Our Firm

Responsible Investing Takes Center Stage

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As the year winds down, we at Parnassus reflect on the continued growth in interest in environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing.

Longstanding skepticism about socially conscious strategies is evaporating at an increasing rate. What was once available only “on request” is now proudly displayed. Renewable energy, clean water, great workplaces, the rights of customers and business partners, ethical management and diversity gains—the list goes on and on—are becoming baselines for doing business in America.

In the mutual fund business, 2016 saw record net flows to ESG funds, with more than double the gains of the two prior years—and 2017 is on track to surpass the assets gathered last year.* Supporting this growth in responsible investing assets were several key developments in 2017, including:

  • The launch of recommended ESG fund lists by nearly all major broker dealers
  • The debut of a full suite of ESG-only target-date funds for retirement plans
  • Further adoption of a Morningstar ESG rating system for all mutual funds that is easy to access, allowing comparisons across ESG and non-ESG products
  • Substantially more press coverage in national publications like The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and Barron’s
  • 58% more ESG fund launches through October of this year than for all of 2016, creating more choices across asset classes, both active and passive*
  • At Parnassus, we welcome this explosion of interest in ESG. Since 1984, we’ve been helping investors of all types build wealth in a responsible manner. We’re glad to see that this is becoming easier than ever before.

    Happy Holidays!

    *Source: Morningstar

    The Parnassus Funds are underwritten and distributed by Parnassus Funds Distributor, a subsidiary of Parnassus Investments and a FINRA member.

    Mutual fund investing involves risk, and loss of principal is possible.