We're proud and excited to launch five ethical investment plans, allowing you to invest in organisations committed to having a positive impact on society and the environment, and aim to avoid profiting from activities that are considered harmful to society.
Ethical investing is enjoying a growth in popularity in the UK where an estimated £16 billion is already held in ethical funds, according to the Ethical Investment Research Services (EIRIS). Globally, the figure is thought to be around $80 billion. Wealthify joins a very small group of UK providers offering a fully-managed ethical investment service, and we’re also proud to be the only UK robo-investing service to offer ethical plans from just £1.
Customers can choose from five ethical investment plans: cautious, tentative, confident, ambitious, and adventurous. Starting with as little as £1, you’ll get a plan built by our experts and managed on your behalf, every day. We’re using ethical funds from leading providers, including Edentree, Kames Capital, Liontrust, UBS, iShares, and Vanguard, chosen for their exemplary governance standards and ethical stance.
Our ethical portfolios are built using investment funds (a blend of exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and mutual funds) which contain a mix of shares and bonds, with one or two ‘thematic’ investments – funds built from investments on a theme such as gender equality, or green energy funds. They’re from a variety of regions across the world (UK, US, Japan, EU, Emerging Markets, and Asia Pacific), so you can be confident that choosing to invest in sustainable organisations doesn’t mean compromising on a balanced portfolio of global investments.
Performance of our ethical plans will be aligned as closely as possible to our standard plans, thanks to a bespoke tool built by our investment team that aims to match the underlying investments by region and asset type.
We’re using a blend of passive and active funds in our ethical plans. Active funds are used because their processes for selecting investments are typically far more comprehensive, using a combination of statistical data (using ESG scores) and common-sense human judgements. We feel this results in a more robust ethical fund. Of course, this extra care and attention comes at a cost. Average fund charges for our ethical portfolios are 0.54% (range: 0.42% - 0.69%) compared to 0.21% for standard plans.
Creating an ethical plan couldn’t be easier. Investors will have the option to “make it ethical” via a simple switch when creating their investment plan. Customers can toggle the ethical switch on or off, showing them the cost implication of choosing the ethical route.
Michelle Pearce, Chief Investment Officer and co-founder of Wealthify comments: “We have listened to our customers and I’m delighted Wealthify is now able to offer ethical portfolios, starting from just £1. We want to democratise investing and give our customers the opportunity to invest in line with their principles.
“The fund providers we have chosen are best in class in their relevant sectors of ethical investing; quality of governance; ethical stance, and historical performance. All fund providers are signatories of the Principles of Responsible Investing (PRI), the world’s leading proponent of responsible investing. Additionally, we know these fund managers can effect positive ongoing change in ESG standards via proactive shareholder involvement.
“Our decision to use actively-managed ethical funds reflects a desire to provide customers with the most ethically-robust investment plans we can. The layers of additional qualitative monitoring carried out by the fund providers, along with third-party independent verification and specialist assessments, should provide assurance to customers that their money is being invested in strongly principled companies operating the highest ESG standards.
“In addition to ongoing screening from the fund providers, Wealthify’s investment team will also continuously monitor the underlying investments to ensure compliance with our own strict ethical investment policy.
“We’re very proud to launch our ethical portfolios in response to growing demand from customers who want to invest without compromising their values. Our new ethical plans enable customers to ‘do their bit’ and have a more positive impact on society and the environment, whilst giving their money an opportunity to grow over the long term.”
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The comments and opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and should not be taken as financial advice from Wealthify.