Intelligence

ESG funds: what’s in a name?

ESG funds enjoy record inflow year: Socially responsible investing funds are enjoying a record year of inflows, reports The Wall Street Journal. However, portfolios may not be as clean as investors think. Eight of the ten biggest U.S. sustainable funds are invested in oil-and-gas companies, which are regularly slammed by environmental activists.

“ESG funds, which market themselves as investing in companies with strong environmental, social and governance practices, have taken in a record $13.5 billion of net new money from investors. However, the ‘invested companies’ are still not fully ethically responsible,” writes the Journal.

UnitedHealth investing affordable housing: Spending money on affordable housing may seem counter-intuitive to supporting an insurance company’s bottom-line. But United Health is turning this idea on its head by investing in subsidized homes in the hopes that stabilizing homeless patients that massively impact the organization’s costs will wind up saving the company money in the long-run, writes Bloomberg Businessweek.

The success of tech giants: UnitedHealth isn’t the only one investing in affordable housing. Apple unveiled a $2.5bn plan to bankroll new housing. While, Facebook pledged $1bn for new homes last month and Google said it would stump up $1bn in June. But The Sunday Times asks an important question — is it enough to make a difference?

Money2020 memories: If you missed our CEO Dan Simon’s book launch party for The Money Hackers (HarperCollins 2020) at this year’s Money2020, you can check out all of the fun on the blog!