plural noun: ethics
- a set of moral principles, especially ones relating to or affirming a specified group, field, or form of conduct.
October 19, 2022 marks Global Ethics Day, where we turn attention to not only the concept of ethics, but also what it means to live our values. When we live by our values, those values act as the compasses that guide everything we do. They ground our decision-making and root our actions in a purpose greater than ourselves. In short, they give our lives both direction and meaning — which is why having a very clear understanding of what your values are is so important.
In the financial world, having ethics is taking on new meaning. No longer just a concept or a pledge that we trust that companies we invest in have ethics and operate in a manner that supports their various stakeholders (but often don’t), there is a new category of investments that have emerged: Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG) investing.
ESG investing means that you are investing your money with companies that align with your values. These companies are committed not only to operating in a profitable manner, but also to protecting the planet, social justice, and ethical governance practices. There is much debate about the efficacy of this type of investing, but this investment style is gaining momentum, especially as the world we live in becomes more divisive and divided.
In a recent blog post, I outlined how ESG is the moral compass for investing and how Millennials are particularly interested in taking ethical actions in their financial lives.
I uphold my ethics publicly and have since I was young. I can thank my parents for instilling this importance in me, so that when I ventured out into the world, my choices were guided by this upbringing. While I attended Penn State University, I lived the Smeal Code of Honor, and have made it a lifelong commitment that I sign each year.
My choices as a financial professional show a clear commitment to my clients and values. I hold many designations, and each includes an ethics requirement and an obligation to act as a fiduciary to my clients.
What does this all mean to you? Your needs will always come first. You can count on me and my team to act in your best interest to help you reach your goals, and, if investing in a way that matches your values is important to you, we can look at the ESG options together.
This material has been distributed for information purposes only. All investments carry certain risk and there is no assurance that an investment will provide positive performance over any period of time. / Environmental Social Governance (ESG) / has certain risks based on the fact that the criteria excludes securities of certain issuers for non-financial reasons and, therefore, investors may forgo some market opportunities and the universe of investments available will be smaller.