Ethical Investments

Profit or principle? What is most important to you when you invest? Society’s growing awareness of environmental and social issues now impacts on financial services. Savings, pensions, investments and bank accounts based on ethical ideals are now available.In theory, companies making a positive contribution to the environment, people and wildlife, run lower levels of risk upsetting the regulators. Thus avoiding expensive court actions, strikes, and boycotts of their products, all of which can have a negative effect on their share price.

Environmentally friendly firms should, therefore in theory, have improved long-term prospects. As an example, a business that cuts down more trees than it plants will soon run out of trees to sell. An environmentally responsible firm that plants more than it harvests will have an endless supply.

Ethical funds therefore typically include companies that are actively pursuing ways of improving the environment, international relations or the economy, and avoid companies that they consider have the potential to act negatively on the way we live.

Ethical investing first started in the United States, where church groups control billions of dollars and did not want funds to be used to support repressive regimes in the third world. In the 1970’s the Vietnam War led some investors to question what their money was funding.

In 1983 Friends Provident, a UK Life Insurer founded by Quakers launched the first so-called ‘ethical fund’ in the UK. However, a separate committee to oversee the investment criterion was used, with the Stewardship Unit Trust Fund being the end result.

Ethical Funds will not suit everyone and it is sensible to have a clear idea of your objectives before you start looking for a home for your money. However, it is important you choose investment companies and funds that match your principles.

Here at Argent IFA, we don’t believe your principles should hit you in the wallet. While traditional investment strategies focus on conventional economic and financial performance, ethical investments can achieve good returns as well as considering the wider issues associated with ethical and socially responsible principles.

Argent IFA will be pleased to guide you through the process of finding socially responsible investments that are suitable for you and help you understand the investment issues relevant to you.

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