Socially Conscious ETFs Fail To Attract Broad Interest (ETFs: PBW, KLD)

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Includes: KLD, PBW
by: SA Editors

The two 'socially responsible' ETFs on the market -- PowerShares' WilderHill Clean Energy Portfolio (NYSEARCA:PBW) and Barclays’ iShares KLD Select Social Index Fund (NYSEARCA:KLD) -- have yet to attract broad appeal, though mutual funds in this area such as Calvert's have done quite well. An article in Institutional Investor addresses the issue -- excerpt:

The reticence within the ETF world to embrace SRI [Socially Responsible Investing] is puzzling. SRI groups and firms have promoted their investing style as being of increasing interest to the investing public, which, according to surveys, sees SRI as a vehicle for everything from saving the environment to saving corporate honchos from themselves...

Karl Cheng, a portfolio manager with Barclay’s KLD ETF, says institutional investors might be responsible for the distance kept between the two. The large institutional base that his firm and SSgA rely on may be wary of “the overall SRI style of investment,

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