Tag: ETFs

Conscious Capitalism In The News – May 13th

Conscious Capitalism In The News:? Invest in water – win the long game, How ESG can protect your portfolio, Bud rebrands to Green Beer, A warning to all businesses:? Be sustainable or risk your bottom line, and more…

Water Wins the Long Game as Global Demand Continues to Grow – CNBC

Water-related ETFs are in an advantageous position due to some pretty serious situations.

For example, PowerShares Water Resources ETF (PHO), First Trust ISE Water Index Fund (FIW) and Tortoise Water Fund (TBLU) hold?shares in U.S. water utilities, such as American Water Works, infrastructure companies like Aegion Corporation?and technology companies like Xylem, a supplier of energy-saving pumps and controls for hot water systems.

All 3 water-related ETFs are up around 15% since last year.
…there’s really not a much more essential asset than water…people are really starting to realize we have a global water problem on our hands -?Matt Weglarz, Portfolio Manager at Tortoise Index Solutions.

Global water demand is expected to grow by more than 50 percent over the next 30 years. In 2015, the EPA estimated that we need $472.6 billion to fix America’s public water infrastructure system alone.

Flint, Michigan, is still waiting…

There is?opportunity for investors to capitalize on clean water infrastructure and technology over the long term because of the need to upgrade and maintain water systems across the U.S.

The Swell Clean Water portfolio is a managed portfolio of water-focused companies which is up 11% over the past 12 months.

Whether it’s through news about water scarcity or news about the demand for water or need around improving our water infrastructure, those are all reasons that you would want to be in a clean water portfolio of companies that are addressing any one of those areas. -? Dave Fanger, CEO of Swell Investing.

Related:? Start Impact Investing For as Little as 50$ – An Overview of Swell Investing

Bud Rebrands to Green Beer – Sierra Club

Anheuser-Busch has officially promised that the $400 million worth of electricity it uses each year will be 100% renewable by 2025. It has also vowed to follow through on sustainability goals which include plans to:

  • Repackage beverages in majority-recycled content
  • Improve water efficiency
  • Work directly with farmers
  • Reduce carbon emissions by 25%.

In celebration of its new vision, starting on Earth Day, it has labeled all of its cans and bottles of Bud with a new ?100% Renewable Electricity? symbol to make consumers aware of its new goals.

This labeling strategy builds awareness, sparks conversation about what exactly it means to be sourcing clean energy, and offers a gateway to the bigger discussion that consumers?particularly millennials?increasingly expect. The challenge is for the company to maintain transparency everywhere, even with more challenging questions.?- Christen Graham, Social Impact Executive

Anheuser-Busch CEO Carlos Brito has proclaimed that ?Budweiser is going to be carrying the flag for renewable energy around the world.? However, when a company does not follow through with its corporate social responsibility promises, it amounts to greenwashing.

Will Bud follows through with its promises? In fact, it may not have a choice.

Whether beer brewers rebrand as green and fly ?the flag for renewable energy or not,? they are going to have to not only rethink their sustainability strategies, but actually carry them out in order to survive. Issues of water scarcity and water quality currently pose particularly serious threats to the survival of food and beverage industries around the world.

This is the silent crisis that?s sneaking up on all industries but will hit this one particularly hard. -?James Reeves, Corporate Social Sustainability Strategist

It?s Not Hip to Buy From Environmentally Ignorant Companies: ?Be Sustainable or Die – Fast Company

Much like the shift we went through when turning our backs on smoking and littering, we?re clearly in the middle of a massive cultural shift when it comes to sustainability. Just as we find it abhorrent to throw litter out of a car window, it is now becoming unacceptable to buy products from companies deemed to be mistreating the planet.

What this means for companies is that if they don?t start integrating sustainability and corporate social responsibility into their business model, products, and brand, they are definitely going to feel it in their bottom line.

Shelton Groups recent EcoPulse Study reveals some interesting trends:

  • 45% of Americans want to be seen as someone who buys eco-friendly products.
  • Over 50% of Americans don?t believe a product is green if they don?t believe the company is green.
  • Over 50% of Americans can think of a time when they?ve either purchased or not purchased a product because of the environmental reputation of the manufacturer.

When it comes to Millennials, these trends are even stronger:

  • 90% say they?ll buy from a brand if they trust that company?s social and environmental practices.
  • 95% say they?ll recommend the products to their friends and family if they trust a company?s social and environmental practices.

We?ve come a long way. Being eco-friendly is no longer considered a fringe activity limited to activists and early adopters. Joining the dialogue and aligning your brand with deeply held beliefs is the marketing of the future.

Business must be part of the solution…Sustainable, equitable growth is the only acceptable business model. – Unilever

Bottom line:? Don?t smoke, don?t litter, and be a sustainable brand ? or risk losing your marketplace advantage.

Related:? How To Incite Change Even as a Small Shareholder

How ESG Can Protect Your Portfolio – Business Insider

In this interview, Martin Kremenstein, head of retirement and ETF solutions at Nuveen, defines ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) and explains how ESG metrics serve both as an indicator of quality, and can be used as a risk management tool. Some takeaways:

  • According to research from MSCI, companies ranking in the lowest 20% in ESG ratings have been twice as likely to suffer a catastrophic loss (over 95% cumulative loss) within three years.
  • MSCI downgraded Equifax to the lowest ESG rating on cybersecurity concerns one year before?the data breach was announced.
  • Facebook was excluded from Nuveen’s NuShares ESG Large-Cap Growth ETF when the ETF launched in December 2016 because Facebook scored relatively poorly over data privacy concerns compared to other tech companies.
  • Before the Deepwater Horizon incident, BP had actually been downgraded and removed from major ESG indices over concerns about its outsourcing of maintenance of offshore oil wells, which was directly related to the accident itself.
By actually having this framework in place, you are really putting in place a method for trying to avoid tail risk from companies that are badly run, and may end up having serious, serious scandals in the press. -?Martin Kremenstein, Nuveen.

Related:? The New Landscape of Sustainable Impact, and ESG Investing

Latest News in The War on Plastic – Global Citizen

Bad News:

Plastic stats have been making the rounds in the news, and especially on social media. Some highlights:

Good News:

In light of this, here are 15 countries and cities around the world that have made serious strides in the race against plastic. Let?s hope this is the beginning of a permanent trend.

1. Kenya

As of August 2017, anyone in Kenya who?s found using, producing, or selling a plastic bag faces up to four years in jail, or a $38,000 fine.

2. Vanuatu

On July 30, 2017, its independence day, the Pacific nation of Vanuatu announced the beginning of a phasing out of plastic bags and bottles .

3. UK

In January 2018, the UK announced a 25-year plan to ?set the global gold standard? on eliminating plastic waste. It has also eliminated plastic microbeads ?in ?rinse-off? cosmetic and personal care products and previously brought in a tax on plastic bags in 2015 which has resulted in 9 billion fewer plastic bags in circulation.

4. Taiwan

In February 2018, Taiwan announced one of the farthest-reaching bans on plastic in the world which restricts single-use plastic bags, straws, utensils, and cups.

5. Zimbabwe

In July 2017, Zimbabwe announced a total ban on expanded polystyrene (EPS), a styrofoam-like material used for food containers that takes up to a million years to decompose.

6. Montreal

Merchants have until June 5 to adapt to a policy banning single-use plastic bags.?Meanwhile, the city of Victoria also announced it will bring in a ban on single-use plastic bags in July 2018.

7. Malibu

In March 2018, the Californian city of Malibu?s local council voted to ban the sale, distribution, and use of single-use plastic straws, stirrers, and plastic cutlery ?effective June 1st.

8. Seattle

As of July 1st, Seattle will enact a ban on plastic straws, along with single-use plastic utensils .

9. Australia

South Australia, the Australian Capital Territory, Tasmania, and the Northern Territory, have state-wide bans on single-use plastic bags. Queensland is set to follow suit in July 2018. Major Australian supermarkets Coles and Woolworths have announced they will phase out single-use plastic bags by mid-2018.

10. Canada

In January 2018, Canada put a full stop to plastic microbeads effective ?July 1st.

11. Hamburg

Hamburg brought in a fairly niche plastic ban in February 2016 against non-recyclable plastic coffee pods.

?12. France

In 2015, France banned plastic bags. In 2016, France became the first country to announce a total ban on plastic cups, plates, and cutlery effective 2020.

?13. New Delhi

Banned all forms of single-use plastic in 2017.

14. Morocco

Banned plastic bags on July 1, 2016.

15. Rwanda

Banned plastic bags completely in 2008.?The country is now hinting at becoming the world?s first plastic-free nation and planning to become completely sustainable by 2020.

Styrofoam in California

Long Beach City Council recently approved a styrofoam ban from restaurants. Five cities in San Luis Obispo County, California have already banned the use and sale of Styrofoam-type food containers. The county government is considering extending the ban to the entire county as early as July 2018.

Related:? Hairy Legs are Sexier than Disgusting Disposable Razors

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Your Money In The News – May 6th

Your Money In The News:? Great Investment advice for the beginning investor, Use your tax return to increase your credit score, What to do with your 401(k) when you leave your employer, How to get the best auto loan…

Great Investment Advice for Beginners – Motley Fool

66% of millennials have zero socked away for retirement

While it?s ?common knowledge that the earlier you start investing for your future the better, you need to make sure that your money isn?t being wasted elsewhere before you start socking your extra change away. This in depth article by The Fool gives you investment advice to guide you from zero to hero on your journey to financial success. An overview:

Get rid of high-interest debt first

If you have consumer debt you are probably paying more in interest than you could earn investing. Math doesn?t lie. If you do not pay attention to your interest rates, you could lose money investing instead of paying down your credit card debt first.

Related content: ?DIY Your Credit Card Debt – A Guide to Permanent Debt Relief

Prepare for the unexpected before you invest

The majority of Americans can’t cover a $1,000 unexpected expense without going into debt or selling something. If you have all of your money locked into investments and something unexpected happens, you will have to sell your investments or go into debt to cover an emergency. While experts often quote 3-6 months, if you are starting from zero, pick an attainable goal like $1,000 before you start thinking about investing.

One exception to these rules:

If your company has a 401(k), 403(b), or similar retirement plan, and your employer matches contributions, definitely take advantage whether or not you have credit card debt or savings. An employer match is free money. Don?t turn it down.

Understand your investment goals

Before you invest you’ll want to get a clear picture of your primary goals. Whether you are investing for retirement, or for your children’s college tuition, you need to consider both your risk tolerance and investment time period in order to pick the correct investment vehicles for your situation.

Related content:? Saving For College – An Overview of 529s

Know how asset allocation works

Another important step before you start investing is to understand what to invest in. Learn the difference between stocks (equities) and bonds (fixed income) and so that you can make educated decisions.

Start with easy-to-understand investments

If you’re completely new to investing, it’s generally a smart idea to keep your investments broad and easy to understand. There are many mutual funds or ETFs that can make it easy for you in the beginning. Investing in stock index funds and bond index funds can help get you started while you learn more about investing.

Related content:? Are Sustainable ETFs Better Than Mutual Funds?

Stocks require more knowledge

Investing in stocks can be quite lucrative if you do it right, but you need the time to research stocks and the knowledge to research them correctly. Learn all you can before you invest. Motley Fool recommends these two books for beginning investors.

  • The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham:
  • One Up on Wall Street by Peter Lynch

Don’t let lack of capital get in your way

Don?t assume that because you don?t have much to invest that you should wait. There are many opportunities to invest today even if you can only afford $50 per month.

If you’re in a solid financial position, with little or no credit card debt and a reasonable emergency fund, now is the best time to start. Time is your best friend as an investor — even if you don’t have much to invest.

Related content: ?Start Impact Investing for as Little as 50$

5 Ways Your Tax Return Can Help Increase Your Credit Score – Student Loan Hero

According to the IRS, more than 70% of taxpayers received refunds in 2017 and the average refund was around $2,895. Instead of blowing your refund as if it were free money (it?s not, you paid it remember?), why not use it to leverage a better financial future? Increasing your credit score will serve you in more ways than you think.?Your credit score is not only a deciding factor in your ability to secure loans at better interest rates, it can also affect your ability to rent an apartment, and more recently is even used as a character reference for employment.

Related content:? Know Your FICO – A Guide to Understanding Your Credit Score

Pay off delinquent accounts or late payments

Your payment history affects your credit in a major way, accounting for 35% of your FICO score. Delinquent accounts can remain on your credit report for 7 years.?If you have any overdue bills or anything that has gone to collections, get rid of them first.

Pay down your credit cards

Your credit utilization score makes up 30% of your FICO score.?The goal is to keep is to keep your debt-to-credit ratio below 30%. For example, if you have $10,000 in available credit, you don?t want to owe more than $3,000. The best investment you can make for your future is to eliminate your consumer debt. You will pay far more in interest on your credit cards than you will ever make investing.

Related content:? Credit Card Pay Off Strategies – What the Card Companies Don’t Want You to Know

Ramp up your student loan repayment

44 million Americans are dealing with student loans. The faster you pay off your student loans, the less you will pay in interest. Not only will you save money on interest, but reducing your debt and making on-time payments can increase your credit score.

Build your credit score with a? credit card

Unfortunately we need a credit card in order to build credit. It?s sort of a Catch 22. But if you have a weak credit score, how can you get a credit card?

A secured credit card has you put down a deposit to back up your line of credit. If you make payments on time, your credit score will increase. Eventually, it will be strong enough to qualify for an unsecured credit card. Also, using a secured credit card can help get you in the habit of paying off your credit card balance in full every month.

Save your refund to cover future debt or expenses

If you have paid down your consumer debt, it?s time to allocate money to an emergency saving fund. While this won?t affect your credit directly, it can help keep you out of debt. By using savings instead of a credit card or personal loan you will avoid high-interest debt that could drag down your credit score.

Related content: Emergency Savings – Is It For Me?

How To Get The Best Auto Loan With Today?s Rising Interest Rates – LendEdu

High interest rates on new vehicle loans last month reflected levels not seen since 2009. With more Fed interest rate hikes expected, unless automakers lower their prices, it is going to get more and more expensive to purchase a car. What can you do?

Clean up credit report errors

If you have errors on your credit report, they may be affecting your credit score. You are entitled to one free copy of your credit report every year. Get a copy of your credit report and make sure that the information on that report belongs to you and is correct. Credit report errors are more common than you may think. The FTC reports that roughly 1 in 5 people have errors on their credit report. ?The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau can guide you in making sure that what is reported is correct.

Put down larger down payments

A higher down payment means you may have lower monthly payment.?According to Edmunds, the ideal downpayment is about 20%. Not only will a larger down payment save you money in interest, it will also protect you from depreciation. If you only put down a small down payment, you will have “negative equity” which means you will owe more than the car is worth over time.

Shop around

The biggest lenders like Bank of America, Chase, or Wells Fargo, aren?t the only place to obtain an auto loan. Deals can be found from ?captive? finance companies belonging to automakers, including Ford Motor Credit and Toyota Financial Services. And there are also credit unions, local banks, and online banks. Do research on the different auto lenders, and come prepared with questions. It?s important to know what you?re getting into when taking on an auto loan.

What Should You Do With Your 401K When You Leave Your Job? – CNBC

Are you about to leave your employer? Are you keeping your money in the retirement plan, or are you taking your savings with you?

401(k) plan managers have a history of contacting leaving employees about rolling over their balances into an IRA with them, and this isn?t always a good idea. It?s possible that you will end up with an expense ratio that increases from below 1% to 2-3%.

For example, just last month Wells Fargo got caught with its pants down again, as the U.S. Labor Department is reportedly looking into Wells Fargo’s 401(k) practices?and whether the bank is pushing its customers into more expensive plans.

So, you need to be careful. If you are leaving your employer and you have a 401(k) with them, here?s what you should know if you are contacted by the 401(k) plan record-keeper about an IRA rollover.

Related content:? Take Control of Your 401(k)

Changing practices

Keep in mind that a recent Labor Department rule which required advisors and brokers to put their clients’ interests before their own when advising on retirement accounts such as 401(k) plans and individual retirement accounts is no longer being enforced. This means that you need to be very wary about the advice your financial advisor gives you as it may not be in your best interest.

The way a representative from a 401(k) plan presents the question of “stay or go?” can nudge the employee into a course of action. For example, they may ask if you value low-cost investments with guidance to keep you in the 401(k). Or they may ask if you prefer a broader range of investment funds which would be available with a potentially more expensive IRA.

Related content:? Self Directed IRA – Is It For Me?

Ask questions

Before you roll over into whatever plan your financial advisor suggests, here are some important points to consider:

  • Compare your costs: Find out how costs compare between your 401(k) and an IRA. Do not assume the 401(k) has the correct information. Double check everything.
  • Learn about your in-plan options: If you stay in the plan, will you be able to draw down from your funds through retirement? If so, find out whether there are fees for transferring your savings to your checking account.
  • Think about how to invest your savings in the long run: Even if you leave your money in the plan through retirement, decide how you want to allocate your funds to protect your principal. Plan sponsors cannot answer that question for you. It’s a personal decision.
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Are Sustainable ETFs Better Than Mutual Funds?

Investing in Sustainable Companies with ETFs

Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) are a collection of assets. ?An Equity ETF, for example, holds a group of companies (stocks) in its portfolio. ?When you invest in an ETF, you own a piece of every single company that is held in that fund. ETFs are a great vehicle for reducing risk, since you?re invested in a group of companies instead of a single company.

That also makes ETFs a great vehicle for voting with your dollars at scale, across many companies. This is an opportunity to have greater impact. Investors have caught on and are now demanding more socially responsible ETF options.?Another thing that?s great about sustainable ETFs:? fund managers can use our collective voting power to encourage companies to align with our values. Companies love being included in ETFs since these vehicles bring capital, investor exposure and brand cache.

For example, the CEO of an up and coming sustainable ETF told us that they were going to meet with a large company to explain to them why the company didn?t make the cut to be included in their new women-focused ETF. While the would reconsider in 6 months, they simply didn’t qualify today because they did not meet the standards. You can see the power that socially responsible ETFs have in encouraging good change within companies.

Related content: Four Ways to Make Real Money with Sustainable Investing

Sustainable ETFs

There are 58 Sustainable ETFs currently on the market. 23 of them launched in the past year alone (as of September 9, 2017, source: http://www.etf.com/channels/socially-responsible)

So why consider ETFs? Let?s look at the benefits of ETFs over mutual funds.

Benefits of ETFs over Mutual Funds

1. Lower cost.

ETFs have a much lower expense ratio than mutual funds. The expense ratio is the annual fee that the fund company charges to run the fund. Let?s say you invest in a mutual fund with a 1% expense ratio. That means that you will be paying $10 for every $1,000 invested. The fee is taken from your investment in the fund, which means you don?t have to write a check ? it is done automatically on your behalf. Expense ratios are also difficult to find ? they are often buried in the fund prospectus. When investing in any type of fund (ETF or mutual fund), make sure you look at the expense ratio and performance first.

On average, ETF fees are 1/3 the price of a typical mutual fund. In addition, because they are following an index, their turnover is low (i.e. when companies come into / out of the ETF). That?s good news for investors. ETFs have ? the tax cost of the average mutual fund. (source: www.ishares.com)

2. Potential for Higher returns.?

Many people wonder if ETFs outperform mutual funds. You?d think that mutual funds would have higher returns since they are actively managed and have higher expense ratios. As it turns out, mutual funds are often more expensive and have lower performance than ETFs.

Crazy, right??After subtracting fees, only 18% of active mutual fund managers beat their benchmark. ETFs are designed to mirror the holdings in their benchmark and therefore follow benchmark performance.?The iShares Core ETFs have outperformed their mutual fund peers 84% of the time over the last 5 years

3. Greater buying, trading, and pricing flexibility.

Mutual funds are only priced once per day. ?Which means you can only trade them once per day. ETFs, on the other hand, trade on an exchange just like a stock. That means you can trade them throughout the day, any time the exchange is open. This gives you, as an investor, greater flexibility, and control over the timing of your trades.

And because ETFs trade like stocks, you have the option to use stop and limit orders. Some ETFs even offer put and call options.

It seems investors are catching on to the benefits of ETFs v. mutual funds. ETFs are now a 3 trillion dollar industry.

Related Content: Start Impact Investing for $50

But Watch Out.?Not all sustainable ETFs are equal.

We are in the early days of sustainable investing.

That means there is a huge variation in financial products. Both in ETFs and Mutual Funds. Some are doing deep integration of sustainability, while others are simply ?box ticking.?

This is dangerous because it could reflect that sustainable investing is underperforming when it?s not.

The current state of sustainable investing is similar to that of cryptocurrency. Everyone knows Bitcoin and Ethereum. But there are 900 cryptocurrencies and most of them are crap. The bad ones will give cryptocurrency a bad name.

The same thing applies to sustainability investing. Truly integrated sustainable investing is not box-ticking, and it?s not simply screening to exclude bad stocks (e.g. tobacco, firearms, fossil fuels.)

That?s why some mutual funds might be worth the extra cost of active portfolio management, even though they might have a higher expense ratio.

Bottom line: ?do your research. That means look at the constituents of the fund, the fund management team and the criteria used to include assets in the portfolio, in addition to performance over time and expense ratio.

A quick view of Socially Responsible ETFs

Following are the top 10 socially responsible ETFs, grouped by category.

Top 10 Socially Responsible ETFs by Expense Ratio

The expense ratio for the socially responsible funds ranges from 0.12% to 0.95%. Not bad. They are all under 1%. By comparison, mutual fund expense ratios range from .9% – 1.35%.

TICKER FUND NAME ISSUER EXPENSE RATIO Assets Under Management SPREAD% SEGMENT
SUSB iShares ESG 1-5 Year USD Corporate Bond ETF BlackRock 0.12% $10.06M 0.15% Fixed Income: U.S. – Corporate Investment Grade Short-Term
ESGU iShares MSCI USA ESG Optimized ETF BlackRock 0.15% $10.77M 0.16% Equity: U.S. – Total Market
SUSC iShares ESG USD Corporate Bond ETF BlackRock 0.18% $10.14M 0.17% Fixed Income: U.S. – Corporate Investment Grade
ESGD iShares MSCI EAFE ESG Optimized ETF BlackRock 0.20% $122.37M 0.06% Equity: Developed Markets Ex-U.S. – Total Market
EFAX SPDR MSCI EAFE Fossil Fuel Reserves Free ETF State Street Global Advisors 0.20% $41.63M 0.42% Equity: Developed Markets Ex-U.S. – Total Market
CRBN iShares MSCI ACWI Low Carbon Target ETF BlackRock 0.20% $439.49M 0.12% Equity: Global – Total Market
LOWC SPDR MSCI ACWI Low Carbon Target ETF State Street Global Advisors 0.20% $143.38M 0.15% Equity: Global – Total Market
SHE SPDR SSGA Gender Diversity Index ETF State Street Global Advisors 0.20% $329.37M 0.07% Equity: U.S. – Large Cap
SPYX SPDR S&P 500 Fossil Fuel Reserves Free ETF State Street Global Advisors 0.20% $170.40M 0.22% Equity: U.S. – Large Cap
ESGE iShares MSCI EM ESG Optimized ETF BlackRock 0.25% $96.47M 0.06% Equity: Emerging Markets – Total Market

Top 10 Socially Responsible ETFs by Performance

The top performing ETFs over the past year have returned investors 16.37 ? 78.17%.

(source: ETF.com, data as of September 6, 2017)

TICKER FUND NAME 1 MONTH 3 MONTH 1 YEAR 5 YEAR
GRN iPath Global Carbon ETN 34.96% 34.90% 78.17% -5.45%
CXSE WisdomTree China ex-State-Owned Enterprises Fund 5.04% 15.93% 47.01%
QCLN First Trust NASDAQ Clean Edge Green Energy Index Fund -0.32% 5.02% 25.12% 16.23%
XSOE WisdomTree Emerging Markets ex-State-Owned Enterprises Fund 2.60% 9.94% 24.97%
ESGE iShares MSCI EM ESG

Optimized ETF

1.61% 7.77% 22.02%
PZD PowerShares Cleantech Portfolio 0.89% 2.44% 22.00% 14.06%
RODI Barclays Return on Disability ETN -5.47% 19.00% 19.00%
ESGG FlexShares STOXX Global ESG Impact Index Fund 0.07% 2.70% 17.90%
ESGN Columbia Sustainable International Equity Income ETF -0.82% 2.09% 17.76%
HECO EcoLogical Strategy ETF -1.84% 2.82% 17.74% 12.91%
ETHO Etho Climate Leadership U.S. ETF -0.20% 2.35% 16.37%

Top 10 ETFs by Environmental, Social and Governance Scores

Finally, let?s take a look at the top 10 socially responsible ETFs by ESG Scores. ESG (or Environmental, Social, and Governance) Scores measure the fund?s level of commitment to the socially responsible criteria. There are many ways to measure.

TICKER FUND NAME MSCI ESG ESG SCORE ESG SCORE CARBON INTENSITY SUSTAINABLE SRI SCREENING
QUALITY SCORE PEER RANK GLOBAL RANK TONS CO2E/$M SALES IMPACT EXPOSURE CRITERIA EXPOSURE
SUSA iShares MSCI USA ESG Select ETF 8.23 / 10 100 99.92 94.79 9.07% 4.66%
ESGD iShares MSCI EAFE ESG Optimized ETF 7.44 / 10 98.8 98.24 180.5 8.22% 10.37%
MPCT iShares MSCI Global Impact ETF 7.19 / 10 96.03 88.74 75.22% 0.65%
GRNB VanEck Vectors Green Bond ETF 7.03 / 10 94.7 94.09 8.6 3.91% 18.05%
ESGN Columbia Sustainable International Equity Income ETF 7.01 / 10 96.8 93.79 223.1 8.45% 15.49%
ESGF Oppenheimer Global ESG Revenue ETF 6.83 / 10 95.73 90.06 221 5.67% 12.86%
ESGW Columbia Sustainable Global Equity Income ETF 6.62 / 10 96.77 86.29 310.4 6.72% 13.83%
GEX VanEck Vectors Global Alternative Energy ETF 6.56 / 10 96.95 85.28 273.48 59.19% 2.30%
EFAX SPDR MSCI EAFE Fossil Fuel Reserves Free ETF 6.51 / 10 82.13 84.1 130.96 7.22% 10.99%
HECO EcoLogical Strategy ETF 6.50 / 10 85.33 84.07 70.87 7.70% 0.00%

So How do I invest in a socially responsible ETF?

Pick your ETF, then trade for free.

If you have a brokerage account, you can buy ETFs from within your account. For example, if you invest with Schwab, Fidelity, E*Trade, TD Ameritrade or any of the other online retail brokers, you simply enter the ticker symbol and buy the ETFs.

Some brokers are now offering commission-free trades for certain ETFs. That means you don?t pay a commission fee to buy or sell the ETF. However, we have not seen any socially responsible investing ETFs included in the commission free trade offers. That means you?ll be paying a commission fee to buy or sell the ETF. Commission typically range from $4.95 ? $6.95 per trade.

If you?d rather not pay a commission, you can open an account on the Robinhood Trading app. They offer commission free trades, even on ETFs. Bonus: ?Robinhood gives you a free stock when you open an account.

Or, get the benefits of mutual funds without the cost.

Another way to invest in sustainable companies is to use a robo advisor. We like Swell Investing. They are an impact investment platform offering a suite of sustainable companies. These portfolios are managed via a Separately Managed Account (SMA). You?legally own the companies listed in their portfolio. The fee is only 008% instead of the typical mutual fund range of 0.45% – 3.38%.
Care about creating a greener world? Now invest in it.

The benefit: you get the benefit of having an active portfolio manager choose the companies in the fund. The portfolio manager takes an integrated approach at determining which companies should come in and out based on carefully chosen impact criteria. And you get all this without the typical cost of a mutual fund.

You don?t even need a brokerage account with Swell Investing. Their platform does it all-in-one. $50 is all you need to get started.

So get on your way and vote with your values.

Socially responsible ETFs are a great vehicle to invest in many socially responsible companies at once, reduce your risk, pay fewer fees and get better performance.

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