Socially Responsible Investing Ratings Can Boost Your 401k’s Value

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PSI Newsletter and Website Header 10.2.15
By Robert C. Lawton, AIF, CRPS, President, Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC

Recently Morningstar, creator of the Morningstar Star Ratings for mutual funds, introduced Sustainability Ratings to gauge an investment’s adherence to SRI principles. 401k plan participants, millennials especially, have become interested in socially conscious and impact investing. A recent U.S. Trust survey found SRI factors are important to 93% of millennials when making an investment decision. Your 401k plan can have greater value to your employees if you begin sharing Morningstar’s Sustainability Ratings for your 401k investment options. [Read more…]

Should Your 401k Plan Offer ESG Investment Options?

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PSI Newsletter and Website Header 10.2.15By Robert C. Lawton, AIF, CRPS, President, Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC

At the very least, your Investment Committee should have a discussion about the topic. Here’s why. [Read more…]

Green Bonds — Socially Conscious Tax-Advantaged Investing

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MMM Newsletter and Website Header 10.2.15
I hope you had a great weekend. Spring is here — we have flowers in our garden!

LRPC’s Monday Morning Minute for this week, Green Bonds — Socially Conscious Tax-Advantaged Investing (presented below) comes to you courtesy of Schwab. As an independent, objective Registered Investment Advisory firm, Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC has access to research from many sources. Be assured that I will share the most relevant information with you each week. If you are short on time, make sure you review the Key Points and major headings below.

Many investors are interested in ways to leverage their investment strategies to do social good. This piece from Schwab highlights how that goal can be achieved using fixed income investments.

Have a wonderful week!

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Green Bonds – Socially Conscious Tax-Advantaged Investing

By Cooper J. Howard and Rob Williams, Charles Schwab & Company

Key points

  • Municipal issuers sold an all-time high in “green” bonds last year, nearly 250 times the volume sold in 2013.
  • Green bonds offer investors the ability to receive tax-advantaged income while also investing in a socially conscious way. However, green munis makeup only a small fraction of the market and can be difficult to identify.
  • Investors looking for socially responsible investments may also want to consider traditional muni bonds, which often fund projects that are expected to have social or environmental benefits.

Are you interested in adding socially responsible investments to your portfolio while also receiving tax-advantaged income? If so, one option to consider is “green” bonds. Municipal issuance of green bonds increased nearly 250 times last year compared to the volume sold in 2013.

Although issuance and popularity has spiked, muni bonds carrying the green label represent a small part of the municipal bond market and are relatively difficult to identify. There may be alternatives, depending on your objective.

Helping the environment

[Read more…]