At the end of 2018, sustainable, responsible, and impact investments accounted for more than one-quarter of the $46.6 trillion in assets managed professionally in the US, according to the Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment (US SIF).
Meanwhile, writing about impact investing has proliferated, from trends pieces for lay readers to in-depth studies and scholarship. Money managers and publications want to capitalize on growing interest, while industry leaders hope to shore up definitions and stake a claim to credibility.
Navigating the influx of hot takes, debates, and new findings can be challenging. So, where should investors go to learn about impact investing? Here is a rundown of valuable resources, organized by the knowledge gaps they fill.
Investment Opportunity Insights
As impact investing has emerged as a viable approach for individuals and institutions, general media outlets and specialty publications alike have increased their coverage of the field.
Barron’s regularly publishes sustainable investing stories emphasizing trends that affect publicly traded companies, along with an annual review of the 100 most sustainable companies and funds in the US. Focusing on impact initiatives, ImpactAlpha offers extensive coverage of funds, deals, and outcomes.
For quick takes, US SIF maintains a list of mutual funds and exchange-traded funds that adhere to a responsible investment mandate. Elsewhere, CNBC, Forbes, and Entrepreneur host impact investing pages that provide tips and takeaways for mainstream retail investors and others interested in impact opportunities.
While formal opportunities for impact investing education continue to emerge, investors will need the right information to move forward with confidence.
Industry and Thematic Information
Moving away from specific investments, industry publications like Bloomberg’s New Economy Forum addresses the broader issues and challenges with the world’s way forward, including deeper coverage in its Climate Changed section. Climate change and other sustainability topics are also covered by MSCI’s wide-ranging ESG research resource.
The Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) provides research and insights through its many reports, guides, and annual surveys. Like other networks, the GIIN also hosts events where investors can learn from each other.
Select asset managers periodically publish research and thought leadership. In addition to Impactivate®, Glenmede produces a wealth of material on impact investing, from articles and case studies to videos and webinars. Other examples of asset managers that provide useful information include responsible investing firm Parnassus Investments and Cornerstone Capital Group, which casts its research in the context of relevant United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
In a similar vein, institutional investors such as the WK Kellogg Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and the MacArthur Foundation consistently share insights from their initiatives.
Scholarly approaches to the field have also developed, including regular publications from well-regarded universities, including:
- The University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton Social Impact Initiative
- The Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation
- The Stanford Social Innovation Review
- Kellogg Insight by the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University
While formal opportunities for impact investing education continue to emerge, investors will need the right information to move forward with confidence. The resources listed here are a great place to start.