Original, independent, thought leadership

Chart of the Week – April 22, 2024

The Bottom Line: Returns from sustainable and conventional bond funds have been disappointing, but investing opportunities are available and improvements may come later this year.      Notes of explanation: Performance of sustainable bond fund categories, 19 in total, listed in order of first quarter 2024 average total returns. Quartile rankings are based on Q1 […]

Chart of the Week – April 15, 2024

The Bottom Line: Natural Resources funds, one of 75 fund categories, posted the fifth best average return in March, but results vary by fund mandate. Notes of explanation: Funds listed in order of total return performance posted in March 2024. For mutual funds with multiple share classes, only the top performing share class is listed. […]

Chart of the Week – April 8, 2024

The Bottom Line: Funds with the highest volatilities are typically, but not always, thematic concentrated funds that expose investors to near-to-intermediate term volatility or risks. Notes of explanation: The chart displays the ten funds with the highest standard deviations of monthly returns over a three-year period along with 12-month total returns to March 31, 2024. Volatility=monthly […]

Chart of the Week – April 1, 2024

The Bottom Line: Only two sustainable fund investing options were launched in March 2024, reflecting a cooling off in sustainable mutual fund and ETF introductions. Sustainable mutual funds and ETFs launch between January 1, 2023 – March 31, 2024 Notes of explanation: New fund launches exclude listings of new mutual fund share classes. Sources: Morningstar […]

Chart of the Week – March 25, 2024

The Bottom Line: J.D. Power 2024 investor satisfaction study finds a significant year-over-year increase in investor satisfaction but lower levels of younger investor client loyalty. J.D. Power 2024 U.S. Full-Service Investor Satisfaction StudySM-Overall Customer Satisfaction Index Ranking Notes of explanation: Index ranking is based on a 1,000-point scale. ^Brand is not rank eligible because it […]

Chart of the Week – March 18, 2024

The Bottom Line: With additional room for growth for sustainable bond funds, investors can expect to benefit in time from additional fund offerings and categories. Conventional and sustainable bond funds versus their respective long-term universe of funds sustainable funds Notes of Explanation: Data covers long-term funds (money market funds are excluded), as of December 2023. […]

Chart of the Week – March 11, 2024

The Bottom Line:  Sustainable funds in February benefited from the strong equity markets continuing since January, with 61 sub-categories, or 83%, posting positive average returns. Notes of Explanation: Average performance of sub-sectors covers sustainable mutual funds and ETFs. Sources: Morningstar Direct and Sustainable Research and Analysis LLC. Observations: Sustainable fund assets under management attributable to […]

Chart of the Week – March 4, 2024

The Bottom Line:  Passively managed mutual funds and ETFs surpassed actively managed conventional funds in 2023 but sustainable funds are still dominated by active strategies. Notes of explanation: Sources:  Long-term funds exclude sustainable money market funds.  Morningstar Direct, Sustainable Research and Analysis LLC. Observations: According to Morningstar, passively managed funds, or index funds, surpassed actively […]

Research

Research and analysis to keep sustainable investors up to-date on a broad range of topics that include trends and developments in sustainable investing and sustainable finance, regulatory updates, performance results and considerations, investing through index funds and actively managed portfolios, asset allocation updates, expenses, ESG ratings and data, company and product news, green, social and sustainable bonds, green bond funds as well as reporting and disclosure practices, to name just a few.

A continuously updated Funds Directory is also available to investors.  This is intended to become a comprehensive listing of sustainable mutual funds, ETFs and other investment products along with a description of their sustainable investing approaches as set out in fund prospectuses and related regulatory filings.

Getting started

Many questions have surfaced in recent years regarding sustainable and ESG investing.  Here, investors and financial intermediaries will find materials that describe the various approaches to sustainable investing and their implementation.  While sustainable investing approaches vary and they have thus far defied universally accepted definitions, many practitioners agree that they fall into the following broad categories:  Values-based investing, investing via exclusions, impact investing, thematic investments and ESG integration.  In conjunction with each of these approaches, investors may also adopt various issuer engagement procedures and proxy voting practices.  That said, sustainable investing approaches will continue to evolve.

In addition to periodic updates regarding sustainable investing and how this form of investing is evolving, investors and financial intermediaries interested in implementing a sustainable investing approach will also find source materials that cover basic investing themes as well as asset allocation tactics.

Inesting ideas

Thoughts and ideas targeting sustainable investing strategies executed through various registered and non-registered sustainable investment funds and products such as mutual funds, Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), Exchange Traded Notes (ETNs), closed-end funds, Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) and Unit Investment Trusts (UITs). Coverage extends to investment management firms as well as fund groups. 

Independent source for sustainable investment management company research, analysis, opinions and sustainable fund disclosure assessments