Ethical Investing  

The importance of ethical investing across the generations

This article is part of
Guide to ethical investing

Yet, he acknowledges: “Of course, for younger generations the impact of climate change, growing global populations and resource scarcity are problems that they will have to face in their lifetimes, so this may add a sense of urgency.”

He insists they are not alone in their concerns, citing a survey by YouGov for Good Money Week 2016, which revealed 69 per cent of respondents wanted a new law requiring advisers to ask customers whether they would like to exclude certain sectors or companies.

“Fortunately, there are opportunities for all investors even if they have less to invest,” Mr David notes. “There are some excellent ethical investment funds available to those just starting to invest, including multi-asset funds. And for those not prepared or able to commit to the uncertainty of financial markets there are ethical bank accounts.”

Leaving a legacy

Bonny Landers, head of sustainable, responsible and impact investing at Sandaire, wants to see a certain amount of due given to the older generations who she believes are just as concerned, if not more so, about ESG issues, sustainability and ethical investing.

“There is a drive from the next gen which I would say is more environmentally focused or social focused than the parents but it’s very hard to say it’s all driven by next gen,” she argues.

“I’ve got more clients towards the end of their careers saying, ‘we want to do something with all this money we made’. Several are the wealth creators, some are the inheritors.”

She accepts though that there may be some urgency on the part of the next generation “because they know the problems are now and they’re trying to solve them now”.

Darius McDermott, managing director at Chelsea Financial Services observes: “Anecdotal evidence suggests that millennials have stronger SRI considerations than their parents, but this could probably be said for each generation – we tend to be more activist/anti-establishment/environmentally conscious in our younger years.”

Presumably then, it is never too late to begin thinking about investing more responsibly.

Ms Landers agrees that investing responsibly, in whatever form that takes, can be done at any age.

“And in fact, where I tend to get some of the elder wealth owners is when they start thinking about what it all means,” she says. “What is my reputation? What is going to be my legacy?