A Data-Driven Way to Help Align Your Investments and Values

Jun 11, 2024

Tools from Morgan Stanley merge data and technology to help you find investments with positive environmental and social impact and firms leading on diversity.

Key Takeaways

  • There are more than five times as many ESG funds available to investors now than there were a decade ago.
  • Morgan Stanley tools can help you look at the data to better understand how these funds align with your values.
  • Your Morgan Stanley Financial Adviser can help you use these tools to evaluate your current portfolio or potential future investments.

As demand for sustainable investing has increased, the number of funds claiming to incorporate environmental, social and governance (ESG) data into their investment process has increased more than five-fold since 2014.1


With so many options available, it’s important for investors to measure how much an asset manager prioritizes environmental or social issues when making decisions. Two tools from Morgan Stanley can help.

Get an Indication of an Investment’s Impact with Impact Signal

We have developed Impact Signal, an innovative manager scoring tool to support this process that helps investors systematically evaluate sustainable investment strategies and identify whether they intentionally seek to generate measurable, positive environmental and social impact. It leverages underlying data from our proprietary, award-winning Morgan Stanley IQ® application, along with other reputable third-party data providers, to express a quantitative signal of impact strength. Aggregating this underlying data into a single distinct signal (strong, medium or weak) allows for ease of interpretation and serves as a standardized method for comparing sustainable investment strategies.


With this innovative manager-evaluation tool, your Morgan Stanley Financial Advisor can show you the strength of an investment’s environmental and social impact. Impact Signal delivers insights across a range of mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and separately managed accounts (SMAs) in each major asset class. The result? You get the transparency and information you need to help identify strategies that have delivered positive environmental and social outcomes.

Companies with the most ethnically diverse teams were 39% more likely to outperform on profitability.

Highlighting Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

In addition to Impact Signal, Morgan Stanley has introduced Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Signal, which monitors asset managers’ firm-level progress—and potential—in achieving more diverse and balanced representation among their key decision-makers. Using our proprietary research and data-gathering tools, along with our own market insights, we developed the tool to promote transparency and accountability in the investment management industry. Your Morgan Stanley Financial Advisor can use it to help track whether the managers of the funds in which you invest in are using their influence to end underrepresentation of marginalized groups in corporate leadership.


Evidence demonstrating the importance of DEI in the workforce is growing and this trend is not just important from a cultural and social perspective; rather, it can be interlinked with financial outcomes. According to a 2023 McKinsey study, companies with the gender-diverse or the most ethnically diverse teams were 39% more likely to outperform on profitability, as measured by earnings before interest and taxes.And it makes sense: more voices and perspectives at the table can lead to new ideas and deeper insight.

Adding Impact to Your Investments

With Impact Signal and DEI Signal, investing according to your values just became that much easier. These tools help Morgan Stanley Financial Advisors evaluate asset managers’ commitment to seeking sustainable outcomes on a consistent basis, as well as whether they pursue shareholder engagement and advocacy.


Contact your Morgan Stanley Financial Advisor to find out more about these tools and to help you find the best path to invest according to your values—and know that your choices are making an impact.

Questions to Ask Your Morgan Stanley Financial Advisor:

  • How do I get started in values-based investing?
  • How do values-based investments perform relative to the broad market?
  • How can I assess an asset manager’s commitment to seeking positive environmental and social outcomes?

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