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IFAs on Good Money Week

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Good Money Week is well underway, with events being held across the country to promote and celebrate sustainable and ethical finance opportunities. The annual awareness-raising event is truly for everyone – not just traditional investors and finance professionals but for all customers and users of financial products.  

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But to mark Good Money Week, we asked specialist Independent Financial Advisers – a select bunch that has forgotten more about sustainable and ethical investment than most of us will ever know – what they think of the campaign’s new look and which event has them the most excited this year. 

John Ditchfield, director and advisor at Barchester Green, co-chair of Ethical Investment Association (EIA) and board member of UKSIF

B&GT: What do you think of the rebranding of Good Money Week?

JD: We think this is a positive step because it allows us to broaden the discussion, and cover areas such as banking and new aspects of finance.

B&GT: Are there any events or aspects of this year’s campaign that you are particularly excited about? 

JD: We’re particularly excited about our event [a responsible investment Q&A webinar, attended by Guardian columnist Zoe Williams]. Historically National Ethical Investment Week events have struggled to attract a range of private investors. We think by running it as a webinar and bringing in some high profile participants we can broaden the appeal. 

B&GT: If people were to learn one thing from Good Money Week, what would you like it to be? 

JD: We think this year’s message should be one of empowerment, telling people that they can make proactive choices about how they utilise their money and have an impact on the overall economic system.

Tanya Pein, investment specialist for charities and private clients at In2 Consulting and co-chair of EIA

B&GT: What do you think of the rebranding of Good Money Week?

TP: It’s a bold decision, with an attractive new visual identity – and could open the way to broader appeal, right across society. 

B&GT: Are there any events or aspects of this year’s campaign that you are particularly excited about?

TP:  Yes, this new move from “Ethical Investment” to “Good Money” could mean that the millions of people with workplace pensions feel that the week applies to them too – and it does!

B&GT: If people were to learn one thing from Good Money Week, what would you like it to be?

TP: I hope that people start to say, “I didn’t realise that responsible investment was so huge, and now I’m joining all those other investors who are focusing on sustainability.” Here’s hoping for mass realisation of the power that millions of investors and pension members have to do good. 

Helen Tandy, director and financial adviser at Gaeia

B&GT: What do you think of the rebranding of Good Money Week?

HT: I think the old NEIW was a much longer name with an acronym which was useful, but wasn’t explanatory as to what it stood for. I also think the term ethical doesn’t sit with people today, clients think of themselves as supporting environmental and social investments rather than just ethical, so it become a restriction. Good Money Week is self-explanatory, it encompasses both investing and cash savings which I feel is also a very important change.

B&GT: Are there any events or aspects of this year’s campaign that you are particularly excited about? 

HT:We have historically arranged events during the week, usually in London and Manchester, focused at savers and investors. Our business has been involved in the purchase of Barchester Green in recent months, so we decided to take more of a back seat just for this year. 

B&GT: If people were to learn one thing from Good Money Week, what would you like it to be? 

HT: I hope more financial advisers engage with the week to find out more about ethical investing. We know from our experience that lot of the UK are interested in investing in a way that their money reflects their person values. Many financial advisers feel that they don’t have the experience and often put clients off.

Richard Essex, financial advisor at Grayside and author of the 2014 book, Invest, Feel Good and Make a Difference

B&GT: What do you think of the rebranding of Good Money Week?

RE: I quite like it. It’s a departure from the ethical tag, which I think has to be done because for me ‘ethical’ limits the scope of what I think the sustainable and responsible investment (SRI) industry should be doing.

B&GT: Are there any events or aspects of this year’s campaign that you are particularly excited about?

RE: I am speaking at an event in the Isle of Man hosted by a product provider, who has just launched a SRI product. This is exciting because I get a chance to speak in front of a professional audience who want to know more about why SRI makes financial sense. 

I am also attending an event the following night, when I will be promoting my book Invest Feelgood and Make a Difference. 

B&GT: If people were to learn one thing from Good Money Week, what would you like it to be? 

RE: I hope that people really start to see a link between social and environmental sustainability and financial sustainability, in layman’s terms –a healthier return.

Julian Parrott, partner at Ethical Futures  

B&GT: What do you think of the rebranding of Good Money Week?

JP: I’m okay with it and understand the rationale. It’s snappier and better from a marketing perspective. The name is also more inclusive, in that it engages with all forms of finance, like banking, rather than purely investment. It also places the positive message about managing your money for good rather than just avoiding ‘nasty’ things.

That said I’m a bit worried about dilution of the message because I understand that some companies had problems with the ‘ethical’ world and I feel that ‘responsible’ and ‘good’ have much more room for fudging the issues.

B&GT: Are there any events or aspects of this year’s campaign that you are particularly excited about?

JP: I was pleased to be involved in the Church of Scotland’s event in Glasgow in the run up to Good Money Week. Whilst individual investors have made personal faith based decisions about their money, it’s not often that we see a church clearly championing the cause.

Likewise, the forthcoming IFC Ethical Round Table in Edinburgh is fairly unique in that it brings together representatives from all aspects of ethical, responsible, third sector and faith based groups to discuss new developments in the ethical investment field.

B&GT: If people were to learn one thing from Good Money Week, what would you like it to be? 

JP: I don’t expect sudden changes – just incremental growth of awareness. I suppose that I would like people to realise that they can take some ownership of their money and how it’s invested. It can be incredibly liberating and engaging to know that your money can actually make a change in the world that we live in.

Scott Murray, managing director of Virtuo Wealth Management

B&GT: What do you think of the rebranding of Good Money Week?

SM: I reckon this new brand is easier to understand and engage with for people outside of the financial market and financial services. Without losing the sustainable and ethical integrity, you can bring professionals, clients, business and charities into this campaign, which I believe will be a big success.

B&GT: Are there any events or aspects of this year’s campaign that you are particularly excited about?

SM: I will be attending the roundtable event hosted by the Islamic Finance Council UK and Tods Murray LLP, which will focus on setting up the first ethical finance hub in Europe, which will be based in Scotland. The purpose of the hub will be to encourage debate, influence and change within the sector.

B&GT: If people were to learn one thing from Good Money Week, what would you like it to be? 

SM: Glasgow University recently became the first European university to divest from fossil fuels. Hopefully this hugely encouraging step will persuade other institutions such as universities, local government and charities to review their investment policies and take Glasgow’s lead by disinvesting from fossil fuels. 

I believe the new rebranding will help to have a more successful campaign than past ones, encouraging everyone to consider green and responsible investment and finance options.

Photo: 401(K) 2012 via Flickr

Further reading:

Good Money Week: ‘Finance affects everybody’

Introducing… Good Money Week

Good Money Week: Barchester Green names top five ethical funds

Eurosif: European sustainable investment market outperforming the mainstream

Financial services report recovery as sustainable investment message spreads

Economy

Report: Green, Ethical and Socially Responsible Finance

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“The level of influence that ethical considerations have over consumer selection of financial services products and services is minimal, however, this is beginning to change. Younger consumers are more willing to pay extra for products provided by socially responsible companies.” Jessica Morley, Mintel’s Financial Services Analyst.

Consumer awareness of the impact consumerism has on society and the planet is increasing. In addition, the link between doing good and feeling good has never been clearer. Just 19% of people claim to not participate in any socially responsible activities.

As a result, the level of attention that people pay to the green and ethical claims made by products and providers is also increasing, meaning that such considerations play a greater role in the purchasing decision making process.

However, this is less true in the context of financial services, where people are much more concerned about the performance of a product rather than green and ethical factors. This is not to say, however, that they are not interested in the behaviour of financial service providers or in gaining more information about how firms behave responsibly.

This report focuses on why these consumer attitudes towards financial services providers exist and how they are changing. This includes examination of the wider economy and the current structure of the financial services sector.

Mintel’s exclusive consumer research looks at consumer participation in socially responsible activities, trust in the behaviour of financial services companies and attitudes towards green, ethical and socially responsible financial services products and providers. The report also considers consumer attitudes towards the social responsibilities of financial services firms and the green, ethical and socially responsible nature of new entrants.

There are some elements missing from this report, such as conducting socially responsible finance with OTC trading. We will cover these other topics in more detail in the future. You can research about Ameritrade if you want to know more ..

By this report today: call: 0203 416 4502 | email: iainooson[at]mintel.com

Report contents:

OVERVIEW
What you need to know
Report definition
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
The market
Ethical financial services providers: A question of culture
Investment power
Consumers need convincing
The transformative potential of innovation
Consumers can demand change
The consumer
For financial products, performance is more important than principle
Competition from technology companies
Financial services firms perceived to be some of the least socially responsible
Repaying the social debt
Consumer trust is built on evidence
What we think
ISSUES AND INSIGHTS
Creating a more inclusive economy
The facts
The implications
Payments innovation helps fundraising go digital
The facts
The implications
The social debt of the financial crisis
The facts
The implications
THE MARKET – WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Ethical financial services providers: A question of culture
Investment power
Consumers need convincing
The transformative potential of innovation
Consumers can demand change
PUTTING FINANCIAL SERVICES IN AN ETHICAL CONTEXT
An ethical economy
An ethical financial sector
Ethical financial services providers
GREEN, ETHICAL AND SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE ISSUES IN FINANCIAL SERVICES
The role of investing
Divestment
The change potential of pensions
The role of trust
Greater transparency informs decisions
Learning from past mistakes
The role of innovation
Payments innovation: Improving financial inclusion
Competition from new entrants
The power of new money
The role of the consumer
Consumers empowered to make a change
Aligning products with self
THE CONSUMER – WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
For financial products, performance is more important than ethics
Financial services firms perceived to be some of the least socially responsible
Competition from technology companies
Repaying the social debt
Consumer trust is built on evidence
Overall trust levels are high
THE ETHICAL CONSUMER – SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE ACTIVITIES
Payments innovation can boost charitable donations
Consumer engagement in socially responsible activities is high
Healthier finances make it easier to go green
SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE COMPANIES
37% unable to identify socially responsible companies
Building societies seen to be more responsible than banks….
….whilst short-term loan companies are at the bottom of the pile
CONSUMER TRUST IN THE BEHAVIOUR OF FINANCIAL SERVICES COMPANIES
Overall trust levels are high
Tax avoidance remains a major concern
The divestment movement
Nationwide significantly more trusted
Trust levels remain high
CONSUMER ATTITUDES TOWARDS GREEN AND ETHICAL FINANCIAL PRODUCTS
For financial products, performance is more important than principle
Socially conscious consumers are more concerned
CONSUMER ATTITUDES TOWARDS TRANSPARENCY
Strategy reports provide little insight for consumers
Lack of clarity regarding corporate culture causes concern
Consumers want more information
THE ROLE OF FINANCIAL SERVICES FIRMS IN SOCIETY
The social debt of the financial crisis
THE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITIES OF FINANCIAL SERVICES FIRMS
For consumers, financial services firms play larger economic role
Promoting financial responsibility
CHALLENGER COMPANIES AND SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
Consumer trust is built on evidence
The alternative opportunity
The target customer

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Economy

A Good Look At How Homes Will Become More Energy Efficient Soon

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energy efficient homes

Everyone always talks about ways they can save energy at home, but the tactics are old school. They’re only tweaking the way they do things at the moment. Sealing holes in your home isn’t exactly the next scientific breakthrough we’ve been waiting for.

There is some good news because technology is progressing quickly. Some tactics might not be brand new, but they’re becoming more popular. Here are a few things you should expect to see in homes all around the country within a few years.

1. The Rise Of Smart Windows

When you look at a window right now it’s just a pane of glass. In the future they’ll be controlled by microprocessors and sensors. They’ll change depending on the specific weather conditions directly outside.

If the sun disappears the shade will automatically adjust to let in more light. The exact opposite will happen when it’s sunny. These energy efficient windows will save everyone a huge amount of money.

2. A Better Way To Cool Roofs

If you wanted to cool a roof down today you would coat it with a material full of specialized pigments. This would allow roofs to deflect the sun and they’d absorb less heat in the process too.

Soon we’ll see the same thing being done, but it will be four times more effective. Roofs will never get too hot again. Anyone with a large roof is going to see a sharp decrease in their energy bills.

3. Low-E Windows Taking Over

It’s a mystery why these aren’t already extremely popular, but things are starting to change. Read low-E window replacement reviews and you’ll see everyone loves them because they’re extremely effective.

They’ll keep heat outside in summer or inside in winter. People don’t even have to buy new windows to enjoy the technology. All they’ll need is a low-E film to place over their current ones.

4. Magnets Will Cool Fridges

Refrigerators haven’t changed much in a very long time. They’re still using a vapor compression process that wastes energy while harming the environment. It won’t be long until they’ll be cooled using magnets instead.

The magnetocaloric effect is going to revolutionize cold food storage. The fluid these fridges are going to use will be water-based, which means the environment can rest easy and energy bills will drop.

5. Improving Our Current LEDs

Everyone who spent a lot of money on energy must have been very happy when LEDs became mainstream. Incandescent light bulbs belong in museums today because the new tech cut costs by up to 85 percent.

That doesn’t mean someone isn’t always trying to improve on an already great invention. The amount of lumens LEDs produce per watt isn’t great, but we’ve already found a way to increase it by 25 percent.

Maybe Homes Will Look Different Too

Do you think we’ll come up with new styles of homes that will take off? Surely it’s not out of the question. Everything inside homes seems to be changing for the better with each passing year. It’s going to continue doing so thanks to amazing inventors.

ShutterStock – Stock photo ID: 613912244

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