What is ESG Investing? Don’t Get Fooled

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You might have come across headlines in recent weeks that keep talking about ESG investing. It’s an issue that has been all over the financial news lately and is gaining notice with the investing public.

This ESG, or Environmental, Social, and corporate Governance, is a hot issue on Wall Street and affects many 401(k) and IRA investors so we want to give you a better understanding of what it all means.

This idea of ESG began about 20 years ago as a corporate responsibility initiative at the international level, but Vanguard made news recently when it withdrew from the Net Zero Asset Managers Initiative. There’s such a strong emotional element to ESG investing, and this drives a lot of the conversation.

This episode will help explain what ESG investing is and how it impacts your retirement planning. Plus, are these investments actually helping the environment and why is the government getting involved? Don Cash will sort out a lot of the facts on this topic so you’ll be more informed.

Here’s some of what we discuss in this episode:

  • What is ESG investing and why we’re talking about this today? [3:00]
  • Some background on how this began and where the money is being made. [5:33]
  • The fees can be significantly different for these investments. [8:22]
  • What classifies a company as an ESG company? [11:10]
  • What is the government’s role in all of this? [13:48]

If you have any questions about what we discussed in this episode, please reach out and we’d be happy to provide answers.


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Donald W. Cash – CPA, CFP®, is an independent advisor. After graduating from Rutgers University, he began his career in 1985 as an accountant. In 1990, he entered the field of Estate Planning, concentrating on long-term care planning. Don has been advising clients in the baby boomer and retirement market for 20 years. He has helped over 1,000 families with their planning needs.

Don advocates for a holistic approach to Estate and Financial Planning and has relationships with other professionals including Attorneys, CPA’s, Mortgage Specialists, Insurance Specialists and Asset Managers.

He is married to Cathy and they have 4 children, Carly, DJ, Nick and Tori. They live in Freehold, NJ.

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