Archiv der Kategorie: ETF

Impactinvsting ideas illustrated by picture of tree by umut avci from Puxabay

Impactinvesting ideas – Researchblog #145

Impactinvesting ideas: 12x new research on terrorism, migrants, emissions, innovations, ESG-ratings, sustainable debt, impactinvesting, directors, ETFs, gamification and concentration by Timo Busch, Harald Hau, Ulrich Hege, Thorsten Hens and many more (#: SSRN downloads on Sept. 28th, 2023)

Social research

Terror success: Terrorism and Voting: The Rise of Right-Wing Populism in Germany by Navid Sabet, Marius Liebald, Guido Friebel as of Sept. 25th, 2023 (#15): “… we find that successful (Sö terror) attacks lead to significant increases in the vote share for the right-wing, populist Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) party. Our results are predominantly observable in state elections, though attacks that receive high media coverage increase the AfD vote share in Federal elections. These patterns hold even though most attacks are motivated by right-wing causes and target migrants. Using a longitudinal panel of individuals, we find successful terror leads individuals to prefer the AfD more and worry more about migration” (abstract).

Integration deficits: The Integration of Migrants in the German Labor Market: Evidence over 50 Years by Paul Berbée and Jan Stuhler as of Sept. 25th, 2023 (#47): “First, employment profiles tend to be concave, with low initial employment but rapidly increasing employment in the first years after arrival (convergence). However, income gaps widen with more time in Germany (divergence). … Second, for most groups the employment gaps do not close, despite the initial catch-up. … Third, the income and employment gaps close partially in the second generation, but the employment gaps shrink by only 25% and remain large for some groups. Finally, the perhaps most striking observation is the sudden collapse of employment among earlier arrivals from Turkey in the early 1990s. … The employment shares of the refugees arriving around 2015 are similar to earlier refugee cohorts, despite the unusual favorable labor market conditions and the increased focus on integration policies. Their predicted long-term gaps in employment (about 20-25 pp.) are more than twice as large as the corresponding gap for Ukrainian refugees (about 10 pp.). … Summing up, immigration has become indispensable for the German economy, and the experience from more than 50 years shows that many migrant groups achieve substantial employment rates and incomes. However, barriers to integration persist, and while integration policies have improved along some dimensions, as yet we see no systematic improvements in integration outcomes over time (“p. 36/37).

Ecological research

Loose commitments: Behind Schedule: The Corporate Effort to Fulfill Climate Obligations by Joseph E. Aldy, Patrick Bolton, Zachery M. Halem, and Marcin Kacperczyk as of Sept. 20th, 2023 (#66):  “We analyze corporate commitments to reduce carbon emissions. We show that companies in their decisions to commit are more driven by external shareholder pressure and reputational concerns rather than economic motives due to cost of capital effects. We further show that many companies focus on short-term pledges many of which get revised over time. Despite the growth in commitment movement, we find that most companies have fallen behind on their commitments for reasons that could be both systematic and idiosyncratic in nature“ (abstract).

Innovative suppliers: Climate Innovation and Carbon Emissions: Evidence from Supply Chain Networks by Ulrich Hege, Kai Li, and Yifei Zhang as of Sept. 14th, 2023 (#83): “… we ask (i) whether climate innovation invented by a supplier firm allows its customer firms to reduce CO2 emissions, and (ii) whether climate innovation facilitates the acquisition of new business customers and what types of customers. We find that climate innovations help customer firms to reduce carbon emissions …. Emissions savings are accentuated for high-emission firms and firm with stronger environmental concerns. … We show that customer firms generally have a strong preference for suppliers’ climate innovations. Moreover, we show that climate innovation allows suppliers to expand their customer base. We find that the capacity to attract new customers is more pronounced for customers with a strong preference for reducing their carbon footprint: these include firms with a strong preference for environmental protection, measured by their high environmental scores in their ESG ratings, but also firms with elevated GHG emissions that presumably anticipate regulatory or investor pressure to curtail their GHG emissions“ (p. 31/32). My comment regarding supplier relations see Supplier engagement – Opinion post #211 – Responsible Investment Research Blog (

ESG investment research: Impactinvesting ideas

E-Rating divergence: Environmental data and scores: Lost in translation by Enrico Bernardini, Marco Fanari, Enrico Foscolo, and Francesco Ruggiero from the Bank of Italy as of Sept. 19th, 2023 (#26): “… we find that environmental data have meaningful, although limited, explanatory power for the E-scores. … the scores of some providers are more related to raw data …. We identify some variables as significant and common across several providers, such as forward-looking measures like the presence of reduction targets for emissions and resource use as well as environmental and renewable energy policies. … We find the latent component to be heterogeneous across providers and this evidence may be due to different materiality in the providers’ assessments. Indeed, some providers focus their analysis on how the corporate financial conditions are affected by environmental issues, while others consider how corporate conduct can affect environmental conditions and others consider both perspectives (”double materiality”)” (p. 20).

More “sustainable” debt: Do Sustainable Companies Receive More Debt? The Role of Sustainability Profiles and Sustainability-related Debt Instruments by Julia Meyer and Beat Affolter as of Aug. 20th, 2023 (#89): “We have made use of three different sources of data to classify companies into one of three groups: (i) companies avoiding ESG risks (using the ESG rating), (ii) companies contributing to the SDGs (SDG score), and (iii) companies committed to transformation (SBTi targets or commitments). First, our results show that sustainability-related debt is largely issued by sustainable companies in all three dimensions. — Secondly, … we find a significant increase in levels of debt for more sustainable companies in all three dimensions. However, this increase seems not to be linked to the issuance of sustainability related debt instruments …. Our results, therefore, indicate that lenders have started to incorporate sustainability and transformation assessments over time and that good sustainability performance (again in all three dimensions) has led to additional debt financing compared to companies with a low sustainability performance” (p. 20).

Impactinvesting ideas: Research

Reactions to pollution: Sustainable Investing in Imperfect Markets by Thorsten Hens and Ester Trutwin as of Sept. 21st, 2023 (#42): “Given that the price for polluting the environment is too low, we show that impact investing can lead to a second-best solution. If at the margin the technology is ”clean”, investment should be increased while a capital reduction is appropriate if at the margin the firm’s technology is ”dirty”. However, sustainable investing requires households to anticipate the firm’s pollution activity. Therefor we show how the same solution can be implemented with ESG investing in which the burden of knowledge lies on the rating agency. Finally, we indicate that the first-best solution can be achieved by sustainable consumption” (abstract) My comment on impactinvesting ideas see Active or impact investing? – (

Few Institutional directors: Do Institutional Directors Matter? by Heng Geng, Harald Hau, Roni Michaely, and Binh Nguyen as of Feb. 21st, 2023 (#168): “We find that board representation by institutional investors is relatively rare in U.S. public firms compared to the high institutional ownership in U.S. public firms. Only 7.61% of Compustat firm-years from 1999-2016 feature at least one institutional director representing an institutional shareholder owning more than 1% of outstanding shares. Second, Additional analyses indicate that banks, sophisticated investors (e.g., hedge funds, private equity), and activist shareholders are likely to obtain board seats. By contrast, large retail funds generally do not seek board representation. Common institutional directors representing the so-called “Big Three” asset management companies, which are concerned most for the potential antitrust implications, are only found in only 37 intra-industry firm pairs. Our third set of results reveals that rival firms sharing institutional investors rarely feature joint board representation by the same institutional investor. More importantly, in the rare cases of joint board representation, we do not find evidence that such overlapping board representation is related to higher profit margins than what is already predicted by common institutional ownership in a firm pair” (p. 23/24). My comment: Selecting adequate board directors is one of many potential of impactinvesting ideas

Practical Impactinvesting ideas: Principles for Impact Investments: Practical guidance for measuring and assessing the life cycle, magnitude, and tradeoffs of impact investments by Timo Busch, Eric Pruessner and Hendrik Brosche as of Sept. 26th, 2023 (#62): “For the impact life cycle, we propose a clear set of principles that create a standard for how impact-aligned and impact-generating investments should measure and assess impact. Regarding the topic of impact magnitude, the principles provide guidance for how large a company impact must be for impact investments to be considered significant. Ideally by using thresholds to determine the magnitude of a company impact, impact investments are directly connected to sustainable development objectives“ (p. 19).

Other investment research

ETF effects: Rise of Passive Investing – Effects on Price Level, Market Volatility, and Price Informativeness by Paweł Bednarek as of Sept. 12th, 2023 (#117): “I find that the growth of passive investing did not increase the overall price level, thus contradicting the common ETF bubble hypothesis, which postulated that rapid growth in passive strategies may lead to the detachment of prices of these securities from fundamentals. … We estimate that about 10% of current market volatility can be attributed to the rise of passive investing. It also resulted in diminished price informativeness due to weakened information acquisition. Further reduction in passive management fees will strengthen these effects“ (abstract).

The bank wins: The Gamification of Banking by Colleen Baker and Christopher K. Odinet as of Sept. 26th, 2023 (#42): “After providing an overview of gamification in general, we examined its rise in the context of stock trading … We next turned to early appearances of gamification in banking … we think that its pace is about to accelerate. Our perspective is supported by a number of examples involving banks and fintechs partnering or combining to offer banking services through a game-like interface. As in Truist’s case, bank-fintech partnerships are on the cusp of the gamification of banking that we predict will develop in three stages, culminating with meg one-stop-shop financial intermediary platforms anchored by cloud computing service providers“ (p. 39/40).

Better >10 stocks: Underperformance of Concentrated Stock Positions by Antti Petajisto as of Aug. 28th, 2023 (#473): “… we find that the median stock has underperformed the cap-weighted market portfolio by 7.9% over rolling ten-year investment periods (or 0.82% per year) since 1926. The relative underperformance over rolling ten-year periods increases to 17.8% (or 1.94% per year) when considering only stocks whose performance ranked in the top 20% over the prior five years. … the observed underperformance of the median stock applies across all industry groups and among both the smallest and largest stocks“ (p. 18/19). My comment: In this research concentrated means 10% or higher allocation to every stock. Here you find more research and my opinion: 30 stocks, if responsible, are all I need – Responsible Investment Research Blog (


Advert for German investors:

Sponsor my research by investing in and/or recommending my global small/midcap mutual fund (SFDR Art. 9). The fund focuses on social SDGs and uses separate E, S and G best-in-universe minimum ratings and broad shareholder engagement with currently 29 of 30 engaged companiesFutureVest Equity Sustainable Development Goals R – DE000A2P37T6 – A2P37T


Technology risk illustration with nuclear risk picture from Pixabay by clkr free vector images

Technology risks: Researchpost #139

Technology risks: 17x new research on SDGs, nuclear, blockchain and AI risks, innovation, climate, carbon offsets, ESG ratings, treasuries, backtests and trading, big data, forensic finance, private equity and other alternatives by Patrick Behr, Richard Ennis, Christian von Hirschhausen, Thierry Roncalli, Bernhard Schwetzler and many more (# shows SSRN downloads on August 17th, 2023):

Social and ecological research (Technology risks)

SDG or green? Take a Deep Breath! The Role of Meeting SDGs With Regard to Air Pollution in EU and ASEAN Countries by Huynh Truong Thi Ngoc, Florian Horky, and Chi Le Quoc as of July 10th, 2023 (#26): “First, the results show that in ASEAN countries, Goal 10 (Reduced Inequalities) has a negative correlation with most other SDGs while in the EU it shows a broadly positive correlation. … air pollution, particularly SO2 and CO emissions, is positively connected to most SDGs in ASEAN while the trend in the EU is not clear. This could be due to the rapid economic development in ASEAN nations as well …” (p. 19).

Nuclear risks: The Potential of Nuclear Power in the Context of Climate Change Mitigation -A Techno-Economic Reactor Technology Assessment by Fanny Böse, Alexander Wimmers, Björn Steigerwald, and Christian von Hirschhausen as of July 27th, 2023 (#17): “… we synthesize techno-economic aspects of potential new nuclear power plants differentiating between three different reactor technology types: light-water cooled reactors with high capacities (in the range or above 1,000 MWel), so-called SMRs (“small modular reactor”), i.e., light-water cooled reactors of lower power rating (< 300 MWel) (pursued, e.g., in the US, Canada, and the UK), and non-light water cooled reactors (“so-called new reactor” (SNR) concepts), focusing on sodium-cooled fast neutron reactors as well as high-temperature reactors. … Actual development .. shows an industry in decline and, if commercially available, lacking economic competitiveness in low-carbon energy markets for all reactor types. Literature shows that other reactor technologies are in the coming decades unlikely to be available on a scale that could impact climate change mitigation efforts. The techno-economic feasibility of nuclear power should thus be assessed more critically in future energy system scenarios“ (abstract).

Blockchain risks: On the Security of Optimistic Blockchain Mechanisms by Jiasun Li as of August 15th, 2023 (#68): “Many new blockchain applications … adopt an “optimistic” design, that is, the system proceeds as if all participants are well-behaving … We point out that such protocols cannot be secure if all participants are rational” (abstract). “Given that alternative solutions are still technically immature, … the community either has to deviate from its pursuit of decentralization and accept a system that relies on trusted entities, or accept that fact their systems cannot be 100% secure” (p. 33).

AI chains: Determining Our Future: How Artificial Intelligence Creates a Deterministic World by Yuval Goldfus and Niklas Eder as of Aug. 9th, 2023 (#22): “… we demonstrate that AI relies on a deterministic worldview, which contradicts our most fundamental cultural narratives. AI-based decision making systems turn predictions into self-fulfilling prophecies; not simply revealing the patterns underlying our world, but creating and enforcing them, to the detriment of the underprivileged, the exceptional, the unlikely. The widespread utilisation of AI dramatically aggravates the tension between the constraints of environment, society, and past behavior, and individuals’ ability to alter the course of their lives, and to be masters of their own fate. Exposing hidden costs of the economic exploitation of AI, the article facilitates a philosophical discussion on responsible uses. It provides foundations of an ethical principle which allows us to shape the employment of AI in a way which aligns with our narratives and values” (abstract). My comment: My opinion regarding AI for sustainable investments see How can sustainable investors benefit from artificial intelligence? – GITEX Impact – Leading ESG Event 2023

Musical therapy? The Value of Openness by Joshua Della Vedova, Stephan Siegel, and Mitch Warachka as of July 5th (#48): “We construct a novel proxy for openness using MSA-level data (Sö: US Metropolitan Statistical Areas) from radio station playlists. This proxy is based on the adoption of new music and varies significantly across MSAs. Empirically, we find a robust positive association between openness and proxies of value creation such as the number of new ventures funded by venture capital, the number of successful exits by new ventures, the proportion of growth firms, and Tobin’s q. … An instrumental variables procedure confirms that openness is highly persistent with variation across MSAs being evident more than a century before the start of our sample period. … our results are especially strong for young firms that are more likely to depend on new products“ (p. 26/27).

ESG and impact investing research

Climate stress: From Climate Stress Testing to Climate Value-at-Risk: A Stochastic Approach by Baptiste Desnos, Théo Le Guenedal, Philippe Morais, and Thierry Roncalli from Amundi as of July 5th, 2023 (697): „This paper proposes a comprehensive climate stress testing approach to measure the impact of transition risk on investment portfolios. … our framework considers a bottom-up approach and is mainly relevant for the asset management industry. … we model the distribution function of the carbon tax, provide an explicit specification of indirect carbon emissions in the supply chain, introduce pass-through mechanisms of carbon prices, and compute the probability distribution of potential (economic and financial) impacts in a Monte Carlo setting. Rather than using a single or limited set of scenarios, we use a probabilistic approach to generate thousands of simulated pathways” (abstract).

Disaster flows: Flight to climatic safety: local natural disasters and global portfolio flows by Fabrizio Ferriani,  Andrea Gazzani, and Filippo Natoli from the Bank of Italy as of July 5th, 2023 (#35): “… we find that local natural disasters have significant effects on global portfolio flows. First, when disasters strike, international investors reduce their net flows to equity mutual funds exposed to affected countries. This only happens when disasters occur in the emerging economies that are more exposed to climate risk. Second, natural disasters lead investors to reduce their portfolio flows into unaffected, high-climate-risk countries in the same region as well. Third, disasters in high-climate-risk emerging economies spur investment flows into advanced countries that are relatively safer from a climate risk standpoint“ (abstract).

Carbon offsets: Portfolio Allocation and Optimization with Carbon Offsets: Is it Worth the While? by Patrick Behr, Carsten Mueller, and Papa Orge as of Aug. 10th, 2023: “We explore whether the integration of carbon offsets into investment portfolios improves performance. … our results show that investment strategies that include such offsets broadly achieve higher Sharpe Ratios than the diversified benchmark, with the long-short strategy performing best”.

Useless ratings? ESG Ratings Management by Jess Cornaggia and Kimberly Cornaggia as of July 27th, 2023 (#92): “We use data from an ESG rater that incorporates feedback from firms during the rating process and produces ratings at a monthly frequency. We … find that when the rater changes the weight it applies to certain criteria in the creation of its ESG ratings, firms respond by adjusting their reported ESG behavior in the same month. … we do not observe real changes in the likelihood that firms are embroiled in ESG controversies, or that they reduce their release of toxic chemicals because of these adjustments. Rather, it appears firms “manage” their ESG ratings for the benefit of ESG-conscious investors and customers” (p. 26/27). My comment: I do not use market leading MSCI or ISS or Sustainalytics ratings and also because of my custom rating profile (Best-in-Universe with specific approach to treat missing data) the risk of such ratings management should be low, see Noch eine Fondsboutique? – Responsible Investment Research Blog (

AI and other investment research (Technology risks)

ETFs effect Treasuries: ETF Dividend Cycles by Pekka Honkanen, Yapei Zhang, and Tong Zhou as of Aug. 10th, 2023 (#340): “… in the “ETF dividend cycle,” ETFs accumulate incoming corporate dividends in MMFs (Sö: Money Market Funds)  gradually but withdraw them abruptly in large amounts when they themselves have to pay dividends to investors. … This … leads to large, sudden outflows from MMFs, forcing these funds to liquidate some of their underlying assets. We find that these liquidations are concentrated in short-term Treasury bonds. … in the aggregate time series, an ETF dividend distribution event of average size leads to increases in short-term Treasury yields by approximately 0.38-0.58 basis points. … The total value fluctuation in the Treasury market could be considerable, as ETFs distribute dividends on 205 trading days in 2019, for example” (p. 9/10).

Backtest-problems: Market Returns Are Estimated with Error. How Much Error? by Edward F. McQuarrie as of July 24th, 2023 (#30): “For periods beginning 1926, it is conventional to suppose that historical market returns are known with reasonable accuracy. This paper challenges that comfortable certainty. Multiple indexes of market return are examined to show that return estimates do not closely agree across indexes and are unstable within index over time. The paper concludes that two-decimal precision—to the whole percentage point, with an error band of plus or minus one percentage point—would better reflect the accuracy of historical estimates of annual market return” (abstract).

Easy profits: Intraday Stock Predictability Everywhere by Fred Liu, and Lars Stentoft as of July 5th, 2023 (#1167): “First, we demonstrate that the market and sector portfolios are highly predictable. … we show that portfolio profitability mostly remains high after accounting for transaction costs, and is largely orthogonal to common risk factors. … we further exploit machine learning forecasts of individual stocks by constructing machine learning intraday portfolios, and demonstrate that a long-short portfolio achieves a Sharpe ratio of up to 4 after transaction costs. … demonstrate that less liquid firms are more predictable and firms which are more actively traded and volatile tend to be more profitable … intraday predictability and profitability generally decrease as the time horizon increases” (p. 28/29). My comment: If this is so easy, why do Quant funds typically disappoint? The information is important for stock trading, though (for my trading approach see Artikel 9 Fonds: Sind 50% Turnover ok? – Responsible Investment Research Blog (

Satellite vs. people: Displaced by Big Data: Evidence from Active Fund Managers by Maxime Bonelli and Thierry Foucault as of Aug. 2nd, 2023 (#325): “We test whether the availability of satellite imagery data tracking retailer firms’ parking lots affects the stock picking abilities of active mutual fund managers in stocks covered by this data. … we find that active mutual funds’ stock picking ability declines in covered stocks after the introduction of satellite imagery data for these stocks. This decline is particularly pronounced for funds that heavily rely on traditional sources of expertise, indicating that these managers are at a higher risk of being displaced by new data sources“ (p. 29/30).

AI bubble? Artificial Intelligence in Finance: Valuations and Opportunities by Yosef Bonaparte as of August 15th, 2023 (#65): “First, we display the current and projected AI revenue by sector, technology type, and geography. Second, present valuation model to AI stocks and ETFs that accounts for AI sentiment as well as fundamental analyses. Our findings demonstrate that the AI revenue will pass $2.7 trillion in the next 10 years, where the service AI technology stack will contain 75% of the market share (as of 2023 it is 50% of the market share). As for AI stock valuation, we present two main models to adopt when we value stocks“ (abstract).

Bad finance: What is Forensic Finance? by John M. Griffin and Samuel Kruger as of Aug. 10th, 2023 (#467): “We survey a growing field studying aspects of finance that are potentially illegal, illicit, or immoral. Some of the literature is investigative in nature to uncover malfeasance that is recent and possibly ongoing. … The work spans newer areas such as cryptocurrencies, financial advisor and broker misconduct, and greenwashing; and newer research in established fields that are still developing, such as insider trading, structured finance, market manipulation, political connections, public finance, and corporate fraud. We highlight investigative forensic finance, common economic questions, common empirical methods, industry and political opposition, censoring, and the importance of avoiding publication biases“ (abstract).

Specialist PE: Specialization in Private Equity and Corporate Financial Distress by Benjamin Hammer, Robert Loos, Lukas Andreas Oswald, and Bernhard Schwetzler as of Aug. 7th, 2023 (#384): “We investigate the impact of industry specialization of private equity firms on financial distress risk of portfolio companies … Difference-in-differences estimates suggest an increase in distress risk through private equity backing. The effect is stronger for specialist-backed firms than for generalist-backed firms relative to a carefully matched control group. However, specialist-backed firms can afford the increase in distress risk because they are less risky than generalist-backed firms before the buyout. Overall, our findings are consistent with the idea that greater idiosyncratic risk in specialized PE portfolios induces more risk-averse target selection” (abstract).

Costly diversification: Have Alternative Investments Helped or Hurt? by Richard M. Ennis as of August 3rd, 2023 (#135): “This paper shows that since the GFC (Sö: Global Financial Crisis in 2007/2008), US public-sector pension funds’ exposure to alternative investments is strongly associated with a reduction in alpha of approximately 1.2 percentage points per year relative to passive investment. While exposure to private equity has arguably neither helped nor hurt, both real estate and hedge fund exposures have detracted significantly from performance. Institutional investors should consider whether continuing to invest in alts warrants the time, expense and reduced liquidity associated with them” (p. 11).


Advert for German investors:

Sponsor my research by investing in and/or recommending my global small/midcap mutual fund (SFDR Art. 9). The fund focuses on social SDGs and uses separate E, S and G best-in-universe minimum ratings and broad shareholder engagement with currently 28 of 30 engaged companiesFutureVest Equity Sustainable Development Goals R – DE000A2P37T6 – A2P37T; also see Active or impact investing? – (

ESG gut: % Zeichen Bild von Geralt von Pixabay als Illustration

ESG gut: 1. Halbjahr gut für ESG- und schlecht für SDG-Portfolios

ESG gut: Vereinfacht zusammengefasst haben meine nachhaltigen Portfolios im ersten Halbjahr 2023 ähnlich rentiert wie vergleichbare traditionelle aktiv gemanagte Fonds aber etwas schlechter als traditionelle ETFs. Während die ESG-Portfolios dabei relativ gut abschnitten, waren SDG-fokussierte (Multi-Themen) Portfolios im ersten Halbjahr 2023 relativ schlecht. Außerdem haben die Trendfolgesignale im ersten Halbjahr 2023 zu Verlusten gegenüber Portfolios ohne Trendfolge geführt. Das war 2022 noch anders: Im Vorjahr haben besonders meine Trendfolge und SDG-Portfolios gut rentiert (vgl. SDG und Trendfolge: Relativ gut in 2022 – Responsible Investment Research Blog (

Traditionelle passive Allokations-ETF-Portfolios

Das nicht-nachhaltige Alternatives ETF-Portfolio hat im ersten Halbjahr 2023 -1,3% verloren. Dafür hat das regelbasierte „most passive“ Multi-Asset Weltmarkt ETF-Portfolio im ersten Halbjahr mit +4% trotz seines hohen Anteils an Alternatives relativ gut abgeschnitten, denn die Performance ist ähnlich wie die aktiver Mischfonds (+4,1%).

ESG gut: Auf Environmental, Social und Governance und Sustainable Development Goal fokussierte ETF-Portfolios

Vergleichbares gilt für das ebenfalls breit diversifizierte ESG ETF-Portfolio mit +4%. Das ESG ETF-Portfolio ex Bonds lag mit +7,1% aufgrund des hohen Alternatives-Anteils zwar hinter den +10,6% traditioneller Aktien-ETFs aber etwas vor den +6,8% aktiv gemanagter globaler Aktienfonds. Das ESG ETF-Portfolio ex Bonds Income verzeichnete ein etwas geringeres Plus von +6,1%. Das ist aber besser als die +4,9% traditioneller Dividendenfonds.

Mit -1,3% schnitt das ESG ETF-Portfolio Bonds (EUR) im Vergleich zu +1,5% für vergleichbare traditionelle Anleihe-ETFs relativ schlecht ab. Anders als in 2022 hat meine Trendfolge im ersten Halbjahr mit +0,4% für das ESG ETF-Portfolio ex Bonds Trend auch nicht gut funktioniert.

Das aus thematischen Aktien-ETFs bestehende SDG ETF-Portfolio lag mit +1% erheblich hinter traditionellen Aktienanlagen zurück und das SDG ETF-Trendfolgeportfolio zeigt mit -4% eine relativ schlechte Performance.

Direkte pure ESG und SDG-Aktienportfolios

Das aus 30 Aktien bestehende Global Equities ESG Portfolio hat im ersten Halbjahr +6,5% gemacht und liegt damit etwa gleichauf wie traditionelle aktive Fonds aber hinter traditionellen Aktien-ETFs, was vor allem an den im Portfolio nicht vorhandenen Mega-Techs lag. Das nur aus 5 Titeln bestehende Global Equities ESG Portfolio war mit +3,7% schlechter, liegt aber seit dem Start in 2017 immer noch vor dem 30-Aktien Portfolio.

Das Infrastructure ESG Portfolio hat +1,1% gemacht und liegt damit vor den +0,3% traditioneller Infrastrukturfonds aber hinter den +3,3% eines traditionellen Infrastruktur-ETFs. Das Real Estate ESG Portfolio hat im ersten Halbjahr -6,3% verloren, während traditionelle globale Immobilienaktien-ETFs mit -1% und aktiv gemanagte Fonds nur um die -1,4% verloren haben. Das Deutsche Aktien ESG Portfolio hat im ersten Halbjahr +10,3% zugelegt. Das liegt hinter aktiv gemanagten traditionellen Fonds mit +11,5% und nennenswert hinter vergleichbaren ETFs mit +15,2%.

Dasauf soziale Midcaps fokussierte Global Equities ESG SDG hat mit -2,1% im Vergleich zu allgemeinen Aktienfonds schlecht abgeschnitten. Allerdings haben aktive gemanagte Gesundheitsfonds mit -1,0% ebenfalls schlecht rentiert. Das Global Equities ESG SDG Trend Portfolio hat mit -5,8% – wie die anderen Trendfolgeportfolios – im ersten Halbjahr nicht gut abgeschnitten. Das noch stärker auf Gesundheitswerte fokussierte Global Equities ESG SDG Social Portfolio hat mit -1,8% ebenfalls unterdurchschnittlich rentiert.


Mein FutureVest Equity Sustainable Development Goals R Fonds, der am 16. August 2021 gestartet ist, zeigt nach einem sehr guten Jahr 2022 vor allem aufgrund des immer noch relativ starken Gesundheitsfokus mit -1,9% eine erhebliche Underperformance gegenüber traditionellen Aktienmärkten. Insgesamt ist die Performance seit dem Fondsstart weiterhin aber ähnlich wie die von traditionellen aktiv gemanagten Aktienfonds (weitere Informationen wie z.B. auch den aktuellen detaillierten Engagementreport siehe FutureVest Equity Sustainable Development Goals R – DE000A2P37T6 – A2P37T und Artikel 9 Fonds: Kleine Änderungen mit großen Wirkungen? – (

Anmerkungen: Die Performancedetails siehe und zu allen Regeln und Portfolios siehe Das Soehnholz ESG und SDG Portfoliobuch. Benchmarkdaten: Eigene Berechnungen u.a. auf Basis von

Picture by gerd Altmann from Pixabay show Partnership Illustration as Picture for Complex Engagement

Complex engagement, ESG placebo and more: Researchpost #132

Complex engagement: 10x new research on hot Nordics, green growth, GHG data, debt-for-nature, quant and placebo ESG, shareholder engagement, bond factors, insider trading and international fintech by Sebastian Grund, Julian Heeb, Julian Kölbel, Florian Berg, Andrew Lo, Roberto Rigobon and many more (# shows the number of SSRN downloads on June 22nd, 2023)

Ecological and social research

Hot Nordic mountains? Does Climate Sensitivity Differ Across Regions? A Varying–Coefficient Approach by Heather Anderson, Jiti Gao, Farshid Vahid, Wei Wei, and Yang Yang as of May 14th, 2023 (#21): “… using data from 1209 weather stations show that mid/high-latitude regions in the northern hemisphere are more sensitive to changes in GHGs (Sö: greenhouse gases) than the equatorial area or the southern hemisphere, and that inland areas are more sensitive than coastal areas. Our latitude-varying model estimates suggest that global temperature would rise by 3.7◦C following a doubling CO2, with areas above 50◦N rising by more than 5 ◦C and areas near 30◦S rising by 2.5◦C. … In an out-of-sample forecasting exercise, we demonstrate that our latitude-varying model outperforms the parsimonious constant coefficient model in forecasting future temperatures“ (p. 25).

Policy failure? Restructuring Reforms for Green Growth by Serhan Cevik and João Tovar Jalles from the IMF as of June 20th, 2023 (#17): “… in a panel of 25 countries during the period 1970– 2020 … First, while electricity and gas sector reforms so far failed in bringing about a reduction in CO2 and GHG emissions per capita, there is some evidence for greater effectiveness in lowering GHG emissions per unit of GDP. Second, although electricity and gas sector reforms are not associated with higher supply of renewable energy as a share of total energy supply, they appear to stimulate a sustained increase in the number of environmental inventions and patents per capita over the medium term …  market-oriented electricity and gas sector reforms leading to better environmental outcomes and green growth in countries with stronger environmental regulations”.

GHG data issues: GHG Challenges for the Accurate Measurement and Accounting of Corporate Greenhouse Gas Emissions by Anton Kelnhofer and Benedikt Brauner as of May 9th, 2023 (#23): “ … companies often struggle to ensure the validity and accuracy of GHG emission calculations published and frequently remain reluctant to intensify their efforts due to perceived ambiguity and clarity on their true carbon footprint. This potentially results in substantial deviations between GHG emission data actually incurred and publicly reported. We attempt to identify the drivers at the root of these deviations. To this end, we conduct a multiple-case study among 14 large, public companies operating in emission-intensive sectors. The study reveals that GHG accuracies mostly result from challenges regarding the application of available standards and initiatives, the collection and calculation of GHG emission data along scopes 1, 2 and 3, the transparency, motivation and target definition of published reports as well as objectives and quality of external verification by auditors” (abstract).

Responsible investment research (complex engagement)

Debt-for-Nature? Debt-for-Nature Swaps: The Belize 2021 Deal and the Future of Green Sovereign Finance by Stephanie Fontana-Raina and Sebastian Grund as of May 16th, 2023 (#226): “The Belize debt-for-nature swap was a milestone … Despite representing innovations that facilitated Belize’s significant investments in local environmental protection while providing much needed, if possibly insufficient, fiscal relief, this new model of debt-for-nature swap is limited in terms of scalability and replicability. … For countries with unsustainable debt, a debt-for-nature swap cannot be expected to restore sustainability on its own, unless it involves a sufficiently large share of a country’s debt and substantial debt relief. The model in recent debt-for-nature swaps supports that the transaction may not be financially feasible without grant funding or credit enhancement from a highly creditworthy party, and the larger the stock of external debt that needs to be restructured, the more difficult it may be to attract sufficient credit support from the official sector. Larger debt restructurings involve tens of billions of dollars. … For now, debt-for-nature swaps represent a significant evolution in green sovereign finance and can serve as a “sweetener” in more traditional debt restructurings” (p. 22/23).

No ESG placebo: Is Sustainable Finance a Dangerous Placebo? by Florian Heeb, Julian F. Kölbel, Stefano Ramelli, Anna Vasileva as of June 19th, 2023 (#198): “Some observers argue that sustainable finance is a dangerous placebo that crowds out individual support for policy-driven solutions to societal challenges … with a pre-registered experiment exploiting a real-world climate policy referendum in Switzerland. We find that the opportunity to invest in a climate-conscious fund does not crowd out individual political engagement and costly efforts to advance formal climate policy. If anything, we observe moderate, not statistically significant, evidence for a crowding-in effect of sustainable investing on political engagement … on average, voters do not consider sustainable finance a substitute for political action“ (p. 18/19).

Quant ESG: Quantifying the Returns of ESG Investing: An Empirical Analysis with Six ESG Metrics by Florian Berg, Andrew W. Lo, Roberto Rigobon, Manish Singh, and Ruixun Zhang as of June 16th, 2023 (#1210): “… we quantify the excess returns of arbitrary ESG portfolios … for firms in the U.S., Europe and Japan from 2014 to 2020. … We also propose a number of methods to aggregate ESG scores across vendors to produce the best signal within the data, simultaneously addressing measurement errors and yielding a single measure of ESG that can potentially be used for portfolio management. Empirically, we find significant ESG excess returns in the U.S. and Japan. We also find positive and higher than market risk-adjusted returns” (p. 30). My comment: Including 2021 and 2022 experiences, investors should not expect excess ESG returns but they may still have lower risks with ESG investments. Instead of “pseudo-optimizing” portfolios and aggregating ESG scores from different providers which reduces transparency and explainability, more efforts should go into comparing rating approaches and finding the best (fitting) ones.

Complex engagement: Shareholder Engagement Inside and Outside the Shareholder Meeting by Tim Bowley, Jennifer G. Hill, and Steve Kourabas as of June 1st, 2023 (#199): “First, contemporary shareholder-company engagement is a multi-dimensional and evolving phenomenon. Shareholders use, to varying degrees, a wide range of engagement techniques. These include the shareholder meeting, behind-the-scenes interactions, public campaigns, and online technologies such as discussion boards and messaging apps. The latter technologies are particularly favoured by younger retail investors and have been used with remarkable effect to marshal the governance influence of such investors in recent high-profile cases. Second, shareholders often mix and match different engagement techniques in a synergistic manner to leverage their governance influence. Third, shareholders increasingly undertake their engagement activities collectively, highlighting the growing capacity of public company shareholders to overcome traditional collective action challenges. Finally, despite the engagement alternatives available to shareholders, the shareholder meeting remains an important engagement mechanism. … the processes which shape corporate decisions are becoming more diffuse and potentially less transparent. Ensuring accountability is a more complex issue in these circumstances …” (abstract). My comment: My most recent engagement experience see Active or impact investing? – (

Traditional investment research (complex engagement)

No bond outperformance? Priced risk in corporate bonds by Alexander Dickerson, Philippe Mueller, and Cesare Robotti as of June 15th, 2023 (#1191): “… we explore the limitations of evaluating factor models on corporate bonds …. Overall we find that it is difficult for newly proposed specifications to outperform the simple bond CAPM, economically and statistically. … given the nontrivial transaction costs in the over-the-counter trading of corporate bonds, it would be valuable to formally compare the performance of alternative pricing models for bonds based on economically meaningful metrics that take into account transaction costs …” (p. 22/23).

Insider ETFs: Using ETFs to conceal insider trading by Elza Eglīte, Dans Štaermans, Vinay Patel, and Tālis J. Putniņš as of Feb. 1st, 2023 (#2097): “We show that exchange traded funds (ETFs) are used in a new form of insider trading known as “shadow trading.” Our evidence suggests that some traders in possession of material non-public information about upcoming M&A announcements trade in ETFs that contain the target stock, rather than trading the underlying company shares, thereby concealing their insider trading” (abstract).

International fintech: Global Fintech Trends and their Impact on International Business: A Review by Douglas Cumming, Sofia Johan and Robert S. Reardon as of June 19th, 2023 (#82): “Firstly, fintech facilitates entrepreneurial internationalization, as evidenced by the role of crowdfunding in numerous start-ups‘ internationalization processes. Crowdfunding, along with P2P lending, has lowered barriers across countries by opening global markets and providing alternative funding sources. Fintech can also be harnessed to enhance financial inclusion in developing nations, promoting access to capital and financial services for underserved populations. Secondly, fintech can be incorporated into multinational corporations‘ research to uncover opportunities for growth and market expansion worldwide. The digital nature of online banking and the agility of fintech platforms can potentially transform corporate culture and streamline business processes, offering new ways to optimize operations and drive innovation. Thirdly, effective global regulation and regulatory technology are essential to fully realize fintech’s benefits. … concerns include potential risks associated with consumer protection, data privacy, and illicit activities. Developing and implementing appropriate regulatory frameworks can help mitigate these risks …“ (p. 30).


Advert for German investors

“Sponsor” my research by investing in and/or recommending my global small/midcap mutual fund (SFDR Art. 9). The fund focuses on social SDGs and uses separate E, S and G best-in-universe minimum ratings and broad shareholder engagement (currently 26 of 30 companies engaged). The fund typically scores very well in sustainability rankings, e.g. see this free tool, and the risk-adjusted performance is relatively good: FutureVest Equity Sustainable Development Goals R – DE000A2P37T6 – A2P37T. Also see Artikel 9 Fonds: Kleine Änderungen mit großen Wirkungen? – (

Active or impact? Picture from John Hain from Pixabays shows 2 hands with several cooperation words

Active or impact investing?

Active or impact investing is a valid question, since it often requires a long time to reach shareholder impact. Passive or impact investing is an equally valid question, because passive investors do not want or do not have the resources to impact their investments.

With impact investments, investors try to improve the world. Investing in listed securities does not add capital for the issuers. Therefore, responsible investors typically use voting and engagement to try to improve issuers of securities.

I advise a rules-based mutual fund with a very high active share. Here are some of my shareholder engagement experiences and learnings:

My goal: 100% Engagement

With my mutual fund, I invest in only 30 stocks (see 30 stocks, if responsible, are all I need). According to my definition, they are issued by the most responsible listed companies worldwide (see Artikel 9 Fonds: Kleine Änderungen mit großen Wirkungen?). In 2022, I was positively surprised by my first shareholder engagement test (see Engagement test (Blogposting #300)). Since I try to invest as responsibly as possible, I decided to try to engage with all 30 companies in my portfolio.

(continues on page 2)

Digital Art Sloth created with Dall-E

Q1: Nachhaltige Portfolios mit ordentlicher Rendite im ersten Quartal 2023

Im ersten Quartal 2023 (Q1) haben meine Portfolios wie folgt performt:

Traditionelle most-passive ETF-Portfolios

Dafür, dass das nicht-nachhaltige Alternatives ETF-Portfolio -1,9% verloren hat, hat das regelbasierte Multi-Asset Weltmarkt ETF-Portfolio im ersten Quartal mit +2,1% trotz seines hohen Anteils an Alternatives relativ gut abgeschnitten, denn die Performance ist ähnlich wie die aktiver Mischfonds (+2,3%).

ESG und SDG ETF-Portfolios in Q1

Vergleichbares gilt für das ebenfalls breit diversifizierte ESG ETF-Portfolio mit +2,1%. Das ESG ETF-Portfolio ex Bonds lag mit +3,2% aufgrund des hohen Alternatives-Anteils aber hinter den +4,9% traditioneller Aktien-ETFs und leicht hinter den +3,6% aktiv gemanagter globaler Aktienfonds. Das ESG ETF-Portfolio ex Bonds Income verzeichnet ein etwas geringeres Plus von +2,8%. Das ist aber besser als die +2,0% traditioneller Dividendenfonds. Anders als in 2022 hat meine Trendfolge im ersten Quartal mit -2,8% für das ESG ETF-Portfolio ex Bonds Trend nicht gut funktioniert. Mit -0,2% schnitt das ESG ETF-Portfolio Bonds (EUR) im Vergleich zu +1,5% für vergleichbare traditionelle Anleihe-ETFs ebenfalls relativ schlecht ab.

Das aus thematischen Aktien-ETFs bestehende SDG ETF-Portfolio lag mit +1,8% hinter traditionellen Aktienanlagen zurück und das SDG ETF-Trendfolgeportfolio zeigt mit -3,3% eine relativ schlechte Performance, nachdem es in 2022 outperformt hatte.

Q1: Direkte pure ESG und SDG Aktienportfolios

In 2022 hat das aus 30 Aktien bestehende Global Equities ESG Portfolio hat im ersten Quartal +3,7%gemacht und liegt damit gleichauf wie traditionelle aktive Fonds aber hinter traditionellen Aktien-ETFs. Das aus nur aus 5 Titeln bestehende Global Equities ESG Portfolio war mit +0,7% dagegen nur knapp positiv, liegt aber seit dem Start in 2017 immer noch etwas vor dem 30-Aktien Portfolio.

Das Infrastructure ESG Portfolio hat +2,9% gemacht und liegt damit vor den +0,4% traditioneller Infrastrukturfonds und vor allen vor den -3,9% eines vergleichbaren Infrastruktur-ETFs. Im Gegensatz dazu hat das Real Estate ESG Portfolio im ersten Quartal -7,4% verloren, während traditionelle globale Immobilienaktien-ETFs und aktiv gemanagte Fonds nur um die -2% verloren haben. Das Deutsche Aktien ESG Portfolio hat im ersten Quartal +8,7% zugelegt. Das liegt etwas hinter aktiv gemangten traditionellen Fonds mit 10% und vergleichbaren ETFs mit ähnlichen Renditen.

Das auf soziale Midcaps fokussierte Global Equities ESG SDG hat mit -2% im Vergleich zu allgemeinen Aktienfonds schlecht abgeschnitten. Allerdings haben aktive gemanagte Gesundheitsfonds mit -2,5% noch schlechter rentiert. Das Global Equities ESG SDG Trend Portfolio hat mit -4,5% – wie die anderen Trendfolgeportfolios – im ersten Quartal nicht gut abgeschnitten. Das noch stärker auf Gesundheitswerte fokussierte Global Equities ESG SDG Social Portfolio hat mit -3,1% ebenfalls unterdurchschnittlich rentiert.

Benchmarkabhängige Fondsperformance-Beurteilung

Mein FutureVest Equity Sustainable Development Goals R Fonds, der am 16. August 2021 gestartet ist, zeigt nach einem sehr guten Jahr 2022 vor allem aufgrund des immer noch relativ starken Gesundheitsfokus mit -0,8% eine erhebliche Underperformance gegenüber traditionellen Aktienmärkten. Insgesamt ist die Performance seit Fondsstart weiterhin aber besser als die von traditionellen aktiv gemanagten Aktienfonds. Auch gegenüber dem mit dem Fonds vergleichbaren Global Equities ESG SDG Portfolio (-2%) wurde eine etwas bessere Rendite erzielt. Zum Jahresende 2022 wurden die Selektionskriterien im Fonds gegenüber dem Portfolio verschärft, indem Gentechnik und auch medizinische Tierversuche komplett ausgeschlossen wurden. Das hat dazu geführt, dass die Gesundheits- und Largecap-allokation im Fonds gegenüber dem Global Equities ESG SDG Portfolio reduziert wurde.

=> Werbung für deutsche Anleger: Mein Fonds FutureVest Equity Sustainable Development Goals R (DE000A2P37T6) konzentriert sich auf soziale SDGs und Midcaps, verwendet separate E-, S- und G-Best-in-Universe-Mindestratings und ein breites Aktionärsengagement. Der Fonds schneidet in der Regel in Nachhaltigkeits-Rankings sehr gut ab, siehe z. B. dieses kostenlose neue Tool. Mehr Infos siehe Artikel 9 Fonds: Kleine Änderungen mit großen Wirkungen?

Fazit Q 1: Nachhaltige wie traditionelle Performance aber Trendfolge schwächelt

Vereinfacht zusammengefasst haben im ersten Quartal 2023 (Q1) meine nachhaltigen ESG und SDG-Portfolios ähnlich rentiert wie vergleichbare traditionelle ETFs bzw. aktiv gemanagte Fonds. Nachdem meine Trendfolgeportfolios in 2022 Verluste in erheblichem Umfang reduzieren konnten, haben die Signale im ersten Quartal 2023 zu Verlusten gegenüber Portfolios ohne Trendfolge geführt.

Anmerkungen: Die Performancedetails siehe und zu allen Regeln und Portfolios siehe Das Soehnholz ESG und SDG Portfoliobuch. Benchmarkdaten: Eigene Berechnungen u.a. auf Basis von

Nachhaltige ETF-Portfolios

Nachhaltige ETF-Portfolios seit 2015: Vor- und Nachteile

Nachhaltige ETF-Portfolios: Ich der ESG ETF Portfoliopionier. Und immer wieder werde ich gefragt, warum ich so kritisch in Bezug auf nachhaltige ETFs bin. Hier sind meine wichtigsten Argumente:


+ ETFs sind regelbasiert und transparent

+ ETS sind günstig

+ Es werden immer mehr und nachhaltigere ETFs angeboten

+ Viele Vermittler und Vermögensverwalter mögen ETF


– ETFs sind meist an kapitalgewichteten Indizes orientiert und enthalten deshalb oft auch wenig-nachhaltige Branchen und Länder

– ETFs sind meist stark diversifiziert und enthalten deshalb in der Regel auch Wertpapiere von wenig nachhaltigen Emittenten

– Nachhaltige ETFs nutzen oft nur unvollständige Ausschlusskriterien und ESG-Selektionsregeln wie Best-in-Class statt Best-in-Universe und aggregierte statt separate ESG-Ratings

Ziel meiner ETF-Portfolios ist es, die Vorteile zu nutzen und die Nachteile so gut wie möglich zu reduzieren. Dazu biete ich Core und Satellite-Portfolios an, allerdings nur B2B, also für Vermögenverwalter und Vermittler.

ESG ETF Core Portfolios (Nachhaltige ETF-Portfolios)

  • Start Ende 2015 als ESG ETF-Portfolio
  • Konzeptionell möglichst nachhaltige ETFs: Start mit Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) ETFs und heute SRI PAB (Paris Aligned Benchmark) und andere, die anhand von separaten E, S und G Best-in-Universe Ratings selektiert werden
  • Angebot von Multi-Asset-, Aktien-, Anleihen-, Income- und risikogesteuerte ETF-Portfolios

SDG ETF Satellite Portfolios (Nachhaltige ETF-Portfolios)

  • Start 2019 als ETF-Portfolio mit Themen-ETFs, die möglichst im Einklang mit den nachhaltigen Entwicklungszielen der Vereinten Nationen (SDG) stehen wie erneuerbare Energien, Gesundheit, nachhaltige Ernährung und Infrastruktur
  • Keine ETFs mit mehr als 5% Allokationen zu unerwünschten Ländern wie China
  • ETF-Selektion mit separaten E, S und G Best-in-Universe sowie SDG-Ratings
  • Fokus auf ETFs aus kleinen und mittelgroßen Unternehmen, damit Überschneidungen mit Core-Portfolios möglichst vermieden werden
  • Angebot einer risikogesteuerten Variante

Core- und Satellite Portfolio-Vergleich

Das Multi-Asset Core-Portfolio enthält aktuell 6 ETFs von 5 Anbietern mit >3.000 Wertpapieren und kostet 0,21% p.a.. Das Satellite-Portfolio beinhaltet 9 ETFs von 5 Anbietern mit >1.000 Aktien zu Kosten von 0,42% p.a.. Damit sind die Portfolios stark risikogestreut und relativ günstig. Und die Performance war bisher typischerweise besser als die von traditionellen aktiv gemanagten Fonds und ähnlich wie die von traditionellen ETF-Portfolios. So spricht nur noch wenig für traditionelle ETF-Portfolios.

Nachhaltige ETF-Portfolios: Fazit

Mit direkten (Aktien-)Portfolios ist mehr mehr Nachhaltigkeit als mit ETFs möglich. Nach meiner eigenen Nachhaltigkeitsbewertung haben die Core-Portfolios einen Nachhaltigkeitsscore von 50% und die Satellite-Portfolios einen von 75% während direkte Aktienportfolios 100% erreichen können. Aber für alle Fans von diversifizieren Portfolios sind solche strengstmöglich nachhaltigen ETF-Portfolios sehr attraktiv. Meine Geschäftspartner und ihre privaten und Stiftungskunden scheinen jedenfalls zufrieden zu sein.

Weiterführende Informationen

Portfolioregeln, Hintergründe, Nachhaltigkeitspolitik etc: Das-Soehnholz-ESG-und-SDG-Portfoliobuch.pdf ( und zum Beispiel Artikel 9 ETF-Portfolios bzw. PAB ETF-Portfolios sind attraktiv – Responsible Investment Research Blog (

Performances: Soehnholz ESG (und „Historische Zeitreihen der Portfolios, ebenda) und letzter Blogpost dazu Soehnholz ESG 2021: Passive Allokationsportfolios und Deutsche ESG Aktien besonders gut – Responsible Investment Research Blog (

Woodpecker as picture for beyond ESG research, picture by pixabay

Beyond ESG: Researchposting 116

Beyond ESG: 21x new research on bioenergy, CSR, carbon policy, greenium, ESG ratings, ecolabel, greentech, transition, fiduciaries, impact, activism, insiders, 1/n, SPACs, private equity and female founders by Timo Busch, Andreas Hoepner and many more

Social and ecological research

High bio-emissions: Emissions of Wood Pelletization and Solid Bioenergy Use in the United States by Huy Tran, Edie Juno, and Saravanan Arunachalam as of Dec. 27th, 2022 (#6): “… we find that this sector’s emissions could be potentially underestimated by a factor of two. Emissions from biomass-based facilities are on an average up to 2.8 times higher than their non-biomass counterpart per unit energy. Up to 2.3 million people live within 2km of a biomass facility, and who could be subject to adverse health impacts from their emissions. Overall, bioenergy sector contributes to about 3 – 17% of total emissions from all energy, i.e., electric and non-electric generating facilities in the U.S. In comparison to residential wood combustion, bioenergy sector emissions are lower in VOC, CO, NH3, and directly emitted PM2.5, but higher in NOX and SO2. We also review some drivers of bioenergy expansion, various feedstocks and technologies deployed with an emphasis on wood-based bioenergy and discuss their implications for future air quality and health impacts” (abstract).

Research overview: The Past and Future of Corporate Sustainability Research by Vanessa Burbano, Magali A. Delmas, and Manuel Jesus Cobo as of Oct. 13th, 2022 (#122): “… we present a comprehensive review of the field of corporate sustainability using a science mapping co-word bibliometric analysis. Through analysis of the co-occurrence of 25,701 keywords in 11,962 sustainability-related articles from 1994-2021, we identify and graphically illustrate the thematic and theoretical evolution of the field, in addition to emerging and waning research trends in the field. We characterize the most impactful articles of sustainability research in terms of disciplinary focus, topic of focus, dependent variable of focus, unit of analysis, and research method employed” (abstract).

Climate policy works: Carbon Policy Surprises and Stock Returns: Signals from Financial Markets by Martina Hengge, Ugo Panizza, and Richard Varghese as of Feb. 1st, 2023 (#18): “…. the creation of the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) in 2005. This “cap and trade” scheme places a limit on the right to emit greenhouse gases and allows companies to trade emission allowances. … we show that regulatory surprises that result in an increase in carbon prices have a negative and statistically significant impact on stock returns, which increases with a firm’s carbon intensity. This negative relationship becomes even stronger when we drop firms in sectors which participate in the EU ETS, suggesting that investors price in transition risk stemming from the shift towards a low-carbon economy“ (p. 22).

Advert for German investors: “Sponsor” my research by investing in and/or recommending my article 9 mutual fund. I focus on social SDGs and midcaps and use separate E, S and G best-in-universe minimum ratings. The fund typically scores very well in sustainability rankings, e.g. this free new tool, and the performance is relatively good: FutureVest Equity Sustainable Development Goals R – DE000A2P37T6 – A2P37T

… continues on page 2 (# indicates the number of SSRN downloads on February 5th, 2023):

Performancegrafik als Illustration für JAHRESPERFORMANCEBLOG

SDG und Trendfolge: Relativ gut in 2022

SDG und Trendfolge: Während ESG ETF-Portfolios nicht so gut abschnitten, waren SDG und Trendfolgeportfolios relativ gut. Hier sind die Renditen meiner 2 traditionellen und 15 nachhaltigen Modellportfolios und meines Fonds:

Traditionelle most-passive ETF-Portfolios

Das nicht-nachhaltige regelbasierte Weltmarkt ETF-Portfolio hat in 2022 -15% verloren. Das ist schlechter als aktive Mischfonds, die etwa -12% verloren haben. 2021 war der Vorsprung mit +18% für das Weltmarkt ETF-Portfolio gegenüber +10% für Mischfonds jedoch erheblich. Das ebenfalls nicht-nachhaltige Alternatives ETF-Portfolio hat mit -12% (+36% in 2021) wie traditionelle Aktienindizes abgeschnitten (-13% für einen globalen Aktienindex-ETF).

ESG und SDG ETF-Portfolios: SDG und Trendfolge gut

Das relativ breit gestreute ESG ETF-Portfolio schnitt 2022 mit -15% wie das traditionelle Weltmarktportfolio und damit ebenfalls etwas schlechter als traditionelle aktive Mischfonds (-12%) ab. In 2021 war es mit +12% aber besser als solche Mischfonds (+10%).

Das ESG ETF-Portfolio ex Bonds hat 2022 -18% verloren. Traditionelle Aktien-ETFs lagen mit -13% erheblich besser (2021: +21% und +25%). Traditionelle aktive Aktienfondsmanager waren mit -15% ebenfalls besser (2021 +23%). Das ESG ETF-Portfolio ex Bonds Income rentierte mit -17% (2021: +23%) erheblich schlechter als aktive traditionelle Dividendenfonds mit -11% (+26%). Dagegen hat sich das ESG ETF-Portfolio ex Bonds Trend mit -8% (2021: 16%) wiederum viel besser als aktive Mischfonds mit -12% gehalten (+10% in 2021).

Das ESG ETF-Portfolio Bonds (EUR) hat 2022 mit -13% etwas schlechter abgeschnitten als traditionelle Anleihe-ETFs (-10%), nachdem die Performance in 2021 mit -3% vergleichbar war.

Das aus thematischen Aktien-ETFs bestehende SDG ETF-Portfolio hat 2022 mit -16% (2021: +12%) schlechter als traditionelle Aktienindizes (-13%) rentiert. Das SDG ETF-Trendfolgeportfolio hat mit -9% (2021: +8%) dagegen viel besser performt als aktive Mischfonds (-12%).

Direkte pure ESG und SDG Aktienportfolios: SDG und Trendfolge gut

In 2022 hat das aus 30 Aktien bestehende Global Equities ESG Portfolio mit -13% (2021: +20%) so abgeschnitten wie traditionelle Aktien-ETFs (-13%) und erheblich besser als das viel stärker diversifizierte ESG ETF-Portfolio ex Bonds (-18%). Gegenüber aktiv gemanagten traditionellen Aktienfonds (-15% nach +23% im Vorjahr) ist die Rendite in 2022 ebenfalls etwas besser. Das aus nur aus 5 Titeln bestehende Global Equities ESG Portfolio hat mit -15% in 2022 etwas schlechter abgeschnitten. Aber mit den +32% aus 2021 liegt es weiter hervorragend im Performancevergleich.

Das Infrastructure ESG Portfolio hat -10% verloren (2021: +6%) und liegt damit weiter stark hinter traditionellen Infrastrukturportfolios (-5% für aktive Fonds und -2% für ETFs) zurück. Das liegt vor allem daran, dass im ESG-Portfolio Infrastruktur für und Energieerzeugung mit fossilen Energieträgern ausgeschlossen sind.

Der Real Estate ESG Portfolio hat 2022 -26% (+23% in 2021) verloren. Das ist schlechter als traditionelle passive Immobilienaktienportfolios (-23%) und erheblich schlechter als traditionelle aktive Immobilienaktienfonds (-17%).

Das Deutsche Aktien ESG Portfolio hat 2022 -23% (+21% in 2021) verloren. Das ist vergleichbar mit  traditionellen passiven Benchmarks (-22%) aber erheblich schlechter als aktive Deutschlandfonds (-17%). Zusammen mit dem Vorjahr liegt mein nachhaltiges Portfolio im Renditevergleich aber auf einem ähnlichen Niveau.

Das auf soziale Midcaps fokussierte Global Equities ESG SDG hat -9% erzielt (+22% in 2021), also erheblich besser als andere globale Aktienportfolios (-15%). Das Global Equities ESG SDG Trend Portfolio konnte mit -10% (+14,5% in 2021) besser abschneiden als traditionelle Mischfonds (-12%), nachdem es auch im Vorjahr schon vorne lag. Das Global Equities ESG SDG Social Portfolio wurde erst am 21. Januar gestartet und wird deshalb in diesem Vergleich noch nicht berücksichtigt. Die ersten Monate sind insgesamt ähnlich wie beim Global Equities ESG SDG Portfolio gelaufen .

Mein FutureVest Equity Sustainable Development Goals R Fonds, der am 16. August 2021 gestartet ist, hat in 2022 -9% verloren und liegt damit ebenfalls im Wettbewerbsvergleich gut, vor allem im Vergleich zu aktiv gemanagten Aktienfonds (-15%). Das gilt auch für die Volatilität von 14% und den maximalen zwischenzeitlichen Verlust von 14% (vgl. auch Mein Artikel 9 Fonds: Noch nachhaltigere Regeln – Responsible Investment Research Blog (

Fazit: SDG, Trendfolge und mein Fonds besonders gut

Vereinfacht zusammengefasst haben 2022 meine nachhaltigen ETF-Portfolios schlechter rentiert als nicht-nachhaltige Benchmarks. Die beiden nachhaltigen ETF Trendfolgeportfolios haben dagegen erheblich besser als traditionelle Mischfonds abgeschnitten.

Meine konzentrierten direkten Aktienportfolios (vgl. 30 stocks, if responsible, are all I need – Responsible Investment Research Blog ( haben überwiegend besser als vergleichbare nachhaltige ETF-Portfolios rentiert (zu den überarbeiteten Regeln für 2023 vergleiche Artikel 9 ETF-Portfolios bzw. PAB ETF-Portfolios sind attraktiv – Responsible Investment Research Blog ( Meine direkten nachhaltigen Portfolios haben zwar schlechter als traditionelle ETF-Portfolios performt, aber oft vergleichbar mit aktiv gemanagten traditionellen Fonds. Im Einzelnen rentierten meine sehr fokussierten (Deutsche Aktien, Infrastruktur, Immobilien) Aktienportfolios 2022 relativ schlecht. Relativ gut bis sehr gut waren dagegen meine Trendfolge und die direkten SDG Aktienportfolios sowie mein FutureVest Fonds.


Die Performancedetails siehe und zu allen Regeln und Portfolios siehe Das Soehnholz ESG und SDG Portfoliobuch. Benchmarkdaten: Eigene Berechnungen auf Basis von

Artikel 9 ETF Portfolios: Eichhörnchenbild als Symbol von Pixabay

Artikel 9 ETF-Portfolios bzw. PAB ETF-Portfolios sind attraktiv

Artikel 9 ETF-Portfolios: Mein erstes nachhaltiges ETF-Portfolio habe ich 2015 entwickelt und Anfang 2016 online gestellt. Meines Wissens war dieses ESG ETF-Portfolio damit das erste derartige öffentliche Portfolio weltweit. Das Ziel war und ist weiterhin, eine möglichst breite Asset-Allokation mit möglichst nachhaltigen ETFs umzusetzen (vgl. Das-Soehnholz-ESG-und-SDG-Portfoliobuch.pdf (, S. 95ff). Das hat bisher nicht nur konzeptionell, sondern auch rendite- und risikomäßig gut funktioniert (vgl.

Meine erste nachhaltige ETF-Portfoliogeneration: Konzeptionelle Selektion

Zum Start gab es nur nachhaltige ETFs für hochkapitalisierte Aktien aus Industrieländern und für Unternehmensanleihen. Erst nach und nach konnten zusätzliche Marktsegmente mit verantwortungsvollen ETFs abgedeckt werden. Aktuell sind auch nachhaltige ETFs für Immobilien- und Infrastrukturaktien, niedrig kapitalisierte Unternehmen, Unternehmen aus Entwicklungsländern und, als mein Ersatz für Staatsanleihen, Anleihen multilateraler Entwicklungsbanken verfügbar.

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