The ESG Investors Digest

In this Issue

Charles Hamowy, CFP®, CPA/PFS – Editor In Chief
08.19.20

Every generation leaves behind a legacy. What that legacy will be is determined by the people of that generation. What legacy do you want to leave behind?

― John Lewis, Across That Bridge: A Vision for Change and the Future of America

For this issue we set out to explore the performance of investments that have been filtered for social advocacy and gender diversity, both predictably complex issues. Many in this country are struggling to find ways to advance reforms in these areas and the Socially Inspired Investor supports efforts to level opportunities for everyone. 

When it comes to diversity, we are seeing more and more evidence moving from anecdotal to scientific that companies that embrace diversity in leadership are beginning to differentiate themselves.

Harvard Business Review cites at least two studies that show women score higher than men in most leadership skills 1. So why then does this continue to be a challenge?  These days don’t we need more competent leadership more than ever.

In the SII podcast for this issue you will hear from Eric Glass of AlianceBernstein and Patrick Drum of Saturna Capital, on the topic of Investing for Social Advocacy and Gender Diversification, with some pretty convincing stats for us to consider.

“What inspires you that ESG investing can help us make progress on social justice and gender diversification?”

We posed this question to leaders in the ESG investing community. Their responses were fascinating and enlightening. Check out the responses in our Spotlight On article. Clearly reforms are needed across virtually every segment of our society, including the investing community. 

We learn that businesses are more willing these days to use their capital and governance to contribute to real change. All efforts need be applauded. And in real definable ways, we can see this commitment will pay dividends worthy the efforts. But buyer beware.

The fervor may also cause average investors to let their guard down.  In the zest to support the critically important Black Lives Matter and other diversity goals, we also see instances that perhaps investors may be too willing to overlook the fundamentals of sound investing. Remember all investments must adhere to basic investing principles. So, we have added some more reference material to keep you sharp in our Investing Basics section. Unfortunately, some emerging trends do indicate investors may be allowing their passions to overshadow these rules. Rules are rules regardless of the passion.

Our contributors this month speak to all these questions and begin to frame for us how complex the landscape has become.  Perhaps the timing is finally right for significant change. 

Thank you for being part of the Socially Inspired InvestorSM Digest/Podcast family.  Please share this digest with others who are interested in becoming a more informed Socially Inspired Investor.

1 HBR June 23, 2019, Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman article  


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