A week may be a long time in politics, but it’s a tragically brief period to explore all the issues that surround ethical investment. Investors, advisers, fund managers, the leading industry bodies and media have come together to explain those issues. But the week is just the start.
“Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning”, to quote one maverick and brilliant wartime leader. Over the last five years, NEIW has allowed us to pause and reflect on alternative investment strategies that minimise harm to the planet and people, but also deliver a profit. Just not at any cost.
As with Fairtrade Fortnight and Move Your Money Month, this period of focus is not just an arbitrary promotional event. Instead, it allows organisations with small dedicated teams and limited financial resources to punch above their weight.
The week really is just the end of the beginning. We are engaged in a war of sorts and we’re the smaller side. The overwhelming forces of profiteering unethical investment don’t want an enlightened investor population to question the long-term outcome of values-free investment strategies. These forces, consisting of supposedly impartial media, funds, advisers and individuals, argue that astute investors always maximise profit, whatever the cost. Their investments are at war with society and the environment in a rapacious pursuit of profit.
We disagree with their worldview. The planet and people matter too. There is no plan(et) B.
There are four simple things that you can do.
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Do your own research
Your Ethical Money (part of EIRIS), Worldwise Investor (tied to adviser Holden & Partners) offer specialist ethical investment information. Interactive Investor, FE Trustnet and Morningstar all allow you explore ethical funds. The Sun recommends reading Blue & Green Tomorrow!
Speak to your financial adviser or wealth manager
Ask them questions about sustainable investment, your values and where you would like to draw a line on what you will invest in. If they sigh, roll their eyes or try and out you off then take a look at the long list of specialist ethical advisers in our Guides – all of whom will be more knowledgeable and sympathetic to your beliefs and values
If you want to seriously profit from investment you need to work on it and pay close attention. If you’re going to pay that close attention then seeking out the sustainable options isn’t that much extra work. If you trust your money to someone else, get them to do the work for you.
Blue & Green Tomorrow we just wanted to extend our heartfelt thanks to the dedicated and brilliant team at UKSIF for putting on another fantastic week. Penny Shepherd, Pamela Lindegaard, Lisa Stonestreet, Caroline Escott and Tom Lafford; thank you.