Displaying items by tag: esg

Tuesday, 21 February 2023 03:06

ESG Funds Cost Three Times More Than You Think

While many investors who care about the environment have piled money into funds that focus on ESG strategies, they probably don’t know how much they are paying. That is according to a new study, which found that “at the average ESG fund, the effective fees can be three times what’s reported.” The reason for this is that ESG funds are nowhere near as pure as they look to be. According to a new Harvard study, on average, ESG funds have 68% of their assets invested in “the exact same” holdings as non-ESG funds. So, for every dollar you invest in an ESG fund, a little less than a third goes into stocks you could have gotten in a fund that isn’t ESG. The average ESG U.S. stock ETF charges 0.17% in annual fees, according to Morningstar, 0.05 percentage points more than non-ESG funds. Finance professor Malcolm Baker of Harvard Business School, one of the study’s authors, said, “Although only about a third of your money in the average ESG fund is distinctly green, you incur the fees on the entire portfolio. Therefore, you’re really paying three times as much for the thing you care about, the differentiated piece of the portfolio.”

Finsum:A recent study found that on average, 68% of holdings in ESG funds are the exact same as holdings in non-ESG funds, which makes these funds three times more expensive than you think.

Published in Wealth Management

Putnam Investments recently announced the availability of Putnam Sustainable Retirement Funds, a target-date series for the retirement savings marketplace. The suite invests in actively managed ESG-focused ETFs managed by Putnam. The funds implement a similar retirement glidepath philosophy as the firm’s other target-date offering, Putnam Retirement Advantage. The series offers vintages for every five years from 2025 through 2065, along with a maturity fund. The Putnam Global Asset Allocation team, which also manages Putnam Retirement Advantage, is responsible for the glidepath and both the tactical and ETF allocations of the Putnam Sustainable Retirement target-date suite. The series was developed in part to respond to the growing interest in sustainable investing within the defined contribution retirement market according to Steven P. McKay, Putnam’s Head of Global Defined Contribution Investment Only. Robert L. Reynolds, President, and Chief Executive Officer, of Putnam Investments, said the following as part of the announcement, “As the retirement marketplace continues to evolve and grow, there is tremendous appetite for meaningful product innovation that creates greater choice of offerings to help working Americans achieve their financial goals.” The funds will invest in ETFs across asset classes managed by the firm, including:


  • Putnam Sustainable Future ETF (NYSE Arca: PFUT)
  • Putnam Sustainable Leaders ETF (NYSE Arca: PLDR)
  • Putnam ESG Core Bond ETF (NYSE Arca: PCRB)
  • Putnam ESG High Yield ETF (NYSE Arca: PHYD)
  • Putnam ESG Ultra Short ETF (NYSE Arca: PULT)
  • Putnam PanAgora ESG Emerging Markets Equity ETF (NYSE Arca: PPEM)
  • Putnam PanAgora ESG International Equity ETF (NYSE Arca: PPIE)

Finsum:Putnam recently announced the availability of Putnam Sustainable Retirement Funds, a target-date series that invests in actively managed ESG-focused ETFs managed by Putnam.

Published in Wealth Management
Friday, 10 February 2023 03:44

Investors Avoid ESG When Times Get Tough

Robin Döttling, an assistant professor of finance in the Rotterdam School of Management at Erasmus University in the Netherlands, and Sehoon Kim, an assistant professor at the University of Florida’s Warrington College of Business, authors of a recently published academic study, found that individual investor demand for socially responsible investing “is highly sensitive to income shocks” and economic stress. The professors went through mutual fund flow data and surveyed investors' views of and expectations for sustainable investing. The study focused on the periods immediately before and after the COVID pandemic went global in early 2020. The results show that when times get tough for individual investors, helping to save the planet takes a backseat to selling funds that they believe may lose more during a downturn. When an economic shock results in incomes shrinking, investors become more risk-averse. In the authors’ words, “We start to view the emotional or nonfinancial appeal of ESG investing as ‘costly’ and ‘unsustainable’ if it means forfeiting returns.” However, the study found that demand for ESG investments from institutions such as pension funds remained more robust. Their actions are typically constrained by investment mandates and are often slower to respond to market shocks. In addition, those investors don’t have to face the same kind of pressures that individual investors deal with during COVID lockdowns and job losses.

Finsum:A recently published academic study conducted before and after the COVID pandemic found that individual investors sell ESG investments during economic downturns, while the demand for ESG remains robust among institutional investors.

Category: Wealth Management

Keywords: investors, ESG, covid, mutual funds

Published in Wealth Management
Thursday, 02 February 2023 06:43

Older Generations Embracing Impact Investing

While the younger generations have been driving interest in ESG, it appears that the older generations are changing their stance on aligning their values with sustainable investments as they want to leave the world in a better place. This is according to a study by Campden Wealth for Global Impact Solutions Today (GIST) and Barclays Private Bank. They collected data from nearly 150 respondents, including the world’s wealthiest individuals, families, family offices, and their foundations. The respondents come from 35 countries and have an average of $730m in assets under management. The study found that 36% want to demonstrate their family wealth can be invested for positive outcomes, a 13% increase from the previous year’s findings. In addition, more than half said sustainable investing is bridging the gap between younger and older generations, and almost 70% reported sustainable investing is being embraced by the generation in charge of the family’s wealth. More than three-quarters (77%) said they want to leave the world a better place, while 84% said their private capital will be essential in addressing climate change. Damian Payiatakis, head of sustainable and impact investing at Barclays Private Bank stated, “These global wealth holders have realized their capital makes an impact on the world. Accordingly, they want their portfolio to be lucrative and to be personally meaningful. The mindset shifts I’m seeing is to invest not only for tomorrow but to influence it.”

Finsum:Based on the results of a new study, impact investing is bridging the gap between younger and older generations, with almost 70% reporting that sustainable investing is being embraced by the generation in charge of the family’s wealth.

Published in Wealth Management
Friday, 27 January 2023 14:00

Advisors Prepare for ESG Backlash

According to analysts, advisors are preparing for investor backlash regarding ESG investing amid divestments from red states. Several states such as Kentucky, Florida, Missouri, and Texas have threatened to pull pension funds from companies that boycott energy companies. In addition, anti-ESG firm Strive Asset Management recently launched a “financial educational campaign” aimed at encouraging investors to press advisors on ESG issues. Michele Giuditta, director of Cerulli Associates noted that during a 2022 poll, 46% of financial advisors cited the perception that ESG investing is politically motivated as a “significant deterrent to ESG adoption,” compared to just 16% in 2021. However, two-thirds of advisors say they consider ESG factors for at least a portion of their client accounts. Giuditta added, “Advisors will need to discuss the merits of ESG and sustainable investing with their clients and reinforce how and why asset managers are using relevant ESG data to drive long-term economic value.” Craig Kilgallen, relationship manager at Fuse Research, told Ignites that while state bans can discourage institutions from investing with an asset manager, the same may not be true for retail investors. He added, “As it relates to the intermediary world, I’ve anecdotally heard that firms are not changing the way ESG is discussed.”

Finsum:While state bans on ESG-focused managers may discourage institutions from investing with an asset manager,it won’t stop advisors from considering ESG for their clients.

Published in Eq: Total Market
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