Socially Responsibility ETFs For Impact Investing

The popularity of impact investing has been growing in the last couple of years. More investors are becoming socially aware and as a result, several EFTs that are in strict adherence to environmental and social governance keep cropping up.

iShares MSCI KLD 400 Social ETF (DSI)

With this option, you get access and exposure to socially responsible companies in the U.S. You also get the opportunity to access a wide range of stock which has been vetted for positive environmental, social and governance characteristics. The iShares MSCI KLD 400 Social ETF (DSI) currently managing a $1.28 billion in assets. It is also currently the largest passively managed socially responsible fund in the United States. It has been operational for over 12 years which also makes it one of the oldest.

Xtrackers MSCI ACWI ex USA ESG Leaders Equity ETF (ASCG)

This is one of the newest social responsible funds in the market at the moment. The funds debuted last December and just as it implies, it excludes U.S entities. It mixes developed and emerging markets to provide a bigger portfolio for investors. Even with the territory restriction, this socially responsible fund currently holds more than 800 stocks. European and Asian markets contribute up to 87.40% of the weight. The fund is cost-effective and offers a reliable and steady option for investors who want to get into social responsible ETFs.

SPDR SSGA Gender Diversity Index ETF (SHE)

You can’t talk about impact investment without touching on gender equality. Gender equality products have also shown tremendous growth when looking at impact investing. If you want to prove that there is merit in the gender equality investment thesis, you don’t have to look further than SPDR SSGA Gender Diversity Index ETF (SHE). The investment fund is just over three years old and currently manages $235.72 million in assets. It also seeks to track the SSGA Gender Diversity Index. Financial services, healthcare, technology products constitute to 47% of SHE’s investment portfolio. The expense ratio is currently at 0.20% per year.

Global X Conscious Companies ETF (KRMA)

This is another trust that is about three years old. They have a unique and impactful methodology when it comes to meaningful investing. It boasts as being the first ETF of using the Multi-stakeholder Operating System (MsOS). It strives in offering exposure to customers who want to achieve a positive outcome for the key stakeholders that include suppliers, customers, stockholders, local community, and employees. KRMA currently holds 160 stocks. A big portion of the stock is allocated to technology, financial, and health care services. The expense ratio is at 0.43% per year.

Vanguard ESG U.S. Stock ETF (ESGV)

This is one of the two impactful Investing EFs that was launched by Vanguard in September 2018. Observers noted that the launch would lead to an increased interest in the ESG ETF. There is a 0.12% annual fee which could be seen as 87% cheaper than competition options when it comes to strategy. ESGV is very specific to the companies it deals with. It has excluded companies that deal with alcohol and tobacco, adult entertainment, nuclear power, gambling, and fossil fuel.

Vanguard ESG International Stocks ETF (VSGX)

The is the international option for the above-mentioned ETF. It follows the same guidelines with ESGV. Companies that don’t meet U.N. global impact principles are excluded. The fund is currently home to 1940 stocks. It consists of both developed and emerging markets with the later only contributing to 17.60%. The U.K. and Japan contribute up to 29% of the socially responsible funds. The stocks are performing well currently. The expense ratio is at 0.15%

NuShares ESG Large-Cap Value ETF (NULV)

This ETF comes from a premium family of socially responsible funds. The funds are offered by NuShares which is known to be very strict when it comes to the vetting process for companies. There is a thorough screening process so as to avoid companies with controversial practices or industries that have the potential to cause social harm like a firearm manufacturer. As you would expect in most ETFs, this one also heavily focuses on the financial services which make up to 21.4% of the portfolio. Consumer staples and healthcare have a combine of 29%.

What is Sustainable Investment?

Before you can think about putting your money in impact investing, you need to first understand what you’re dealing with. Sustainable investment is a discipline or branch that factors in environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) in generating long-term and consistent financial returns.


There are several reasons why people would be interested in sustainable investment. It could be as a result of personal values and goals. Most sustainable investors require desire strong financial performance but aren’t purely driven by profit. They believe that the investments can be used to improve the social, environmental and governance practices in place.

Strategies Used

Traditionally, sustainable investors have focused on two strategies to grow their portfolio. The first strategy is ESG incorporation. With ESG, there is the consideration of environmental, societal, community, and other governing factors. Community investing, on the other hand, has the sole of financing institutions or projects that server the less privileged both in the United States and overseas. The second strategy involves filing for shareholders resolutions. There is the option of practicing the forms of shareholding engagement put in place.

How Big Is the Sustainable Investing Market Place?

According to a report on US Sustainable, Responsible and Impact Investing Trends, it was estimated that about $12 trillion under management as of 2017. The industry has enjoyed a growth rate of 38% between 2016 and 2018.

Who are the investors?

Those who invest sustainable energy vary. They could range from high net worth individuals to average retail investors. They could also be organizations like universities, nonprofits, religious entities. There are several investment firms that offer different solutions depending on the individual or organization.

How do the funds perform?

This is perhaps the most important question for a potential investor. Sustainable energy investment plans involve a lot of products and assets. It could be alternative investments, cash, and fixed income. Companies that have a strong social corporate responsibility are recommended when it comes to sustainable investment.

Practical Tips to Help You Get Started in Sustainable Investing

The stock market is always going to be risky. You can lose everything within a flash of a second. You can use your money to invest in things that matter most. The same rules apply when it comes to investing in sustainable investing. You need to diversify, look at the risk vs return ratio, and learn when to pick the loses. If you’re just starting out, there are some pointers that could come in handy.

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