Columnist: Tony Larkins from Beacon Wealth discusses ethical investments

Tony Larkins is the managing director of the Beacon Wealth Group.

Tony Larkins is the managing director of the Beacon Wealth Group. - Credit: BEACON WEALTH

If there is life on other planets and they looked down on us, what would they see and would they understand it?

We are a small planet with people spread over most of it, who rely on water and food to survive. We churn out fumes and destroy rain forests so carbon is created, half the world lives in relative luxury, whilst the other scratch the ground for an existence. If you are reading this and are warm and not hungry, however bad your life may be, you are part of the world's luckiest people.

We usually do not see our situation for what it really is and given we are not a David Attenborough or Greta Thunberg, can we really do that much anyway?

The answer is obviously yes, but I will leave how, to others. I recycle and have planted trees but my biggest attempt to help is how I invest.

Over 10 years ago Beacon set up a range of risk rated Ethical investment portfolios and as I write we are about to exceed £100m of client investments in them. This is a lot of money and 10 years ago we would never have thought it possible.

The big question is, are all these investors wishing to invest ethically as a conscious decision to save the planet? I can tell you that the answer to that one, is no.

Beacon certainly does have clients who care, and who do not wish to encourage companies who work in tobacco or armament industries, but many simply want a good return.

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Investment returns work on a supply and demand basis. Most people would rather invest in good things rather than bad. With demand for good ethical investments, companies are needing to change to attract investors. As more and more people choose a limited, although growing, market of companies, the limiting supply dictates a better return than normal.

For the third year running Beacon have been shortlisted as best UK Ethical Investors. It’s not just about our exceptional double digit net returns, but I am sure it helps (past performance should not be relied upon for future returns. Funds can go down as well as up).

If changing the world seems like too big a task, consider whether you should be doing your bit in the way your pensions and ISA’s are managed. The Ethical train is building up steam, but only you can choose whether to get on.

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