Periodically Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) investing makes news as an investment trend. ESG investing means purposefully investing in companies that meet certain criteria with respect to their footprint on the environment (environmental), how they are run (governance), or their impact on employees and society (social). It is not new, but it is growing in popularity and over the past several years and I have had a greater number of clients make specific requests to me in invest their money with an emphasis on these factors.
As I’ve sought out funds that make use of this data, and continued to review the research and analyze ESG, it has become my belief that investing this way is not just a values decision, but also a value decision. Research increasingly shows that ESG portfolios perform similarly to non-ESG portfolios, and that incorporating ESG data may even provide an improved return over the long run. Think of this data as a GPS system compared to an old map and compass, it’s not necessarily better, it’s just more information. This information may also result in less risk, since ESG funds could help weed out companies that are a greater financial risk due to their governance, environmental, or social practices.
This is called improving the risk return profile, which is a good thing. That’s why late last year, guided by the individual Investment Policy Statement (IPS) we developed together at the outset of our relationship, I began incorporating ESG funds into client portfolios. An unintended consequence of the recent market volatility has been an increase in trading, which has accelerated the integration of ESG investments into client portfolios. As you review your statement this quarter, you may see some new ESG investments. If you have questions or want to talk about how we’re using “GPS” to get to where we want to go, let’s talk.
My Family Doesn’t Believe in Calm
In the last four months I’ve honed my teaching skills and now feel confident that I can explain regrouping, or as us old folks call it – carrying the one—to any first grader in America. The Tobias Family Home School is officially closed for the summer and we’ve moved into the second phase of this pandemic, home improvement. In early June we enlisted the help of a close friend, rented a Bobcat, and began the work of transforming a section of our backyard into an outdoor living area. In the process, we ripped out our deck and discovered not one, but two sinkholes. (Yes, the Bobcat fell in and spent a couple of days quite stuck four feet in the ground.) Despite having everything torn up for a month, we have a few weeks left as we patiently await the thrice delayed delivery of brick pavers for new patio. As Jack Nicholson once said: Good times, noodle salad. Let’s just hope phase three is a bit quieter and more relaxed!
Live Long and Prosper,
Dan Tobias, CFP®
Please note: The above is a copy of the 2020 Q2 Passport Wealth Management client newsletter attached to quarterly statements from July 2020. The newsletter is published to the website for informational purposes only and is not financial or investment advice. You should consult a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Professional for financial advice. Past performance may not be indicative of future results. Indexes are not available for direct investment. Investing involves risks, including the potential for loss of principal. There is no guarantee that markets will act as they have in the past or that any investment plan or strategy will be successful.
Daniel Tobias is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER Professional and a Fee-Only Advisor. He owns Passport Wealth Management, a financial advising firm based in Cornelius, NC that works with clients across the globe. He helps individuals plan for retirement, manage investment portfolios, mitigate taxes, and secure their financial futures. With more than 10 years in the industry, Daniel has spoken nationally on financial planning practice management and has served on the National Association Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) South Regional Board. He resides with his family near Lake Norman in North Carolina where he enjoys mountain biking, hiking and travel.