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Giving Hippies Key to Portfolio Is Not Such a Bad Idea After All

Call it the intersection of Wall Street and Shakedown Street: topics that may sound more at home in a hacky sack circle at a Grateful Dead concert parking lot are showing up in stock-market discussions more and more often these days.

Some of the fundamentalists from both streets may bristle at the comparison, but the trend of incorporating environmental, social and governance (or "ESG") considerations into investment decisions seems to be spreading faster than the clouds of smoke during the opening number of a Dead show.

Here's just a small sampling of the ESG-related topics that have landed in the inbox around here recently:

Lest you think these all are examples of book-talking from firms with a horse in the ESG race, note that the last one is a study by Harvard Business School professors Mozaffar Khan, George Serafeim  and Aaron Yoon. They conclude: