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You have found a website which exists for people who want to invest money in financial products which are hopefully not only going to make them money, but also have a positive impact on the world. If you are interested in investing your money in a more ethically, environmentally sustainable way, then this is the place for you. You are very welcome here!
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Aegon asset management has recently re-branded themselves as Kames Capital. They are a large investment management firm with over £47 Billion under management and over 200 employees. Kames is a signatory to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment.
The fund was launched in April 1989 at a price of 24p. Audrey Ryan has run it for over 10 years – this has created a balanced, stable management style with a long term approach to investing. As of November 2011 the price has risen to 99.51p. In the last year the value of the stock has reduced by just over 2.5% – an indication of the funds stability. The fund is available as an Accumulator fund.
The key objective of the fund is to maximise total return by investment in equities and equity-type securities in companies based in the UK, principally conducting business in the UK, or listed on the UK stock market, which meet the Fund’s predefined ethical criteria. They have an ethical screening process which evaluates the effects that certain companies’ activities, products and services can have on the environment and society at large. They also use EIRIS (a leading provider of independent research into the environmental, social, governance and ethical performance of companies)as a source of ethical investment criteria.
The fund is a so-called “dark-green” fund. This means that the managers use negative screening to decide what they can invest in. This is opposed to the positive screening carried out by “light green” funds which aim to actively screen in companies based on positive criteria. The result of this is that the fund is unable to include many large companies because they normally break one or more of the investment criteria. They mainly tend to invest in small to medium cap companies. The ethical criteria of the fund prevent it being able to invest in any banking, tobacco or pharmaceutical stocks and it mainly seems to be invested in more industrial or consumer sectors.
This fund is less concerned with investing in things such as renewable energy than it is with not investing in any “bad” companies. They are on the lookout for high-quality stocks in any sectors which match their investment objectives – these stocks do not necessarily have to be from green companies. For example, the single largest holding is Vodafone – not necessarily a company that springs to mind when thinking about ethical investing.
the_excerpt()A popular method for investing in funds is to use a Multi-Manager option. This method allows the investor to gain diversity (and hence reduced risk) without having to actively manage their portfolio on a day to day basis as somebody else does all the hard work. There are also potential tax savings to be made as managers of multi-managed funds do not have to pay capital gains tax when they make changes to their portfolio – something individual investors would be unable to do. You only pay capital gains when you sell the fund, if the gain takes you above the annual capital gains tax threshold.
The Aberdeen Multi-Manager Ethical Fund is managed by a team from one of the UK’s most experienced and respected brokerages. The fund’s investment objectives are simple – to achieve capital growth. Investment will be primarily in shares or units of collective investment schemes investing in companies in any geographic area or sector which have an ethical, socially responsible or environmental consideration. As a multi-managed fund, the main thing they invest in is other funds.
This fund is grouped into the “specialist” category and as such can be considered higher risk. From the most recently published performance data it can be seen that the fund had just 10 holdings and was only £27.0m in size. Over the past year the fund has underperformed its benchmark and has lost over 15% of its value in the last 6 months. However, the fund has grown by over 30% since spring 2009. The fund is geographically diverse – over 44% of the portfolio is allocated “internationally” whilst another 15% is located in “Asia-Pacific”. We think this presents a good entry point – although please remember that past performance is no guide to future returns. The current entry price is much lower than it was 6 months ago, locking in past investors and presenting an opportunity for you to make a gain before they can break even. The fund represents an easy and convenient way to tap into the knowledge and experience of respected fund managers who can invest in a range of ethical funds and monitor their progress on a day to day basis.
For more information, visit the Aberdeen website. You can view their most recent (September 2011) performance report Here.