Investing

Why ESG Investing May Become Problematic With Overlaps and Redundancy

iShares MSCI USA ESG Select
> Year-to-date gain: 20.0%
> Year-over-year gain: 10.3%

iShares MSCI USA ESG Select ETF (SUSA) has a 0.25% expense ratio and was last shown to have $1.108 billion in assets under management. It tracks the MSCI USA ESG Select Index.

Of the fund’s 127 holdings, here are its top 15 by weighting:

  • Microsoft (MSFT), 5.11%
  • Ecolab (ECL), 4.43%
  • Apple (AAPL), 3.83%
  • Accenture (ACN), 2.91%
  • Alphabet (GOOGL), 2.41%
  • 3M (MMM), 2.39%
  • BlackRock (BLK), 2.19%
  • Salesforce.com (CRM), 1.92%
  • Marsh & McLennan (MMC), 1.77%
  • Northern Trust (NTRS), 1.75%
  • PepsiCo (PEP), 1.71%
  • Agilent Technologies (A), 1.58%
  • Procter & Gamble (PG), 1.53%
  • American Express (AXP), 1.51%
  • Merck (MRK), 1.39%

Vanguard ESG U.S. Stock
> Year-to-date gain: 21.2%
> Year-over-year gain: N/A

The Vanguard ESG U.S. Stock ETF (ESGV) launched in September of 2018 and has only a 0.12% expense ratio. ETFdb.com showed it to have $535 million in assets under management. It tracks the FTSE (Russell) US All Cap Choice Index and has 989 holdings, on last look. The top 15 by weighting were as follows:

  • Microsoft (MSFT), 4.22%
  • Apple (AAPL), 3.84%
  • Amazon.com (AMZN), 3.28%
  • Facebook (FB), 1.92%
  • Alphabet (GOOG), 1.65%
  • JPMorgan (JPM), 1.47%
  • Visa (V), 1.22%
  • Procter & Gamble (PG), 1.14%
  • Alphabet (GOOGL), 1.13%
  • Bank of America (BAC), 1.02%
  • Walt Disney (DIS), 1.02%
  • Cisco Systems (CSCO), 1.02%
  • AT&T (T), 1.02%
  • Pfizer (PFE), 1.00%
  • Verizon (VZ), 0.98%

iShares MSCI KLD 400 Social
> Year-to-date gain: 19.8%
> Year-over-year gain: 10.6%

The iShares MSCI KLD 400 Social ETF (DSI) offers exposure to an index made up of companies with positive environmental, social and governance characteristics. It also aims to maintain a risk/return profile that is generally similar to a more general benchmark of U.S. equities. ETFdb.com shows it to have $1.487 billion in assets under management and a 0.25% expense ratio. The ETF tracks the MSCI KLD 400 Social Index and has 405 holdings. Its top 15 positions by weighting:

  • Microsoft (MSFT), 7.47%
  • Facebook (FB), 3.50%
  • Alphabet (GOOG), 2.66%
  • Alphabet (GOOGL), 2.54%
  • Visa (V), 2.31%
  • Procter & Gamble (PG), 2.11%
  • Disney (DIS), 1.92%
  • Cisco Systems (CSCO), 1.86%
  • Mastercard (MA), 1.86%
  • Verizon (VZ), 1.80%
  • Home Depot (HD), 1.78%
  • Merck (MRK), 1.65%
  • Intel (INTC), 1.62%
  • Coca-Cola (KO), 1.58%
  • Netflix (NFLX), 1.24%