What Is Sustainable Investing?

A large part of how we manage your money, takes into consideration your personal values. Do you favor investments that focus on “green” technology, sustainable resources or renewable energy? Sustainable investing (SI) is a way to purposefully invest in companies making a positive impact in our world.

Sustainable investing, an approach integrating environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria, is becoming a much sought-after strategy in the financial industry.  SI offers a growing number of options if you are interested in achieving goals beyond financial growth when building your portfolios.

SI considers progress toward solving global challenges, such as climate change, social inequality and unfair business practices, can be made by investing in companies and enterprises which promote sustainability or have sustainable business practices.

Through sustainable investing, not only can you aim to make a positive impact on society and the environment, you can also potentially improve the risk/return characteristics of your portfolios by factoring ESG criteria into your investment decisions. * 

We pride ourselves on providing a variety of investments tailored toward your values and SI investing.  We offer “green” and socially conscious bonds and stocks along with asset allocation models focused on ESG principles.  If aligning your investment choices with your personal values is of interest to you, we may be able to assist.  Let us help you put your money where you see fit.

Why Sustainable Investing?

Risk mitigation – Companies which ignore their social and environmental impacts may face regulatory and governance risks.

Align investing with personal or religious values – Investors may not feel comfortable investing in companies whose business practices they view as morally objectionable.

Long-term performance – Beyond achieving the confidence that your investments are having a positive impact, studies have shown companies which operate in a sustainable manner provide better investment performance.

What are My Investment Options?

When it comes to sustainable investing, you have many choices. Through Independent Financial Services (IFS) and Raymond James, you can utilize various investment portfolios, mutual funds, bonds and individual stocks to meet your needs.

All of these options have gone through a rigorous due diligence process and are based on ESG criteria.

Raymond James Freedom ESG portfolios – Are designed to provide long-term capital appreciation with growth potential and can be part of a larger portfolio for anyone interested in the benefits of sustainable investing. Depending on your risk tolerance and time horizon, various portfolios are offered, including:

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Conservative Balanced

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Balanced

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Balanced with Growth

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Growth Equity

IFS Portfolios

Additionally, at IFS we can tailor a sustainable investing portfolio just for you using the following investment options:

Mutual Funds

The ongoing demand for sustainable investing has greatly increased the number of mutual funds incorporating ESG principles. Many fund companies are now mandating that all of their funds adhere to sustainable investing criteria. No matter what your risk tolerance and time horizon, there is a variety of funds to fit your needs.

Bonds

Since many investors utilize individual bonds in their portfolios, the supply of bonds focused on sustainable investing has improved tremendously. More and more municipalities are offering “green” bonds. Green bond proceeds in the municipal market are used for projects that provide clean water, sustainable waste and water management, clean transportation, renewable energy, energy efficiency and other initiatives. Green bonds represent an increasing amount of municipal bond issuance.

Stocks

Corporations all over the world are beginning to incorporate ESG criteria into their mission statements and policies. Shareholders and board members are demanding better standards and adherence to sustainable practices. Whether it be producing less packaging and waste to emitting less pollution, corporations are trying to lessen their carbon footprints and make better decisions from a global viewpoint.

Unit investment trusts (UITs)

A unit investment trust (UIT) is an investment company offering a fixed portfolio, generally of stocks and bonds, as redeemable units to investors for a specific period of time. It is designed to provide capital appreciation and/or dividend income. As with corporations, mutual fund companies and municipalities offering investment solutions based on ESG criteria, so are companies which create UITs.

The demand for sustainable investment options is far reaching and now incorporates many of the most popular types of investments available today. No matter what your sustainable investing needs are, let IFS and Raymond James help you purposefully invest in companies making a positive impact in our world.

* Sustainable/Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) considers qualitative environmental, social and corporate governance, also known as ESG criteria, which may be subjective in nature. There are additional risks associated with Sustainable/Socially Responsible (SRI), including limited diversification and the potential for increased volatility. There is no guarantee that SRI products or strategies will produce returns similar to traditional investments. Because SRI criteria exclude certain securities/products for non-financial reasons, investors may forego some market opportunities available to those who do not use these criteria. Investors should consult their investment professional prior to making an investment decision.

** Eccles, Robert G. and Ioannou, Ioannis and Serafeim, George, “The Impact of Corporate Sustainability on Organizational Processes and Performance.” (November 23, 2011). Management Science, Forthcoming.