Dana Funds Investment Team

Recent Posts

A Decade in Review - The Effects of Climate Change

Posted by Dana Funds Investment Team on Dec 11, 2019 12:50:07 PM

As part of a 3-part blog series covering the most memorable changes from the 2010s, our 2nd post covers the effects of climate change. If you are interested in reading the first part in this Decade in Review series, Central Banks Take the Wheel, please see link below.

Climate Change

In mid-November the city of Venice, Italy experienced its worst flood in over fifty years.  Fueled by rising ocean waters, drudged canals and 75 mile-per-hour winds, the brackish waters of Laguna Veneta rose six feet above normal levels, flooding over 80% of the city.  The flood waters caused an estimated $1.1 billion in damages.  Included in that estimate is considerable damage done to St. Mark’s Cathedral whose crypt flooded for the first time since 1966.

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A Decade in Review - Central Banks Take the Wheel

Posted by Dana Funds Investment Team on Dec 5, 2019 9:27:00 AM

As we approach a new decade, we’d like to take a moment to reflect on some of the most memorable changes from the 2010s. In a 3-part blog series, we will cover central banks, how mobile has changed our world, and the effects of climate change.

Central Banks

Perhaps the biggest change in the financial markets over the past ten years is the evolution of the Federal Reserve from a somewhat autonomous, esoteric monetary policy making body to an almost ubiquitous actor in monetary, economic and political policy. In 2010 Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke was an anonymous figure, known by few outside financial circles. Today, Chairman Jerome Powell is mentioned weekly in tweets by the President.

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ESG: For The Record

Posted by Dana Funds Investment Team on Nov 22, 2019 9:38:11 AM

On November 13th the Wall Street Journal published an article entitled “A Socially Responsible Strategy Can Be Tricky” that largely took to task Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) investing.  Though the author rightly identifies the subjective, and at times confusing, nature of ESG criteria standards (something Dana has previously discussed), the majority of the article is a somewhat cynical view of ESG investing as a worthwhile economic endeavor.

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Is Value Investing Back in Vogue?

Posted by Dana Funds Investment Team on Nov 15, 2019 4:35:15 PM

An interesting dichotomy has developed between the collective psychology of investors and market performance.  In a hint of growing uncertainty, investors’ cash allocations have grown $1 trillion over the last three years to levels unseen since 2009. (See chart 1 below). Given the current environment, investor trepidation is understandable.  The U.S. remains in an on-again, off-again trade war with China, economic growth has been lackluster as stagnating manufacturing data continues to wrestle with decent services growth, and impeachment hearings have brought to a boil the nation’s political animus.  Yet, despite the uncertainty, markets averages have soldiered on to new highs.

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Do ESG Investors Believe In Unicorns?

Posted by Dana Funds Investment Team on Nov 6, 2019 4:35:40 PM

The once red-hot market for unicorn investments has turned chilly. These start-up enterprises with a value of at least $1 billion have enjoyed relative easy access to private capital this cycle. Robust growth, easy credit and a fair amount of hype combined to elevate the early valuations of these companies. Peloton Interactive, Inc. (PTON), the maker of stationary bikes and treadmills, marketed itself as “selling happiness.”  Ridesharing company, Lyft, Inc. (LYFT) claimed it was “at the forefront of societal change.” Corporate real estate leasing company WeWork aimed to “elevate the world’s consciousness.”  

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Q&A: ESG Investing

Posted by Dana Funds Investment Team on Nov 1, 2019 7:37:47 AM

The October issue of Citywire RIA Magazine has hit the newsstands and they released an RIA Supplement titled, “ESG’s Time Has Come.”  Environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing seems to be a hot topic recently, but many advisors are not up to date with the ins and outs of ESG investing. 

As part of the supplement, Dana submitted an article answering many questions that advisors have about ESG Investing.  Questions include:

  • What advice would you have for advisors who are looking to get into this space or deepen their ESG Investing toolkit?
  • ESG Strategies have become popular. Why is this?
  • What’s your approach to ESG Investing? How does it differ from competitors?
  • What funds do you offer? Are they all ESG funds?
  • How do you see the future of ESG playing out? Is it going to become more mainstream and just a regular part of how people invest?
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Defining Faith-Based Investing

Posted by Dana Funds Investment Team on Oct 23, 2019 4:19:49 PM

“Among us, who is above must be in service to others.  This doesn’t mean we have to wash each
other’s feet every day, but we must help one another.”
-Pope Francis

What do we want to accomplish with our time here on Earth?  What impact do we want to have on society?  How do we want to help shape the future for the generations that follow?  Mankind has asked itself these philosophical questions for ages. Their emerging importance in the form of environment, social and governance (ESG) investing or sustainable, responsible and impact (SRI) investing is a relatively more recent phenomenon.

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Faith-Based Investors Make an Impact

Posted by Dana Funds Investment Team on Oct 17, 2019 5:01:37 PM

Faith-based institutions continue to be leaders in the evolution and growth of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) investing. During September’s Financing The Future summit in South Africa, 22 religious group organizations announced their plans to divest oil, gas and coal investments, solidifying Faith-based investors’ position as the single largest constituency exiting fossil fuels1. While many ESG investing strategies utilize these exclusionary screening techniques to avoid investments in fossil fuels or sectors such as weapons, tobacco, alcohol and pornography, a group of Catholic faith-based investors are taking their ESG investment approach further by implementing and advocating a proactive approach to investment selection.

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The ESG Opportunity 

Posted by Dana Funds Investment Team on Oct 11, 2019 3:02:25 PM

With over 75% of individual investors expressing an interest in sustainable investing, it is clear that investor demand for  Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG)  investments is real and growing1. Yet, remarkably, only 36% of financial advisors are currently offering an ESG solution to their clients and less than 8% of co-sponsored retirement plans offer even a single ESG fund2.  In that disconnect lies opportunity. 

The three main concerns advisors have with environmental, sustainable and governance investing are a lack of  transparency,  performance  concerns and client  demand.  

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How Heightened Cash Levels Could Prolong the Equities Bull Market

Posted by Dana Funds Investment Team on Sep 26, 2019 9:08:28 AM

Asset flows into money market funds have accelerated considerably since the selloff in late 2018, as illustrated by the graph below. According to the Investment Company Institute, more commonly known as ICI, total money market assets (including institutional and retail funds) currently stand at $3.4 trillion as of 9/18/19, which is the most recent available date.1

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