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Can my investments really make an impact?

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Our answer:

Yes, but you have to wade through the noise and marketing if you really want to feel good about your investments. Investing in companies that treat their employees well, follow the law, respect their customers, and limit their waste is a reliable model for success. The difficulty lies in the ability to identify companies operating that way. Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) metrics provide some insights into these aspects of responsible business behavior but fall short of effectively evaluating corporate social or environmental impact. ESG metrics have a lot of value, but they can often be misunderstood, misleading, or misused.

How can I align my money with my values?

It’s not easy. Companies are more than a stock price. No company represents a particular set of values. None is perfectly sustainable or perfectly inclusive, and none is both. The best thing we can do is try to evaluate their decision-making to identify companies we believe are making responsible choices to treat their employees, customers, communities, and our planet with respect.

Here are three ways to think about aligning your investments with your values:

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