ESG investing and 401k funds are everywhere. Does “ethical investing” work? – Vox

It’s easier than ever to invest ethically — or, at least, to be told by marketers you are. Whether you’re actually doing it is harder to figure out.

ESG investing and 401k funds are everywhere. Does “ethical investing” work? – Vox

VEA Vice Chair Nell Minow is quoted in this article exploring skepticism about the impact of ESG-labeled funds.

“I compare it to the ’70s, when everybody was labeling their food as organic and the government was like, ‘Hey, there’s a definition to that word,’” said Nell Minow, vice chair of ValueEdge Advisors, a consulting firm that focuses on corporate governance. Currently, there’s no solid definition for ESG….Minow, from ValueEdge Advisors, said that the easiest way to try to move your money toward doing good (or at least not something terrible) is to take a look at your 401(k). If there’s an index fund with an ESG component in there and the potential social benefits outweigh the potential costs, consider choosing it. A next step, if you’re up for it, is to look at how funds vote their proxies, meaning ballots shareholders get to vote annually on various corporate issues.

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