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别慌,这类基金越“绿”越好

别慌,这类基金越“绿”越好

RYAN DEROUSSEAU 2021年04月08日
越来越多的投资基金戴上了ESG标签,本文教你识别其中的佼佼者。

图片来源:SEB AGRESTI

在投资领域,强烈的情绪会左右人们的决策。2020年,环境、社会和治理(ESG)股票基金领域尤为如此,投资者对地球环保的激情、担忧和希望造就了这个业绩创纪录的年份。

ESG基金致力于投资那些避免危害或从事公益事业的公司。随着全球各国应对新冠疫情封锁、社会动荡和生态灾害,资金流入这些基金的速度比破损油管漏油的速度还要快。Morningstar称,2020年,新投资净额达到了511亿美元,是2019年记录的两倍多。即便股票市场的表现出乎意料的好,但ESG投资者的回报有过之而无不及:在美国,可持续基金的回报率中值高出传统基金4%还要多。

可持续与负责任投资论坛(Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment)称,这些数字在一定程度上反映了投资者将其资产与其价值进行匹配的长期趋势:流入各类基金的约三分之一资金如今都会投向“可持续发展载体”。(ESG基金通常贴着“可持续发展”的标签,尽管有时候他们关注的更多是社会或治理问题而不是环境问题。)然而,这些潜在的社会改良公司当前面临着一个困境:随着ESG投资变得越发流行,越来越多的基金都在争相为自己贴上这一标签,而且对于自身是否名副其实毫不在意。

ESG咨询公司KKS Advisors创始人的一份研究称,超过6600支基金如今称自己是“道德的”,这一数值是2013年的两倍。在欧盟,依据3月开始生效的法规,以ESG导向自居的基金必须披露其策略到底如何帮助解决社会问题。然而,美国没有这类法规,辨别真伪的重担自然就落到了投资者的身上。

因此,随着这类基金群体的不断发展壮大,我们应如何加以分辨?与任何基金一样,一开始要评估其表现和费用。为了进一步缩窄你的选项,我们有必要了解行业的子门类,并弄清楚哪个门类与你的投资风格更契合。Morningstar美国可持续性研究负责人琼·海尔表示,由于可持续性设计没有既定的规则,因此基金采取了“一系列方式”。投资者也可以采取这种方式,混合或对标以下三种模式:

回避型

最基本的ESG方法专注于避免不良因素。大多数基金经理都会关注某个特定的投资领域——例如美国大市值股票,并忽视那些在特定ESG因素领域表现排名后三分之一的基金,例如环境影响或雇员公平待遇。(这里有一整个专注于打造这类排名的子行业。)基金的招股说明书会解释其经理如何决定投资谁,不投资谁。

一些ESG基金在投资时会刻意放弃不合格的股票并持有几乎其他所有股票。该领域的佼佼者是 Vanguard FTSE Social Index Fund Admiral Shares (VFTAX)。它会跟踪FTSE4Good U.S. Select Index;在3月中旬,该基金持有468支大市值美国股票。去年该基金的回报率为23%,相比之下,标普500指数的回报率为18%,而且该基金的管理费更是低至0.14%。

探索型

其他基金会更有选择性地专注于非特定门类股票中的优胜者。一些基金经理不仅是积极的股票选择者,同时也是使用其股东投票权推动其所投公司变化的激进人士。这些基金通常会发布“接洽报告”,并在报告中列出他们向公司管理层提出的种种问题,及其代理投票活动的综述。一些基金会更进一步,发布影响力报告,详细列明了其投资策略如何打算带来积极的影响。Morningstar的海尔说,“这些报告应被视作最佳实践”,这是基金公司承诺完成其使命的标志。(承诺的另一个标志:活跃的基金经理应在ESG投资领域拥有丰富的经验。)

自2013年以来,以“道德”自居的基金的数量翻了一番。

总部位于旧金山的Parnassus Investments是ESG股票选择领域的资深公司,而且Parnassus Core Equity Investor (PRBLX)基金自1992年成立以来一直都处于顶级表现阵营,其平均年回报率为11.4%(2020年达到了21%)。联合经理托德·阿尔斯滕自2001年以来一直是基金的执掌者,而且其团队既善于选股,也热衷于社会事业。例如,Parnassus最近帮助说服了零食巨头亿滋国际 (Mondelez)使用更有利于回收的包装。

专家型

詹妮弗·肯宁是Align Impact的首席执行官,该公司致力于与个人客户和金融顾问合作,打造可持续的资产组合。她对富有激情的投资者所提的一条重要建议在于:与其研究整个ESG格局,不如专注于“你能够实现的某件事情”。ESG基金的大规模渗透,尤其是ETF(交易所交易基金)也让人们更容易专注于某个具体行业:投资者可以专注于支持清洁技术(包括 iShares Global Clean Energy,ICLN等众多选择);支持女性友好性公司(如:SPDR SSGA Gender Diversity Index, SHE);甚至消除动物剥削,包括制造或销售肉类产品的公司(如:U.S. Vegan Climate, VEGN)。

ESG基金在2020年的业绩普遍跑赢大盘的原因在于,其中没有几支基金持有化石燃料股票,而这些股票在去年可谓是一蹶不振。然而,清洁能源是一个范围更小的关注点,其长期愿景依然强劲。该领域有两支颇有前景的ETF都由一名共同经理人执掌,他就是有着14年ESG投资经验的资深人士皮特·哈巴德,这两支基金分别是Invesco Solar (TAN)和Invesco WilderHill Clean Energy (PBW)。TAN基金持有约50家主要专注于太阳能的公司,该基金的20%分别流入了美国Enphase Energy公司和以色列SolarEdge Technologies公司。PBW基金则投资更广泛领域的能源公司。尽管其投资者在2020年的表现可能并不突出,但当这两支ETF的股价增幅超过200%时,投资者便有可能继续从日渐更加注重环保动议的经济中获益。(财富中文网)

本文刊载于《财富》杂志2021年4/5月刊。

译者:冯丰

审校:夏林

在投资领域,强烈的情绪会左右人们的决策。2020年,环境、社会和治理(ESG)股票基金领域尤为如此,投资者对地球环保的激情、担忧和希望造就了这个业绩创纪录的年份。

ESG基金致力于投资那些避免危害或从事公益事业的公司。随着全球各国应对新冠疫情封锁、社会动荡和生态灾害,资金流入这些基金的速度比破损油管漏油的速度还要快。Morningstar称,2020年,新投资净额达到了511亿美元,是2019年记录的两倍多。即便股票市场的表现出乎意料的好,但ESG投资者的回报有过之而无不及:在美国,可持续基金的回报率中值高出传统基金4%还要多。

可持续与负责任投资论坛(Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment)称,这些数字在一定程度上反映了投资者将其资产与其价值进行匹配的长期趋势:流入各类基金的约三分之一资金如今都会投向“可持续发展载体”。(ESG基金通常贴着“可持续发展”的标签,尽管有时候他们关注的更多是社会或治理问题而不是环境问题。)然而,这些潜在的社会改良公司当前面临着一个困境:随着ESG投资变得越发流行,越来越多的基金都在争相为自己贴上这一标签,而且对于自身是否名副其实毫不在意。

ESG咨询公司KKS Advisors创始人的一份研究称,超过6600支基金如今称自己是“道德的”,这一数值是2013年的两倍。在欧盟,依据3月开始生效的法规,以ESG导向自居的基金必须披露其策略到底如何帮助解决社会问题。然而,美国没有这类法规,辨别真伪的重担自然就落到了投资者的身上。

因此,随着这类基金群体的不断发展壮大,我们应如何加以分辨?与任何基金一样,一开始要评估其表现和费用。为了进一步缩窄你的选项,我们有必要了解行业的子门类,并弄清楚哪个门类与你的投资风格更契合。Morningstar美国可持续性研究负责人琼·海尔表示,由于可持续性设计没有既定的规则,因此基金采取了“一系列方式”。投资者也可以采取这种方式,混合或对标以下三种模式:

回避型

最基本的ESG方法专注于避免不良因素。大多数基金经理都会关注某个特定的投资领域——例如美国大市值股票,并忽视那些在特定ESG因素领域表现排名后三分之一的基金,例如环境影响或雇员公平待遇。(这里有一整个专注于打造这类排名的子行业。)基金的招股说明书会解释其经理如何决定投资谁,不投资谁。

一些ESG基金在投资时会刻意放弃不合格的股票并持有几乎其他所有股票。该领域的佼佼者是 Vanguard FTSE Social Index Fund Admiral Shares (VFTAX)。它会跟踪FTSE4Good U.S. Select Index;在3月中旬,该基金持有468支大市值美国股票。去年该基金的回报率为23%,相比之下,标普500指数的回报率为18%,而且该基金的管理费更是低至0.14%。

探索型

其他基金会更有选择性地专注于非特定门类股票中的优胜者。一些基金经理不仅是积极的股票选择者,同时也是使用其股东投票权推动其所投公司变化的激进人士。这些基金通常会发布“接洽报告”,并在报告中列出他们向公司管理层提出的种种问题,及其代理投票活动的综述。一些基金会更进一步,发布影响力报告,详细列明了其投资策略如何打算带来积极的影响。Morningstar的海尔说,“这些报告应被视作最佳实践”,这是基金公司承诺完成其使命的标志。(承诺的另一个标志:活跃的基金经理应在ESG投资领域拥有丰富的经验。)

自2013年以来,以“道德”自居的基金的数量翻了一番。

总部位于旧金山的Parnassus Investments是ESG股票选择领域的资深公司,而且Parnassus Core Equity Investor (PRBLX)基金自1992年成立以来一直都处于顶级表现阵营,其平均年回报率为11.4%(2020年达到了21%)。联合经理托德·阿尔斯滕自2001年以来一直是基金的执掌者,而且其团队既善于选股,也热衷于社会事业。例如,Parnassus最近帮助说服了零食巨头亿滋国际 (Mondelez)使用更有利于回收的包装。

专家型

詹妮弗·肯宁是Align Impact的首席执行官,该公司致力于与个人客户和金融顾问合作,打造可持续的资产组合。她对富有激情的投资者所提的一条重要建议在于:与其研究整个ESG格局,不如专注于“你能够实现的某件事情”。ESG基金的大规模渗透,尤其是ETF(交易所交易基金)也让人们更容易专注于某个具体行业:投资者可以专注于支持清洁技术(包括 iShares Global Clean Energy,ICLN等众多选择);支持女性友好性公司(如:SPDR SSGA Gender Diversity Index, SHE);甚至消除动物剥削,包括制造或销售肉类产品的公司(如:U.S. Vegan Climate, VEGN)。

ESG基金在2020年的业绩普遍跑赢大盘的原因在于,其中没有几支基金持有化石燃料股票,而这些股票在去年可谓是一蹶不振。然而,清洁能源是一个范围更小的关注点,其长期愿景依然强劲。该领域有两支颇有前景的ETF都由一名共同经理人执掌,他就是有着14年ESG投资经验的资深人士皮特·哈巴德,这两支基金分别是Invesco Solar (TAN)和Invesco WilderHill Clean Energy (PBW)。TAN基金持有约50家主要专注于太阳能的公司,该基金的20%分别流入了美国Enphase Energy公司和以色列SolarEdge Technologies公司。PBW基金则投资更广泛领域的能源公司。尽管其投资者在2020年的表现可能并不突出,但当这两支ETF的股价增幅超过200%时,投资者便有可能继续从日渐更加注重环保动议的经济中获益。(财富中文网)

本文刊载于《财富》杂志2021年4/5月刊。

译者:冯丰

审校:夏林

In investing, powerful emotions drive people’s decisions. And nowhere was that more true in 2020 than in environmental, social, and governance (ESG) stock funds—where investors’ passions, fears, and hopes about the state of the planet fueled a record-shattering year.

ESG funds promise to steer their assets toward companies that avoid harm or do social good. And as the world reacted to COVID-19 lockdowns, social unrest, and ecological disasters, money flowed into these funds faster than oil sprays out of a broken pipeline. Net new investment reached $51.1 billion in 2020, according to Morningstar—more than double the record set the previous year. And even as stock markets did unexpectedly well, ESG investors did even better: In the U.S., the median sustainable fund outperformed its traditional peers by more than four percentage points.

These numbers in part reflect a long-term trend of investors aligning their assets with their values: About one of every three dollars invested in funds now goes toward “sustainability vehicles,” according to the Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment. (ESG funds are generally labeled “sustainable,” even when they focus more on social or governance issues than on the environment.) But would-be do-gooders now face a quandary: As ESG investing grows more popular, more funds are sprinting to adopt the label—whether or not they’re working hard to earn it.

According to research by founders of the ESG consulting firm KKS Advisors, more than 6,600 funds now identify as “ethical,” twice as many as in 2013. In the European Union, under rules that began to take effect in March, funds that market themselves as ESG-oriented must disclose exactly how their strategies help solve social problems. But there’s no such regulation in the U.S.—so the onus is on investors to separate substance from hype.

So how should you vet this sprawling field of suitors? As with any funds, start by assessing performance and fees. To narrow your options further, it helps to understand the industry’s subcategories and see which ones align best with your investing style. With no set rule for sustainable designs, funds have adopted “a collection of approaches,” says Jon Hale, U.S. head of sustainability research for Morningstar. Investors can do the same, mixing and matching among these three styles:

The shunners

The most basic ESG methodology focuses on avoiding bad actors. Managers of most funds will look at a given investing universe—say, U.S. large-cap stocks—and disqualify those that rank at the bottom third of a given ESG factor, like environmental impact or fair treatment of employees. (There’s a whole subindustry geared to creating such rankings.) A fund’s prospectus should explain how its managers decide who’s in and who’s out.

Some ESG funds invest with a conscience by dropping disqualified stocks and holding almost everything else. One strong performer in this category is Vanguard FTSE Social Index Fund Admiral Shares (VFTAX). It tracks the FTSE4Good U.S. Select Index; in mid-March, it owned 468 large-cap U.S. stocks. It returned 23% last year, compared with 18% for the S&P 500, and annual expenses are just $14 per $10,000 invested.

The seekers

Other funds focus more selectively on top performers among the non-excluded stocks. And some of their managers are not only active stock pickers, but also activists—using their shareholder votes to seek change at companies in which they invest. These funds often publish “engagement reports,” outlining the issues they have addressed with company management, along with roundups of their proxy voting activity. Some go further and publish impact reports, outlining exactly how their investment strategy is intended to have a positive effect. Those reports “should be considered a best practice,” says Morningstar’s Hale—a sign of a fund company that’s committed to its mission. (Another sign of commitment: An active fund’s managers should have extensive previous experience in ESG investing.)

The number of funds that categorize themselves as “ethical” has doubled since 2013.

San Francisco-based Parnassus Investments is a veteran in ESG stock picking, and the Parnassus Core Equity Investor (PRBLX) fund has been a top performer since its inception in 1992, with average annual returns of 11.4% (and 21% in 2020). Comanager Todd Ahlsten has helmed the fund since 2001, and his team has been both savvy at stock picking and conscientious about social causes. For example, Parnassus recently helped persuade snack giant Mondelez to use more recyclable packaging.

The specialists

Jennifer Kenning is the CEO of Align Impact, which works with individual clients and financial advisers to build sustainable portfolios. One of her key pieces of advice for passionate investors: Instead of researching the entire ESG landscape, focus on “one thing you can move the needle on.” The massive proliferation of ESG funds, especially ETFs, has made it easier to target a specific cause: Investors can focus on backing clean technology (the many options include iShares Global Clean Energy, ICLN); supporting women-friendly companies (SPDR SSGA Gender Diversity Index, SHE); or even avoiding animal exploitation, including companies that make or sell meat-based products (U.S. Vegan Climate, VEGN).

One reason ESG funds in general outperformed the broader market in 2020 is that few of them own fossil-fuel stocks, which generally tanked last year. But clean energy is a narrower focus whose long-term outlook remains strong. Two promising ETFs in the space share a comanager: Peter Hubbard, a 14-year ESG veteran, oversees both Invesco Solar (TAN) and Invesco WilderHill Clean Energy (PBW). TAN holds about 50 primarily solar-focused companies, with 20% of the fund split between the U.S. company Enphase Energy and Israel’s SolarEdge Technologies; PBW invests in a broader range of energy firms. While their investors may never outdo 2020, when shares in both ETFs rose more than 200%, they’re likely to keep benefiting from an economy that’s gradually embracing the imperative of getting greener.

This story appears in the April/May 2021 issue of Fortune.

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