Ethical investments

At Helm Godfrey, we believe that socially responsible investments are an important option to have. Ethical investments are also known as Socially Responsible Investment (SRI). As another option to impact investments, Helm Godfrey also looks at ethical investments to provide clients with options that contribute to the greater good.

Ethical Investments are actively managed funds involved in benefiting the environment or society, such as: Specific environmental protection practices, pollution control, extensive involvement in conservation and recycling measures, ethical employment practices, such as recognising trade unions and treating workers fairly. As such, ethical funds suffer from the same performance issues as all other active funds.

It can be difficult to judge whether a particular company is operating ethically or not, which is why most ethical investments are held through managed funds. These operate in the same way as conventional funds but only include companies that have passed specific criteria to be included.

Companies involved in activities such as: Weapons manufacturing, animal exploitation and testing, alcohol and tobacco promotion, environmentally damaging product practices would not be included in any ethical funds.

Ethical investment requires research and extensive due diligence. As your adviser, we will guide you through the ethical investment process defining your ethical approach and determining your personal ethical profile.

Is Ethical Investing Right for You?

Ethical investments are right for anyone that is looking for greater purpose in their investment allocations. For anyone that recognises that they can play a larger role by doing what they do anyway, just by selecting different funds.

Approaches to Ethical Investing

There are a number of different approaches to ethical investment. We've set out the main ones here. Just click on▼ to reveal more. Most funds and providers of ethical investment services employ a combination of the first three approaches.

▼ Negative screening

This is where the fund sets a number of negative criteria and any company that fails these is excluded from their investable universe and therefore the portfolio. An involvement in the arms or tobacco businesses for example.

▼ Positive screening or selection

Where a fund sets a number of positive criteria and companies that meet these can be included. For example companies with strong positive environmental impacts.

▼ Best of sector

Where a fund would invest in the company or companies that have the best track record on the combination of financial, social and environmental performance in a sector – as opposed to just the best financial performance

▼ Engagement

Where attempts are made through dialogue, shareholder resolutions and voting rights to influence companies policies and to encourage positive change. Often relationships develop between companies and investment houses and fund managers where the former seek consultation on a range of corporate governance matters.

▼ Specialist

Include funds that have a particular narrow focus e.g. healthcare or the environment and investments that have very positive social and or environmental impacts such as the ethical property company, fair traded goods companies and forestry. The latter tend to represent what most people have in mind when they think about investing ethically, that is being able to invest in companies and projects that are having some obvious very beneficial impact on the environment and/or socially, and that might not go ahead without investors. These would form part of the Alternative and Specialist Fund portion of a portfolio.

Impact investment

Impact investments are investments made into companies at an early growth stage, usually at venture capital stage.

Impact investing supports a company whose products and/or services will generate measurable social and environmental impact alongside financial returns.

As these companies are often at early venture capital stage, they would not be listed under any ethical funds.

Helm Godfrey is one of the few companies that pro-actively find impact investing opportunities.

We feel that these opportunities may outperform the market because they operate in a more sustainable way.

This socially conscious investing can deliver greater long-term wealth. It is an investment style driven by our ethical motivations alongside the commercial considerations for our clients.

Investments and the income from them can go down in value.

Is Impact Investing Right for You?

Impact investments are right for anyone that is looking for greater purpose in their investment allocations.

For anyone that recognises that they can play a larger role by doing what they do anyway, just doing it slightly different. Impact investing can be attractive for anyone, individuals, foundations and family offices.

Commitment to our community

For us, being a good corporate citizen is more then just a set of good intentions. We believe that acting responsibly towards our members, our clients, our employees and the community needs to be at the core of everything we do.