Ethical Investing and New Zealanders opinions

Mindful Money and RIAA Ethical Investment Survey

very year Mindful Money – the New Zealand charitable trust created to help people monitor the ethical allocations of their New Zealand investments and RIAA (the Responsible Investment Association of Australasia) run a consumer survey to monitor peoples’ opinions on ethical investing.

Over time the number of people who ‘care’ about ethical investing has increased, and continues to increase.  You can find the report here.

Some of the highlights of the 2020 survey are:

·       2/3rds of the public intend to invest ethically within the next five years, most of those within the next year (42%)

·       78% of the public recognise that investing ethically is likely to earn higher returns over the long term than investing without taking social and environmental issues into account.

These are the issues that people consider are important to avoid.  As you can see, New Zealanders find labour rights, human rights violations and Environmental degradation and testing on animals to be unpalateable behaviour.  These are the behaviours that we want our fund managers to ‘negatively screen’ for – that is, to have minimal if nil exposure to in our portfolios.

On the other side of the coin – some fund managers ‘positively screen’ investments, and aim to invest in sustainable and ethical investments only.  New Zealanders consider the following items to be the positive investments that they would like to invest in.

However, as at September 2020 (when this survey was carried out), many people saw barriers to investing ethically.

As we have outlined before, Moneyworks advisers are undertaking our international certification to be ethical advisers, and are spending 2020 researching the relevant ethical investment options available in New Zealand (and seeing if some can be brought to New Zealand for our clients to invest in if they are good enough). 

An investment that purports to be ‘ethical’ doesn’t make much difference to us.  We want to look at our different research sources (we currently have four sources that we subscribe to) to see if what the investment manager says they are doing is actually being reflected in their investments.  But they also have fulfil the rest of our fund manager criteria, of having robustness, credibility, good processes and good consistent investment returns.

Our goal is to remove those barriers to responsible/ethical investment for our clients and we will keep you updated as we make progress.  One of our first steps is checking the actual exposures of those ‘unwanted’ industries above within our existing fund managers and your KiwiSaver providers.

Our goal is to remove the barriers in the table below, and to communicate to our clients and others that you may well have enough money to invest ethically, and that ethical investing does make a difference.  If you are not currently a Moneyworks Membership Fee client, and would like to know more, contact us on contact@moneyworks.co.nz.


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