E-newsletter of Investing for the Soul November 29, 2009
Top ethical investing news for November 2009
Links may only be valid a limited time Commentaries by Ron Robins
Thomson Reuters Buys ASSET4, The Swiss
Based ESG Research Powerhouse. -
"The global credit crisis, climate change, new regulation and other
issues have highlighted the need for financial firms to assess the
environmental, social responsibility, governance and reputational risks
attached to the firms in which they
US Faith Based Investor Group Presses Companies On Health Care Reform. - [COMMENTARY] "As the health care reform debate in Congress shifts to the U.S. Senate, leading faith-based institutional investors are pressuring 36 major companies – including Merck, Wal-Mart, McDonald’s, AT&T, IBM and General Electric -- to state publicly if the U.S. Chamber speaks for them in its aggressive campaign to kill efforts to overhaul the U.S. health care system. Significantly, all of the companies had previously agreed at the urging of shareholders to embrace health care principles that are now inconsistent with the anti-reform stance of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on health care legislation."
The US Chamber of Commerce found itself at
odds with many of its members by opposing the new climate bill. Now a
similar story seems to be unfolding with regard to the Chamber's stand
in opposing health care reform. It seems to me that perhaps the Chamber
may need to split itself into two groups, since it obviously cannot find
a common stand among its members.
Barclay's Global Investors Developing
Genocide Free ETF. -
"Barclays Global Investors, a leader in the exchange-traded fund
industry, said investors' appetite for socially responsible investments
is growing and it plans to develop a genocide-free ETF." It was only
a question of time before some investment manager did this. Again this
is another boost for ethical stocks and bonds.
EIRIS Reviews Stock Exchanges' Role In
Adopting & Promoting Corporate ESG Disclosure.
"This briefing explores the evolving role of stock exchanges, giving
an insight into both their current and future role in responsible
investment. In addition, this briefing analyses the current positioning
of exchanges and the business drivers for promoting greater ESG
disclosure in the market." EIRIS is one of the foremost
organizations to conduct such a review. Worth reading for ethical
investors and anyone interested in ESG matters.
Investors Not Focusing On Incremental
Climate Costs. -
"Companies and their investors are missing the potential impact of
climate change on share prices by focusing on the risks of extreme
weather events rather than examining more relevant incremental costs and
opportunities, according to research by four of the UK’s largest
institutional investors." These reports are timely, especially in
the light of just released research indicating that global warming by
the end of this century could be
up by 6C --at the very high--end of the UN Intergovernmental Panel
on Climate Change's projections.
Guide To Canadian Mutual Fund Companies
Produced By The Social Investment Organization (SIO).
A very helpful new guide for Canadian ethical investors.
Mercer: Specific Environmental, Social,
& Governance (ESG) Factors Can Positively Impact Investment Performance.
"Academic research continues to support the hypothesis that specific
environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) factors can make a
positive contribution to investment performance. This report summarizes
and comments on sixteen academic studies—ten of which show a positive
relationship between ESG factors and financial performance." Mercer
has done great work here in compiling the data of sixteen new studies on
ESG measures and their relationship to investment performance. A
positive relationship was found in ten of the studies, two were found to
have a negative-neutral effect and four a neutral association.
EIRIS UK Survey Finds British Investors
Wanting To Invest Ethically. -
"The survey finds that three-quarters of those interested in finding
out more about the ethical credentials of a financial product or service
said they are likely to take this into consideration when next buying a
financial product or service... Only 15% of those surveyed agree that
ethical products and services 'are less likely to perform as well as
similar standard products'." Britain, in many ways, seems to be
leading the global thrust into ethical investing. This survey is a
pioneering work in understanding how British investors view green and
ethical products, services, and investments.
UK Climate Funds Outperforming Market:
Holden & Partners. -
"Holden & Partners, the ethical financial advisers, published data
this week showing that climate change funds have outperformed the MSCI
world index over two and three years, with some – such as Schroders
Global Climate Change and F&C Climate Opportunities – outperforming over
one year as well." One idea for finding environmental stocks that
are good to invest in is to review what the leading climate change funds
have in their portfolios. Then discuss your findings with your advisor.
Studies Aim To Guide & Promote
Responsible Investing Among Canada's Pension Funds, Foundations, &
Endowments. Important Reading For Those In Other Countries Too.
"Two seminal reports commissioned by the Social Investment
Organization (SIO) and funded by Environment Canada set the stage for
enhanced adoption of responsible investment practices in the Canadian
foundations and pensions sectors." Congratulations to the SIO on
sponsoring these strategic reports.
Canada's SHARE Publishes Its 3Q/09
Corporate Engagement Report. Governance Issues Top Its Agenda.
"This quarter, SHARE engaged with a total of 34 companies on ten ESG
issues: child labour, precarious employment, the Carbon Disclosure
Project, sustainability reporting, oil sands land reclamation, toxic
chemicals, riverine tailings disposal, sustainable forestry, oil tanker
traffic and the advisory vote on executive compensation (‘say on pay’)."
SHARE continues its great work in Canada.
RiskMetrics Formerly Announces KLD
"Traditionally a provider of risk management and corporate governance
services to the global financial community, RiskMetrics has, through its
purchase of KLD, gained access to one of the
Apparently, when RiskMetrics acquired
Innovest Strategic Value Advisors earlier this year, they decimated
Innovest's research staff. One wonders exactly what the game-plan of
RiskMetrics might be?
Breakthrough: SEC Will Allow Shareholder
Resolutions Looking At Companies Environmental And Social Risks!
"A major policy reversal by the
BMW & Toyota Create Most 'Sustainable
Value,' Says Study. -
"Toyota and BMW use their economic, environmental and social
resources more efficiently than other worldwide automakers, a new study
has found, while General Motors and Fiat significantly lagged behind
their industry peers. The study, from Belfast's Queen's
If you are
looking for automobile company stocks that are good to invest in, you
will want to read this study. It is likely one of the most authoritative
studies on automobile manufacturers' sustainability practices.
UN Backed Principles For Responsible
Investment Continues To Sign-Up New Members. New Member Bloomberg
Launches Dedicated ESG Coverage For Trading Screens.
"The $19 trillion United Nations-backed Principles for Responsible
Investment has signed up 55 new institutional members since the end of
that the financial world is continuing to see that ESG matters. And
Bloomberg's dedicated ESG coverage will bring greater interest to
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Disclaimer: Neither The Soul Investor nor Ron Robins make investment recommendations. Nothing in this newsletter should be interpreted as a recommendation or solicitation to buy/sell any securities or investments. The Soul Investor is a source of general information and resources for spiritual investing, ethical investing, and socially responsible investing (SRI). Investors should consider their actions thoroughly and consult their professional advisers prior to taking any investment action. The Soul Investor does not necessarily agree with the opinions expressed in articles in its newsletter or offered on the web pages to which it might be linked. Such opinions are the responsibility of the writers themselves. Furthermore, The Soul Investor does not offer or provide any warranties, representations, guarantees, implied or otherwise, as to the accuracy, legality, copyright compliance, timeliness or usefulness of the information, materials or services in this e-newsletter, or other sites, to which it might be linked. Also, Mr. Ron Robins is not an investment advisor, nor is he licensed with any professional investment related body, and thus is not able to, nor does he make, any investment recommendations.
The Soul Investor is a publication of Investing for the Soul, a registered business name in Ontario, Canada. Copyright © 2009 Ron Robins. All rights reserved.