Skip to content
BOK Financial logo

Values-Based Investing

Your Legacy. Your Values. Making a Difference.

The idea that your investments can reflect your personal values has been gaining momentum over the past few decades. Your everyday choices about where to shop, what to buy and what causes to support, reflect your values. Your investments can reflect your values, too. According to a recent poll, 85% of people have expressed an interest in responsible investing.

Hands around globe of earth showing common values and unity.

What Does Investing Mean to You?

Bridging your investment objectives with your personal values is a foundation of our investment philosophy.

Incorporate Your Values into Your Portfolio

Different terms are used to describe the ways in which values-based investing might be integrated in your portfolio – responsible investing, sustainable investing, or “ESG” investing (for environmental, social and governance). Broadly defined, all of these terms describe a way to evaluate and select investments by using information that may not be readily apparent from a company’s basic financial reporting.

Two individuals riding bicycles, focused on ESG values and investment options.

The ESG Framework

  • Environmental

    How a company affects the planet.

  • Social

    How a company interacts with and treats its employees, customers and communities.

  • Governance

    How a company governs itself.

In 2015, the United Nations member states created 17 Sustainable Development Goals, which incorporate the ESG framework into actionable targets. You can learn more about these goals at the United Nations’ website.

Frequently Asked Questions

Responsible investing has evolved into a much more sophisticated approach than simply avoiding investments in controversial companies or sectors. The increase in non-financial data enables investors to identify companies with the potential to achieve competitive returns while making a positive impact.

A Harvard Business School study found that companies committed to sustainability are finding competitive advantages in product, labor and capital markets. Investment portfolios that have included material ESG metrics have provided returns superior to those of conventional portfolios while exhibiting less risk.

Sustainable, responsible and impact investing assets in the U.S. grew from $8.7 trillion at the start of 2016 to $12 trillion at the start of 2018, a 38% increase. More than 365 U.S. money managers are now incorporating ESG criteria, and there are approximately 300 mutual funds and exchange-traded funds with an ESG focus.

As sustainable, responsible investing has gained in popularity, more ESG funds have become available, which means more options and more competition in terms not only of performance, but also price for investors.

Let's Make an Impact Together

The way you live your life reflects your personal values, and your investments can, too, without sacrificing the opportunity for performance. BOK Financial can help. We get to know you and your values and establish an investment framework that makes sense for your portfolio. With access to a wide range of sustainable investment funds, we can customize a strategy that reflects what is most important to you.

Contact your BOK Financial Wealth Management professional today to discuss how to incorporate your values into your investment portfolio.

Painting together, an older person and younger person with Down's syndrome reflect a values-based approach to investing.

Additional Reading