Most of us want to be “socially responsible”. We don’t want to trash the planet (any more than has already been done so) for our children and grandchildren.
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We don’t think corporations should exploit their workers or their communities and we don’t intend to profit from the misery of other human beings.
Yet all of us who want to invest also want to achieve the highest possible returns for our money. So, the question is “can social responsibility and decent investment returns be compatible?” We think the answer is a resounding ‘yes’ and can help anybody who would like to consider having an element of socially responsible investing as part of their portfolio.
One of the most exciting developments in the financial world in recent years has been the growth of ethical investments. To date, this has been a fairly limited market here in New Zealand but we are getting asked all the time to find suitable investments.
Socially conscious Kiwi’s feel that companies demonstrating strong social and environmental management and good corporate governance are likely to be good long term investments.
Your decision to invest ethically does not mean you have to choose between achieving your financial objectives and staying true to your values. You can do both.
Last known information from a 2014 European study on Socially Responsible Investing shows the Netherlands leading the way (€20,163 million) followed by the UK (€12,860 million) and Switzerland (€11,061 million).
The majority of ethical investment funds in New Zealand are through KiwiSaver schemes but other investment options are available – if you know where to look. The key though is knowing what you believe in and then setting out to find the best match for your needs.
Traditionally, ethical funds have screened out companies involved with tobacco, alcohol, gambling, pornography and weapons. One company has also taken the step to exclude fossil fuels.
If you are socially responsible and believe in taking account of sustainability issues when making investment decisions and supporting companies with a positive social and environmental impact that align to your values, then come and talk to us. We seek out those companies that provide products and services that meet the needs of a changing world and aspire to do more than just comply with regulation.
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