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Key distinctions
  • Strategic allocation to global equities and fixed income that diversifies across countries, regions, market caps and investment styles to seek outperformance and manage risk
  • Responsible investments that have delivered both competitive returns and positive social and environmental outcomes from an experienced industry leader
  • Actively managed portfolio allocations to ETFs within targeted risk profiles to help achieve investor objectives and manage risk in dynamic markets

Seeking growth with positive impact

These model growth portfolios offer a broad range of diversified allocations with potential for attractive long-term total return and exposure to responsible investments.

  • We believe the considerable market opportunities seen one year ago, resulting from the market’s reaction to the pandemic, have since diminished. With that in mind, we repositioned the portfolios by 1) rebalancing to the strategic asset allocation and 2) closing the tactical positions. We continue to monitor relative valuations over the next few months, specifically the U.S. vs non-U.S. equity mix which have recently been volatile.
  • Within equities, we maintained a neutral positioning. The historic run for U.S. small-caps and U.S. large-cap value narrowed the valuation gaps across equities and reduced high conviction opportunities for tactical trades. The rally is reflected in the composition of the Russell 3000 Index and the end result for the portfolios is an increased allocation to U.S. small-caps and U.S. large-cap value.
  • Within fixed income, we similarly rebalanced to the strategic weights and closed the remaining tactical trade: our overweight to high yield corporate bonds. High yield spreads have compressed and are now historically tight. While we don’t see any near-term impairment in credit markets, we don’t see the value of taking on additional high yield risk.
  • As of 23 Mar 2021, the ESG Moderate Growth portfolio delivered a 24% improvement in MSCI ESG Quality Score and a 44% improvement in MSCI ESG Carbon Intensity score over its Morningstar peers.
  • On 31 Mar 2021, we launched the Conservative model portfolio into the ESG Growth suite. This portfolio has a strategic equity/fixed income allocation of 20%/80%.

Target allocations



Expense ratios


  • MSCI ESG Quality and Carbon Intensity Scores
  • Asset allocation

MSCI ESG Quality and Carbon Intensity Scores

Higher ESG Score indicates stronger ESG practices and ability to manage material ESG issues relative to industry peers.

Lower Carbon Intensity Score indicates a more favorable (lower) level of CO2 emissions per $MM sales.

MSCI ESG Quality Score ("Quality Score") measures the ability of underlying holdings to manage key medium to long-term risks and opportunities arising from environmental, social, and governance factors. The Quality Score is calculated as the weighted average of the underlying holdings' ESG Scores. The Quality Score is provided on a 0-10 score, with 0 and 10 being the respective lowest and highest possible fund scores. MSCI rates underlying holdings according to their exposure to 37 industry specific ESG risks and their ability to manage those risks relative to peers. Carbon Intensity Score is measured in tons CO2/$M sales. Since companies with higher carbon intensity are likely to face more exposure to carbon related market and regulatory risks, this metric indicates a fund’s exposure to potential climate change-related risks relative to other funds or a benchmark. To be included in MSCI Fund Metrics, 65% of the fund’s gross weight must come from securities covered by MSCI ESG Research, the fund’s holdings date must be less than one year old, and the fund must have at least ten securities.
Data sources: MSCI, Morningstar

Asset allocation


Related content
Responsible Investing Socially responsible investing
ETFs What you need to know about ESG ETFs
Jordan Farris of Nuveen explains how ESG investing has evolved over the years, debunks common misconceptions about this approach, and highlights some key distinctions and benefits of Nuveen’s ESG ETFs.
Important information

Model portfolios

Nuveen model portfolios (“models”) are intended to illustrate how combinations of Nuveen affiliated products could be used to achieve the stated investment objectives. Results are inherently limited and do not represent actual results and may not account for the impact of the general market. Models are not automatically rebalanced; allocations may not achieve model objectives and are not guaranteed. Both the actual underlying Funds and model allocations may vary. Allocations are reviewed periodically and may change based on Nuveen's strategic and tactical views. There are no management or other fees at the model level; however fees apply for the underlying Funds as outlined in each Fund’s prospectus. The models’ risks are directly related to those of the underlying Funds, as described below. Allocations may not match a client’s actual experience from an account managed in accordance with the model portfolio allocation.

A word on risk

Investing involves risk; principal loss is possible. Risks apply to those underlying Funds in the allocation of the models and there is no guarantee the Funds’ investment objectives will be achieved. ETFs seek to generally track the investment results of an index; however the ETF may underperform, outperform or be more volatile than the referenced index. In addition, because the Index selects securities for inclusion based on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) criteria, the Fund may forgo some market opportunities available to funds that don’t use these criteria. Other risks considerations include credit, interest rate, equity securities, growth stocks, large-capitalization stocks, value stocks, smaller companies, non-U.S. investments, emerging markets, and concentration in a single industry sector or country. Not all risks apply to all Funds. These and other risks are described in the prospectus of each Fund. Asset allocation (or diversification) does not assure a profit or protect against loss.

Portfolio allocations will be principally to funds managed by affiliates and to affiliated sub-advisers, which may present a conflict of interest.

CFA® and Chartered Financial Analyst® are registered trademarks owned by CFA Institute.

FRM® (Financial Risk Manager) is a trademark owned by the Global Association of Risk Professionals.

About the benchmarks

Model portfolio performance is evaluated in relation to a series of benchmarks that consist of appropriate weights of market indexes representing equity and fixed income market sectors. Each benchmark is created by applying the performance of the four indexes in proportion to each model portfolio’s strategic allocations to those market sectors. The benchmarks are reset to their strategic weight allocations at the end of each quarter, given this is the periodicity of the portfolio update process for the model portfolios. The benchmarks do not reflect any fees, brokerage commissions or other expenses but do reflect the reinvestment of dividends. The benchmark is unmanaged and does not reflect the payment of advisory fees and other expenses associated with investing in a mutual fund, commingled fund or separate account.
Conservative growth index blend is comprised of a weighting of 14% Russell 3000® Index, 6% MSCI ACWI ex-U.S. IMI Index and 80% Bloomberg Barclays U.S. Aggregate Bond Index.Moderate conservative growth index blend is comprised of a weighting of 28% Russell 3000® Index, 12% MSCI ACWI ex-U.S. IMI Index and 60% Bloomberg Barclays U.S. Aggregate Bond Index. Moderate growth index blend is comprised of a weighting of 42% Russell 3000® Index, 18% MSCI ACWI ex-U.S. IMI Index and 40% Bloomberg Barclays U.S. Aggregate Bond Index. Aggressive growth index blend is comprised of a weighting of 56% Russell 3000® Index, 24% MSCI ACWI ex-U.S. IMI Index and 20% Bloomberg Barclays U.S. Aggregate Bond Index. All equity growth index blend is comprised of a weighting of 70% Russell 3000® Index and 30% MSCI ACWI ex-U.S. IMI Index. It is not possible to invest directly in an index.

Before investing, carefully consider fund investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses. For this and other information that should be read carefully, please request a prospectus or summary prospectus from your financial professional or Nuveen at 800.257.8787.

Featuring portfolio management by Nuveen Asset Management, LLC, an affiliate of Nuveen, LLC.

Nuveen Securities, LLC, member FINRA and SIPC.


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