E-newsletter of Investing for the Soul January 30, 2010
Top ethical investing news for January 2010
Links may only be valid a limited time Commentaries by Ron Robins
65% Of US SRI Funds Outperformed Market
Benchmarks In 2009. -
"A review of 160 socially responsible mutual funds from 22 members of
the Social Investment Forum (SIF) finds that the vast majority of the
funds -- 65 percent -- outperformed their benchmarks in calendar year
2009, most by significant margins. These SRI funds topped benchmarks
across nearly all asset classes, including balanced, large cap, small
cap and global funds, as well as bonds." The evidence speaks for
Corporate Knights Announces Its Global 100 List Of Most Sustainable Corporations. - [COMMENTARY] "The 2010 Global 100 tapped intelligence from the world's largest sustainability research alliance put together by Legg Mason's Global Currents Investment Management to isolate the top ten per cent of companies from a universe of 3000 global stocks, which were then transparently ranked based on 10 indicators, with data sourced from ASSET4, a Thomson Reuters business, and The BLOOMBERG PROFESSIONAL® service."
three companies are GE, PG & E, and TNT. I see Matthew Kiernan, formerly
head of the leading global ESG firm, Innovest Strategic Value Advisors,
had a hand in this. He has a new company called Inflection Point Capital
Management. This is a list to take seriously.
SEC Says Public Companies Should Warn
Investors Of Global Warming Risks To Their Businesses.
"The commission said that companies could be helped or hurt by
climate-related lawsuits, business opportunities or legislation and
should promptly disclose such potential impacts. Banks or insurance
companies that invest in coastal property that could be affected by
storms or rising seas, for example, should disclose such risks, the
agency said." Better late than never, as ethical investor groups
have been demanding such transparency in reporting for many years. Large
numbers of companies who could be severely impacted by climate change
have so far chosen to ignore the issue. This means that investors in
these companies are taking on significant financial risk which they
might not be aware of.
Boston College Center For Corporate
Citizenship Releases A 'How To' Guide To Understand Corporate Social
"This guide is intended to help those approaching CSR reporting for
the first time, as well as those looking to deepen their understanding
of what makes for a thorough CSR report. It will help readers, whatever
their interests or experience, to identify quickly and easily the most
valuable parts of these reports. Its focus is on CSR reporting as
practiced by North American companies, but it is applicable to CSR
reporting more generally as well." To obtain the guide you need to
register with the College. Registration is free.
Mercer Finds Discrepancy Between
Companies With CSR Policies And Incorporation Of A CSR Strategy In Their
Defined Contribution (DC) Plans. -
"... (71%) of those respondents that currently have a global CSR
strategy (whether they are aware
companies realize this discrepancy, ethical investing could receive a
further boost from DC plans.
RiskMetrics, Who Recently Purchased KLD
& Innovest, Up For Sale Says Wall Street Journal.
"A number of media companies and private-equity firms have
FairPensions Coordinating 140 Pension
Funds To Grill Royal Dutch Shell On Its Oil Sands Investments At Its AGM
May 18. -
resolution was filed on December 31, and the company has confirmed that
it will be on the AGM agenda. The resolution raises concerns over the
long-term success of the company arising from the risks associated with
oil sands. It points to expected carbon price rises, oil price
volatility, expected fluctuations in demand, regulation of greenhouse
gas emissions, and the legal and reputation risks arising from
environmental damage and impairment of traditional livelihoods. Thirty
percent of Shell’s total
reserves is estimated to be represented by oil sands developments."
Investors in energy companies with oil sands developments have to be
worried about future outcomes.
Investors With $13 Trillion In Assets
Call For Strong Government Climate Change Policies. -
"On the heels of international climate treaty talks in Copenhagen,
the world’s largest investors today released a statement calling on the
U.S. and other governments to move quickly to adopt strong national
climate policies that will spur low-carbon investments to reduce
emissions causing climate change. Private-sector investors will likely
be responsible for financing more than 85 percent of the global
transition to a
Clearly, global investors who take climate
change seriously feel adrift after Copenhagen. Without broad agreement
by leading governments on this issue, companies and investors are
somewhat adrift as to what steps they can take. Nonetheless, many
investors and companies will pioneer initiatives that ethical investors
will be keen to participate in.
Asset Managers Ignoring Climate Change Risk Analysis--Update. - [COMMENTARY] We now have access to the Ceres report: "Nearly half of the respondents - 44 percent - said they do not consider climate risks at all because they do not believe that climate change is financially 'material' to investment decision-making... half of the respondents - nearly 49 percent - said they did not analyze climate risks because their investor clients did not ask them to. Another shortcoming... incentive structures and benchmarks that asset owners use for evaluating asset managers are heavily weighted towards short-term performance focusing primarily on quarterly returns where climate risks are far less likely to show up."
Most of the
problems cited above--as well as mentioned here many times--are due to
the short-termism orientation of the investment industry itself! The
consciousness of the investment and financial industries must change.
However, I fear it will be another meltdown, perhaps of the 'bail-out'
bubble, before these industries do change.
Note: Articles are linked to the original source. Some sites may require registration, and may, or may not, archive stories. All links were active at the time of publication.
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 © 2010 Ron Robins. All rights reserved.