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Retirement Roundup: ESG is Easier Said Than Done

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A digest of news from publications around the nation about finance, investing, and retirement.

Investors Love ‘Socially Responsible’ Companies. But Sorting the Good from the Bad Is Harder Than It Looks | Money

ESG funds—those that screen investments for environmental, social, and governance factors—have risen in popularity in the past few years. But distinguishing “good” from “bad” can quickly become complicated. Black and white quickly become gray when assessing global companies with dozens or hundreds of product lines, clients, and supply chains. One researcher compared various ESG funds and found an average correlation of 0.54. This suggests that, while the concept of ESG is gaining popularity, finding a consistent model to implement is not as easy as ABC.

US Public Pensions Bounce Back from Dismal First Quarter | Chief Investment Officer

You might have heard the term “V-shaped recovery” (a recovery that’s as swift as the decline) when experts discuss the future of the economy. While many components used to measure the economy have not fully recovered, like the unemployment rate, many investors have seen their portfolios recoup much of their earlier losses, including many public pensions. The 100 largest public pension systems regained $308 billion in market value between March and July. Experts quoted in the article state that, despite the quick market recovery, the future remains uncertain.

Take this Social Security quiz and see if you are smarter than the average American | CNBC

Social Security is a program entirely separate from PERA. However, many PERA members rely on their own or a spouse’s Social Security benefit to some extent in retirement. Understanding Social Security is not easy according to a 12-question poll conducted by insurance company MassMutual. One in two respondents received a grade of D or F when asked true-false questions about the program. How does your knowledge stack up against the average?

The ‘Dirty Dozen’ Tax Scams Of 2020: $27 Billion Hit To Business | Forbes

Tax scams peak after tax day, which was delayed until July 15 this year. Last year, the FBI received about 300,000 complaints about possible scams, though they suspect that if every scam were reported that number would be closer to 20 million. This article summarizes common scams so you can be better prepared to spot them. Nobody thinks they’ll be scammed, but the truth is that scams cost Americans billions every year.

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