IN THE NEWS

DC Plans Slow to Adopt ESG Options

Greg Wait, Riverwater’s resident 401(k) expert, spoke with PLANSPONSOR and had some great suggestions how Defined Contribution or DC plans can respond to increasing demand by participants for ESG funds. PLANSPONSOR. Sept. 22, 2022. PLAN PARTICIPANTS CLAIM to want environmental, social and governance investment options in their defined contribution plan lineups. The Schroders 2022 U.S. Retirement Survey…

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ESG Will Endure Despite 2022 Performance

Advisor Perspectives. Sept. 5, 2022. By Connor Doak. Mahatma Gandhi once said, “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, and then you win.” The environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investment community is deep within the third stage. ESG investing has been subjected to brutal headlines, politically motivated attacks and…

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The Evolving Use of CIT Funds in 401(k) Plans

Originally posted in 401(k) Wire (subscription required) Aug. 22, 2022. By Greg Wait, CEBS. Advisors and consultants are fielding questions from plan sponsors about potential liability for excessive fees. For example, recently a plan sponsor’s CFO told us their fiduciary insurance carrier included a new questionnaire with their renewal application. It was titled “Fiduciary Liability…

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Making Sense of ESG Investing

BizTimes Milwaukee (click here for a no login link) When Quinn Schwellinger, 31, and his wife decided to start building an extra retirement fund to supplement their 401(k)s, they knew they wanted to invest in companies that supported their concern for the environment. “My wife and I believe climate change is real, fundamentally,” said Schwellinger,…

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Adam Peck mentioned in Barron’s

Riverwater’s CIO Adam Peck was quoted in Barron’s this month. Adam chatted with Barron’s reporter Daren Fonda about Gentherm, a holding in our SMID strategy. To Daren’s great introduction we’d add that Gentherm–a Michigan company that’s reinvented itself for the EV age–is a solid performer in our ESG evaluations. It’s always good to see sustainability reports coming from small caps–not to…

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Riverwater ESG SMID Value Strategy Celebrates 5 Year Milestone

Research team looks ahead as Riverwater Partners’ SMID Value Strategy reaches five-year milestone Chief Investment Officer Adam Peck says industry’s lack of ESG focus in small-cap value is inconsistent with value-investing mindset  Milwaukee, October 13, 2021 – Riverwater Partners’ flagship ESG Small & Mid Cap (SMID) Value Strategy marked its five-year anniversary at the end…

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ESG investors struggle to find the right balance in doing good – and solar panels show why

Marketwatch. August 24, 2021 The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued a stark warning this month that human-led warming from burning of fossil fuels is causing climate change and removing carbon emissions will cause warming to cease. That makes transitioning to renewable energy like solar power even more urgent. However, reports that China forced Uyghurs to work…

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Should you seek investment advice on your 401(k) account?

Article featured in Valuewalk. May 24, 2021. For most Americans, 401(k) plan accounts have become the predominant retirement savings vehicle.  Currently, more than $6.4 trillion is invested in 401(k) plans across the country, a 73% increase in the past ten years.1  An additional $2.7 trillion is invested in other defined-contribution plans, such as 403(b) plans for educational…

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Sustainable agriculture is the next way ESG investors can fight climate change

Marketwatch. March 24, 2021. By Debbie Carlson 7 ways for ESG investors to profit from sustainable agriculture The original green sector — agriculture — hasn’t been on the radar for environmental, social and governance investors, given industrial agriculture’s heavy dependence on pesticides, fertilizers and genetically modified seeds. But ESG investors are turning their interest to…

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ESG: Growth Is Welcome, But What Drives Actual Change?

WealthManagement.com, March 11, 2021 By Cindy Bohlen Encouraging news arrived late last year about the fast growth of investments managed with attention to environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors. Seventeen trillion was the headline dollar figure in the latest biannual report from trade association US SIF, which tracks the responsible investing industry. Seventeen trillion represents…

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Malkiel’s Misguided View of ESG Investing

Advisor Perspectives, February 1, 2021 Burton Malkiel, esteemed author of the classic investing book A Random Walk Down Wall Street is one of the more prominent critics of environmental-, sustainable- and governance-based (ESG) investing. He called ESG investing a “self-defeating” strategy in a recent Wall Street Journal column. But Malkiel and other detractors who claim ESG is a fad…

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Greg Wait featured in Your ESG investment may be a ‘light touch’ fund and not as green as you think

Marketwatch. January 4, 2021 Environmental, social and governance investing resonates with people who want their investments to align with their values, and the boom in this investing style has fund companies launching more ESG investment vehicles. But these funds may not be as green as investors think they are. ESG investing considers both financial return…

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Greg Wait featured in Benefits Magazine

Marketwatch. November 13, 2020 Even as the Trump administration actively discourages environmental, social and governance investing in employer-sponsored retirement plans — a rule the Biden administration may overturn — it’s not like investors had a lot of ESG choices to begin with. When Morningstar looked at lineups for defined-contribution plans like 401(k)s or 403(b)s , the research firm…

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QUARTERLY LETTERS

Q2 2020 The “New” New Normal

THE “NEW” NEW NORMAL  There are many superlatives to choose from to describe last quarter’s rally. This winter saw the quickest pivot to a bear market in history, followed by an equally rapid rebound in the spring. In fact, we just experienced the strongest 100-day rally since 1933.[1] After the market bottomed on March 23rd,…

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Riverwater Partners is a Future 50 company!

Riverwater Partners is a Future 50 company! Riverwater Partners is honored to be named a 2022 Future 50 company by BizTimes Media in partnership with the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce. The Future 50 program, now in its 33rd year, recognizes privately-owned companies in the Milwaukee region that have been in business for at least…

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Winding river in bog

2021 Sustainability Report: The Journey of Sustainable Investing

The Journey of Sustainable Investing  Our 2021 Sustainability Report celebrates the journey of sustainable investing. The evolution of Sustainable Investing has been and will continue to be a journey. Sustainable Investing originally focused on excluding companies doing harm; today it also incorporates positive screening for environmental, social, and governance (ESG) metrics that reveal companies doing…

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Full time or part time

Working Part-Time in Retirement

Working Part-Time in Retirement In today’s retiree landscape, many folks decide to phase into full retirement by working part-time.  It could be reducing the number of hours with your current employer, finding a “job of passion” or even becoming a consultant.  Before considering this transition, it’s smart to know about the financial and tax impact…

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Letters T A X on coins

2022 Tax and Investment FAQs

Tax Time Frequently Asked Questions This time of year, we are asked a lot of tax-related questions.  As we close out the 2021 tax year, here are answers to our four most “Frequently Asked Questions.”   Why am I paying capital gains taxes when I didn't sell anything this year? Where did these gains come…

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Somber man looking down road

Managing Sudden Wealth

Tips for Managing Sudden Wealth after Death Death of a loved one is always difficult. Sudden death is devastating and upending.  Many of us have either unfortunately experienced it or know someone who has been through it. The overwhelming emotional toll of loss is often magnified by the logistical wake of decisions and paperwork. Grieving…

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ESG: A Riverwater Engagement Comes to Fruition

No more forced arbitration for allegations of sexual harassment or assault In 2019, Riverwater Partners initiated engagements with several of our portfolio companies regarding the use of mandatory arbitration for allegations of sexual harassment or assault. We consider this topic essential to good corporate governance—the “G” in “ESG.” Now, in a remarkable bipartisan effort, both…

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ESG Investing: Is Your Nonprofit Prepared?

Five Reasons Your Nonprofit Should Invest Sustainably Leaders of nonprofit organizations spend exhaustive amounts of energy ensuring that the mission of their organization is fulfilled, and that their donor mandates are met. What many have not yet considered is how investing their endowments in socially responsible investments, also known as ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance)…

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Nestle Palm Oil Interactive Image

TEST YOURSELF: How Would Your Company ESG?

As socially responsible or ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) advisors, Riverwater Partners understands that corporate social responsibility is a journey and not a destination. Individuals, businesses, and government entities all must continually adapt to new normals as the world changes. Climate change is a concept that first emerged, and then only in theory, roughly 50 years…

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2020 Sustainability Report

2020 Sustainability Report

Our 2020 Sustainability Report celebrates the power of resilience. Resilience not only allows people and the planet to respond to crisis, recover and thrive, it allows businesses to do so as well. We witnessed this in 2020 as many businesses that had a clear focus on environmental, social, and governance factors – keys to their resilience –…

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What Are Companies Doing in Their ESG Journeys?

In 2011, only 20% of S&P 500 Index companies issued a sustainability report. By 2019, that figure had quadrupled to 90%. One driver of this change is investor demand. As more people seek to invest in alignment with their values, companies have responded by providing more information. Another driver is recognition by company management teams…

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ESG in the Marketplace

[This] response to the COVID-19 health crisis is one example of how ESG efforts undertaken by public companies can benefit not only societies in which they operate, but the corporate shareholders as well. — As COVID-19 continues to spread and severely impact the economy of the United States and other countries around the world, Quest…

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Do Sustainable Companies Perform Better

Debunking the ESG Financial Performance Myth

Riverwater Partners believes that sustainable companies perform better. Our highly integrative process can enable our clients to invest according to their values while also opening up the possibility of not only no performance disadvantage but, as is our goal over the long term, a performance advantage. For many years, the primary approach taken by “responsible”…

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Proxy Voting and Shareholder Rights

We recently wrote to the U.S. Department of Labor regarding the rights of shareholders and their ability to proxy vote. You can read what was sent below: — Attention: Proxy Voting and Shareholder Rights NPRM Office of Regulations and Interpretations Employee Benefits Security Administration Room N-5655 U.S. Department of Labor 200 Constitution Avenue NW Washington,…

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Active ownership and ESG

What is Active Ownership?

At Riverwater, our work as “active owners” is intended to help bring to bear our clients’ values. In this way, active ownership is a natural extension of our efforts to make investment selections consistent with those values. At times, active ownership can also be a natural extension of our efforts to achieve a strong return…

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Riverwater Opposes Proposed DOL Rule

Re: Financial Factors in Selecting Plan Investments Proposed Regulation (RIN 1210-AB95) Dear Director Canary: Riverwater Partners LLC is an independent, employee-owned, registered investment advisory firm based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, serving families, nonprofits, and institutions. We invest in superior businesses with exceptional management teams, attractive valuations, and a focus on social responsibility and sustainability. As fiduciaries…

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Is ESG Investing a Fad?

Is ESG Investing a Fad?

Some investing styles, such as value investing, have proven themselves useful over the course of many decades. By contrast, investing fads are short-lived. They look promising in a particular market context but fade away as the world changes. Examples of such fads include day trading, house flipping, and, in our view, Bitcoin and liquid alternative…

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The ABC’s of ESG Investing

Coined in 2005 in a landmark study entitled “Who Cares Wins,” which made the case that embedding environmental, social, and governance factors in capital markets makes good business sense and leads to better outcomes for society, ‘ESG’ is getting a lot of attention. Individuals, particularly young ones, are liking what they hear.  Companies are paying…

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Why We Became a B Corp

B the Change™ – inspired by Gandhi’s famous invocation that we must be the change we seek in the world.   As a socially responsible investment advisory firm, Riverwater Partners is proud to have officially become the first Milwaukee company and the only investment advisor in Wisconsin (as of September 2018)  to achieve B Corp™…

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VIDEO

The What and Why of ESG

The What and Why of ESG

Riverwater TV Commercial

Myths of ESG Investing