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Could it be time to consider sustainable investing?

As the world changes, investors find themselves at a crossroads.

THOSE WHO INTEGRATE SUSTAINABLE investments into their approach may be better positioned to take advantage of the potential opportunities that this change creates — and to benefit from investing in the momentum of a changing world.

Three blue circles containing different data points. The first circle and data point says: In 2020, net flows into U.S. sustainable open-end and exchange-traded funds exceeded $50 billion (the words “exceeded $50 billion are in bold). The second circle and data point says: That’s more than double the total for 2019… (the words “more than double” are bolded). The third circle and data point says: and nearly 10 times the amount invested in 2018 (the words “nearly 10 times” are bolded).

Source: Morningstar, Jan. 2021

Learn more about sustainable investing

“Sustainable investing is not an all-or-nothing proposition.”—Jackie VanderBrug, Head of Sustainable & Impact Investment Strategy in the Chief Investment Office for Merrill and Bank of America Private Bank


It’s up to you how sustainable your portfolio is

Sustainable investing is not an all-or-nothing proposition. You can decide how much of your portfolio you want to invest sustainably, and can transition right away or over time. You can also choose from a wide range of sustainable investment approaches, incorporating sustainable investments into your portfolio in a range of ways.

The appropriate solution may even be a combination of these strategies, brought together to create a personalized investment approach. Your Merrill advisory team will work with you to evaluate and prioritize your financial goals as well as discuss your sustainability preferences, to identify the approach and investment options that are appropriate for your financial situation.

Four circles gathered together with their borders touching. The first circle is dark gray with a white icon of a hand pointing and tapping a touch screen within it. Outside of that circle are the words: Select from a range of CIO multi-asset sustainable portfolios that can serve as the basis for your long-term investing approach. The next circle is a lighter blue with a white checklist icon within it. Outside of that circle are the words: Opt to make simple elections to avoid certain companies or industries. The next circle is a navy blue with a white leaf icon within it. Outside of that circle are the words: Make targeted investments using mutual funds, exchange-traded funds or separately managed accounts to focus on a specific type of impact or sustainability theme. The next circle is blue with a white file icon within it. Outside of that circle are the words: Add non-traditional sustainable investments in the form of sustainable alternative investments or impact-first investments. That sentence is followed by a footnote 1, corresponding to disclosure number 1.

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1 Alternative investments are intended for qualified investors only. Alternative Investments such as derivatives, hedge funds, private equity funds, and funds of funds can result in higher return potential but also higher loss potential. Changes in economic conditions or other circumstances may adversely affect your investments. Before you invest in alternative investments, you should consider your overall financial situation, how much money you have to invest, your need for liquidity, and your tolerance for risk.

Alternative investments are speculative and involve a high degree of risk.

Important Disclosures 

Opinions are as of the date of this article 05/26/21 and are subject to change. 

Investing involves risk including possible loss of principal. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

The Chief Investment Office (CIO) provides thought leadership on wealth management, investment strategy and global markets; portfolio management solutions; due diligence; and solutions oversight and data analytics. CIO viewpoints are developed for Bank of America Private Bank, a division of Bank of America, N.A., (“Bank of America”) and Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated (“MLPF&S” or “Merrill”), a registered broker-dealer, registered investment adviser and a wholly owned subsidiary of Bank of America Corporation (“BofA Corp.”).

All recommendations must be considered in the context of an individual investor’s goals, time horizon, liquidity needs and risk tolerance. Not all recommendations will be in the best interest of all investors. 

Impact investing and/or Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) managers may take into consideration factors beyond traditional financial information to select securities, which could result in relative investment performance deviating from other strategies or broad market benchmarks, depending on whether such sectors or investments are in or out of favor in the market. Further, ESG strategies may rely on certain values based criteria to eliminate exposures found in similar strategies or broad market benchmarks, which could also result in relative investment performance deviating.

This material does not take into account a client’s particular investment objectives, financial situations or needs and is not intended as a recommendation, offer or solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security or investment strategy. Merrill offers a broad range of brokerage, investment advisory and other services. There are important differences between brokerage and investment advisory services, including the type of advice and assistance provided, the fees charged, and the rights and obligations of the parties. It is important to understand the differences, particularly when determining which service or services to select. [For more information about these services and their differences, speak with your Merrill financial advisor].


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