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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Is there a Bubble in Passive Investments?

Posted by Dana Funds Investment Team on Sep 19, 2019 3:46:56 PM

Michael Burry, whose firm Scion Asset Management made approximately 489% betting against the housing bubble during the Global Financial Crisis, recently made headlines again. This time, he is of the opinion that another bubble exists today, and passive investment vehicles are to blame.

“The bubble in passive investing through ETFs and index funds, as well as the trend to very large size among asset managers, has orphaned smaller value-type securities globally,” said Mr. Burry.1

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2 Wrong Ways to Invest in ESG and SRI

Posted by Dana Funds Investment Team on Sep 13, 2019 9:12:57 AM

As demand for environmental, social and governance (ESG) and socially responsible investing (SRI) investment products grows, advisors are tasked with sorting out the good options from the bad. Unfortunately, there are many problematic products, many of which have been “greenwashed” or marketed in a way that makes the fund appear more ethical or responsible than it really is, which could result in tough conversations with clients.

Here are two approaches you should be careful with:

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Advisors Year-End Checklist – Are You Prepared?

Posted by Dana Funds Investment Team on Sep 5, 2019 6:19:53 PM

Can you believe Labor Day is behind us? With the end of the year approaching, here is a checklist of items to keep in mind when speaking with your clients this fall:

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The Business Roundtable’s New Standard for Corporate Responsibility

Posted by David Weinstein, Portfolio Manager on Aug 29, 2019 1:33:18 PM

On Monday, August 19, 2019, the Business Roundtable, a group of chief executive officers from nearly 200 U.S. corporations, issued a statement1 proposing a new definition of the purpose of a corporation. This new vision included heightened corporate responsibilities toward employees, customers, suppliers, communities and the environment, rather than strictly looking to maximize profits and shareholder monetary value. The statement was signed by 181 CEOs including the heads of Apple, JPMorgan Chase and Amazon.

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The Value of a Disciplined Long-Term Approach

Posted by Dana Funds Investment Team on Aug 21, 2019 4:32:49 PM

Throughout this economic cycle, there have been countless events that had the potential to, and often did, send the U.S. equity markets lower. But even the effects of major developments like the downgrading of U.S. debt, Taper Tantrum, or the European Sovereign Debt Crisis — each of which had the potential to cause broader contagion — ultimately proved transitory.

The chart below illustrates the power of a long-term approach and sticking to a disciplined investment strategy.

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The Dana Funds are distributed by Ultimus Fund Distributors, LLC. There is no affiliation between Ultimus Fund Distributors, LLC. and the firms referenced in this blog post.