By Tom Sedoric and Casey Snyder

In our 2021 Outlook presentation, we touched briefly on the concept of ESG (environmental, social, and governance) investing and the important role this trend will hold in our world’s financial future. The ESG wave, as it’s known among investors, is growing rapidly as more people and companies put a greater emphasis on the importance of aligning investment monies with values. 

Since 2019, assets managed in the United States with ESG considerations have increased by 42%—we’re talking billions of dollars... And that’s for good reason“Environmental, social and governance (ESG) themed investments have become one of the best performing investment categories in recent years, paving the way for continued growth of this strategy.”

The Sedoric Group is committed to our Seacoast community and to building a stronger, healthier, and more financially independent world. With that in mind, we feel that it’s our responsibility as fiduciaries to educate our audience on ESG investing and outline the opportunities that come along with it. 

What is ESG Investing?

ESG investing—which is sometimes referred to as sustainable investing—empowers investors to support causes they care about and divest from industries that could potentially be harmful to our world. Investors may choose one or several causes to focus their efforts on depending on their passions and core values. 

Align your portfolio with your values.

Explore our guide to sustainable investing and learn how you can make an impact.

Download the Guide

There are three key criteria for how companies are evaluated for ESG investing: 

  • Environment: How is this company impacting the environment? Look at the company’s carbon footprint, identify any toxic chemicals used in its manufacturing processes, and any sustainability efforts the company makes.
  • Social: How does the company improve its social impact internally as well as within its community? Look at the company’s stance on racial diversity, LGBTQ+ equality, inclusion programs, and hiring tactics. You may also examine how a company promotes social progress in the larger community or in the world. 
  • Governance: How is this company, its board, and its management driving positive change? Look at the company’s response to issues surrounding executive pay, diversity in leadership, and relationships with employees and shareholders.

Until quite recently, ESG was considered a niche investment strategy, riddled with vague terms and definitions for ESG. There was no clear way of determining from one company to the next what impact they were making—if any at all. Today, as standardization becomes more commonplace, investors can better gauge the impact their investment—or divestment—is making on the world. 

An Example of ESG Investing in Action

Consider your own values and beliefs. What matters to you? Perhaps you’d like to promote women in leadership and you want to increase disability inclusion in workplaces. On the other hand, it’s equally important that your money isn’t getting into the hands of industries or companies you don’t support, such as pipeline drillers or fossil fuel producers. 

With ESG investing, your fiduciary will help you develop a custom strategy which reflects your core values. Visa is a great example of a company that supports women in leadership (50% of its executives are women) which could appear in such a portfolio. No two ESG portfolios are the same, which is part of their beauty.

Why You Should Care

One question we’re always asked by clients interested in ESG is, what returns can I expect? The answer varies, as it does with any investment strategy. ESG offers an opportunity to drive real, meaningful change in our world. Younger generations are increasingly invested in promoting positive social progress and protecting our environment, and ESG as an investment tactic gives them the ability to “vote with their dollar,” so to speak. The Sedoric Group believes that ESG is a powerful agent for change and shouldn’t be dismissed as a passing fad. ESG investing is here to stay—and we couldn’t be more enthusiastic about it.

The Sedoric Group of Steward Partners

Steward Partners Global Advisory
145 Maplewood Avenue, Suite 100
Portsmouth, NH 03801
(Office) 603-427-8870

The views expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Steward Partners or its affiliates. All opinions are subject to change without notice. Neither the information provided nor any opinion expressed constitutes a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

The returns on a portfolio consisting primarily of Environmental, Social and Governance (“ESG”) aware/Socially Responsible Investing (“SRI”)/Sustainable investments may be lower or higher than a portfolio that is more diversified or where decisions are based solely on investment considerations. Because ESG/SRI/Sustainable investments criteria exclude some investments, investors may not be able to take advantage of the same opportunities or market trends as investors that do not use such criteria.

Securities and investment advisory services offered through Steward Partners Investment Solutions, LLC, registered broker/dealer, member FINRA/SIPC, and SEC registered investment adviser. Investment Advisory Services may also be offered through Steward Partners Investment Advisory, LLC, an SEC registered investment adviser. Steward Partners Investment Solutions, LLC, Steward Partners Investment Advisory, LLC, and Steward Partners Global Advisory, LLC are affiliates and separately operated.

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