Displaying items by tag: mutual funds
According to an analysis by ESG specialist Elisabeth Steyn, U.S. equity funds that are classified as ESG, have on average 29% of their holdings in tech stocks. Steyn told Alice Ross of Financial Times that the figure is well above the 23% average for general equity funds. Ross used the iShares ESG Aware MSCI USA ETF as an example. The fund’s top holdings include Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Tesla, and Alphabet. This may help explain why many ESG funds are seeing heavy losses this year. Ross attributed the reason to two factors. First, ESG funds are exclusionary. Once certain areas of the market are stripped out, tech is typically over -represented. The second reason is that ESG rating agencies can differ greatly on which companies are sustainable. That reason alone can help explain why the SEC is going after ESG labeling. Ross also noted that ESG funds outside the U.S. are not typically overweight in tech stocks.
Finsum:U.S. ESG funds are heavily overweight in tech stocks due to differing ESG labels and exclusionary factors.
Fund giant BlackRock is warning regulators that the SEC's new proposed rules to fight greenwashing by fund managers could create more confusion and lead investors to think their holdings are more socially conscious than they are. Specifically, the firm is concerned over a key detail in the proposal that would require managers to say how ESG issues fit into strategies that also consider other factors. It sent a letter to the SEC arguing that the detail could mislead investors about how much environmental, social, and governance issues factors into stock and bond decisions. The SEC had proposed new regulations for ESG funds in May, which are expected to be finalized in the coming months. BlackRock’s argument has been echoed by industry trade groups such as the Investment Company Institute and the Managed Funds Association. However, these arguments are unlikely to stop the SEC’s crackdown on ESG labels.
Finsum:Blackrock sent a letter to the SEC warning that the new proposed rules on ESG labels will only muddy the waters.
The rumble for a trend called direct indexing seems to be accelerating, as a burgeoning number of investors are displaying a demand for specialized portfolios, according to markettradingessentials.com. The upshot: eschewing ownership of a mutual or exchange traded fund, direct indexing’s flashing the wallet on stocks of an index, the site continued. The idea’s to hit to hit paydirt on, for example, tax efficiency, diversification or values-based investing.
“It says a lot that these large fund providers are leaning into direct indexing,” said Adam Grealish, head of investments at Altruist, an advisor platform with a direct indexing product. So, in light of the ascension of direct indexing, investors might be asking, pre tell, how to build a portfolio in which this strategy’s incorporated, according to corporate.vanguard.com. Well, presto, investors can cull ways to meet that goal through a framework available in Personalized indexing: A portfolio construction plan, a Vanguard research paper recently published.
“Our research represents a sensible starting point for potential direct indexing investors who want to include this strategy in their portfolios,” said Vanguard senior investment strategist Kevin Khang, Ph.D., one of the paper’s authors.
It’s no secret bond funds have been on a track of suffering the last couple of months, but that might be turning around especially with mutual fund competitors. The counter cyclical effects of bonds and equities have broken down. In the month of May bond mutual fund outflows increased rapidly to over $90 billion, but bond ETFs saw an increase of $34 billion. Many mutual funds have been losing slowly over time to their ETF competitors. One of the complexing aspects of this relationship is that there has been a significant increase in active ETFs in the last couple of years. The Feds impact on interest rates have really shifted the traditional 60/40 portfolio because rising rates have contributed to the spiking volatility.
Finsum: The increase in active ETFs particularly for fixed income is a direct result of the macro alpha that is more prevalent than ever.
According to a recent ThinkAdvisor article, 2022 is expected to be another record-setting year for launches and fund flows, mostly actively managed ETFs. Interestingly, RIAs are seen introducing their own ETFs, based on their proprietary investment models.
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