March 12, 2021

Article

Albert Goodman recently celebrated a milestone of £100m of funds invested in the AG investment portfolios. But this celebration has also coincided with one of the biggest opportunities of recent years for our investment clients. Unless you have taken social distancing to mean hiding under a rock for the last year or so, it’s hard to imagine that you could have missed the huge changes being made towards more sustainable ways of living. It is visible in everything from TV documentaries (the “Attenborough effect”) to Government legislation banning petrol and diesel cars by 2030, and the stated aim of achieving zero carbon economies by 2050.

They are changes that many say are long overdue, and it’s hard to think of a logical argument against that. We all need to consider our actions and do what we can to reduce our negative impact on the planet. Yet one of the most impactful things you can do is actually one which requires relatively little effort. That is to make our finances work for us in a more sustainable way.

Moving your portfolio to a more environmentally focused, sustainable portfolio means that it is working towards positive change every day. Once set up, it’s a way of contributing to change without having to do anything on an ongoing basis; the money works for you, every day.

Investing in a more sustainable way is becoming a hugely more important part of the investment landscape. It is also evolving. In the past some ‘ethical’ funds have simply acted to exclude certain companies, allowing investors to sleep more easily at night, but recently sustainable investments (and to a lesser degree all fund providers) have started exerting more pressure on firms to report their sustainability credentials, and then improve them. Some firms, like AG, are acting of their own accord to improve their environmental credentials, others need more encouragement. And money talks. Finance and investment is one of the biggest influences on corporate change.

This is why, amongst the many other things we at AG do to become more sustainable, we have our new portfolios, which maintain our core investment beliefs, maximising returns for a given risk profile, but with a sustainable outlook.

The portfolios are called ESG Portfolios, or Environmental, Social and Governance, and aim not only to be more sustainable from an environmental perspective, but also consider social issues such as healthcare, safety and rights of employees, as well as governance issues such as bribery and business ethics.

Just like the current AG portfolios, the new ESG portfolios can be accessed by individuals, trusts and corporate investors and in pensions, ISAs and investment bonds. There is a range of investment risk portfolios available, from Cautious to Adventurous, to suit most investor risk profiles.

We believe we have an opportunity to make small changes to improve the world, and the portfolios allow us to sleep easy at night, knowing our investments are making positive change.

The value of an investment and the income from it could go down as well as up. The return at the end of the investment period is not guaranteed and you may get back less than you originally invested.

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