Good With Money Good Egg companies Triodos Bank and Abundance Investment alongside long-time collaborators and leading impact investors Ethex and Energise Africa have been named as ‘Best Buys’ by Ethical Consumer for their Innovative Finance ISA, adding further strings to already impressive bows.
Ethical Consumer, known for its exposés of poorly behaved retailers and ethical product reviews, named the companies as part of its research into the ethical Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA) platforms, naming our Good Eggs as exemplary leaders in the space as well as tipping fellow Good Egg Downing Crowd.
For our comprehensive guide to the IFISA, including what it is, if it’s for you and where to find the best ethical and sustainable options, see here.
Echoing our own findings during our Good Egg screening process (through which only the most perfectly formed impact investors and ethical companies make it through), Ethical Consumer praised Abundance, Triodos, Ethex and Energise Africa for their pioneering work in bringing impact investing to the masses.
Straight to the (impact) point
Tim Hunt, director of Ethical Consumer, said: “There are currently more than 65 platforms offering Innovative Finance ISA’s. The four platforms we’ve awarded our Best Buy rating to are all offering consumers the ability to invest in a curated portfolio of ethical projects.
“Without the traditional intermediary of a fund-manager, consumers are able to pick which projects they will back according to their own principles, so you can support renewable clean, green energy projects here in the UK, or invest in international development schemes.”
The consumer site pointed to a growing awareness of issues including fast fashion, plastic pollution and renewable energy to account for the rising popularity of the IFISA, the total amount of money invested in which grew from just £36 million in 2016/17 to £260 million in just one year.
Choice and flexibility
The firm acknowledged the good work of fellow Good Egg Downing Crowd as part of its research, however it said it couldn’t award a Best Buy as, “whilst they do offer a range of ethical projects to invest in, they also support a range of other projects.”
Julia Groves, partner and head of digital at Downing said: “The criteria used to determine what is an ethical investment varies between platforms. Our investment community likes to invest positively as well as make money, so a significant part of our portfolio is in what would normally be deemed to be ‘ethical’ investments such as renewables.
“But investors want choice, so we offer a range of high quality of bonds, none of which we consider to be in any way ‘doing harm’ to society or the environment. Ultimately, it’s all down to the quality of the investment.”
Remember: Investing through an IFISA for impact is great, but it is high-risk. The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority recommends investors put no more than 10 per cent of their investible assets in unlisted products like these, a sentiment we echo. It is never a great idea to put all of your eggs in one basket, no matter how Good they are.