In spite of heightened volatility in stocks as the quarter drew to a close, the markets generally moved higher over the period. For the quarter, US large company stocks rose 8.9%, smaller company US stocks were up 4.9%, foreign stocks were higher by 4.8%, and US bonds, broadly measured, were up 0.6%. While stock indexes were higher for the quarter, the markets were mixed, with small company and foreign stocks having lost value, while large company stocks have moved higher.
Despite the pandemic and ensuing economic crisis, socially responsible investments (SRI) have received higher inflows of capital in 2020 than in any other period of American history. That’s right: investors have poured more than $21 billion into 300+ publicly available domestic SRI funds, well before the year’s end. All told, investors have already purchased more sustainable investments in the first half of this year than in all of 2019––a year that had already seen inflows that were a whopping 4 times higher than any previous year.
1: WASHINGTON (PRO FOOTBALL TEAM) MOVES TOWARD CHANGING CONTROVERSIAL TEAM NAME
After public political protest and financial pressure by major corporate backers such as FedEx, Nike, and Pepsi, in July the owner of the Washington, D.C., professional football team agreed to change the team’s derogatory name. The move was celebrated by SRI investors, who have long advocated in support of Indigenous peoples’ fight for years to remove Native references in mascots and logos. Washington Post
If you’re working with a financial planner, chances are you’re the kind of person who has also prepared for the possibility of an earthquake, hurricane, or wildfires. But have you prepared for potential civil unrest around the election? “What? No, that could never happen here!” you might be thinking. Well, it’s not something I’d ever worried about before either, but hear me out.
Americans will soon vote in an election with unprecedented stakes. The outcome of the presidential and Congressional races will determine whether this country continues its rapid descent into xenophobia, isolationism, and climate nihilism—or whether we open a doorway of possibility to a better future.
Socially responsible investing has gone mainstream, if you haven’t heard. Recent reports show that the total amount of professionally managed money invested with social and or environmental criteria has topped $11 trillion. This hasn’t gone unnoticed by a myriad of large and small investment companies and advisors. It is now more important than ever for committed conscientious investors to understand the various shades of socially responsible investment options in the marketplace. Much of what passes for environmental, social and governance (ESG) investments end up as merely a fund of typical companies which have been run through a screener to weed out the worst of them, known as “avoidance investing,” and their work is done. That’s it, pretty thin soup for investors aspiring to improve the world.
Investing to End Racial and Wealth Inequality by Amy Pender
Pandemic Planning: Transitions, Endings, and New Beginnings by Carrie VanWinkle
SRI in Focus: Creating a New Normal by Michael Kramer
Market Report – Summer 2020 by Scott Secrest
Download a full PDF copy here: Investing with Intent – Summer 2020
The recent national outcry over police violence against Black Americans highlights both the institutional racism of the criminal justice system and the deep socioeconomic disparities Black communities must contend with. Natural Investments has long been committed to channeling investment capital to community development intermediaries and enterprises operated by and for people of color as a way to address systemic inequality. To bolster Black economic power in this moment, here are some resources for directing investment capital into communities of color.
As we concluded the first full quarter of economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, stock values were generally higher, with large company stocks up 20.5%, smaller company stocks up 25.4%, and foreign stocks up 14.9%. Bonds, broadly measured, rose by 2.9%. These returns have an impressive luster in part because they are measured relative to the market trough of late March. Overall stocks remain lower for the year.
In The Resilient Investor, we noted that this is an era of volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity. Five years after the publication of our book, which was devoted to planning for major disruptions, it turns out even we underestimated how prescient our framework would be!
Typically, volatility is described in terms of the severity of equity market price fluctuation. Severe peaks and valleys in a short period of time typically reveal the levels of investor uncertainty in the absence of dependable economic patterns.
Market uncertainty increased when Trump was nominated and elected and was generally higher than normal throughout 2018 and 2019. Although it skyrocketed in February and March, as the pandemic emerged, it has actually been decreasing the past few months.