Strategy Spotlight

PIMCO RAFI ESG U.S. ETF: ESG Meets Smart Beta

PIMCO has partnered with smart beta pioneer Research Affiliates to launch an innovative ETF strategy that goes beyond typical ESG (environmental, social, governance) approaches.

Investors are increasingly weighing the importance of incorporating environmental, social, and governance (ESG) considerations into their investment guidelines. Yet many investors are concerned they could face a trade-off between social responsibility and investment performance in ESG-oriented investments.

To help address this dilemma, PIMCO has partnered with smart beta pioneer Research Affiliates to launch PIMCO RAFI ESG U.S. ETF. This ETF seeks to provide a total return that closely corresponds, before fees and expenses, to the total return of the RAFI ESG US Index. The Index is a long-only, smart beta index that seeks to achieve the dual objectives of social responsibility and long-term outperformance of the broad market by integrating ESG metrics with a time-tested smart beta strategy. Incorporating the latest research from Research Affiliates, RAFI ESG US Index offers an innovative solution that goes beyond typical ESG approaches.

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The Author

Robert Arnott

Founder and Chairman, Research Affiliates

Katrina Sherrerd

Vice Chair and Senior Advisor, Research Affiliates

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Disclosures

Investors should consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses of the funds carefully before investing.  This and other information are contained in the Fund’s prospectus, which may be obtained by contacting your PIMCO representative.  Please read the prospectus carefully before you invest.

Investments made by a Fund and the results achieved by a Fund are not expected to be the same as those made by any other PIMCO-advised Fund, including those with a similar name, investment objective or policies.  A new or smaller Fund’s performance may not represent how the Fund is expected to or may perform in the long-term.  New Funds have limited operating histories for investors to evaluate and new and smaller Funds may not attract sufficient assets to achieve investment and trading efficiencies.  A Fund may be forced to sell a comparatively large portion of its portfolio to meet significant shareholder redemptions for cash, or hold a comparatively large portion of its portfolio in cash due to significant share purchases for cash, in each case when the Fund otherwise would not seek to do so, which may adversely affect performance.

Smart beta refers to a benchmark designed to deliver a better risk and return trade-off than conventional market cap weighted indices.

Exchange Traded Funds (“ETF”) are afforded certain exemptions from the Investment Company Act. The exemptions allow, among other things, for individual shares to trade on the secondary market. Individual shares cannot be directly purchased from or redeemed by the ETF. Purchases and redemptions directly with ETFs are only accomplished through creation unit aggregations or “baskets” of shares. Shares of an ETF are bought and sold at market price (not NAV). Brokerage commissions will reduce returns. Investment policies, management fees and other information can be found in the individual ETF’s prospectus. Buying or selling ETF shares on an exchange may require the payment of brokerage commissions. Due to the costs inherent in buying or selling Fund shares, frequent trading may detract significantly from investment returns. Investment in Fund shares may not be advisable for investors who expect to engage in frequent trading. The Fund uses an indexing approach and may be affected by a general decline in market segments or asset classes relating to its Underlying Index. The Fund invests in securities and instruments included in, or representative of, its Underlying Index regardless of the investment merits of the Underlying Index. Current holdings are subject to risk. Holdings are subject to change at any time. An investment in an ETF involves risk, including the loss of principal. Investment return, price, yield and Net Asset Value (NAV) will fluctuate with changes in market conditions. Investments may be worth more or less than the original cost when redeemed. ETF shares may be bought or sold throughout the day at their market price on the exchange on which they are listed. However, there can be no guarantee that an active trading market for PIMCO ETF shares will develop or be maintained, or that their listing will continue or remain unchanged. Different fund types (e.g. ETFs, open-ended investment companies) and fund share classes are subject to different fees and expenses (which may affect performance). They may also have different minimum investment requirements and be entitled to different services. Premiums (when market price is above NAV) or discounts (when market price is below NAV) reflect the differences (expressed as a percentage) between the NAV and the Market Price of the Fund on a given day, generally at the time the NAV is calculated. A discount or premium could be significant. Data in chart format displaying the frequency distribution of discounts and premiums of the Market Price against the NAV can be found for each Fund at www.pimcoetfs.com.

A word about risk: Equities may decline in value due to both real and perceived general market, economic and industry conditions. Model Risk is the risk that the investment models used in constructing the Underlying Index may not adequately take into account certain factors and may result in a decline in the value of the Underlying Index and, therefore, the Fund. Management and Tracking Error Risk is the risk that the portfolio manager’s investment decisions may not produce the desired results or that the Fund’s portfolio may not closely track the Underlying Index for a number of reasons. Derivatives may involve certain costs and risks, such as liquidity, interest rate, market, credit, management and the risk that a position could not be closed when most advantageous. Investing in derivatives could lose more than the amount invested.

Socially responsible investing is qualitative and subjective by nature, and there is no guarantee that the criteria utilized, or judgment exercised, by PIMCO will reflect the beliefs or values of any one particular investor. Information regarding responsible practices is obtained through voluntary or third-party reporting, which may not be accurate or complete, and PIMCO is dependent on such information to evaluate a company’s commitment to, or implementation of, responsible practices. Socially responsible norms differ by region. There is no assurance that the socially responsible investing strategy and techniques employed will be successful. Past performance is not a guarantee or reliable indicator of future results.

There is no guarantee that these investment strategies will work under all market conditions or are suitable for all investors and each investor should evaluate their ability to invest long-term, especially during periods of downturn in the market. Investors should consult their investment professional prior to making an investment decision.

RAFI ESG U.S. Index is a long-only, smart beta index that seeks to achieve the dual objectives of social responsibility and long-horizon outperformance of the broad market. The Index is constructed by RAFI Indices, LLC (the "Index Provider") using a rules-based approach within publicly traded U.S. equities to create an integrated ESG strategy which overweights companies that rate well across various ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) themes and excludes companies with a major involvement in industries such as tobacco, gaming, weapons and fossil fuels. The strategy supplements traditional ESG metrics with metrics linked to long-term value creation, specifically financial discipline and diversity, for improved return potential. It is not possible to invest directly in an unmanaged index.

PIMCO as a general matter provides services to qualified institutions, financial intermediaries and institutional investors. Individual investors should contact their own financial professional to determine the most appropriate investment options for their financial situation. This material contains the opinions of the manager and such opinions are subject to change without notice. This material has been distributed for informational purposes only and should not be considered as investment advice or a recommendation of any particular security, strategy or investment product. Information contained herein has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but not guaranteed. No part of this material may be reproduced in any form, or referred to in any other publication, without express written permission. PIMCO is a trademark of Allianz Asset Management of America L.P. in the United States and throughout the world. ©2020, PIMCO.

PIMCO Investments LLC, distributor, 1633 Broadway, New York, NY, 10019 is a company of PIMCO.

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