Each of us has a different view of what is right for the world.  Is global warming caused by humans?  Is it occurring at all?  Should companies have diversity targets in their hiring practices? Should we care how a company treats people, staff or the environment in another country?

Do these questions and many more have any bearing on how a company performs on the stock market?

The answer like most things is it depends.  However, what is abundantly clear is that it isn’t only investors asking these questions.  Consumers the world over are becoming increasingly aware, concerned, and driven by the answers to these questions.  Ultimately if the consumer is concerned, then it will impact profits and share prices, and therefore needs to be considered by investors.

As well as voting with their spending, Australians of all ages are discovering that they can have an impact on the world by how they invest their savings, including superannuation. Ethical and Social investing is not just investing in companies that are “good” and not investing in companies that are “bad”. More often than not, it is important to have a seat where the decisions are made and have a voice.  If you are investing through a managed fund, it is important to know if that manager includes the management of ethical and social issues as part of their role when investing your money.

All of this is great information, but how does it help you as an individual? How do you know what issues are most important to you? And how do you track them or find out more about them or how your current investments measure up?

A great place to start is to take our impact assessment. This will help you see what Ethical and Social considerations are important to you, and how they stack up against the United Nations Sustainability Development Goals.  Whether you want these views to be a factor in your investing is a decision only you can make.