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Investing in Social Change

An innovative new Merrill Lynch portfolio makes social impact investing easier to implement and measure

MANY PEOPLE WANT TO INVEST in companies that reflect their values. But they aren't sure how to begin. A new portfolio, available through the Merrill Lynch Investment Advisory Program, can make that often confusing, time-consuming process a lot simpler.

Known as a sustainable impact portfolio, it incorporates a wide range of environmental and social factors, such as energy efficiency, gender diversity and responsible corporate governance, in the selection process for the stocks it contains. The portfolio also offers a variety of investment strategies, from conservative to aggressive. You can talk to your financial advisor to help you to figure out which strategy suits you best based on your risk tolerance, time horizon, liquidity needs and goals.

You and your advisor have access to ratings of the social and environmental characteristics of the companies contained in the portfolio.

As part of the offering, you and your advisor have access to detailed reports that include ratings of the social and environmental characteristics of the companies contained in the portfolio, together with traditional portfolio benchmarks, like annual growth and rate of return.

"This approach gives you a view into the social impact of your investments as well as your progress toward your financial goals," explains Anna Snider, head of Global Equity Due Diligence at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

Set up some time to talk with your advisor about whether the sustainable impact portfolio could help you align your investments with your values.


Recognition for Doing the Right Thing
In July, Bank of America Merrill Lynch received Euromoney magazine's Best Global Bank for Corporate Social Responsibility Award for its support of impact investing, aiding women entrepreneurs and mentoring young people, and in September it was named to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, a global ranking based on a company's economic, environmental and social performance.

"Sustainability and ethical impacts are embedded in our values and inform how we conduct our business," says Andrew Plepler, Global Corporate Social Responsibility executive.

Bank of America has partnered with Khan Academy to create cutting-edge financial literacy tools through BetterMoneyHabits.com, is fighting HIV/AIDS through support of RED, and has helped illuminate the need for an inclusive society through its wide-ranging support of Special Olympics.

To learn more about the many social impact activities we support, ask your financial advisor for a copy of Bank of America's latest Corporate Social Responsibility Report, or visit bankofamerica.com/globalimpact.

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Social impact investing is a relatively new and evolving investment opportunity which is highly speculative and involves a high degree of risk. An investor could lose all or a substantial amount of their investment.

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