ESG Funds Cost Three Times More Than You Think

ESG Funds Cost Three Times More Than You Think

While many investors who care about the environment have piled money into funds that focus on ESG strategies, they probably don’t know how much they are paying. That is according to a new study, which found that “at the average ESG fund, the effective fees can be three times what’s reported.” The reason for this is that ESG funds are nowhere near as pure as they look to be. According to a new Harvard study, on average, ESG funds have 68% of their assets invested in “the exact same” holdings as non-ESG funds. So, for every dollar you invest in an ESG fund, a little less than a third goes into stocks you could have gotten in a fund that isn’t ESG. The average ESG U.S. stock ETF charges 0.17% in annual fees, according to Morningstar, 0.05 percentage points more than non-ESG funds. Finance professor Malcolm Baker of Harvard Business School, one of the study’s authors, said, “Although only about a third of your money in the average ESG fund is distinctly green, you incur the fees on the entire portfolio. Therefore, you’re really paying three times as much for the thing you care about, the differentiated piece of the portfolio.”


Finsum:A recent study found that on average, 68% of holdings in ESG funds are the exact same as holdings in non-ESG funds, which makes these funds three times more expensive than you think.

  • esg
  • mutual funds
  • ETFs
  • fees

    The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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