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Can You Make a Real Impact with Your Investments?

July 24, 2023

Investing has traditionally been associated with financial returns and wealth accumulation. However, in recent years, there has been a growing movement towards aligning investments with personal values and making a positive impact on the world. The concept of "impact investing" has gained traction, allowing individuals to generate both financial returns and contribute to social and environmental causes. The power of ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) investing enables you to make a real impact with your investments.

ESG has become a controversial topic, but it serves as extra due diligence that can shed light on additional qualitative information about companies. By considering ESG factors, you can gain insights into a company's environmental practices, social impact, and governance structure. This information can help identify potential risks and opportunities, allowing you to make informed decisions. ESG acts as a risk mitigator, flagging risks that traditional financial analysis may not identify.

Investing with consciousness goes beyond financial returns. It involves ensuring that your investments align with your values. A crucial aspect of this alignment is considering diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) within companies. People increasingly want to see themselves and their values reflected in their investments. They want to know who is in leadership and who is designing the products they are buying. By investing in companies that prioritize DEI, you can contribute to a more equitable and inclusive economy.

You have the power to shape the economy you want to see. Through impact investing, you can actively support the transition to a sustainable and inclusive economy. This means investing in companies that are committed to environmentally friendly practices, social responsibility, and ethical governance. By allocating capital towards these companies, you can drive positive change and create a more sustainable future.

Currently, the regulatory environment around ESG investing is uncertain. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is gathering information to define ESG standards and address the issue of "greenwashing" - misleading or exaggerated claims of sustainability. Despite this uncertainty, you should not shy away from ESG investing. Instead, you should seek reliable information and engage with companies to ensure transparency and authenticity.

All investments are impactful.

The question is, what kind of impact are your investments making?

By considering ESG factors, you can align your investments with your values and contribute to positive change. Research by Société Générale in 2020 revealed that companies facing ESG troubles underperformed the broader market by an average of 12% over the subsequent two years. This highlights the significance of incorporating ESG criteria as a risk mitigator and considering the long-term sustainability of investments.

To further understand the impact of investments, you can refer to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These 17 goals address various global challenges, including poverty, climate change, and gender equality. By aligning investments with the SDGs, you can actively contribute to achieving these goals and make a tangible impact on pressing global issues.

Incorporating ESG factors into investment decisions allows individuals to go beyond financial returns and make a real impact. By investing with consciousness and considering factors such as DEI and sustainability, you can shape the economy you want to see and drive positive change. While the regulatory environment may be uncertain, the power lies in your hands to make informed choices and demand transparency. Remember, all investments are impactful, and by investing wisely, you can create a more sustainable, inclusive, and equitable world.