What values investors are REALLY searching for

Written by Julia Dreblow on 16th Oct 2019

What are people interested in sustainable investing searching for when they research where to put their money?

Julia Dreblow, founder of Fund EcoMarket, a brilliant resource for anyone who wants to narrow down their fund choices according to their principles, has some insights, based upon what people search for on the site…


For those of us who love a good list – here are the top 100 searched carried out on Fund EcoMarket from 1 January to 1 September 2019 … once again highlighting the need for a combination of ‘conventional financial’ and ESG / SRI policy and strategy information.

These resulted from a total of 21,219 ‘clicks’ (events) – according to Google Analytics.

 

What values-based investors are searching for:

1.      OEIC/Unit Trust
2.      Sustainability Themed
3.      Equity
4.      Ethically Balanced
5.      Global
6.      Environmentally Themed
7.      Mixed Asset
8.      UK
9.      Negative Ethical
10.  Equity Income
11.  Environmental policy
12.  Investment Trust
13.  Passive Equity
14.  Fixed Interest
15.  Coal, oil &/or gas majors excluded
16.  Unclassified
17.  Armaments manufacturers avoided
18.  Europe
19.  Invests in clean energy/renewables
20.  Climate change / GHG policy
21.  Property
22.  Animal testing exclusion policy
23.  Emerging Markets
24.  Tobacco production avoided
25.  Animal welfare policy
26.  USA
27.  Asia Pacific
28.  ESG Plus
29.  Fracking and tar sands excluded
30.  Pension
31.  Infrastructure
32.  Social Themed
33.  Not Set
34.  Europe Ex-UK
35.  Sustainability policy
36.  Clean energy themed
37.  Deforestation / palm oil policy
38.  Ethical policies
39.  Pornography avoidance policy
40.  Sustainability themed
41.  Human rights
42.  SICAV/Offshore*
43.  Gambling avoidance policy
44.  Limits exposure to carbon intensive industries
45.  Aims to generate positive impacts
46.  Child labour exclusion
47.  DFM/Portfolio Planner*
48.  Nuclear exclusion policy
49.  Plastics policy / reviewing plastics
50.  Europe >50% UK
51.  Available via an ISA
52.  Positive environmental impact theme
53.  Social policy
54.  Not set
55.  Responsible Ownership (FM company)
56.  Alcohol production excluded
57.  Positive selection bias
58.  Sustainable transport policy or theme
59.  Negative selection bias
60.  Strictly screened ethical fund
61.  Water / sanitation policy
62.  Faith Based
63.  Health & wellbeing policies
64.  Governance policy
65.  Environmental damage and pollution policy
66.  ESG/SRI engagement
67.  Balances company ‘pros and cons’/best in sector
68.  FP WHEB Sustainability – C Share Acc
69.  Positive social impact theme
70.  Favours cleaner, greener companies
71.  Janus Henderson Global Sustainable Equity
72.  Hedge
73.  Avoids companies with poor governance (new)
74.  Measures positive impacts
75.  Anti-bribery and corruption policy (new)
76.  Responsible supply chain policy or theme
77.  Other
78.  Resource efficiency policy or theme
79.  Rathbone Ethical Bond Inc
80.  FP Foresight Infrastructure Income Fund
81.  Oppressive regimes exclusion policy
82.  Janus Henderson Institutional Global Responsible Managed
83.  In house responsible ownership/voting expertise
84.  ESG integration strategy
85.  Invests in environmental solutions companies (new)
86.  Tobacco avoidance policy (FM company)
87.  M&G Positive Impact Fund
88.  Fossil fuel exclusion policy (FM company)
89.  Responsible Ownership (under review)
90.  Kames Global Sustainable Equity Fund
91.  Liontrust Sustainable Future UK Growth 1
92.  Employ specialist ESG/SRI/sustainability researchers
93.  Liontrust Sustainable Future Global Growth 1
94.  Kames Ethical Equity A
95.  Liontrust Sustainable Future Defensive Managed
96.  Invests in sustainability/ESG disruptors (new)
97.  Janus Henderson UK Responsible Income
98.  Life
99.  RSMR Rated
100.                      Kames Ethical Cautious Managed

 

This list shows a number of things. For one, it shows that these are real investments, people need to have the right core conventional product features in order to consider investing in them. That message is crucially important to the success of this area in my view – amidst all the excitement we must first and foremost remember these are real investments.

The high rating of our SRI Styles, specifically Sustainable Themed, Environmental Themed and Ethical (Balanced and Negative)  hint at both the most important issues to clients and also the usefulness of categorising funds. This is most probably in part because people find our online SRI Stylefinder fact find questionnaire useful – and also because there are now so many funds in this area that this helps make the fund selection process easier.

With regard to individual issues – unsurprisingly perhaps ‘Avoids coal, oil and gas majors’ ranking highest in that area should be no surprise to anyone who is concerned about climate change – alongside other related areas such as ‘Environment Policy’ and ‘Fracking and Tar sands excluded’.  The high ranking of more traditional areas may however surprise some.  The high ranking of opposition to investment in armaments companies, companies that test on animals and tobacco companies were not far behind environmental concerns – showing that the concerns of the earliest ethical investors remain alive and well in the UK today.