESG companies. You can find ESG investments that align with your financial goals, risk tolerance, and personal values by either doing research on your own or you can work with a financial advisor or financial planner who has experience with ESG investing. Look for a financial planner who believes in being a good global citizen throughout their business practices and through the investment options, they offer their clients. ESG investments can include both individual stocks as well as mutual funds.
From recycling and cutting out single-use plastic to cleaning up the streets, parks, and beaches by your house, there are many ways to get outside and celebrate Earth Day. ESG investing can be a lasting strategy to help you create a portfolio that reflects your values. As we grow as a global community and educate each other on ways to protect our planet, we will likely see an even more dramatic increase in ESG investing.
Socially Responsible Investing (SRI)/ Environmental Social Governance (ESG) investing has certain risks based on the fact that the criteria exclude the securities of certain issuers for non-financial reasons, therefore investors may forgo some market opportunities and the universe of investments available may be smaller. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results. All investing involves the risk of possible loss of principal No strategy assures success or protects against loss.
This content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information, and provided by Twenty Over Ten. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security.