A recent trend throughout certain financial retail websites is the addition of articles and other information focusing on socially conscious and sustainable investment options. Starting in March 2013, Merrill Lynch Wealth Management has introduced a variety of environmental and socially conscious investing content to their public website. The new A Transforming World section consists of two pages – Values-Based Investing and Outlook 2031– and a sitelet titled A Transforming World.
Merrill Lynch A Transforming World Overview Page (Truncated)
The Values Based Investing page provides a detailed analysis of investment strategies that have positive impacts on the environment, help society and maintain competitive returns. The page also discusses what Value Based Investing (VBI) practices could mean for future investors and how VBI could become an important component of their overall portfolio strategy.
The Outlook 2031 page examines environmental and social events that are expected to have significant impacts on the world economy over the next two decades. The page highlights the following six trends:
- U.S. deficit and its impact on the world economy
- Global increase in life expectancy
- Increasing income inequality
- Greater demand for energy
- Rising global middle class
- Food and water security.
In addition to discussing the trends, the page also looks at how innovative problem solvers can correct these negative trends and create new investment opportunities.
Merrill Lynch Outlook 2031 Page
The A Transforming World sitelet is divided into four sections – Intro, The U.S., The Markets, The World – that further discuss in great detail powerful economic, demographic and financial trends. The U.S. section focuses on three areas that could have a positive impact on the U.S. economy – energy independence, shifts in the labor market and technological innovation. The Markets section focuses on five trends that are taking place in the global market – A movement to stocks over bonds, low interest rates and increasing inflation, the effects of high taxes, global investing and social impact investing. The World section discusses long-term trends that are currently in effect and are mostly a result of economic growth in emerging markets.
Merrill Lynch A Transforming World Sitelet (Truncated)
Merrill Lynch also offers a Socially Conscious filter option on the private site Mutual Funds Screener and ETF Screener. The filter criterion allows clients to screen for companies that are considered to have a positive environmental, social and/or moral impact on their products and services.
Providing informational resources on environmental and social investing enhances the investor’s understanding of global market trends and allows clients to make more informed long-term investment decisions. Merrill Lynch Wealth Management’s resources on these topics offer investors reliable analysis that provides them with a better understanding of long-term global trends.