‘Smart beta’ + ‘Social Responsibility’ = New Columbia Threadneedle ETFs

‘Smart beta’ + ‘Social Responsibility’ = New Columbia Threadneedle ETFs l Baron's

by Chris Dieterich, June 14, 2016

A host of exchange-traded funds are coming to market with the purpose of capturing shares of companies that are deemed to be both socially responsible and financially viable.

In ETF parlance, such funds are “smart beta” and environmental, social and governance (ESG) kosher. In plain English, the funds shoot for stocks that get good grades and go to church. For a long time, the knock against ESG investing has been, basically, that investing solely in stocks that go to church might warm your heart but will probably lose you money.