During Good Money week, we asked our client Alison, to write a little about why, even back in the 90’s, she wanted to invest ethically and with social conscience.
Back in 1991 with coloured and permed hair and when mortgage interest was more than 10%, family and friends said:
“You are mad, you will never make any money if you don’t invest in the same things as everyone else – large multinationals, oil, gas, arms, gambling, tobacco, etc”.
“Do you realise how risky it is to invest ethically? There will not be the same return on your money.”
“Just you wait and see”, I’d say in return. “Just you wait and see”.
At the time, I hadn’t expected to inherit the money, so I was determined not to lose it all, but not to do harm with it either.
Where had this determination come from?
In my teens I had promoted development education for young people and campaigned against the arms trade. I had learned about multinational companies and the impact of their actions on the people right at the bottom of the heap. I held a strong belief that there must be an alternative way to use funds such as large pension funds or savings. My savings started in a mutual building society, where my savings helped others and I wanted the same for my investments.
To achieve my aims and support my beliefs my risk-averse view has had to change (slightly). Naturally, I am a bit of a cautious investor – the keep it in a money box or under the mattress end of the scale – rather than blow it all in Las Vegas – but I have had to accept I need to take some risk with my capital to generate a return and do some good.
Has Ethical Investment worked out?
I did lose some money along the way but eventually, I found financial planners that really took the time to find out, understand and match my investing to my beliefs and values.
With assistance from Magenta and its previous guises, their forecasting has ensured that there is a balanced approach to my finances to ensure I have money when you need it.
I have had a good return, been able to withdraw the money made when I really needed it and have been able to keep to my ethical principles. To be honest, I am spoilt for choice nowadays.
Recently, through Magenta, one of the best options has been that my money can actually be used to make a positive impact. I do not have the time to check each of the investments myself, so I am grateful to Magenta for identifying suitable portfolios that will support my beliefs and values.
It is very satisfying to see how well these ethical investments are doing. I do feel like saying loudly, “I told you so!”