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Sustainable investment market booming in Germany, Austria and Switzerland

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Sustainable investment is on the rise in central Europe, with the volume of investments screened through environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria increasing in Germany, Austria and Switzerland by 12% in a year, according to a new study.

The latest annual report by Forum Nachhaltige Geldanlagen (FNG) – the sustainable investment forum for the three countries – shows that the market in now totals €134.5 billion (£110.1 billion).

Of the three, Austria’s individual growth is the most impressive, with the country’s sustainable investment funds and mandates increasing by 29%. Switzerland and Germany both recorded growth of 17%.

“The sustainable investment markets in Germany, Austria and Switzerland have been showing positive growth for years”, said Volker Weber, chair of the board of directors at FNG.

He added, “Sustainable investments enable investors to align their financial goals with their particular values.

“In academic and political circles, sustainable investments are also increasingly being perceived as important drivers of sustainable development. The focus of attention is now shifting increasingly to the impact of sustainable investments.”

The report also finds that institutional investors have played a major role in driving the expansion trend.

Claudia Tober, FNG’s executive director, said, “In Switzerland and Austria, corporate pension funds are the most frequent investors in sustainable investment solutions, while in Germany religious institutions and charitable organisations account for the lion’s share of sustainable investments.

The interest of private investors is also reflected in the figures however, holding 41% of the market in Switzerland, 25% in Germany and 14% in Austria.

Another recent review of sustainable investment, from AXA Investment Management (AXA IM) noted that the market was “gaining momentum.” Last year, the volume of responsible investment assets managed by AXA IM grew by 18%.

More research has recently linked sustainability to investment stability, finding that firms that invest in corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives see less risk in their stock prices during economic downturns.

A separate study also found that companies with positive sustainability records are valued higher by investors.

Highlighting the need for change in Blue & Green Tomorrow’s Guide to Sustainable Investment 2014, Alice Evans, lead manager of F&C Asset Management’s Global Thematic Opportunities fund, said, “As the future isn’t going to look like the past, we need to think differently about investment for the long-term.

“The global population tripled over the course of the last century and is forecast to increase another 50% by 2050, and huge nations are transitioning to industrial economies for the first time. The challenges of climate change and pressures on natural resources are steadily increasing.

“Against this backdrop, companies that are thinking ahead, navigating these challenges, aligning their interests with society and bringing solutions will create more sustainable value. In other areas of our lives we make choices that are consistent with our values – how we save and invest for the future should be no exception.”

Photo: iprole via Freeimages 

Further reading:

What leading investment houses say about sustainable investment

Investing for the past or investing for the future?

Sustainable investment is about optimisation, not maximisation

A sustainable investment revolution must emerge from the IPCC’s stark warning

The Guide to Sustainable Investment 2014

Energy

Responsible Energy Investments Could Solve Retirement Funding Crisis

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Energy Investments
Shutterstock / By Sergey Nivens | https://www.shutterstock.com/g/nivens

Retiring baby-boomers are facing a retirement cliff, at the same time as mother nature unleashes her fury with devastating storms tied to the impact of global warming. There could be a unique solution to the challenges associated with climate change – investments in clean energy from retirement funds.

Financial savings play a very important role in everyone’s life and one must start planning for it as soon as possible. It’s shocking how quickly seniors can burn through their nest egg – leaving many wondering, “How long your retirement savings will last?

Let’s take a closer look at how seniors can take baby steps on the path to retiring with dignity, while helping to clean up our environment.

Tip #1: Focus & Determination

Like in other work, it is very important to focus and be determined. If retirement is around the corner, then make sure to start putting some money away for retirement. No one can ever achieve anything without dedication and focus – whether it’s saving the planet, or saving for retirement.

Tip #2: Minimize Spending

One of the most important things that you need to do is to minimize your expenditures. Reducing consumption is good for the planet too!

Tip #3: Visualize Your Goal

You can achieve more if you have a clearly defined goal in life. This about how your money can be used to better the planet – imagine cleaner air, water and a healthier environment to leave to your grandchildren.

Investing in Clean Energy

One of the hottest and most popular industries for investment today is the energy market – the trading of energy commodities. Clean energy commodities are traded alongside dirty energy supplies. You might be surprised to learn that clean energy is becoming much more competitive.

With green biz becoming more popular, it is quickly becoming a powerful tool for diversified retirement investing.

The Future of Green Biz

As far as the future is concerned, energy businesses are going to continue getting bigger and better. There are many leading energy companies in the market that already have very high stock prices, yet people are continuing to investing in them.

Green initiatives are impacting every industry. Go Green campaigns are a PR staple of every modern brand. For the energy-sector in the US, solar energy investments are considered to be the most accessible form of clean energy investment. Though investing in any energy business comes with some risks, the demand for energy isn’t going anywhere.

In conclusion, if you want to start saving for your retirement, then clean energy stocks and commodity trading are some of the best options for wallets and the planet. Investing in clean energy products, like solar power, is a more long-term investment. It’s quite stable and comes with a significant profit margin. And it’s amazing for the planet!

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How to make a sustainable living out of Forex Trading?

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sustainable forex trading
Shutterstock Licensed Photo - By Robert Kneschke | https://www.shutterstock.com/g/robertkneschke

There are two different types of forex trading in general: the profitable one and the not so profitable one. Everyone wants good profits at the end of the day, but unfortunately a good number of traders are burdened with the huge losses at the end of their forex careers. Many newbies run the other way around when they hear about forex trading due to heavy losses in their initial period. Of course, you would have heard about all those success stories, in your friends’ circle or on the internet. However, if you are looking forward to replicate those success stories, you need get yourself ready before that.

In this article, we will discuss the six essential skills that are needed to earn some profits from trading foreign currencies and make a sustainable living out of it.

1. Limit your risk ceiling

When you start with forex, you should try to define limits. Try to create a balanced scorecard that defines your personality with regards to various parameters such as your strengths, weaknesses, behaviors, and ability to take risks. It is essential that you list your financial goals before you start with forex trading.

2. Learn about leverage ratio and account type

When you start, brokers will suggest different forex trading accounts that might take you for a whirl if you aren’t prepared. Each forex trading account has its own pros and cons. It is essential that you engage with your broker to create a mini trading account so that you will be able to warm up on your forex trading skills in a low risk environment.

3. Start small

While starting out, some investors rush to have multiple currency pairs without doing proper research on them beforehand. It is very important have you understand the nature and volatility of a currency before you start trading a pair. Every single foreign currency is like a market onto itself. It is therefore important that you take the time to study about the country before forming pairs to understand the volatility of the currency. By using forex trading platforms such as ETX Capital, you can take informed decisions easily.

4. Learn to control emotions

A forex trader should never take any decisions on the spur of the moment based on emotions and should be as rational as he can. Controlling your impulses is the key to becoming a great forex trader.

5. Automate your processes

I am not suggesting you to rely completely on forex robots and trade copiers, but make use of the latest automation tech to execute transactions faster than ever before. Make use of automation features such as stop loss, price options etc. to make the most out of the exciting opportunities.

6. Keep it simple.

Not everyone can be a genius economist, mathematician and a trader, bundled into one. Forex trading is not a complex subject, you only need to arm yourself with positive thinking, and set yourself clear and realistic goals.

Conclusion

I hope this article was useful for you to learn about the key reasons why online forex trading is a good investment and how you can earn money through it. If you have any doubts with regards to this, let us know through the comments and we will be glad to help you out. If you have any suggestions regarding how we can improve the article, let us know them through the comments as well for us to improve.

Though it’s a reliable source of income, you will have to educate yourself properly before you start investing. It is important that you take the time to understand why things are the way they are before you jump all in and start making your first big bucks. All the best for your future ventures and keep coming for more interesting and useful articles.

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