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How ‘Good’ is your investment?

Katy Caine reports back on her visit to this years ‘Good Money Week’ in London.

Last week, I attended the ‘Good Money Week’ in London. I was invited to represent Thomas and Thomas at the Aberdeen Standard event which is in its fourth year. It is a small event but it is gaining momentum.

The theme of this years’ event was ‘Gender Diversity: an economic and strategic imperative’.

You may be wondering why this would be the theme for an ethical event – I thought the same!

The event started out by explaining why women are more likely to invest ethically and the value of employing women.

This is quite a statement. However, Aberdeen Standard have carried out extensive research on this matter. They found that 69% of men would invest their pension into ethical funds compared to 79% of women.

Aberdeen Standard explained that their research has shown numerous benefits to workforces with improved gender balances such as:

  • diversity of leadership styles leads to more effective decision-making
  • leadership behaviours of women are proven to have a positive impact on an organisation’s performance and health
  • companies that are successful at retaining women are significantly better at retaining talented men such that corporate cultures improve for all genders
  • the best candidate for a role will be selected, based on merit, by increasing the pool of talent from which individuals are selected.

This years’ event also focused on Homelessness and Poverty. There were some brilliant presentations from the charities ‘Crisis’ and ‘The Big Issue’.

It was good to see that one of the ethical funds that we recommend to clients is helping organisations such as these.

Finally, Aberdeen Standard Investments’ Sarah Norris presented the Annual Impact report. This clearly showed how they are embracing the UN’s sustainable development goals.

The fund groups policy is to invest in companies with business models focused on three key areas that the UN are aiming to address: Climate Change, Rising Inequality and Unsustainable Production and Consumption.

Although their research brought up many facts and figures, here are just a few troubling ones!

  • To sustain our current lifestyle, we will require the resources of ‘Three Planet Earths by the year 2050’.
  • 700 million people globally still live in extreme poverty
  • 70% of solid waste goes to landfill sites. By 2100 solid waste generation will exceed 11 million tonnes per day

At Thomas and Thomas we are passionate about our ethical propositions but I feel it is important to keep asking ourselves ‘what is ‘good’ investing?’ This was quite nicely summed-up at this years’ Good Money event.

Essentially, it means investing with the objective of “doing good”, whilst aiming for a financial return.

As always, we are here if you have any questions. Best wishes.



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