An IT Sales Director from Manchester
“To my mind it’s where your money goes towards something sustainable, like something environmental or helping people. Kind of like ethical investing, so for example you wouldn’t be invested in a non-ethical company that’s using slave labour or something like that.
“It’s not something I went looking for myself. Just came across it through current affairs, and if you read the money section of the newspaper you see it mentioned there. Recently it seems to be there quite a bit more.
“Before I do invest I probably need to know a bit more about it. I’d want to speak to someone professional and make sure my money really was put towards something ethical. Probably just a bit of an overview of what the company does that the money’s going towards. And a bit of background about the company, so you can make your own judgement. Probably goes back to the people who run the company and what they stand for as well.”
“Investing isn't something I tend to make a choice about myself – I leave it to the experts as they understand the logic of it. But I don’t really know which funds to invest in.
“I’d want my investment company to do the research and then bring it to me. Obviously they’re dealing with companies like this all the time so they should know if they’re sustainable, so you take their opinion on it. And depending on how passionate you are about it you could do your own research as well to make sure.
“It’s quite a minefield, really. This stuff is not necessarily in laymen’s terms and although I do have a small amount of knowledge, I think for people who are just starting out it can be really hard to do anything themselves and to understand it. So I’m just putting my faith in the experts to make the right choice.”
“As I got older and started to earn a bit more money, I thought it made sense to start putting a bit more away and think of my future. When I was in my early 20s I didn’t think about that kind of thing, but certainly by your late 20s it’s important. You want to start thinking early-ish so by the time you do retire you’ve actually got something.
“I have a savings account and an ISA. A stocks and shares ISA too, though I have an adviser through work that looks after that and my pension.
“As for sustainability, the environment is the main one for me because that’s going to help everyone. But also, some companies might have a good gender mix on the board or they’re paid equally – obviously that’s a good thing – but I don’t think that’s as important to me as the environment. How people run their business is up to them.”
If, like Sam, you want to grow your savings and make a positive change without having to pay too much attention, the following option is worth reading up on. Or have a look at a bigger range with The Share Centre's socially conscious 'Equality & Diversity' list or Morningstar's 'Low Carbon' list on our Sustainable Savers home page.
(We asked some of the leading names in sustainable investing to recommend a fund or two they like for our Sustainable Savers. This isn’t a personal recommendation and we’re not giving financial advice. Food for thought only, folks.)
Adrian Lowcock, Head of Personal Investing at Willis Owen, suggests...
"This is a global equity fund, co-managed by Nick Edgerton and David Gait. The investment process will take account of sustainability themes and issues and requires positive engagement with companies in respect of these.
"They draw on the market-leading research and stable investment team at Stewart Investors. And although the strategy is reasonably new, launched in 2012, the process behind this fund has been in place since the 1990s. Fundamental analysis of companies with a heavy focus on the sustainability of their earnings and business models is core to stock selection. There is also preference for high-calibre management and healthy balance sheets leading to a bias to defensive growth shares."
You might also find a fund that's suitable for you in these lists of popular investments:
9 award-winning sustainable investment funds, as commended by Investment Week's Sustainable & ESG Investment Awards 2019
14 best buy sustainable investment funds recommended by provider best buy and favourites lists
Sustainable Savers home
How are other investors having a positive impact?
Guide to ESG & Sustainable investing• Quick start guide
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