Welcome to the Section on Investments.
This section covers a range of different investment options available for retirement accounts. Social(k) provides access to thousands of traditional investments, through our true specialty is in Mutual Funds which incorporate ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) investment options.
A Short Background On ESG Investments
In May of 1998 the Dept. Of Labor responded to a request for Calvert Funds asking if ESG, Environmental, Social or Governance, considerations applied to retirement plan fund decisions was allowed. This response is what allowed retirement plans to expand into ESG screened funds. Here is a link to The Calvert Letter. In early 2000, Social(K) begun offering a paperless 401(k) and 403(b) platform with Calvert Funds for sustainable organizations. Fast forward to today, and Social(K) has expanded to offer institutional pricing on all ESG options in the market, alongside low-cost traditional index funds with investor-friendly, industry-leading expense ratios of approximately 1/10 of 1%.
Using ESG considerations and not just financial screens while appraising companies for investment consideration increases the understanding of what may happen in the future. These considerations are called screens. When you think of screens, think of a sieve and what is filtered out; ESG screening processes filter out Environmentally un-sustainable / Socially-unethical / Governance-weak board, from the investment pool we bring to the table through our investment partners.
A report from Sept 2018 makes it very clear how important it is to utilize these screens, especially when acting as a fiduciary for your employee's retirement plan asset options.
Untangling stakeholders for broader impact:
Erisa Plans and ESG Incorporation:
"The US accounts for the largest share of pension assets globally. Increasingly, US investors are incorporating ESG factors into their investment decisions. However, the country lags its peers in private sector retirement assets managed with explicit regard for ESG factors.
The case for ESG incorporation by US private sector retirement plans has evolved over the last 30 years; from articulating that ESG is not prohibited, to demonstrating that ESG incorporation creates clear benefits for investors, to now viewing ESG incorporation as a core element of fiduciary duty."
The full Principles For Responsible Investments report can be found here.