If there was ever a good time to launch an impact fund for the masses, it’s now.
Thanks in no small part to David Attenborough and his timely highlighting of the massive problem of plastics in the ocean, not to mention Michael Gove’s surprisingly strident support for environmental issues in his role as Environment Secretary, plus the rise of the WOKE millennial – we are all green again.
But our money isn’t – unless we make it so. That’s because the banks where we put most of our money invest in ANYTHING. They aren’t fussy.
Thankfully – the investment industry increasingly caters for those wanting to invest in global solutions (renewable energy, energy efficiency, waste disposal, sanitation etc) rather than the global problems that have made up the bulk of a typical investment portfolio for years.
Sometimes, the problem for those wanting to access such investments is that they are unable to, because they don’t have enough money to meet the minimum requirements.
This is often the case for principled, but not yet affluent millennials, who would like their money to support their views, but don’t have enough of it to do so meaningfully.
There is also increasing interest from more seasoned investors, attracted by the superior long-term returns from funds that genuinely do their bit.
So a new offering from Castlefield Investment Partners – the B.E.S.T Sustainable Portfolio Fund, which launches tomorrow, is well-timed. B.E.S.T stands for Business & financial, Environmental & Ecological, Positive Social Influence, Transparency & Governance.
It has a relatively low £500 minimum investment requirement and investors can top up with £100 minimum monthly contributions, making it accessible to those on the lower rungs of the wealth ladder.
Simon Holman, partner at Castlefield, says: “This fund is a solution to the problem that younger millennial investors who want to invest and want their money to do good can rarely access sustainable investing options because of the minimum investment requirements. They therefore end up investing in passively managed portfolios, which may not represent their interest in investing positively.”
The fund “aims to achieve growth in both capital and income for investors who are comfortable with an investment time horizon of at least five years.”
It invests mainly in a range of other collective investment funds managed by the same team, alongside carefully selected funds managed by other highly regarded investment houses including funds from WHEB, Kames, Liontrust and Rathbone.
The range of investments includes UK and globally listed shares, fixed interest securities and other complementary investments, such as commercial property and specialist funds. The aim is to achieve an
effective balance between risk, potential return and total cost.
Julia Dreblow, founder of SRI Services, said: “”This is a new and interesting fund. Lead fund manager Simon Holman has a deep commitment to sustainability and responsible investment ownership. This fund is referred to as a ‘portfolio’ as about two thirds of its money will be investing in other funds that meet the criteria the Castlefield team has set. This should help spread the risk – as the fund will indirectly invest in lots of different companies. The rest of the fund will be invested in different asset types which can and over time will include direct investments like green bonds and retail charity bonds. These should help contribute towards delivering positive environmental and social impacts.”
There’s a 2-week offer period from February 1 for a “founder share class” which, for a minimum investment of £10,000, will carry a lower cap on charges over the life of the investment.
Check out our Good Investment Review, featuring ratings for some of the best impact funds in the UK.