When it comes to investing, keeping an open mind about new opportunities, new approaches and seeing new trends are all valuable things to be able to do.
There is a growing public demand for businesses that they deal with to act in a socially responsible manner.
It’s clear that public sentiment towards companies that appear to flaunt the law, act in their own self-interest is strengthening. Companies like Amazon and Starbucks, whose tax strategies are deemed less than moral, can lose customer confidence.
There is a fast growing trend towards acting in a more ethical manner in all aspects of people’s lives; whether it’s trying to do your own small bit by recycling or buying Fairtrade coffee and bananas, then it is clear that people’s attitudes are changing.
Having been asked of late whether there are ethical or socially responsible investing options available, further investigation has led me to look at this whole area in a new light.
It wasn’t so long ago that ethical investment meant simply trying to avoid some of the more mainstream areas that could give you ethical concern such as armaments or animal testing, but this whole area has become more developed and sophisticated.
By applying positive socially responsible screening at outset, it is possible to identify an investment portfolio that fits much more closely with your own personal views.
We have been working recently with the discretionary fund management company Parmenion, and have been very impressed with the amount of research work and due diligence they are able to bring to this whole area of socially responsible investing.
Their approach is to initially establish what type of ethical or socially responsible investor you are by placing you in four categories which are determined by the amount of positive screening you wish to apply.
You are then offered 10 portfolios based on the level of risk you are prepared to accept and are asset allocated to ensure that the investments you hold fit correctly.
Parmenion will continue to monitor both the fund manager and the underlying investments to ensure that they meet with the portfolio’s socially responsible objectives.
Some of my clients recently used this process and it was very interesting to see how investing money in this way fitted with their own approach to ethical living and the peace of mind it gave them.