#MICUS 2020, the Morningstar conference, had so much to write about during day 1 that it may take me a month or so to go through it. Register for day 2 if you missed the first day. I just heard Larry Fink, of BlackRock. For someone heading the largest pile of investment money in the world, he is surprisingly aware on ESG issues. Hopefully, their proxy voting will catch up to that awareness.
#MICUS 2020: Sustainable Investing – The Time Is Now
Sustainalytics founder Michael Jantzi discussed that with the global pandemic and social unrest, there’s never been more retail investor interest in or a timelier litmus test for sustainable investing.
Sustainability isn’t about the dearth of capitalism, it’s about the evolution of it. The time is now for advisors to help their clients turn fear into opportunity through proactive, long-term financial decision-making.
Here’s a glance at one tool to help. I will get back to Sustainalytics and others in the future. For more highlights, search #MICUS on twitter.
Assessing Sustainable Fund Performance Amid Market Turbulence
Jon Hale, director of sustainability research, Morningstar, showed Morgan Stanely survey finds high investor interest.
There has bee a dramatic increase in fund flows into ESG/Sustainable funds. Fund flows almost doubled last year’s pace, even during the pandemic. Hale broke down definitions and types of sustainability. Fund performance measured on Morningstar Direct lends credence to ESG as value additive on average, even measuring several different ways.
Of course, I would not only want to check return but also proxy voting, especially if returns are close. Investing our values is not just about where we place our bets. Fund managers should take responsibility for environmental stewardship, social responsibility, and corporate governance.
More about Sustainalytics and PitchBook soon. Stay tuned. There is more to come on #MICUS 2020.