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Sustainable funds offer downside protection, investors say

Using environmental, social or governance (ESG) factors to judge securities can offer protection against losses, helping drive the growth of the sector, several large investors said on Tuesday.

A recent study by Morgan Stanley of 11,000 investment funds found little difference in performance between those with traditional strategies and those with so-called sustainable strategies, said Audrey Choi, the Wall Street bank's chief sustainability officer.

But the latter group faced significantly less volatility. “I’ve never really met any investor who says I don’t want that investment that has the same return and less downside volatility,” Choi said, speaking at Reuters’ two-day ESG Investment North America conference. [...]
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