What does socially responsible investing mean to you? Some things seem glaringly obvious, like avoiding investment in companies that make money from landmines or cluster bombs. But all weapons manufacturing? How about tobacco? Pornography? Fossil fuels? Genetically modified organisms? Nuclear power? Gambling? Alcohol? Where do you draw the line?
“Ethical” will mean different things to different people. And investment funds have a variety of approaches to these questions.
That said, there are more socially responsible options than ever in KiwiSaver. The following schemes have a framework in place to filter out investments that could be considered unethical, such as tobacco or weapons:
You can search up any of their funds in Sorted's Smart Investor by typing the fund name here.
There are also specific ethically oriented funds, here grouped by type of fund. (Not sure which type is right for you? Try these three questions.)
Keep in mind that “ethical investment” is just one of the criteria you need to consider when choosing your fund. The fund you’re in also needs to be the right level of risk for you, have the level of services you want, with fees that seem reasonable. And of course it can’t have consistently underperformed, either – which could be a sign of poor management.
You don’t want to end up in the “ethically perfect” fund that doesn’t suit your other needs. Still, in terms of investing ethically in KiwiSaver, it’s good to know that you’ve got more options than ever.