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    Can't Match The Beat? Then You Can't Woo A Cockatoo

    en-usSeptember 22, 2023

    Podcast Summary

    • Discoveries and Opportunities AboundFrom recovery for those with schizophrenia to fascinating science discoveries, unsigned musicians' opportunities, and inflation-friendly wireless plans, there's always something new and noteworthy happening.

      Recovery is possible for people with schizophrenia, as highlighted by the Schizophrenia and Psychosis Action Alliance. Meanwhile, in the world of science, there are fascinating discoveries such as the recent outbreak of the Nipah virus in India, the secrets held by mysterious pink diamonds in Australia, and the romantic courtship rituals of palm cockatoos in Northern Australia and lowland New Guinea. In other news, unsigned musicians have the opportunity to showcase their original songs in the Tiny Desk Contest, while inflation-conscious consumers can save on wireless plans with Mint Mobile, starting at just $15 a month. These stories, along with many others, remind us of the diversity and richness of our world.

    • Female palm cockatoos choose mates based on unique drumming stylesFemale palm cockatoos only lay one egg every two years, so they carefully select mates based on their distinct drumming styles for optimal offspring outcomes.

      Female palm cockatoos have a unique mating process, and male cockatoos go to great lengths to impress them. Female cockatoos only lay one egg every two years, making their choice of mate crucial. Males show off their strength and prowess through whistling, crest erection, and drumming using their preferred style of drumstick. Each male has a distinct drumming style, allowing researchers to identify them based on their drumming. This intricate courtship ritual highlights the importance of strength, uniqueness, and persistence in the mating process for these birds.

    • Palm Cockatoos' musical displays and pink diamonds: Signs of rarity and creativityUnderstanding the unique processes behind natural phenomena reveals their value and desirability, be it the elaborate musical mating displays of Palm Cockatoos or the rare pink hues of diamonds.

      Palm Cockatoos' elaborate musical mating displays are a sign of their intelligence and creativity, making them more attractive to females. Meanwhile, pink diamonds, which are extremely rare, are believed to be formed through damage to classic colorless diamonds, resulting in unique pink hues. These diamonds are primarily found deep within the Earth's crust, with the Argyle Diamond Mine in Western Australia being a significant supplier until its closure in 2020. Both topics highlight the importance of understanding the unique processes behind natural phenomena and the value placed on rarity and creativity.

    • Ancient supercontinent Nuna caused the world's largest diamond eruptionThe break-up of supercontinent Nuna around 1.8 billion years ago led to the largest volcanic diamond eruption in history. Nipah virus outbreak in southern India remains a mystery, causing respiratory problems and brain swelling, with possible human-to-human transmission through bodily fluids or contaminated food.

      Scientists have discovered that the formation of the ancient supercontinent Nuna, around 1.8 billion years ago, likely produced the world's largest volcanic diamond eruption. This theory, published in the journal Nature Communications, suggests that when Nuna broke apart, the subsequent collision and stretching of subcontinents caused a volcanic eruption that spewed out diamonds. On a less exciting note, there's an ongoing epidemiological mystery in southern India involving the Nipah virus. This virus, which can cause severe respiratory problems and brain swelling, has resulted in two deaths and six cases in Kerala since late August. The virus is known to jump from animals, particularly fruit bats, to humans, often through contaminated food or drink. The exact cause of this outbreak is still under investigation, but once the virus infects humans, it can spread from person to person through bodily fluids or contaminated food.

    • Nipah Virus Outbreak in India: Containment Measures and OptimismAuthorities in India are implementing containment measures to stop the spread of the Nipah virus, which originated from a hospital. Enbridge is investing in renewable energy and lower carbon solutions for sustainable energy delivery.

      The Nipah virus outbreak in India appears to have originated from a hospital where the first reported death occurred. To contain the spread, authorities have implemented measures such as creating containment zones, closing schools and public transit networks, and isolating health workers. No other states have reported cases, and restrictions are being eased up. Doctors in Kerala are optimistic about the situation, but it's crucial to remain vigilant. Enbridge, a leading energy company, is investing in renewables and lower carbon solutions to deliver energy sustainably for the present and future. The NPR episode was produced by Rachel Carlson and Noah Caldwell, edited by Christopher Intagliata and Rebecca Ramirez, fact-checked by Anil Olsa, and engineered by Maggie Luthar. The episode was hosted by Maria Gavoy and Regina Barber.

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    Related Episodes

    PODCAST: ESG Funds, Stocks. Opportunities in Downturn.

    PODCAST: ESG Funds, Stocks. Opportunities in Downturn.

    ESG funds, stocks, outperforming their ‘conventional’ counterparts in markets’ downturn. Several analysts believe now is a good time to buy these stocks and funds. See which ones they recommend! Investors should also consider artificial intelligence and infrastructure stocks too. With companies reducing or eliminating dividends, one dividend-paying socially responsible stock comes highly regarded. And More

    PODCAST: ESG Funds, Stocks. Opportunities in Downturn.

    Transcript & Links, Episode 29, April 10, 2020

    Hello, Ron Robins here. Welcome to podcast episode 29 for April 10, 2020, titled “ESG Funds, Stocks. Opportunities in Downturn.”—presented by Investing for the Soul. investingforthesoul.com is your site for vital global ethical and sustainable investing news, commentary, information, and resources.

    Remember that you can find a full transcript, links to content – including stock symbols – and bonus material at this episode’s podcast page located at investingforthesoul.com/podcasts.

    And, Google any terms that are unfamiliar to you.

    Now with the recent market turnaround, many investors are feeling a sense of relief and thinking beyond the COVID-19 turmoil! With that in mind, the analysts’ research I’m reporting on now might be of interest to you.

    -------------------------------------------------------------

    1) ESG Funds, Stocks. Opportunities in Downturn.

    So, let’s start with the first research comment that illustrates again the ESG funds, stocks, opportunities in this downturn. This comment is titled ESG ETFs Appear Unscathed by the Coronavirus Carnage by Zacks analyst Sanghamitra Saha.

    She writes that” Wall Street just recorded the worst quarter since the fourth quarter of 2008. But ESG ETFs appeared somewhat resilient to the acute selloffs.” End quote. Ms. Saha cites the following ESG ETFs as having gained significant assets during the sell-off. They are:

    Global X Conscious Companies ETF (KRMA). Quote “Its top holdings are Regeneron, Clorox, Biogen, Newmont, Netflix and Amazon.” End quote.

    Next is SP Funds S&P 500 Sharia Industry Exclusions ETF (SPUS). Quote “The underlying S&P 500 Sharia Industry Exclusions Index comprises the constituents of the S&P 500 Sharia Index other than those from the following sub-industries: Aerospace & Defense, Financial Exchanges & Data, and Data Processing & Outsourced Services…” End quote.

    Finally, the Nuveen ESG Mid-Cap Growth ETF (NUMG). Again, quoting her she says that “It uses a rules-based methodology that provides investment exposure that generally replicates that of mid-cap growth benchmarks through a portfolio of securities that adhere to predetermined ESG, controversial business involvement and low-carbon screening criteria.” End quote.

    -------------------------------------------------------------

    2) ESG Funds, Stocks. Opportunities in Downturn.

    Now a post for those ethical and sustainable investors wishing to get back into the markets with individual stocks. Ian Jenkins has written an article titled 6 Stocks Cashing In On The $30 Trillion Impact Investing Trend that appears on the oilprice.com site. Here are his six picks.

    Now I’m just going to name the company and then follow it with a short quote by Mr. Jenkins on that company.

    Alphabet (GOOGL). “Is a shining star in the tech world. Despite being one of the largest companies on the planet, in many ways it has lived up to its original ‘Don’t Be Evil’ slogan.”

    Facedrive Inc. (FD.V). “For the first time in ride-sharing history, Facedrive is giving customers a choice to be more environmentally conscious. That’s because it’s utilizing new technology to calculate the estimated CO2 emissions for each ride and allocating a portion of the proceeds accordingly to local organizations to help offset those emissions.”

    Apple Inc. (AAPL). “Not only have they decreased their average product’s energy use by 70 percent… They’ve reduced their total carbon footprint by more than 35 percent in just a few short years…”

    Microsoft Inc. (MSFT). “It’s pushing so hard that it is aiming to be carbon NEGATIVE by 2030. That’s a huge pledge. And if anyone can do it, it’s Microsoft.”

    NextEra Energy (NEE). “[The] world’s leading producer of wind and solar energy… By 2025, the company aims to reduce their own emissions by 67 percent while doubling their electricity production from a 2005 benchmark.”

    Lastly, Total (TOT). “One of the world’s largest oil and gas companies… Through its subsidiaries and new investments, Total is making major waves in the ‘green revolution.’” End quotes.

    -------------------------------------------------------------

    3) ESG Funds, Stocks. Opportunities in Downturn.

    Do you favour tech stocks like most ethical and sustainable investors? Then you might want to see the recommendations of Billy Duberstein. His article is titled 3 Top Artificial Intelligence Stocks to Buy in April and appeared on The Motley Fool site.

    Here are the stocks he recommends with each followed by a quote from him.

    Lam Research (NASDAQ: LRCX). “Makes the machines that allow chipmakers to produce smaller, more powerful chips.”

    Alteryx (NYSE: AYX). “Its main product is an end-to-end, comprehensive software suite, which allows both data scientists and non-data scientists to work together building and deploying machine learning algorithms.”

    Micron Technology (NASDAQ: MU). “Micron's product portfolio will be essential to future artificial intelligence applications, which will require lots and lots of DRAM memory and NAND flash storage. In addition to these products, Micron is also one of only two companies to have 3D Xpoint, a new kind of non-volatile memory that is faster than NAND, though also more expensive. Micron is the only company to have all three technologies.” End quotes.

    -------------------------------------------------------------

    4) ESG Funds, Stocks. Opportunities in Downturn.

    It appears that the next big US fiscal stimulus plan may involve huge spending on infrastructure. Due to this many investors are looking for companies engaged in that sector to buy into.

    In her post on the Motley Fool site, Neha Chamaria writes about 3 Top Infrastructure Stocks to Watch in April. They are – and again followed by a quote from her on each company.

    Nucor (NYSE: NUE). “Nucor is North America's largest manufacturer and supplier of critical infrastructure steel and steel products.”

    Vulcan Materials (NYSE: VMC). “Vulcan is the nation's largest manufacturer of construction aggregates, primarily crushed stone, gravel, and sand, as well as a major producer of asphalt and concrete.”

    Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT). “If infrastructure spending picks up, Caterpillar should be a leading indicator as the world's largest construction-and-mining equipment manufacturer.” End quotes.

    -------------------------------------------------------------

    5) ESG Funds, Stocks. Opportunities in Downturn.

    Ms. Chamaria has also written a post titled 3 Top Renewable Energy Stocks to Buy in April, also on the Motley Fool site. So, following the same format as previously, I’ll say the company followed by a quote from her.

    NextEra Energy Partners (NYSE: NEP). “NextEra Energy Partners was formed in 2014, when NextEra Energy (NYSE: NEE) spun-off its solar and wind energy projects to form an exclusive clean-energy focused limited partnership.”

    Brookfield Renewable Partners (NYSE: BEP). “One of the best diversified renewable energy stocks you can find. While NextEra Energy Partners is focused on wind and solar, Brookfield Renewable specializes in hydropower, or the generation of electricity from water streams.”

    TPI Composites (NASDAQ: TPIC). “The world's largest independent composite wind-blade manufacturer.” End quotes.

    -------------------------------------------------------------

    6) ESG Funds, Stocks. Opportunities in Downturn.

    With this downturn, many investors are finding that dividends they’d become used to from stocks are being cut or even eliminated. Thus, those looking for dividends to provide income has become a real concern!

    Now, this might be helpful to you in that regard. BNK Invest has published an article titled FirstEnergy a Top Socially Responsible Dividend Stock With 3.9% Yield (FE). They write that “FirstEnergy Corp (FE) has been named a Top Socially Responsible Dividend Stock by Dividend Channel, signifying a stock with above-average ‘DividendRank’ statistics including a strong 3.9% yield, as well as being recognized by prominent asset managers as being a socially responsible investment, through analysis of social and environmental criteria.” End quote.

    -------------------------------------------------------------

    7) ESG Funds, Stocks. Opportunities in Downturn.

    Tom Lydon of ETF Trends is making the case for green bonds at this juncture. In a post titled Going Green With Bonds Is a Winning Idea he recommends the VanEck Vectors Green Bond ETF (NYSEArca: GRNB).

    He writes that “The VanEck Vectors Green Bond ETF tracks the S&P Green Bond Select Index, which is ‘comprised of labeled green bonds that are issued to finance environmentally friendly projects, and includes bonds issued by the supranational, government, and corporate issuers globally in multiple currencies,’ according to VanEck.” End quote.

    Here's another interesting item from his article. Mr. Lydon quotes Thomas Wacker, head of credit at UBS Global Wealth and reported in Bloomberg reports as saying that “Sustainable bonds are a ‘defensive opportunity’ that credit investors should favor over non-green, investment-grade corporate notes,’” End quote.

    -------------------------------------------------------------

    End Comment

    Well, these are my top news stories and tips for ethical and sustainable investors over the past two weeks.

    And to get all the links, stock symbols and more, or to read the transcript of this podcast and with additional information too, please go to investingforthesoul.com/podcasts and scroll down to this episode.

    Also, be sure to click the like and subscribe buttons in iTunes/Apple Podcasts or wherever you download or listen to this podcast.

    And, please click the share buttons to share this podcast with your friends and family. That way you can help promote not only this podcast but ethical and sustainable investing globally. So, let’s help create a better world with our investments!

    Contact me if you have any questions.

    Do stay well and healthy – and most wise with your investments at this extraordinary time.

    Thank you for listening.

    Talk to you again on April 24. Bye for now.

    © 2020 Ron Robins, Investing for the Soul.

    An Innovative Approach To Power Deployment

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    In this latest installment of the series focused on how companies and individuals are shaping Nigeria’s renewable energy landscape. Tobiloba Fadesere spoke with Afan, the CEO of Okra Solar a company focused on improving energy access in underserved markets about the potential of the renewable energy industry and the company’s innovative approach to power deployment.

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    PODCAST: Best ESG Companies, Funds. And More…

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    The 50 Best ESG Companies list from the US Investor’s Business Daily. Its top picks are Nvidia with a 12-month gain of 206%. Pool with a 72% advance and Salesforce.com which is up nearly 80%. Another article picks the renewable energy stocks Hannon Armstrong Sustainable Infrastructure Capital, NextEra Energy, and Atlantica Sustainable Infrastructure. And more

    PODCAST: Best ESG Companies, Funds. And More…

    Transcript & Links, Episode 44, November 6, 2020

    Hello, Ron Robins here. Welcome to podcast episode 44 published on November 6, 2020, titled “Best ESG Companies, Funds. And More…”— and presented by Investing for the Soul. investingforthesoul.com is your site for vital global ethical and sustainable investing news, commentary, information, and resources.

    Remember that you can find a full transcript, links to content – including stock symbols and bonus material – at this episode’s podcast page located at investingforthesoul.com/podcasts.

    And Google any terms that are unfamiliar to you.

    -------------------------------------------------------------

    1. Best ESG Companies, Funds.

    To start things off we have a great new article naming the best ESG companies by Investor's Business Daily. The article is titled As ESG Investing Gives 2020 A Sustainable Spin, 50 Best ESG Companies Revealed. It’s written by Alan R Elliott. Here are some quotes from Mr. Elliott.

    “The list highlights 50 stocks that boast both high ESG ratings and superior Investor’s Business Daily (IBD) stock ratings of fundamental and technical strength…

    These ESG stocks have been especially strong, with the top three stocks on IBD's Best ESG Companies list each having a Composite Rating of 99. In terms of stock performance, at the top of the IBD ESG list, Nvidia (NVDA) has a 12-month gain of 206%. Pool (POOL) has a 72% advance. Salesforce.com (CRM) is up nearly 80%. The next five stocks on IBD's ESG list averaged a 12-month gain of almost 70%. Nvidia and Pool are currently on the IBD 50 list of the best growth stocks…

    Profiles

    [Also], see the profiles of Nvidia, Salesforce.com, West Pharmaceutical Services (WST), Adobe (ADBE) and Best Buy (BBY)…

    MSCI ESG Research has ranked companies according to available information pertaining to environmental, social and governance criteria… Those ratings provide the basis for MSCI's more than 1,500 equity and fixed-income ESG indexes. The earliest of those, the MSCI KLD 400 Social Index, first launched as the Domini Social 400 Index in 1990.

    IBD cross-references MSCI's rankings with its database of all stocks to determine the 50 most ESG advanced companies in the growth stock realm… the MSCI ESG ratings compare companies only to other companies in their industry. An AAA rating means your ESG efforts put your company ahead of industry peers.

    Also keep in mind, some companies rank high due to social issues such as health care, company leave and diversity policies for their workforce, while they may be less environmentally savvy then a lower-ranked peer.

    To date, no standardized set of reporting requirements relates specifically to the countless aspects of corporate governance encompassed under the ESG rubric. That makes ranking difficult, and more of an art in certain situations than a science.” End quotes.

    -------------------------------------------------------------

    2. Best ESG Companies, Funds

    Though the title of this article is 3 Renewable Energy Stocks to Buy Ahead of the Election, the authors say it still makes sense to consider these three stocks after the election too. It’s published in The Motley Fool.

    As usual, I’ll mention the stock followed by quotes from the analyst concerning that stock.

    1) Travis Hoium likes Hannon Armstrong Sustainable Infrastructure Capital (NYSE: HASI)

    Like any company that invests in renewable energy projects, Hannon Armstrong is in the business of generating a yield from its investments…

    The company can take equity or debt positions in projects, finance efficiency improvements, or even pay for ecological restoration. This means management can shift dollars to where it can get the best return for the risk, rather than being locked into one type of asset class in renewable energy. The result for investors has been impressive since the company went public…

    Few companies have the ability to adapt and succeed in the current environment like Hannon Armstrong, and investors will be rewarded with not only a great stock but a 3.1% dividend yield as well.

    2) Howard Smith recommends NextEra Energy (NYSE: NEE)

    NextEra announced its [adjusted] third-quarter earnings per share (EPS) grew 11% compared to the previous-year period. The parent of electric utilities Florida Power & Light and Gulf Power continues to grow its renewable energy generation capacity for those businesses. But its NextEra Energy Resources business is experiencing the strongest growth, with EPS up 23%...

    [NextEra’s] Energy Resources business is the world's largest generator of solar and wind power, and has a growing battery storage segment…

    NextEra… extended its earnings growth expectations of 6% to 8% off that higher base through 2023. The company also said it continues to expect a 10% annual dividend per share increase through 2022…

    3) Jason Hall suggests Atlantica Sustainable Infrastructure (NASDAQ: AY)

    The future of the world's power supply is heavily tied to solar and wind, no matter who's sitting in the Oval Office or roaming the halls of Congress. And few companies are as well-positioned to profit from this reality as Atlantica. The company owns, develops, and operates utility-scale wind and solar energy power plants, selling the power on long-term contracts. The result is steady, utility-like cash flows that it can use to fund new projects, and return to shareholders in a steadily growing dividend.

    Atlantica is an international business, meaning that no matter what legislative action is taken in the U.S., its prospects remain very good…

    At recent prices, Atlantica's dividend yield is over 5.4%, and the prospects for regular dividend growth from here are very strong… Atlantica is a stock worth buying right now, no matter the outcome of U.S. election.”

    -------------------------------------------------------------

    3. Best ESG Companies, Funds

    Most ethical and sustainable investors are enamored with passive ETF index funds. However, some see a possible resurgence in actively managed funds too. One company that has brought to market an actively managed ESG fund is US fund manager Vanguard.

    An article titled This ESG Fund From Vanguard Is Off to a Good Start describes this product. It’s written by David Kathman and appeared on the Morningstar.com site.

    Here are some of Mr. Kathman’s thoughts concerning the fund.

    Quote Vanguard Global ESG Select Stock (VEIGX) has shown promise so far, but it still has plenty to prove given its short track record. It earns a Morningstar Analyst Rating of Bronze for both its Investor and Admiral shares.

    Vanguard launched this fund in June 2019 as the first actively managed environmental, social, and governance fund in its lineup… The fund has looked pretty good so far in its first 16 months of existence; its returns have beaten the world large-stock Morningstar Category average and the FTSE All-World Index benchmark, and it has earned a Morningstar Sustainability Rating of High (5 globes). Expenses are low, as one would expect of Vanguard, which remains a topnotch parent. All this is encouraging, but the fund will need to deliver over a longer time period to earn an Analyst Rating higher than Bronze…

    The fund held up pretty well in the bear market from Feb. 19 to March 23, 2020, when its 30% loss was 2 percentage points less than the category norm and the benchmark.” End quotes.

    -------------------------------------------------------------

    4. Best ESG Companies, Funds

    In the UK, the FT Advisor just published an article titled Top 10 ESG funds named amid record year for inflows. Some of these funds might be of interest to non-UK residents as well. The article is by Imogen Tew.

    Here are the funds with some brief quotes from the article.

    Domestic UK

    Royal London’s Sustainable Leaders fund was the top performing UK ethical fund over the past decade, almost tripling investors’ cash, according to AJ Bell.

    Of ethical funds with a ten-year record, Premier Ethical and Liontrust Sustainable Future UK Growth also performed well, returning 174 and 152 per cent respectively. [Incidentally, go to this podcasts’ page for more of the top funds.]

    Top 5 UK ethical funds 10 year total return (%)
    Royal London Sustainable Leaders (GB00B7V23Z99.L) 195.9
    Premier Ethical (0P00015BBW.L) 174.4
    Liontrust Sustainable Future UK Growth (0P00000XCL.L) 152.6
    Liontrust UK Ethical (0P0000XMUY.L) 150.8
    BMO Responsible UK Equity (0P00000DLP.L) 111.2

    Over the same time period, the FTSE All Share returned 64 per cent while the FTSE 4Good UK saw an average performance of 71 per cent.

    Global

    There have been some funds which have managed to outpace the racy MSCI World Index, however. The Liontrust Sustainable Future Global Growth fund tops the performance chart with a return of 267 per cent in 10 years. [Again, for more top-performing funds in this category go to this podcasts’ page.]

    Top 5 Global ethical funds 10 year total return (%)
    Liontrust Sustainable Future Global Growth (0P000023KC.L) 267.1
    Janus Henderson Global Sustainable Equity (JEDTX) 262
    BMO Responsible Global Equity (0P00000DLN.L) 240
    Pictet Water (P3II.F) 212.4
    BMO Sustainable Opportunities Global Equity (0P00017TVR.TO) 179.7

    Mr. Laith Khalaf, a financial analyst at AJ Bell, said: ‘Given the extremely strong absolute performance of ethical funds in the global sector, it’s difficult to say investors should be disappointed but technically as a group they have underperformed.’” End quotes.

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    End Comment

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    © 2020 Ron Robins, Investing for the Soul