PODCAST: ESG Stocks, ETFs, For August. And More…

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ESG Stocks, ETFs, For August. “3 Alternative Energy ETFs For A Biden White House”. “7 ESG Stocks That Will Deliver for Every Stakeholder”. “4 Socially Responsible Funds to Invest in for Solid Returns”. “3 Oil Companies That Are Becoming Renewable Energy Stocks”. Stocks reviewed include Microsoft, Salesforce, McDonald’s, Blackrock, Xoetis, Deere & Company, and Progressive

PODCAST: ESG Stocks, ETFs, For August. And More…

Transcript & Links, Episode 39, August 28, 2020

Hello, Ron Robins here. Welcome to podcast episode 39 published on August 28 titled “ESG Stocks, ETFs, For August. And More…“— and presented by Investing for the Soul. investingforthesoul.com is your site for vital global ethical and sustainable investing news, commentary, information, and resources.

Remember that you can find a full transcript, links to content – including stock symbols and bonus material – at this episode’s podcast page located at investingforthesoul.com/podcasts.

And Google any terms that are unfamiliar to you.

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1. ESG Stocks, ETFs, For August. And More…

In my last podcast, I covered analysts’ views on what stocks would do well under a Biden presidency. Well, a Benzinga.com post, which I saw on MarketWatch.com, had its say in a post titled 3 Alternative Energy ETFs For A Biden White House.

Here are its recommendations with relevant quotes following them.

Quote: “Indeed, Biden has an ambitious plan for renewable energy in the U.S… With that in mind, here are some renewable energy ETFs to consider in advance of Election Day and, if Biden wins, beyond.

1) ALPS Clean Energy ETF (ACES)

Things could come up aces for the ALPS Clean Energy ETF if Biden wins the White House… [The fund is] up 52.55% this year and has more than doubled since its 2018 debut…

[The] ALPS Clean Energy ETF doesn't just focus on wind and solar… Other exposures include smart grid, electric vehicle and energy storage, biomass/biofuel, fuel cell makers and geothermal producers…

2) Invesco Solar ETF (TAN)

The second-largest renewable energy ETF by assets, the Invesco Solar ETF is higher by more than 70% this year…

3) VanEck Vectors Low Carbon Energy ETF (SMOG)

The VanEck Vectors Low Carbon Energy ETF tracks the Ardour Global Index, which is ‘intended to track the overall performance of low carbon energy companies which are those companies primarily engaged in alternative energy’ according to VanEck.” End quotes.

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2. ESG Stocks, ETFs, For August. And More…

An ‘almost regular’ analyst to these podcasts is Will Ashworth, an InvestorPlace contributor. His most recent article is titled 7 ESG Stocks That Will Deliver for Every Stakeholder.

In the article, he writes about the recommendations of his interviewee, Randall Dishmon, senior portfolio manager at Invesco. Here are the stocks discussed followed by some quotes from the article.

1) Microsoft (MSFT)

If you’ve held Microsoft stock since the board appointed Nadella CEO on Feb. 4, 2014, and are still holding, you’re sitting on a 450% unrealized profit… [and] according to financial data company EPFR, $2.34 billion in Microsoft stock was held by ESG funds at the end of 2019, the largest weighting of any U.S.-listed company.

‘Microsoft says it’s taking a tough line on its environmental footprint. It says it will be ‘carbon negative’ by 2030, and that by 2050 it will have removed all the carbon it has emitted since it was founded in 1975,’ says Quartz contributor John Detrixhe reported in February…

2) Salesforce (CRM)

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff began to talk about stakeholder capitalism in October 2019…

Benioff wrote an opinion piece in The New York Times that argued we need a new capitalism… saying that ‘In the United States, income inequality has reached its highest level in at least 50 years… It’s no wonder that support for capitalism has dropped, especially among young people.’

[Will Ashworth continues saying that] … over the past 15 years, Salesforce has delivered an annualized total return of 26.3%...

3) McDonald’s (MCD)

Former CEO, Steve Easterbrook, was terminated last November by McDonald’s. He was having a consensual relationship with a company employee. Let go without cause, Easterbrook’s severance package was worth almost $42 million

New evidence has come to light, suggesting that not only did Easterbrook have one inappropriate relationship, he had three others…

Generally, I consider McDonald’s to be an excellent company. I believe that these revelations will move McDonald’s to more closely examine how it compensates its senior executives.

4) BlackRock (BLK)

This isn’t the first time that I’ve included BlackRock in a list of ESG-friendly stocks to own. In October 2019, BlackRock CEO Larry Fink made my list of 10 stocks whose CEOs care about all stakeholders…

In July, Fink told CNBC… ‘The one thing that is very clear in this Covid world … [is that] stakeholder capitalism is only going to become more and more important, and the companies that focus on all their stakeholders — their clients, their employees, the society where they work and operate — are going to be the companies that are going to be the winners for the future,” Fink stated.

I couldn’t agree more. It just makes good business sense.

5) Zoetis (ZTS)

“Zoetis appears to be a company that’s working on improving its ESG characteristics.. And while the company does lag its peers slightly on environmental and social measures, it should be noted that the company’s sole focus on veterinary medicines presents a distinct risk profile compared to its human-focused pharmaceutical peers,” Federated Hermes writes…

As an animal lover, it’s always nice to see animal-related businesses doing well by doing good.

6) Deere & Company (DE)

According to CSR Hub, John Deere, the world’s largest manufacturer of agricultural equipment, has a CSR/ESG rating of 83, putting it in the top quartile amongst 19,881 companies. And compared to 887 peers in machinery manufacturing, it has a much higher score than the industry average…

In the past three months, John Deer stock has rebounded nicely, generating a 51% total return, significantly higher than its farm and heavy construction peers and more than double the returns of the U.S. markets as a whole…

7) Progressive (PGR)

Per its name, Progressive likes to think outside the box. Recently, it announced that it was entering the voluntary benefits market through its partnership with Pets Best, a provider of pet health insurance founded in 2005

What does this have to do with ESG? CEO Tricia Griffith is one of only 30 female chief executives in the S&P 500. With women accounting for just 6% of the index’s CEOs, Progressive is undoubtedly paying attention to both governance and social issues… In 2018, Griffith was named Fortune’s Businessperson of the Year

In the four years Griffith has held the top job… Progressive stock is up 170%.” End quotes.

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3. ESG Stocks, ETFs, For August. And More…

Zacks is known for its great research. And they’ve been increasingly covering the ESG investment space. Their latest piece is titled 4 Socially Responsible Funds to Invest in for Solid Returns. I found it on the Nasdaq.com site.

As usual, I’ll state the investment pick followed by their relevant comments about it.

1) Pax Ellevate Global Women’s Leadership Fund Individual Investor Class (PXWEX)

[This fund] aims for returns on investment that exceed the price and yield performance of the Impax Global Women's Leadership Index…

[The] Pax Ellevate Global Women’s Leadership Fund Individual Investor Class has an annual expense ratio of 0.80%, which is below the category average of 1.10%. The fund has three and five-year returns of 6.9% and 7.3%, respectively.

2) Fidelity Select Environment and Alternative Energy Portfolio (FSLEX)

The fund primarily invests the majority of its assets in securities of companies that provide business services related to alternative and renewable energy, energy efficiency, pollution control, water infrastructure, waste and recycling technologies or other environmental support etc…

[The] Fidelity Select Environment and Alternative Energy Portfolio has an annual expense ratio of 0.85%, which is below the category average of 1.10%. The fund has three and five-year returns of nearly 2% and 6.4%, respectively.

3) [The] New Alternatives Fund Class A (NALFX)

… primarily invests in common stocks of companies…

[The] New Alternatives Fund Class A has an annual expense ratio of 1.08%, which is below the category average of 1.28%. The fund has three and five-year returns of 10.4% and 8.8%, respectively.

4) [The] Parnassus Mid Cap Growth Fund - Investor (PARNX)

… aims for capital appreciation. The fund invests the majority of its assets in mid-sized growth companies…

[The] Parnassus Mid Cap Growth Fund - Investor has an annual expense ratio of 0.84%, which is below the category average of 0.92%. The fund has three and five-year returns of 7.9% and 8.7%, respectfully.” End quotes.

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4. ESG Stocks, ETFs, For August. And More…

Now here’s a thought. How about investing in oil companies that are transitioning to renewable energy? Three analysts writing for The Motley Fool share their thoughts in a post titled 3 Oil Companies That Are Becoming Renewable Energy Stocks. Due to time limitations, I’ll just mention the companies. Go to my blog post for the article link.

The three companies are Total (TOT), Valero Energy (VLO), and Clean Energy Fuels (CLNE).

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Ending Comments

Well, these are my top news stories and tips for this podcast: “ESG Stocks, ETFs, For August. And More…”

And to get all the links, stock symbols, and more, or to read the transcript of this podcast and with additional information too, please go to investingforthesoul.com/podcasts and scroll down to this episode.

Also, be sure to click the like and subscribe buttons in iTunes/Apple Podcasts or wherever you download or listen to this podcast.

And please click the share buttons to share this podcast with your friends and family. That way you can help promote not only this podcast but ethical and sustainable investing globally. We can all do our part in helping create a better world – especially in these deeply troubled times.

Contact me if you have any questions.

Stay well, healthy, and ESG wise!

Thank you for listening.

Talk to you again on September 11. Bye for now.

© 2020 Ron Robins, Investing for the Souls.

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