Four Sustainable Investing Trends for 2017

With only four months left in the year, it’s time to start planning ahead.

It’s never too early.

Before you start your new investment plan, review your past year. Think about the predictions of 2016. What did you anticipate that worked for you? Were you surprised by the economy in any way that you would like to have better prepared for? How would you like to challenge yourself?

Sustainable investing is a somewhat new method in investing that encourages monetary influence through global social impact. It encourages financial solutions with the potential to deliver competitive financial returns while driving positive social and environmental impact in a rapidly changing world.

There is pressure to invest in socially responsible corporate strategies, for good reason. Big business has the power to change the world. It is the large corporations with the responsibility to provide jobs and influence economic development, thus improving society.

As we head into the new year, let’s consider some trends in sustainable investment.

  1. Cooperating with your clients. As clients come from an increasingly diverse and pool of educated college graduates, investor are demanding more from their money. They are more than just consumers. They want to influence society. They want to make a difference. This trend is seen through the way companies are criticized for having a negative impact. Industries that have a local impact and influence corporate strategy through investment projects attract clients through shareholder activism. Social entrepreneurs and engaged investors demand their retirement funds are funneled through socially responsible tactics.
  2. A changing global market. Investors must forge a relationship with the increasingly connected economy as we head into 2017. Markets do not exist in independent spheres. Rather, countries like India and China are becoming drastically tied to the investment outlook of even amateur investors.
  3.  Investment tools. Because of the need to meet growing demand from millennials, the proliferation of technology is growing to make sustainable investment more accessible. Did you know there’s such a thing as green investment products? Strategies such as such as Exchange-Traded Funds and green bonds offer investors choices in low-cost and fixed income asset classes.
  4.  Philanthropy-oriented business models. In an open letter to their daughter, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook wrote, “Our society has an obligation to invest now to improve the lives of all those coming into this world, not just those already here.” However, he addresses the problem of how we fail to collectively drive our resources toward influencing change and targeting major problems that future generations will face.

To learn more about sustainable investment, read Maureen Kline’s 9 Sustainable Investing Trends and follow Zsolt Agárdy on Twitter and Linkedin.