Bloomberg Businessweek

Have ESG Funds Lost Their Way?

Investors like funds that claim to align their money to their values, but it’s not so simple

“It’s easy to invest in what you believe.”

That’s the pitch for TD Ameritrade’s foray into socially responsible exchange-traded funds, one of the year’s hottest financial products. There’s an array of funds designed to appeal to customers with a cause, whether it’s climate change or gender diversity. Companies including BlackRock and Goldman Sachs, and hedge fund titan Paul Tudor Jones, have embraced them. Yet Wall Street’s enthusiasm has come at a price.

Too often, critics say, revenue-chasing triumphs over principles. Investors who think they’re buying environmental, social, and governance—ESG—funds to promote a

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