Here’s a great article from Merrill Lynch that says the future is bright for values-based investing. Read on!
After enduring years of skepticism and a worldwide financial crisis, this global phenomenon has fully emerged as a way to align personal financial goals and performance with the prospect of a better world.
Not even the global financial crisis could dampen enthusiasm for values-based investing VBI, the strategy of putting investors’ assets where they do society and the planet good. From 2007 through 2010, when total invested assets in the U.S. remained virtually flat, the nation’s VBI increased by more than 13%. Since 1995 the increase has been 380%, nearly a third higher than for all other invested assets. ¹What was once a niche phenomenon, derided as a feel-good money loser for more principled souls, VBI has become a pervasive approach broadly embraced by millions of individuals, institutions and financial advisors. Of the $25.2 trillion in total assets under professional management in the U.S. in 2010, $3.1 trillion was invested in assets screened for adherence to various environmental, social or corporate-governance values.¹ Globally the figures tell a similar story. Last year the United Nations’ Principles for Responsible Investment, a pledge to consider social, environmental and governance principles when making investment decisions, drew the signatures of fund managers and other major investors representing $25 trillion — 10% of the world’s investment capital.For those of us who have spent years trying to improve the values-based investment choices for our clients, the evolution of VBI into a broad, sophisticated and influential part of the financial landscape has been nothing short of astonishing. Perhaps most gratifying is the fact that values and financial interests are no longer mutually exclusive. In 2007, when Merrill Lynch first helped popularize the term “values-based investing” prior to that, the field had largely gone by the narrower “socially responsible investing,” or SRI, a term still used, there were 260 values-based mutual funds in the U.S. Today there are close to 500 funds of various types.
read more via Merrill Lynch Private Banking and Investment Group.