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Tudor Jones says his social impact ETF has potential to rival the S&P 500

  • On Wednesday, Goldman Sachs is launching an exchange-traded fund (Ticker: JUST) using a model from Paul Tudor Jones' foundation, Just Capital, that scores businesses based on worker treatment, environment, products and other factors.
  • "I think it's going to be a really big ETF down the road. I think it's going to rival the S&P and the Nasdaq," Jones said in an interview with Andrew Ross Sorkin on CNBC's "Squawk Box."
  • Jones said most companies are focused on profits, while his survey found Americans cared more about how businesses treated their customers and developed socially beneficial products.
Paul Tudor Jones
Leanne Miller | CNBC
Paul Tudor Jones

Paul Tudor Jones said Tuesday that a new exchange-traded fund about investing based on social impact could one day rival the benchmark U.S. stock index.

"I think it's going to be a really big ETF down the road. I think it's going to rival the S&P and the Nasdaq because I think it has both potentially, possibly, performance characteristics and you get to feel good when you own it," the hedge fund manager said in an interview with Andrew Ross Sorkin on CNBC's "Squawk Box."

Jones said he expects state pension funds will invest in the ETF, along with retail investors.

On Wednesday, Goldman Sachs is launching an exchange-traded fund (Ticker: JUST) using a model from Jones' foundation, Just Capital, that scores businesses based on worker treatment, environment, products and other factors. The ETF tracks a selection of Russell 1000 companies, including Apple, Amazon.com and Bank of America. Historical analysis over the last two years shows the fund would have outperformed the Russell 1000.

"If you're going to have true social change, if you're going to have real societal betterment, it has to start with the private sector. It has to start with business," Jones said. The hedge fund manager pointed out that the private sector is about 40 times the size of annual philanthropic giving.

However, in order for businesses to make a social impact, they will likely need to change their mentality, Jones said. He said most companies are focused on profits, while his survey found Americans cared more about how businesses treated their customers and developed socially beneficial products.

"The first time I saw that, it was like being smacked in the face," he said.

Jones has a net worth of $4.5 billion, according to Forbes. The ETF is not Jones' first foray into social change. In 1988, Jones founded the Robin Hood Foundation, a charity that counts many Wall Street leaders as board members and is focused on fighting poverty in New York City.