What difference can ESG screening make to your portfolio?

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The uncertain outlook for equities means a flight to quality. One approach that has been shown to outperform is screening for ethical, social and governance (ESG) factors, explains Hendrik-Jan Boer from ING Investment Management.

Flight to quality 2014 turned out to be another good year for investors in most asset classes, with double-digit returns for global equities. However, the outlook for 2015 seems more uncertain. Market volatility has returned in recent months, as investors work their way through a growing number of worries. Currency swings and the relentless decline in oil prices threaten to take a toll on US corporate profits. Meanwhile, the European Central Bank’s fight against falling growth momentum and low inflation set the scene for more volatile times in Europe. There has already been a shift...

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