Good Returns

At the heart of all financial investments is a simple question. Will this make money? Today, finding that answer starts with an even more ambitious inquiry: What does this investment do for our world?

Evaluating financial products has historically meant looking at criteria like yields, ratings, and liquidity. But that evaluation is turning outwards, asking how much good an investment can bring to areas like the health of our environment and local community. Research shows that, more often than not, a meaningful social return and a high financial one go hand in hand.

Source: Nuveen Third Annual Responsible Investing Survey

Responsible investing doesn’t just create positive impact: It’s been shown to create better long-term performance, and improve cashflow. “Today, most companies get profits by doing good,” explains Michael Sakraida, founder of the Financial Advisor Network, or FAN. “That's going to improve their long-term sustainability as a company and improve their profits because it gives them a competitive advantage.” Investors are now routinely looking at factors like community engagement, board diversity, executive compensation, and energy consumption to place value on a company. This in turn means that portfolio managers are using ESG analytics to determine which companies have the potential to perform well in the long term.

In Good Returns, produced by Atlantic Re:think and sponsored by Nuveen, experts from across the financial landscape painted the same picture: a future where responsible investing will no longer be seen as an alternative investment approach, but as the standard.

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