In addition to selecting fixed income investments based on credit quality, investors can now filter debt issues via their contributions towards social responsibility.

“Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) analysis is becoming increasingly important to fixed income asset managers, catching up to U.S. and global equity research where these factors are more firmly entrenched,” according to asset manager Legg Mason Inc. “Although favorable ESG scores may correlate with attractive investment opportunities, the reason has more to do with improving the ability of fixed income investors to correctly price the risk of bonds over longer time periods.”

The challenge to bring ESG investing into wider investor adoption faces various obstacles, but more education and marketing towards these products, equities or fixed-income, can help increase awareness of these products.

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