“Sustainable investing seeks to balance your financial well-being with the greater good”
Make money? Or make a difference? With sustainable investing strategies, you have an opportunity to do both.
What is sustainable investing?
It’s an investment approach designed to more closely align portfolio holdings with your charitable, social and environmental priorities. Whether you’re looking to help protect the environment, promote public health or profit from changing behaviors, you can find sustainable investing strategies that reflect your personal values and goals.
Some socially conscious investors seek to avoid unwanted companies or risks. Others aim to target specific investments that support their favorite causes. The common thread is a desire to pursue positive investment returns while also making a positive impact on society.
An increasingly popular option
The dollars held in sustainable investing strategies have increased 34% in recent years, and this growth trend is expected to continue due to:
Global assets in sustainable investments 34% growth
Investment performance versus traditional strategies
Do you have to settle for lower returns to invest for the greater good? Not necessarily. By one measure, an index representing sustainable investments has actually earned slightly higher returns than the overall U.S. stock market since 1990 (see chart below). Companies in the index tend to be well-managed and are often better-positioned to capitalize on business opportunities resulting from evolving social trends.
On the other hand, sustainable investing can involve concentrating your portfolio in certain areas and evaluating companies based, in part, on non-financial criteria. As with any investment decision, it’s important to do your homework and work with experienced professionals.
Sustainable investments performed in line with U.S. stocks
Average annual returns, 5/1/90 – 4/30/18
Four ways to invest sustainably
Depending on your needs, you can use any of these four approaches alone or in combination to invest in stocks, bonds and alternative assets like real estate or private equity: