Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) Investing
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MALIK SIEVERS: Hi, I’m Malik Sievers, and I’m the Head of Environmental, Social and Governance, or ESG Strategy at Schwab Asset Management. More and more, we are hearing from investors about wanting to better align their investments with their beliefs and values. I feel the same way. As a kid growing up in Queens, New York, I was always looking around at my environment and seeing the social and economic issues. I saw the impact of not investing in the community and what you believe in. Now, at this pivotal time in our history when social, economic and environmental issues are at the center of so many conversations, it’s great to be able to help investors and advisors find investments they can believe in that incorporate these factors. But let’s take a step back and talk a little bit more about what we mean by ESG, or environmental, social and governance investing. There are many different approaches to investing. Value investing and growth investing are just a couple of examples. ESG is another strategy, one that goes beyond the traditional economic measures of risk and return to allow investors to invest in products that consider environmental, social and governance factors. When we refer to ESG, we’re talking about investing that is considered socially responsible, values-based, impact investing, or even sustainable investing. The ESG space is clearly evolving rapidly. 2020 was a huge catalyst for growth. The pandemic, racial justice issues, and climate concerns have driven greater attention toward investments that address renewable energy, human capital, corporate governance, and more, but it’s still pretty early days in terms of broad adoption of ESG. According to the 2021 Mid-Year Outlook Report from Bloomberg Intelligence, global ESG assets are projected to exceed $50 trillion in assets under management by 2025. Many advisors and investors are trying to figure out how to best incorporate ESG into their portfolios. When it comes to ESG investing, we believe it’s a dial, not a switch. You can incorporate one to two ESG funds alongside your otherwise non-ESG portfolio, or you can take an all-in approach of building an ESG portfolio from the ground up. There are also many different types of investment vehicles available, including separately managed accounts, mutual funds, ETFs, and individual securities. So, really, what this means is that ESG exposure can be tailored to your preferences. There really is no right or wrong way to incorporate ESG into your portfolio. The truth is you have many choices when it comes to how to get ESG exposure because there are so many strategies and vehicles that you can use. But you really just need to review each investment strategy for your particular situation before making any investment decisions about ESG. Personally, I believe it’s important to consider ESG investments because I care about the world I’m going to leave for my kids and their kids. It’s exciting that we at Schwab have a range of ways to help people make an impact with their investments. At Schwab Asset Management, our goal is to empower personalized investing to help you achieve your financial goals and outcomes. So if one of your goals is to invest in solutions that consider environmental, social and governance factors, we are here to help. Thank you for investing in a better tomorrow. I’m looking forward to helping you on your ESG journey.