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The Future of Investing with Guest Emily Lee

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This week on the Thrive For[e]ward podcast we welcome guest Emily Lee who is Vice President of Business Development at Impax Asset Management LLC, the North American division of Impact Asset Management Group and investment advisor to Pax World Funds.


Emily has deep roots in the financial industry, and she joins us today on our journey talking about Sustainable Investing.  


We have already educated our listeners on the 101 of sustainable investing and last week we talked about proxy voting and impact bonds. But, today we are talking about investing for the future and what that means!


We will be touching upon the following questions …

  • Why is there all this popularity around sustainable investing?

  • Why and how do women and future generations like Millennials and Gen Z have the capability to impact sustainable investing?

  • What is it that YOU as the end investor can make an impact on?


As you know, at Forethought Planning we are focused on investing with purpose on things that are good for the people, planet, and profit. As Emily and I discussed the status of sustainable investing, she shared that this area is continuing to evolve and how it’s not just investors that are looking at companies to be transparent, but they are looking to see how current issues are being addressed. The transition of wealth is bringing topics like this to the forefront.


Personally, I think Sustainable Investing is “investing of the future.”  


When we look at the change in wealth over the next ten years, we see the transition and hand off to Gen X, Millennials, and even Gen Z. These generations, as well as women investors, are very conscious about social issues and they will in turn ask more questions as to what is happening with their money.


Emily shared that although values can be different generation to generation, the upside to Sustainable Investing is that it can be tweaked based on your what areas you want to have impact the most. She said that “one of every three dollars in the United States is invested in some sort of sustainable investing.”


As with any part of the investment universe, likely sustainable investing will continue to grow, evolve, and change. Through ESG analysis we are finding out how transparent a company is around issues. We are seeing that companies are more receptive to engaging in dialogue with investment companies and therefore end investors, which in turn are more proactive in regard addressing ESG area of contention.


I believe that when we give up control, we lose our impact. We need to remember that is OUR money that allows other companies to grow. We need to know that our wealth is what allows these companies to be successful.


What does it look like in the future if we can transition wealth into sustainable investing?


What can we do today to help us on this path?


We want companies to not only make changes but be transparent. It’s important to ask the tough questions have companies allowing them the opportunity to make firm commitments. That work is more important than ever. Investors working with advisors they trust and believe in this is key.


The United States is the world’s largest and deepest market for investors, but when it comes to environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing, it lags behind Europe. According to a survey by the Global Sustainable Investment Alliance, America had global sustainable assets of $11.9 trillion in 2018 compared to $14 trillion in Europe. Sustainable investing now makes up about 25 percent of assets under management, according to US SIF, the forum for sustainable and responsible investment. (Source: Ranconteur)


The lag is not from lack of interest since we see that more than 60 percent of Americans agree investment funds should consider sustainability factors. Interest is particularly strong among younger investors. According to the


One myth of sustainable investing is that the return will diminish. We at Forethought Planning are doing research continually and understand companies and our partners from an ESG perspective. The big investment platforms are embracing the ESG concept; rightfully so, considering net flows to ESG funds in the U.S. topped $20 billion in 2019, a 300% increase from the year prior, according to MorningStar.


I often ask my clients “if you didn’t have to sacrifice return and you can align with making a great impact with the plant and people would you invest?  And 9 times out of 10 (even 9.9) of my clients is yes.”


I hope you enjoy our conversation and that you continue to join us on this series of Sustainable Investing. Feel free to schedule an appointment to our complimentary 30 min Wealth Assessment session to learn more about how we incorporate these strategies and others to assist you through the financial planning process.




Securities offered through LPL Financial, a member of FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services offered through Advisors’ Pride, a SEC registered investment advisor. LPL Financial, Advisors’ Pride, Forethought Planning and the guests of Thrive For[e]ward podcast are separate and unaffiliated parties. Any of the parties listed above are not affiliated with Forethought Planning, Advisor’s Pride, or LPL Financial. The views expressed here are those of the participants, and not those of Forethought Planning, Advisor’s Pride, or LPL financial. The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. LPL Financial and Forethought Planning do not offer legal services.

Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) / Environmental Social Governance (ESG) investing has certain risks based on the fact that the criteria excludes securities of certain issues for non-financial reasons, and therefore, investors may forgo some market opportunities and the universe of investments available will be smaller.

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