Ethical investment advice

Barchester Green Investment offer advice on investing your money in a way that doesn’t harm people or the environment

When the first UK ethical investment fund – Friends Provident Stewardship – was launched in 1984 it was nicknamed ‘the Brazil fund’ by cynics, who claimed only nuts would invest in it.

But 27 years on, more than £11bn is now invested in ethical, environmental and socially responsible funds in the UK, according to research organisation, EIRIS.

There are now more than 100 funds available with many different sets of criteria from both an ethical and financial viewpoint. For those who want to make a positive statement about where their money is invested, there are numerous funds that are set up with specific briefs to hold shares in companies producing alternative energy or environmentally sound waste management, clean water and sustainable forestry.

But you need to be careful – there are no industry standards and some investors who go into what is labelled, for example, the Zurich Environmental Opportunities Fund, will find a chunk of their money is invested in Royal Dutch Shell, BP and Rio Tinto –companies that would be avoided by many ethical investors.

Other big names also operate funds that carry an ethical or environmental label but which don’t stand up to scrutiny by many ethical or environmental investors.

And a fund satisfying one person’s ethical criteria won’t be right for another person, so obtaining independent advice before making a decision is highly recommended.

Some firms of independent financial advisers specialise in ethical and environmental investment advice and Barchester Green Investment (founded in 1985) is unique since it is a partnership owned predominantly by those people who work in the business.

Whether you want to invest a lump sum, sort out your pension or need help with your tax return you will always find someone at Barchester wanting to make a positive connection with you.