Fund Selector: ESG myths and realities | Published June 15th, 2017

By Jim Wood Smith

The 19th annual World No Tobacco Day took place last month, on May 31. Organised by the World Health Organization, the idea was to raise recognition that the seven million annual deaths attributed to tobacco are a handicap to societal development.

Passive funds continue to grow, winning market share as investors seek simplicity, low fees and alternatives to the average active fund.

It received little media coverage beyond the news that a number of investment companies chose the day to encourage those invested in tobacco stocks to quit the habit.

This raises the issue of how ethical/green/SRI/ESG considerations have started to spread from the periphery of the investment world into the mainstream. These are not ‘ethical’ funds per se, but ‘vanilla’ investment companies believing that what is good for society in the long run will also be good for shareholders.

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