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When it comes to our investment portfolios, taking the first step and choosing a suite of funds is often the hardest decision. But once that’s done it’s time to sit back, relax and let them do their thing, right? Wrong. Like all things in life that need to grow, our investment portfolios need nurturing – and sometimes weeding.
If you are looking to make your portfolio healthier and adopt better habits this year, you could look at how ‘ESG’-friendly it is. The environment (E), social issues (S) and corporate governance (G) are all big topics in other areas of our lives, so why not our investments too?
Do you mind if a fund is investing in oil companies or weapons manufacturers, or would you prefer a fund that is investing in renewable energy or social housing?
If it’s the latter, the good news is that there are now plenty of excellent funds available that fit the bill, whether you care most passionately about climate change or social equality.
Some funds look to encompass all areas of responsible investing. For example, the team behind EdenTree UK Responsible & Sustainable UK Equity covers all manner of ESG issues from slave labour through to breast milk substitutes and conflict minerals, offering even the most discerning investor good options. And the team behind ASI UK Ethical Equity regularly surveys its own investors to make sure the fund is keeping up-to-date with changing investor requirements.
Those looking for options that will help combat climate change could look at Ninety One Global Environment, which is specifically targeting companies that are helping to decarbonise the world, or Artemis Positive Future, which is looking for those firms making a material positive impact on the world through either environmental or social improvements.
LF Montanaro Better World has a more thematic approach, investing in companies that are involved in environmental protection, the green economy, healthcare, innovative technologies, nutrition, and well-being, while BMO Responsible Global Equity not only avoids certain sectors but also prides itself on its engagement – investing in companies where there are problems that can be resolved.
Another way to detox your portfolio is to get rid of the funds that are no longer doing what we need them to do. This could be for a number of reasons, some of which are outlined below.