Mark Bateman - September 29, 2015
It seems like a fairly straightforward question to ask whether environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues matter to investors, but it is actually a fairly nuanced question. ESG issues are diverse. No one cares about all of the issues. So what are some issues that individual investors care about and which issues do a large number of investors care about?
Through polling results, we can document examples of interest people have in public policy issues:
• 32 percent of Americans think that “animals should be given the same rights as people.” (Gallup, 2015) (more…)
Mark Bateman - September 14, 2015
How many of your clients identify with an organized religion? (This doesn’t have to mean that they participate on a weekly basis.) According to the Pew Research Center’s most recent data, 76.5 percent of the U.S. population identify with a specific faith. Of these, 25.4 percent are Evangelical Protestants, 20.8 percent are Catholic, and 14.7 percent are Mainline Protestant. Some of these people of faith will have thought about how their investments align with their spiritual beliefs. So what can you do to be prepared to have this discussion if a client wants to become a faith-based investor?
Different investors—even different investors from the same faith tradition—have varrying values and it is not a good idea to assume too much about what views a particular individual will have. If you read my blog post “ESG Issues Survey—Understanding a Client’s Values”, you have a tool that can help begin these conversations with your clients.
But you can also do some basic homework to better understand what a particular religion or denomination is saying about investment criteria. Some religious groups offer a policy as a starting point for these conversations.
I’ve compiled a few example resources that may be helpful in understanding a starting point for your religious clients’ beliefs. This list is not comprehensive. Additional denominations may have resources as well. (more…)