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Push For Consumers to Reap Rewards With Responsible Investing


4 October 2017 at 8:53 am
Wendy Williams
Consumers are being encouraged to invest their money more responsibly.


Wendy Williams | 4 October 2017 at 8:53 am


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Push For Consumers to Reap Rewards With Responsible Investing
4 October 2017 at 8:53 am

Consumers are being encouraged to invest their money more responsibly.

Speaking ahead of Ethical Investment Week, Ethical Advisers’ Co-op has said consumers are increasingly looking for opportunities to invest their money in ways that generate positive societal impacts alongside competitive returns.

They said the aim of Ethical Investment Week was to engage consumers and raise awareness about investing ethically, with different events highlighting available products and what’s on the horizon in the Australian marketplace.

“As advisers, we are seeing a swelling of interest from people to incorporate various ethical and responsible themes into their financial plans” Ethical Advisers’ Co-op chair Terry Pinnell said.

“Encouragingly, there are a surging number of funds and products, many certified as responsible or ethical, and that match people’s different values.”

The theme of Ethical Investment Week 2017, held from 8 to 14 October, is Make an Impact, with a focus on exploring new developments in impact investments.

Financial planner and member of the Ethical Advisers’ Co-op Paul Benson told Pro Bono News the week, which is aligned with Good Money week in the UK, was about creating awareness.

“It is really about creating awareness that people with investments and super can make a difference,” Benson said.

“Most funds have a sustainable option, if they don’t you can move to another one.

“There are plenty of ways you can take action.”

Benson said the case of the banks refusing to lend money to fund the Adani coal mine was a “good illustration” of the influence people could have by encouraging responsible investment.

He said ethical investment was becoming more popular as data revealed that it also led to improved financial returns.

“It is not just nice to do but there is an economic benefit as well,” he said.

“That has been a game changer.

“For a long time there was the assumption that incorporating this would see a cost in terms of performance, that the price of doing that would be a sacrifice in returns, but it has been shown, over a good period of time, that this is not true.”

In Australia, responsible investments have more than quadrupled over the past three years to $622 billion, with nearly half (44 per cent) of Australia’s assets under management now being invested through some form of responsible investment strategy.

According to the Responsible Investment Association Australasia’s Benchmark Report 2017, responsible investment funds are outperforming their average mainstream counterparts over three, five and 10 year horizons, as the market for responsible investment continues to grow locally and globally.

RIAA CEO Simon O’Connor said: “In Australia and globally, responsible investors are increasingly focused on investing in the sectors that are rapidly becoming the sustainable backbone of our future global economy.

“Our Responsible Returns web-tool connects consumers who care about responsible and ethical investing, with products that match their interests and concerns.”

For more information about Ethical Investment Week see here.

 


Wendy Williams  |  Editor  |  @WendyAnWilliams

Wendy Williams is a journalist specialising in the not-for-profit sector and broader social economy. She has been the editor of Pro Bono News since 2018.

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