Different Shades of Green: Juxtaposing Old and New

As we make our way through the holiday season, many investors have on their list of new years resolutions to align their investments with their values. At Hampton Wealth Management, our endowment supermodels embrace sustainable and responsible investing (SRI), which has evolved to include environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues, to deliver results to the “double bottom line”: companies doing well in the marketplace and doing good in the world.

Socially responsible investing has come a long way. In the 1970s, SRI was about exclusionary advocacy and equal rights. In the 1980s, various disasters led to an emphasis on corporate governance and environmental responsibility. In the 1990s, the movement evolved towards sustainability and business reporting. In the 2000s, climate issues came to the fore. Impact investing opportunities also became available. And now in the 2010s, the investing mainstream has taken notice of ESG — no longer dismissing it as a niche activity, nor as a topic of heated debate.

Academic research and industry studies demonstrate that incorporating ESG factors can improve risk-adjusted returns over a traditional portfolio — while making the world a better place. In a challenging environment of slow growth and low interest rates, where investors increasingly are getting paid less to take on more risk, strategies that focus on ESG factors can bring meaning and engagement to material prosperity, while solving for the world’s most daunting problems.

Nowadays, modern ESG strategies are much more nuanced and sophisticated due to the collection of more robust data. There are many new ways to make a difference beyond stereotypically negative screening: ESG integration, shareholder advocacy, impact/community investing, and philanthropy.

Investment decisions should serve as a way to express your social, political, and environmental values. If you are looking for better SRI/ESG conscious choices in the publicly traded markets, or are inclined to make an impact in the private markets, then Hampton Wealth Management can help you identify opportunities that speak concretely to your aspirations. To us, sustainable investing isn’t just good business, it is personal, too.

“We are moving beyond the capitalism/ philanthropy dichotomy by combining them together in a movement toward creative capitalism.”
—Bill Gates, Founder, Microsoft Corporation and Chairman, Gates Foundation

“Commerce and entrepreneurial capitalism take more people out of poverty than aid.”
—Bono of U2, Singer, Venture Capitalist, Philanthropist

How green is your portfolio? Contact us to schedule a complimentary consultation.

Article printed in Hampton Magazine, Quarter 4, 2016