Investors searching for alpha—to beat the market—won’t find it in socially responsible investing. A new study examining a decade of data finds portfolios of exchange-traded funds (ETFs) that follow environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investing strategies did not perform any better than standard index funds.

The study by Scientific Beta, an index provider and consultancy linked to France’s EDHEC Business School, found that ESG ETF funds underperformed by an average of 0.2% on an annual basis when compared to a proxy for the US equity market.

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