BIG TOPIC! ESG is in the news more and more and has made its way into the world of investing. You may already have seen ESG offered in your 401k or 403b plan!
What is ESG? It stands for: Environmental, Social and Governance. Also called “sustainable investing,” the ESG category uses its three principal criteria to guide investment decisions. Funds in the category currently hold approximately $12 trillion of assets in the U.S. representing nearly 26% of the professionally managed assets as of 2017.* The obvious audience for ESG is Millennials (those born between 1981 and 1996, and aged 23 to 38 in 2019). The “millennial generation” has been known to prefer investing if “their investments [are] doing social good”* according to a survey.
Here is a “fun fact” in the form of a question to ponder over the Labor Day holiday weekend: How much do you think you will need to have saved to pay your cable bill over the course of your retirement? (Answer is below*)
First, some context. I do get questions like this one often from my smarter clients who are truly goal-oriented and who realize how breaking down various retirement (or other) goals into bite-sized pieces makes the whole “affording retirement thing” much easier. Questions like:
How much should we be saving monthly in order to retire or slow down someday?
What kind of annual income can we expect from our portfolio someday?
How much will we need to have saved to afford future healthcare costs? (You can substitute other costs such as cable, vacations, kids’ costs, etc.)
“Is this the ‘Big Dip’ in the markets they have warned about?”
“Should I be selling my stocks?”
“Should I be selling my bonds?”
Although I stress to clients and friends NOT to listen to the Talking Heads on TV, radio & internet amidst dramatic market moves —and then make rash investment decisions – we are human! It is nearly impossible to ignore completely what is going on daily in the news and markets. And the stock markets have crept down a bit over the past few weeks. (Note, in 2019 the downturns and recoveries have been often.)Continue reading “Gut Check (Again) In Rocky Markets”
Amidst the positive narrative playing out via recent stock market records in the US (including strength in European markets) the “next episode” in the markets and economy could be more of a letdown. Use this time amidst the market’s gains to identify what to worry about and actions that can be taken NOW to craft a better ending to the story.
The following is a non-comprehensive list of “constructive worries” (or concerns) that if managed year-round can greatly increase the ability to cope with inevitable market declines or letdowns – and enjoy more the experience of investing over our lifetimes. Continue reading “What to Worry About”
These are from a recent article in the Journal of Financial Planning (May 2018) – and they are not snoozers! In fact, several truly surprised me. Check ’em out. And I did not make them up – these are all from formal surveys.