Today’s article has been contributed by Rebecca Robertson of Evolution Financial Planning, an expert in all things finance and entrepreneurship. Rebecca has been providing bespoke financial advice of the highest quality for years and has helped countless women to get on top of their finances. Rebecca hardly needs an introduction as her credentials speak for themselves. She has featured in Forbes magazine and BBC radio as well as being a Tedx Speaker and Amazon bestseller, making her the woman you want to go to for financial advice. In this article Rebecca has gathered up all of her top ethical investing tips for young entrepreneurs based on her successful career as a financial planner. So grab your notepad and get ready to start investing in your future, ethically.
Why its in everyone’s best interests to invest ethically
For some people investing in general is a daunting topic, nevermind doing it ethically. Beginners can quickly become overloaded with information and this can be discouraging. But do not fret, ethical investing is for everyone and in this article I will try to keep it as simple and accessible as possible for you. This will help you to choose investments that are in line with your personal ethics and values, from a confident and informed position.
Though it may require a little extra research, it is worth the extra effort on everyone’s part to invest ethically. Ethical investing is becoming more profitable and is also beneficial for the environment, so it’s a win for everyone. If you’re serious about ethical investing but you don’t know where to start, you can download our free ethical investing guide here.
What is ethical investing?
Ethical investing is a term generally used to describe any investment that considers ethics and morals as well as profit. However, there is no exact or agreed definition of ethical investing so beginners should be wary of this term being used loosely and should always do their own thorough research. As a beginner, you should focus on avoiding investing in any sectors or businesses that conflict with your personal ethics and values.
Don’t worry if you feel overwhelmed by all the jargon when you first get started. You might encounter terms such as Socially Responsible Investing, Impact Investing or Sustainable Investing. What’s important is the business practices of the organisations you invest in. Are they in the best interest of everyone or are they making profit through unethical means?
Ethical investing is good for you and the environment
Ethical investing is the one of the best investment choices you can make as a young entrepreneur. If you really take the time to find investments that don’t compromise your personal (and possibly business) ethics, you will have the comfort of growing your finances without the guilty conscience of investing purely for profit. It really is the best of both worlds. This is not to say that ethical investing is not as profitable as other investment strategies. In fact, as the sector grows it is becoming more and more common for ethical investments to outperform popular investments, particularly in the UK. However it should be noted that, just like with any other investment, you are by no means guaranteed to make money. Investing is a calculated risk and proper research is the only way to minimise risk and losses.
Where to start on your ethical investment journey
Learning to invest ethically can be a little overwhelming at first and don’t worry if you’re intimidated by the idea of researching your own investments. It is tricky at first but you will get the hang of it!
To start with, just try to pick one issue that you feel strongly about and that you’d like to do something about. Then the next step is to decide how to move forward with your investment strategy. Remember you are trying to make a difference here, not just a quick profit. Another great way to start your ethical investment journey is to consider community-based organisations. This way you can make a difference locally and perhaps see a more noticeable change since you are investing in a smaller organisation.
You can also try to change bigger companies for the better with file shareholder resolutions. This is where stockholders can propose changes to policies to make the company more sustainable and ethical. When investing ethically you should also be making sure that any fund/organisation you invest in makes it easy and efficient for you to keep track of and if you have chosen your own investments, check them every 3 months at the very least!
Ethical investment - the best way to invest for young entrepreneurs
Keep in mind that through ethical investing, your profits could not only be good for your business, but also for supporting socially responsible causes which are in line with your values. This is also going to be attractive to your customer base as they will see you as a strong progressive entrepreneur who wants to make positive changes. In short, ethical investment is great for your finances and your conscience, so what are you waiting for?
If you want to start investing ethically but you’re feeling overwhelmed and you’re not sure where to start, download our free ethical investing guide.